Category Archives: I Changing Technologies, Lasting Innovations

Transcending Transmedia Part 1

Every week there is a new announcement of “How transmedia storytelling is changing TV” . This week it is parallel TV and web contests on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Entertainment is a risky business, so anything that makes money or attracts attention becomes the basis of the next pitch and the next big investment. After the success of Lost in spreading fan involvement from the TV screen to the web in the form of intense plot speculation, map-making, webisodes, and games, “transmedia storytelling” — whose properties have been brilliantly observed by my old friend and colleague Henry Jenkins of USC — became the goal of many producers. I agree with Henry that the creation of a consistent story world with participatory elements that takes viewers deeper into the fictional universe is a phenomenon that is very much worth taking note of.  But I am also impatient with the concept, because I don’t expect “transmedia” anything to be around very long.

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The Future of TV

Earlier this year a research group at Cisco interviewed people in TV and academia (including me) and came up with 10 useful predictions about the future of tv. One of the authors of the report, Bill Gerhardt, will be on a panel I am moderating at FutureMediaFest this Wednesday November 16 at 2:45.

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Who is “YOU”? Person – Player – Character

 

Who is the "You" being addressed in this game?

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Mapping the Beat

This semester I am teaching interactive narrative again and we spend a great deal of time thinking about dramatic beats.  

Our friends at the Stupid Fun Club have helped out by letting my students use StoryMaker the authoring system they developed for the crowd-sourced Current TV show, Bar Karma.This  screen shot shows how StoryMaker lets one or more authors make up alternate versions of the same beat and link them along alternate paths. Unfortunately for us, the system is meant to produce unisequential TV shows rather than multisequential interactive narratives, so we can’t build our stories in it. But it is still very useful because it imposes an organization of multiple parallel dramatic beats (the columns) capable of being linked by  multiple intersecting paths.