Russell Crowe Backs The Next Generation of Interactive Books



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Despite how far technology has come, it’s still all too easy for us to think of media as rigidly separated categories – books, movies, television, video games, and so on. So, when a project tries to buck those delineations, it’s worth taking a look at.

That’s what The Numinous Place is trying to do, a new project headed by screenwriter Mark Staufer, with funding from Russell Crowe. Make that partial funding – the project is looking for additional funding from Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter page is heavy on where the inspiration is coming from – a pantheon of popular comic book and science fiction tales – but light on what the story will actually be about. The best I can come up with is that it will relate to some massive conspiracy about the human race and religion.

I know. That’s casting an awfully wide net.

But, the what doesn’t seem as important as the how when it comes to the sales pitch. The story won’t be told by conventional means – it wouldn’t be fair to call it a book. Instead, it looks like Staufer is trying his hand at the age-old narrative practice of world-building, but on a grander, more literal scale. Instead of telling us about the goings-on in his fictional world, he’s going to create them, in the form of fictional news stories, audio clips, and videos that will coalesce to carry the story along. It’s “show, don’t tell” taken to a whole other level.

There will be entire faux news websites, phone calls, and other media that will carry the narrative along. It seems like a comic book will be the centerpiece of the project, with the extra media serving to put together other crucial parts of the story. It’s a very ambitious project, and it’s going to be a challenge for the creators to maintain a consistent amount of content after the first few months. But, Staufer claims that this project has been a decade in the making – for his part, it’s probably safe to say there are going to be few crises of genuine enthusiasm as time goes on.

Still, with so few details, chipping into Kickstarter will be a bit of a risk. If The Numinous Place piques your interest, you can throw your lot in with Russell Crowe here – the project needs about $40,000 more in the next eight days to reach its goal of $75,000.



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