The ‘Transmedia Storytelling Narrative’: A closer look

‘Transmedia Storytelling’ is a term that is brought to light with how stories find shape in our dynamic technological environment. It urges us to prod deeper into the core of what makes Transmedia narratives the most exciting and important storytelling mechanism of this age.

Redefining Education: Next Generation Ecosystem

Elaine Raybourn puts it in very simple terms. We live in a technological ecosystem that is truly next generation. This generation beckons more explosive narrative techniques that can help engage people across different media platforms that cater to their specific needs and wants. In her discourse, Elaine explains the importance of how learners today are better equipped thanks to transmedia narratives. This takes us back to our media habits, cultivated over a fierce and rapid development of media technology and engagement. To quote Elaine: “We are moving beyond formal learning, into a new paradigm that engages learners 24/7”.

This paradigm shift is not only changing the face of education worldwide, but is also creating a platform for Transmedia storytelling to spearhead the movement of how information and entertainment is created, received, distributed and consumed.

How Do they Work?

Essentially, In the ideal form of Transmedia Storytelling,each medium does what it does best — so that a story might be introduced in a film, expanded through television, novels, and comics, and its world might be explored and experienced through game play. Each franchise entry needs to be self-contained enough to enable autonomous consumption. That is, you don’t need to have seen the film to enjoy the game and vice-versa. (Jenkins, 2003).

This way every end consumer of the story is not left in the dark if they don’t have access to one form of media the narrative is played on. TS enables the right kind of end user to access technologies that is otherwise out of his/her reach and thereby exposes them to learning about these media pathways. Also, they empower the audience in a manner that customises their story consuming experience and makes it truly their own.

Case Study

The images above show us an in depth information of how the TV series 24 was adapted across media platforms in order to build a wider audience base. The function of having paperback novels, games, mini-series running along with the original TV series goes to show how Transmedia content can be utilised to optimum effect to broadcast content that stems from a particular producer/creator. It also acts as an effective money making tool through merchandising and gives birth to creations and creators who choose to engage with the brand through their own mediums.

This seems like a win-win situation on all accounts as all parties involved seem to be satisfied and the onus is on curating more content and adapting them into evolving media environments, which will only widen the fan base.

In Conclusion

The TS narrative is a brilliant tool that is going to shape the form and structure of how content is created, produced and dispersed in the future. This will effect the way future creators think about storytelling and thereby push the boundaries of innovation in the storytelling department. However, what makes this unique and relevant is the fact that even with TS as an emerging influencer it is the strength of the content that will determine its fate. With VR, AR, MoCap and other such technologies on the rise within the current technological landscape; Transmedia storytelling becomes a necessity as opposed to a luxury. And the TS narrative will only grow from here.

Reference List
Jenkins, H. (2003, January 15). Transmedia storytelling. Moving characters from books to films to video games can make them stronger and more compelling. Technology Review. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from http://www.technologyreview.com/biotech/13052/
TED (2015). Engage Learners with Transmedia Storytelling. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j-2Ct9V9cQ [Accessed 31 May 2017].
University of Vic Catalunya, Spain (2009). Transmedia Storytelling: Implicit Consumers, Narrative Worlds, and Branding in Contemporary Media Production. [image] Available at: http://dspace.uvic.cat/bitstream/handle/10854/2867/artconlli_a2009_scolari_carlos_transmedia_storytelling.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [Accessed 31 May 2017].

 

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