Manas Tungare

The upcoming release of the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code had me thinking a little bit about the whole interleaving-facts-and-fiction thing. OK, here I go: remember this is going to be a little weird.

In the book, Dan Brown mixes fact with fiction so deftly. But why should it be restricted to a book? (And I'm not talking about the make-a-movie-out-of-it sense.) As in, we get information from so many sources: books, newspapers, television, the Web, friends, gossip, etc. How about designing, not a book, but an experience: so everything you see or hear about a particular topic is a mixture of fact and fiction. And somewhere within there, is the author's skill to embed his own story into history. It's no longer something you pick up and read, it's something you experience all the time. Part of the story might unravel itself in newspaper sections (think advertisements, or guest columns), part of the story could be revealed in a television episode, and some happenings are covered in a magazine. It's the same storyline, same timeline, it's just not restricted to a single medium. And it's no longer separate from fact: as events happen in the real world, the author (or rather, the designer) will incorporate them into the developing story.

Perhaps it could also be a community-designed experience: if you want to influence the story in a certain way (even a very minor way), you could do that. Like one of those detective books, "turn to page 46 if you think X is the killer." One could even do some backward time-travel weirdness by sneaking around and editing web log entries, or publishing two alternative versions simultaneously in a magazine and a newspaper and throwing people off on a wild goose chase to figure out what happened.

The next generation in entertainment? Or just a crazy blog entry? You be the judge! :-)