i had the opportunity recently to crystallise my thinking around what i have here called 'the new entertainment culture' (but which was redefined as entertainment 2.0 for the purposes of this presentation).
The main take-away is that all forms of entertainment are having levels of interactivity added to them - from the advent of reality television allowing people to affect the outcome of programmes, to theatre that you can walk around, to socially created literature, to film and tv drama that adds layers beyond the superficial fiction through guerilla campaigns on and offline.
At the same time social media is allowing us to create profiles of ourselves that help to create fiction around our lives - portraying the best, the most exciting, the most dramatic aspects (many people even editing away the bits they don't like that others have added).
Meanwhile gaming itself is increasingly social - Spore has had a whole social media platform developed to sit alongside it, and the Nintendo Mii profile allows you to create an (often laughably) realistic avatar to both socialise and play games with. And games are becoming watchable in their own right as the cameras capturing the play become more sophisticated, and they are starting to be used to tell stories rather than merely displaying destruction or slick moves.
Finally there is a space in the middle where they all meet, which is only just starting to be filled in. The closest so far is probably Kate Modern, which allowed for interaction not only with the online soap's characters and storyline but towards the end even allowed its viewers to attend some of the events in the real world in which it was captured. And its sponsor brands were integrated into the plot all the way.
The next incarnation of Kate (from the original Lonely Girl team) will be Sofia's Diary. Which promises to take the interactivity to the next level, with more of a Choose Your Own Adventure viewer control over the narrative. But still the viewer will (for the main) be just that. The question mark in the middle will only actually be answered when the viewer / user / consumer / target audience becomes a genuine player, and is at the centre not the periphary of the action. Tbd...