Focus on Transmedia Narrative Design

Each advance in information and communications technology (ICT) has brought with it an increase in the sophistication of how we communicate with each other. Transmedia narratives are emerging as a major new form of communication. Transmedia narratives – also called transmedia storytelling – present multiple components of a story across several different media in a closely integrated manner.

A  transmedia story might, for example, present a character’s reflections as a  series of tweets using Twitter.com, a number of still images posted to Flickr,  written narrative posted to a blog, video clips posted to YouTube, and texts to  mobile phones.

Transmedia storytelling uses the tools of the storyteller – emotion, engagement, universal themes, personal connection, and relevance – to create a communication experience instead of a message. (Rutledge, 2011)

The  basic question facing designers and developers of transmedia narratives is “How  do you tell an effective story across multiple media?” While the transmedia approach has the potential  to deliver powerful and effective narratives, it is a relatively uncharted  area.

This blog will attempt to answer that basic question and provide a venue for practitioners of this new artform to discuss the design issues they face.

I’m within a couple of weeks of finishing a master’s thesis focused on the theory and practice of transmedia narrative design. This blog will draw on that research.

In the meantime, the next three posts will look at the debate over what transmedia narratives are and are not. I intend to post three times a week (time permitting) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so stay tuned.

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References

Rutledge, P. (2011, May 16). Transmedia Storytelling: Neuroscience Meets Ancient Practices. Retrieved June 18, 2011, from The Media Psychology Blog: http://mprcenter.org/blog/2011/05/16/transmedia-storytelling-neuroscience-meets-ancient-practices/
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