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Did you ever read someone’s Facebook status messages and learned about his personal stories through it? Did you ever read personal blogs and vlogs and felt that you are witnessing a real life story?

Last semester I lectured in a course in IDC about online storytelling, together with Noa Morag and Roni Abolafia. I wrote about it here, here and here. However I was asked several times to provide a wider overview on the topic. So here it is – an overview of immersive storytelling:

What is immersive storytelling?

Immersive storytelling is the use of social web and online video to tell a linear fictional story, through the social activities of the characters.

In cinematic storytelling, viewers experience stories by looking through a non existent wall (usually referred to as the 4th wall). The camera is accepted as given, a kind of an agreement between viewer and the actors that says: yep, we both know there is a camera here, but we accept it and actually ignore it. The emotional attachment to the characters on screen is achieved by suspension of disbelief – viewers leave their sense of reality at the entrance to the movie theater, and accept that robots, time machines[8.3/10 rating][8.3/10 rating] and radioactive naked people actually exist. In some cases, directors choose to break this rule – and change the viewers’ perspective on on-screen activities.


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Ian Richardson as F. Urqhuhart in House of Cards broke the 4th wall in several episodes

But what about the stories that happen to people around us? People in real life? Did you ever read someone’s Facebook status messages and learned about his personal stories through it? Did you ever read personal blogs and vlogs and felt that you are witnessing a real life story?

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