SHARP slides-final (adaptation in children's media - BBC cartoon and game)

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Session 5.5: New Media Forms of the Book
With a team:

Chair: Alexis Weedon (University of Bedforshire)

David Moorhead (University of Bedforshire) Contemporary adaptation – from script to film

Claudio Pires Franco (University of Bedfordshire) Inside relations between publishers, broadcasters and the games industry in digital storytelling

Souvik Mukherjee (Shiv Nadar University) Rewriting unwritten texts: After-action reports and videogames

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SHARP slides-final (adaptation in children's media - BBC cartoon and game)

  1. 1. BOOKS, CARTOONS AND COMPUTER GAMES IN THE CONTEMPORARY CHILDREN’S TRANSMEDIA CONTEXT CLAUDIO PIRES FRANCO THE DIGITAL BOOK AND DIGITAL FUTURES
  2. 2. Transmedia & Cross-Media Era Today’s games are deeply enmeshed in the ‘convergence’ that characterises modern media: books are made into films which are made into games (and vice versa), which in turn generate a myriad of other texts and commodities. (Buckingham, 2006: 4)
  3. 3. ! Transmedia or perhaps Panmedia?
  4. 4. Total  sales  in  2011:  £1.2m  and  coun5ng...   Source:  Nielsen  BookScan  TCM—28  weeks  to  16th  July  2011    
  5. 5. The Cross-Media Journey of MUDDLE EARTH A case study
  6. 6. !   The game was essentially an extension of an existing IP, a ‘complement to the series […] where players can interact with the world and characters’ According to the BBC: Staying on brand was an essential prerequisite – it had to be very faithful, we had to be sure the characters and everything was on brand. Brand consistency - essential for the BBC and game producers Brand Consistency
  7. 7. CONSISTENCY… What is it? How is it defined? Where is it visible? How does it affect the adaptation? !   Consistency is different from ‘fidelity’ – new medium, new language, resources, techniques and conventions – it assumes, and requires, transformation !   Fluid concept with floating meanings – emergent and defined in operation, flexible, negotiated. We’ll get the basic copy to you so you can muddle it. !   This new phrase captured the spirit of the revision, feedback and approval operations taking place. Brand Consistency
  8. 8. The Cross-Media Journey of MUDDLE EARTH
  9. 9. !
  10. 10. THE STORY The failed wizard Randalf summons schoolboy Joe from real world to become warrior hero that will save Muddle Earth Dr Cuddles, an evil blue teddy bear, has seized the magic book of spells, and is causing mayhem Joe has to use his wits as Randalf gets unmasked as a coward and a farce – by Veronica, his sarcastic budgie •  Heros’ Journey elements: a reluctant hero, a mentor, allies, heralds, journeys, quests, an evil enemy, back home •  Humour: A spoof wizard and a sarcastic budgie, sarcastic humour, a king who’s bossed around by his wife •  The parallel plot of a little silver spoon – The Lord of the Teaspoons
  11. 11. !
  12. 12. ! Keeping books in the game
  13. 13. THE QUEST SYSTEM – main storytelling device •  Game-specific •  Combines events from TV / book and new events •  Completing quests and sub-quests (kernel and satellite events) – include dialogue, mini-game playing, exploring, progress to next quest – chained quests, mostly linear The narrative was matched to the conventions and story-telling devices of the casual MMORPG genre (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). The story is partly read, partly watched, mostly played From story-telling (or story-reading or story-watching as some may prefer) we move into the more recent practice of… STORY-PLAYING
  14. 14. •  Back to long story arc (game can be saved) •  Action centred on player – minimum parallel plot (never actually seen, only told about developments) •  Can’t have 1,000 heroes – the hero is the player, a new customisable character (avatar) •  The ‘muddled’ wacky tone is kept, but humour becomes even less sarcastic than in TV series •  No slapstick humour as in TV series (technical constraints. Budget) Narrative Changes
  15. 15. Game Adaptation Model
  16. 16. SOURCE TEXTS GAME ENGINES GAME IDEAS BUDGETS TIMINGS EDITORIAL Hypertextuality Games IntertextualityNARRATIVE RESOURCES GAME GENRES CONVENTIONS TECHNICAL CONSTRAINTS PRODUCTION CONTEXTS AND CONSTRAINTSEXTRA-textuality
  17. 17. OTHER MEDIA SOURCE TEXTS SERIES OF OTHER: INTERTEXTS THEMES REFERENCES GAME MEDIUM DEVICES OTHER GAMES GENRES ENGINES NON-TEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON THE TEXT
  18. 18. SO WHAT? WHY WOULD PUBLISHERS AND AUTHORS CARE?
  19. 19. WANTED! INTREPID AUTHORS OR PUBLISHERS WHO WANT TO EXPLORE STORYTELLING THROUGH GAMES REWARD PERHAPS MANY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, PROBABLY SOME WEIRD NIGHTMARES, AND FOR SURE AN AMAZING JOURNEY OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY!
  20. 20. Ongoing Research UNESCO – sponsored project Crossing Media Boundaries: New Media Forms of the Book !   Development of, and use, of adaptation / transmedia game analytical model and production framework – test and evolve with stakeholders, game producers, and the different game / book audiences !   Operational tools and research approaches to involve audiences in processes of co-creation and feedback
  21. 21. That’s all Folks!! CLAUDIO.PIRESFRANCO@BEDS.AC.UK ADAPTATION360MEDIA.WORDPRESS.COM

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