The ways in which we consume and interact with media and information ARE changing In traditional consumption models, information is transmitted, or flowed, through one medium, and information delivery was siloed (newspaper, book, television, movies) - Full Story = One Medium (tv, film, paper, novel, etc) Information is consumed passively, and not actively (no engagement) Change has begun to take place over time as we have Sought more from our information and entertainment experiences Gained better access to the information tools that could allow this to happen. (The democratization of the web) Moved closed to a "participatory culture" (user generated content) and toward "collective intelligence" where new social structures have enabled the production and pooling of knowledge/expetise (Pierre Levy) We have been invited to be part of the information relationship, and are encouraged to seek out additional information in other spaces. Storytelling models that place a premium on choice and participant driven narrative : Choose Your Own Adventure (choice), LARPS (creating and acting out our own narratives), MMORPGS (create knowledge communities that share and pool information and resources to achieve common goals and experiences).
Henry Jenkins, in his 2003 book "Convergence Culture" argues that our different media platforms have begun to converge where content flows across multiple channels tied by common themes, narratives and motifs. Media and information consumption based on two way engagement, interactivity, and multi-platform information flow We no longer simply consume our information, we engage with it, and more specifically our interactions mean something We also expect multiple types of content to inform us, to 'tell the story'. Examples of this are everywhere today Television newscast directs to video on website or tweets on Twitter Posting and viewing YouTube videos on Facebook First Take (conversations start on program, flow to Twitter, and then back to program - where does the conversation begin and end?) Tweeting presentations, live events and recorded programming (Live blogging) - backchannel conversations Sharing and commenting features across websites and social networks Movies with corresponding websites with exclusive content
The stories we tell are becoming bigger, more complex and more participatory than can be experienced in a single medium Connections are forming in these new spaces, between both people and information So our expectations are rising - expectations of engagement, expectations of interaction, expectations of immersion, and expectations of experience We are not just talking about our 'real life' stories though, these same expectations are beginning to seep into our fictional stories as well. It is in the fictional space where transmedia storytelling resides
Integral elements of fiction These are works of fiction, these are stories They contain the traditional story elements such as story world, characterization, plot, climax, tension The story(s) or story elements are delivered across multiple channels Text / Book Website / Blog Mobile device (phone call / text message) Audiovisual Email / Social Media / Forums Physical world (live) events / artifacts Web Comics / Apps Creating a unified and coordinated experience These are single narratives or story worlds coordinated and delivered across different medium While in many cases, the parts can be consumed and engaged with individually, it is only by engaging with them together that the full experience of the narrative is available Transmedia narratives use and combine our available storytelling mediums to create rich, engaging and interactive narratives The transmedia narrative is designed to Expand the scope and content of a main storyworld (derivative) - less immersive ; less connected The pieces of the story are connected by narrative by not necessarily interlocked Use the connected media parts together to tell a single main narrative - more immersive ; more connected The pieces of the story themselves are interlocked
Some key terms Rabbit hole - points of entry into the story experience ; usually there are multiple points of entry to any given experience Puppetmaster(s) - members of the creative team that work behind the scenes, create content, release story elements, address issues (troubleshooting) and manage the flow of the story. The 4th Wall - This is the invisible wall between the participant and the puppetmaster(s). The idea with this experiences is to suspend disbelief and engage with plot elements, characters, and content as if they are actually happening. Think of yourself as a character in the story, even if a minor one. The story is playing our across these various platforms, in many cases in real time, adding both an element of tension as well as realism to the experience. Participants are encouraged to engage with the story in this way and not to "break the 4th wall" - addressing puppetmasters in story directly, providing user content that is not within the context of the story narrative. Community - in this context, this references the participants within the narrative as a whole, and more specifically to their shared activities and pooling of information and resources in order to further the narrative, or in the case of the ARG, solve games and puzzles Catch Up Site - single portals (blog, website, forum) where participants can go to see what has happened so far in the experience as many times participants may enter at different times (this is mostly important in the instance of those experiences that real-time)
Expansion transmedia storytelling is basically the creation of additional content and or stories that are derived from 'main' works which set the rules of canon for the story world or narrative With expansion content, it is not created to be tightly interwoven with the original story pieces, but created to provide a wider scope and depth to the already existing story world This sort of transmedia is older than the more interlocking projects and experiences seen today and a precursor to the more tightly woven experiences we have now Star wars The 6 films create the definitive canon, or text, by which the storyworld is understood Novels, animated television shows, video games and an animated film expand upon that universe, create additional stories and adventures for characters from the film (as well as new characters) They may reference information and content from the films in setting themselves within the story world, however, connected threads or common references or links do not run between them. Plot elements do not interweave across the various platforms in a singularly cohesive way.
