The Internet is an indisputably influential force in changes to the way entertainment is conceived, produced, distributed, experienced and critiqued. Little is known, however, about how the Internet is used by fans and producers in the experience of cross-media entertainment. Cross-media entertainment forms such as ‘alternate reality games’, entertainment ecologies (artistic franchises and tie-ins) and enhanced television lean towards an ideal form of art that combines all forms. These works are distributed over media platforms, producers, arts types and time. They require assembly, navigation and interpretation. This paper outlines how fans and producers are using the Internet to hold these emerging works together, using examples from popular entertainment, providing a narrative- and ludic-agnostic ontology for the understanding and analysis of them, and posits motivations from cognitive psychology.
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