Transmedia narratives – you may not be familiar with the term, but I can promise you that at one time or another you have been immersed in one of them. If you’ve read the book, seen the movie, played the game and own the figurine, then you’ve been involved in one of these worlds.
Twilight, Harry Potter, the Matrix and The Hunger Games are all popular examples of these – they started off as one medium, in this case a book or a movie – and when they became successful came the introduction of sequels, books, games, comics, extra merchandise, character profiles, theme parks etc. The purpose of this story telling over a variety of media forms, this is ‘to create a unified and coordinated entertainment experience’ (Henry Jenkins). This content flow through many media channels allows for the audience to have numerous access points to the story – more access points means more options for the audience to engage.
The Harry Potter series is probably one of the most popular transmedia narratives today. The original story has extended to 6 more books, movies, online gaming experiences such as Pottermore, and even its own theme park.
By getting involved in transmedia storytelling, you become part of another world, a community that thrives on participatory culture and which has everyone excited to take part in and contribute their own ideas. Fan made material such as Harry Potter Puppet Pals is a great example of this – many universities now even have their own Quidditch teams!
It is convergence that has allowed transmedia to become as huge as it is today, and convergence which allows the creation and magnitude of these communities.
Which of these transmedia narratives or worlds have you got caught up in?
Image – http://www.flickr.com/photos/junniorkopke/7203924534/