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If you want to make an experience that's going to have impact... it needs to be both innovative and meaningful. If it's just a gimmick, it's like a trade show, and it'll just fade very quickly.
—Jake Barton
Jane Rosenthal
Tribeca Enterprises Cofounder, CEO, and Executive Chair Jane Rosenthal discusses the history of the Tribeca Film Festival and the current landscape of cutting-edge storytelling.
Jake Barton
Local Projects Founder and Principal Jake Barton discusses the firm’s award-winning approach to experience design and the transformative power of participatory storytelling.
Cortney Harding
Award-Winning XR Producer and Friends with Holograms Founder and CEO Cortney Harding discusses how XR can be used to tackle difficult topics and build empathy.
What the Metaverse Will (And Won’t) Be, According to 28 Experts 
// Fast Company

2021 was the year that people started talking seriously about the metaverse—but what exactly the metaverse actually is depends largely on who you ask. What exists right now is a series of embryonic digital spaces, such as Facebook’s Horizon, Epic Games’ Fortnite, Roblox’s digital space for gaming and game creation, and the blockchain-based digital world Decentraland—all of which have clear borders, different rules and objectives, and differing rates of growth. To get a broader read on where these diverse proto-metaversal spaces might lead, Fast Company asked thought leaders from a variety of disciplines and industries a simple two-part question: What will the metaverse look like, and how will it be used?
How Amazon Changed Fiction as We Know It
// Esquire

With its staggering American market share of 50% of printed books and upwards of 75% of ebooks, Amazon has changed literary life as we know it. But the Everything Store hasn’t just changed how we buy books: according to Stanford University Literature Professor Mark McGurl, it’s transformed what we buy, what we read, and how we write. Here, McGurl speaks with Esquire about the Age of Amazon and all it entails: the dissolution of genre boundaries, the changing role of the author, and the reasons why all hope isn’t lost.
The Creator Economy: What Is It, and How Can Brands Engage?
// The Drum

Among many other trends, the COVID pandemic supercharged the rise of the creator economy. People spent more time than ever on the social media platforms where online content creators thrive, and services like Substack and Patreon took off, allowing creators to more easily monetize their work. These creators and their massive, devoted followings offer opportunities for brands to form relationships with consumers that feel personal and authentic – but they also require a re-imagining of traditional marketing tactics.
The Next Big Thing in Podcasts Is Talking Back // The Verge
Amid increasing interactivity in many content streams, podcasting has long been a stalwart of one-way media: no comment sections, no livestreams, no listener polls. Perhaps it has to do with the nature of the medium: many people listen while doing something else, and listeners are distributed across a vast array of hosting platforms, making broad listener outreach difficult. But things are changing now, as a wide array of companies enter the space with platforms and technologies intended to “finally catch podcasting up” with the trend toward interactivity in modern entertainment.

 FoST exhibitors Magic Leap announced their new headset, Magic Leap 2, along with $500 million in new funding.

 Netflix acquired FoST exhibitors Night School to support the company’s push into gaming.
 FoST Podcast guest Karen Lord’s short story The Plague Doctors was chosen for inclusion in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2021.

 FoST collaborator Mike McClelland wrote an article for WIRED about the particular joy of visiting real-world locations in video games.

Slowly but surely, the world is opening back up. Below, find a list of some of our favorite virtual storytelling experiences to check out, plus a few socially distanced in-person experiences. Shoot us an email if you come across any that should be included next month!

Attend the Free, Virtual RE:WIRED Conference
Our world is facing some of the most critical challenges of all time.
 Generating sustainable and strategic solutions to these challenges—from both communal action and heroic innovation—requires us to rewire discourse and the way we think. Join the editors of WIRED in November for a series of conversations between technologists and people who think hard about the consequences for those technologies on society, economics, sustainability, and, ultimately, our future.

Discover Niantic’s Vision for the Metaverse
The metaverse is a hot topic these days, but among the many companies vying for a piece of the coming metaversal pie, Niantic occupies a unique position. The company, which created the hit AR game Pokémon GO, is more interested in using XR technology to augment the real world than to replace it. On November 8, they will officially launch their AR Developer Kit, Lightship, with a virtual launch event featuring talks from CEO John Hanke and other executives about the company’s particular vision for the metaverse and how brands and creators can take part.

Experience One of the Internet’s Best Escape Rooms
Founded by two award-winning veterans of the immersive theater scene, the production company Swamp Motel has distinguished itself over the past year as a leader in the field of online escape rooms. Their new experience, Isklander: The Kindling Hour, will have you and your teammates zipping from Wikipedia to Google Maps to YouTube to Instagram to solve ciphers, unlock passwords, and stay one step ahead of a shady organization that’s watching your every move.

Play Your Part in an Interactive Horror Story
Jon Braver’s Delusion has been a leader in interactive theater since 2011. This year, don’t miss their elevated haunted house experience, Reaper’s Remorse. This inventive theatrical production invites each guest to play their own role on a terrifying journey through a 150-year-old mansion in Los Angeles, complete with professional actors, eye-popping stunts, practical creature effects, and an original score.

Paddle Into a Different Kind of Immersive Theater
You’ve heard of drive-in theaters, but for residents of New York City, this Halloweekend offers a new type of moviegoing experience. Join the Gowanus Dredgers for a paddle-in movie night on the Gowanus Canal, where the watery surroundings will set the perfect mood for a screening of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. No need to supply your own watercraft – the Dredgers have got you covered!

Copyright © 2021 Future of StoryTelling, All rights reserved.

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