Honestly, I am slightly embarrassed to say that as a media student, before this lecture, I had never heard of the term transmedia. I have now come to learn that this is actually not a new concept, however many people were unaware that it was called ‘transmedia’. According to Henry Jenkins, transmedia is defined as ‘a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience’. In other words, telling a story across multiple platforms, where consumers have to view and engage in a story through these different platforms for the whole story to be revealed and make sense.
There has been an increasing number of transmedia projects created, due to the way people engage with online media in our technological world. Our way of creating, consuming and sharing stories today has become so available to all users, through smart phones, tablets and the never-ending access to majority of online content (MSLGROUP, 2013).
An example that I find relevant to transmedia storytelling is Harry Potter. J.K Rowling, the author, wrote a series of children fantasy novels, which were then directed into blockbuster films. The extension to which ‘Harry Potter’ is available to the public is enormous, and probably a lot more than J.K Rowling ever expected. An example is ‘Pottermore’, a unique online experience built around the books, where users can freely explore the world of Harry Potter and discover new content revealed by the author. Pottermore has over 4.4 million registered users who have earned around 60 million points for ‘exploring the storyworld and performing virtual actions’. Another example is ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ in Universal Orlando Resort, where visitors can explore the grounds, access passageways and classrooms, visit Hogsmeade and go on rides where characters come to life. Harry Potter games are also available to purchase on Xbox, Nintendo and Playstation, for gamers to become active in the Harry Potter world and discover new and exciting places.
Transmedia storytelling has allowed us as users to interact and become involved in the online media world, which has enabled major growth and expansion within the industry. Transmedia is essential in our world today, and will ultimately be the future of storytelling.
MSLGROUP, 2013, ‘Transmedia Storytelling: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement’, accessed 19 April 2013, http://peopleslab.mslgroup.com/peoplesinsights/7-transmedia-storytelling-ten-frontiers-for-the-future-of-engagement/