A Reader in Themed and Immersive Spaces
Since the late 2000s, the themed space has been the subject of widespread analysis and criticism in academic communities as well as a popular source of entertainment for people around the world. Themed spaces have, at their foundation, an overarching narrative, symbolic complex, or story that drives the overall context of their spaces. Theming, in some very unique ways, has expanded beyond previous stereotypes and oversimplifications of culture and place to now consider new and often controversial topics, themes, and storylines. At the same time, immersion—or the idea that a space and its multiple architectural, material, performative, and technological approaches may wrap up or envelop a guest within that space—has expanded to become an overarching concern of many consumer spaces around the world. Casinos, theme parks, lifestyle stores, and museums and interpretive centers alike have looked to immersion as a means of both selling products and educating the masses.