1/31: Understanding Transmedia
What is transmedia, and why use it for activism?
Henry Jenkins, media scholar, offers what is perhaps the best-known definition of transmedia:
Transmedia storytelling represents 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. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.–“Transmedia Storytelling 101”
In other words, one piece of a story might be told through a movie; another piece through a novel; and still another through a series of social media posts. While transmedia is used most often for fictional storytelling, it has a great deal of potential to tell real-life stories that can persuade its audience to advocate for social issues.
In preparation for class, please read the following articles:
- Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101” and “Transmedia Storytelling 202”
- The Tessera alternate reality game style guide & bible (pdf in ELMS)
Come to class ready to share your experiences with transmedia, whether for entertainment, advertising, or advocacy, and to analyze a successful activist transmedia campaign.