Saturday, February 4, 2012

Idea Gardens: Ebooks as Playgrounds

I've come to think of my books as just little "idea gardens" or "idea machines." The word "book" is mostly taken as an artifact, a tangible object you buy, read, and put on a shelf. You don't really "consume" it because it is still there, in the same form as it was before.

Ebooks are currently like that--a fixed text, although with links and some options available such as "choose your own adventure" or "alternate endings" (I have two endings in Disintegration because the original was far too dark for most people.) But there is no real need for a "book" to be an artifact anymore. I am going to develop a Google+ area where people can play inside my books, develop their own characters and stories, add art, etc.

From my participation in the online social events Epic Kindle Giveaway and Big Kindle Boogie, I learned that people want more than just a "book"--they want experience. And increasingly, that experience is interactive and online and now.  I see no reason besides some technological limitations and weird, instilled ego perceptions of "myth ownership" to prevent us from doing that. Surely it is the corporatizing of creativity that has fed these ideas--when Mickey Mouse has more rights than the human who first doodled out the whiskers, that is chillingly wrong in my view, and when some of the major media forces in the U.S. are paying off politicians to enact government Internet control on their behalf (SOPA), that is chillingly sick at the root of our civilization.

That doesn't mean I support piracy. I don't even care about that, that's a different conversation. I am talking about freely opening our idea gardens for other people to play and plant and grow. If you have any ideas on how to do that, why not plant them here?


Anonymous said...

A Google+ area.? This will be great to take myself there. Like a Reading Vertual World.

RoyalCheryl said...

Scott, thanks again for all of the great reads you had on Amazon.

Arthur Caudill said...

Great idea, Scott. I would love to participate. I agree that we should all take a stand for our freedom of speech rights.

Epic Kindle Giveaway said...

A lot of writers in the digital era don't understand how vulnerable they are to things like SOPA--not only could a person or government agency decide your work is somehow seditious or otherwise illegal, there could be a Kill Switch for major distributors like Apple and Amazon--knocking entire libraries off the grid. That may be alarmist, but the door is certainly opening.

But my focus right now is mostly on ways we can create and play together in the same worlds. I like what Google+ has to offer but I am also building my own playground, too, so I am not as dependent on other sites (which is only fair). Thanks for chiming in, guys!

Moses Siregar III said...

Fascinating. Sorry, that's all I've got right now. LOL

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

Yes and anybody who believes that the Government wants to control the internet because they are concerned about our well-being must be totally . . . (well, fill in the blanks yourself).