I’ve been reading Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet Murray. She talks a lot about immersion in films and stories. She describes immersion as a trance and the primary key to creating this trance is understanding the existence of the ‘fourth wall’ between audience and performer. She describes watching Peter Pan as a child and clapping Tinkerbell back to life. She was utterly enraptured by the whole thing and was desperate to see Tinkerbell resurrected. The spell was broken the next time she watched it when her parents sat behind her laughing at her innocent wonderment. The fourth wall was broken. She was reminded that this was ‘just a film’. I think immersion is an emotional invitation, perhaps before it’s an intellectual one.
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