Modern day storytelling

It seems it is time to bid farewell to you dear multimedia; your single story presented through its single medium looks as though it is beginning to reach its use by date. I’d like to make a huge welcome, however, to you, transmedia project, whose ability to present multiple stories across multiple media platforms has become “the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence.” –Henry Jenkins 

Transmedia storytelling see’s the media conglomerates aiming “to spread brand franchises across different media platforms”, creating a World that embraces corporate, grassroots and global convergence through establishing numerous points of entry. For instance the ‘Spiderman’ franchise produced comics focusing on the love story between Mary Jane and Spiderman to attract and satisfy a female demographic, in comparison to the manufacture of Spiderman figurines and colouring books intended for a younger demographic.

“If you create one channel, you are not giving this newly empowered audience a playground to play in”, as mentioned by lecturer Ted, however if you create a ‘World’ as such, there are far more opportunities for the participatory audience to engage with and explore. Yes, these prospects of transmedia succeed in creating a coherent narrative and engaging audiences on a global scale, although the question is..

Won’t I get left behind?

The topic of debate in regards to transmedia projects is finding the balance between

  • creating stories which articulate to first time viewers
  • building upon stories and content to enhance the audiences experience.

Take for instance, ‘The Matrix’, one of the most popular transmedia projects of our era whose creative content/entry points include a trilogy of three films, Anime entitled ‘Animatrix’, graphic novels and games such as ‘Enter the Matrix’. Individuals who choose to engage in a single point of entry or platform, such as simply playing one of the related video games without having seen any three of the films, may find it difficult to comprehend the plot, thus potentially feeling left behind and bewildered, becoming a detriment to the potential for collective intelligence and audience participation.

In reality, this individual limitation of transmedia has to be weighed up against the over powering positives. Are you willing to, at times, be ‘left behind’, in order to be apart of this transmedia culture? I know I certainly am.


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