Transmedia storytelling is the expansion of a narrative over multiple mediums that add new information to the original story in unique and entertaining ways (Jenkins 2007). This process of narration has enhanced the entertainment experience by making storytelling more immersive and exciting for audiences. For conglomerates, transmedia storytelling is an economic imperative (Jenkins 2007). By expanding their potential markets they no longer have to rely solely on blockbuster films for profit.
The T.V series, Avatar the Last Airbender is an example of a transmedia text. In addition to the original series other mediums have contributed to the franchise by providing new content to the original storyline. These include, Avatar wiki (giving consumers background knowledge on characters and events), video games (providing alternative story lines), comic books (used as a bridge between seasons), the new series Legend of Korra (building on the original series) and fan art. All of this adds to the original narrative, creating a greater experience for views and a deeper insight into the Avatar world.
Avatar Comic Book Trailer:
Transmedia storytelling also creates interaction through collective intelligences, where prosumers and produsers add information to the storyline, creating a vast pool of knowledge (Jenkins 2007). For example the Avatar wiki has a talk option:
So where does Google Glass fit into transmedia storytelling? The 3D-enabled motion novel, State of Syn is designing an app for Google Glass, which immerses the user into that world, placing them as a character in the series(Spangler 2013). Using Google Glass’s gyroscopic head gesture control, the app allows the player to use their own eyes and head to operate the game (Spangler 2013).The app will also provides a prologue to the series, giving the consumer a greater insight into the origins of the story. In addition the creative director Jay Bennett (2014) said that he encourages fans to create their own content(cited in Vogel 2014).
With the devices use of augmented reality, Google Glass will open up new points of entry for transmedia storytelling (Jenkins 2007). And this is just one example of Google Glass’s capability of supplying distribution channels that contribute to a transmedia environment, there are many more apps to come, opening up many more exciting experiences.
- Jenkins, H 2007, ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101′, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, 22 March, viewed on 17 April 2014, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html
- Moore, C 2014, Global and Local: Transmedia narratives, blockbusters and content flow, Lecture, BCM112 Convergent Media Practices, university of Wollongong, delivered 14 May
- Vogel, M 2014, ‘State of Syn Tells a Story with Mobile and Google Glass’, This is Transmedia, weblog post, 6 January, viewed 18 April 2014, <http://thisistransmedia.com/2014/01/state-of-syn-tells-a-story-with-mobile-and-google-glass/>