Stimulus and Response: One of the many examples of stimulus and response within the web series Welcome to Sanditon, as well as within the Domino app itself, is the ability to make or end a call through verbal command. By using the phrase “Domino, dial […]” or “Domino end recording”, users of Domino can marvel at the power they have from something as simple as talking. It not only makes the user feel more in control, but it also adds a level of efficiency and sleekness to the day’s proceedings. Through this added professionalism, it also serves as a subtle way that Welcome to Sanditon can make their users feel like they are apart of the fictional community of Sanditon, California; fans automatically connect with the characters by using the same features and phrases that are used in the series, thereby enhancing authenticity of the story as well as the immersive atmosphere of Sanditon.
Navigation: Sanditon fans/users of Domino navigate through the site and vast collections of videos dealing with the proceedings in the show. Though a simple example, its significance lies in how immersive it is. Any glitch or unwanted error that happens on the site is briefly mentioned in the show, letting the viewers be in the moment. They must also navigate from video to video in order to keep the story rolling to its eventual conclusion. Not to mention, trying to figure out how to send/post videos as well as trying to call someone using Domino can act as another connection between audience and character because both face the same “challenge” (no matter how miniscule that “challenge” sounds). Like in a video game, the site gives you a “land” to explore. The vast amount of information gives you a “quest”. You feel that you are a part of a community, or at the very least, a visitor. Because of this, there is not only a connection between audience and character, but audience and audience.
Communication: Throughout the series, the characters’ deliver their dialogue while calling each other through live video feed. Without this type of communication, the series would have to a settle for a plain (and uninteresting) modern adaptation without the actual repurposing to give it a unique flare. Yet with the use of video calling, the audience are sucked in through the sudden familiarity of 21st century technology. Also, not is the character-audience connection stronger, but it also allows the team behind Welcome to Sanditon to be more creative with framing and reveal. A conversation will be going on between two characters via video until one of the characters moves the webcam to reveal a third character or their current location, introducing an element of surprise/unpredictability to the story. This kind of communication can potentially be the most intimate outside of talking to someone in the flesh, lending to interesting drama within the series. Aside from convenience, the surreal nature of this feature comes from how instantaneously you see someone while having a conversation with them (halfway across the country or the world), and then the next, you are by yourself again. The connection is made stronger through the ability to not only talk to someone who is far away from where you are at the moment, but to see them as well.
Exchange of Information: Lastly, this type of interactivity is found in Welcome to Sanditon’s most well known “gimmick”. The gimmick in question involves fan made videos that are sent into Domino and included in one of the first episodes. Obviously, this is where the immersion (at least in theory) feels the strongest, and the connection between audience and character is fully developed. Of course, that’s mainly true for people who use the Domino app and/or non tech-savvy viewers. For someone watching the series via YouTube, the switch between professional and amateur may seem slightly jarring. Personally, it did not vex me as much as I thought it would. The idea that fans had the ability to exchange videos and other things with these fictional characters may not have necessarily succeeded in immersion, but it certainly set the bar for audience-character relations. Fans can share their video with others as well as look at others videos, ultimately adding on to the Sanditon “mythos” and building a community.