1st Edition

Experiential Spectatorship Immersion, Participation, and Play During Times of Deep Mediatization

By William W. Lewis Copyright 2025
    328 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Experiential Spectatorship offers a lens for analyzing audience experience with(in) a variety of contemporary media.

    Using a broad-based perspective this media includes participatory theatre, video games, digital simulations, social media platforms, alternate reality games, choose your own adventure narratives, interactive television, and a variety of other experiential performance events. Through a taxonomy that includes Immersion, Participation, Game Play, and Role Play the book guides the reader to understand the ways mediatization and technics brought about by digital technologies are changing the capacities and expectations of contemporary audiences. In the daily interactions and relations with their technologies they become mediatized spectators. By reading these technologies' impacts on individual subjectivity prior to acts of spectatorship, one gains the tools to best describe how the spectator creates forms of relational exchange with their interactive media.

    This book prepares the reader to think in a digital manner so they can best recognize how performance and spectatorship in the twenty-first century are evolving to meet the needs of future waves of spectators brought up in a postdigital world. 

    Introduction

    1. MEDIATIZATION, PERCEPTION, AND EXPERIENCE

    1.0    Foundations of the Mediatized Spectator

    2. THE ARCHITECTURE OF IMMERSION

    2.0    Virtuality, Simulation, and Technologies of Immersion

    2.1    The Feeling Spectator and the Affect Economy of Immersion

    3. THE ARCHITECTURE OF PARTICIPATION

    3.0    The Promise of Web 2.0: Participation, Convergence, and Collaborative Technologies

    3.1    The Democratic Spectator: Choice Making and Political Exchange in Participatory Performance

    4. THE ARCHITECTURE OF GAME PLAY

    4.0    Pervasive Connections: Smart Devices, Locative Media, and the Gamification of Reality

    4.1    The Playing Spectator: iPerformance and Ludic Criticality

    5. THE ARCHITECTURE OF ROLE PLAY

    5.0    Algorithms, Avatars and Affective Computing: Datafication and Social Feedback Loops

    5.1    The Spectator as Flexible Character: (Co)Authoring Identity Through Role Play and Data Interactions

    AFTERWORD: TECHNICS AND EVOLVING PARADIGMS

    Biography

    William W. Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Criticism at Purdue University. He is an interdisciplinary scholar/artist whose work focuses on the fields of intermedial, postdramatic, and devised performance. His research explores the role of mediatization on contemporary audiences and the implications of constant connection to media on how we teach theatre-making.