Co-creation transmedia storytelling is the where both the main narrative and the transmedia narrative elements together and cohesively relay a single narrative The transmedia elements are not derivative or extensions of a main story, but in fact an equal partner in the development of the story or story world itself The creation of both happens simultaneously and with specific planning as to how each part will be woven together The Matrix (1999 - 2003) Designed by the Wachowski Brothers specifically as a transmedia experience Three movies, two video games, and a collection of animated shorts (The Animatrix) The media pieces for each are written and constructed to be interconnected across the various media For example, a character Jue, is killed after dropping an important letter in a mailbox in one of the animated shorts, Final Flight of the Osiris . One of the first missions in the game, Enter the Matrix, is for another character to deliver the letter to the intended recipient, in this case a ship that is part of the human resistance. Finally, in the opening scene of The Matrix Reloaded, characters are shown discussing the 'final transmission (the letter) from the Osiris. The Matrix experience has many examples of such connections and references throughout the various media that can be consumed individually, but create a more enhanced understanding and experience if consumes as a whole The Blair Witch Project (1999) The film, website and faux SciFi channel documentary were all conceived of together as a singular transmedia experience. In fact, the website was available first, a full year before the film hit theaters and had a significant following before the release of the film (in fact this is how many were first introduced to the main story line that would be played out in the film The pseudo documentary, which aired the evening before the film premiere, made no claims as to its authenticity keeping up the pretense of believability in advance of the film release while providing additional insight into the characters, locations and lore of the witch After the release of the film, Haxon also released comic books that purported to be accounts of others who had experienced the Blair Witch phenomena as well as the film soundtrack, which was itself released as a 'found' sound recording from the crew in the film (just as the film itself had been) Missing persons posters and 'found objects' were distributed on campuses far ahead of the film release Although all three did contain some minimal interactive elements to them (video games, online forum, MMORPG), the evolution of this new storytelling tradition continues to find even more ways to provide participant engagement with the story elements These experiences, today, are being created and released across industries as they have come to understand the power that lies behind the connection and engagement that transmedia stories have to offer.
Entertainment Why So Serious (The Dark Knight) This ARG was created to both bridge the narrative gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as well as promote the latter film The storyline centered around the arrival of the Joker to Gotham City and the election campaign of Harvey Dent to District Attorney for Gotham City The participants were essentially "recruits" of the Joker whose mission it was to cause 'public havok; in Gotham Participants, working in concert with the Joker, were encouraged in various ways to engage with the story such as Going to bakeries and retrieving cakes with cell phones in them Decoding messages on official movie posters Submitting images of people wearing Joker makeup Using clues from in-story websites to turn in corrupt Gotham City police officers As objectives in the games were completed, participants were rewarded for their participation throughout the game with exclusive digital content (images, trailers, posters) while those engaging without the Internet also received rewards such as newspapers, clown masks, and cell phones Like the Matrix, interconnected plot points were created between the game and the movie. In this case, one of the missions in the game was for participants to help the Joker steal a bus. This bus then makes an actual appearance in the movie as a getaway vehicle for one of the Joker's in-movie heists at the beginning of the film. Heroes Evolutions (Heroes) A website portal providing access to various forms of transmedia content designed to extend and enhance the Heroes universe Content here includes Graphic novels, Faux website for organizations and entities within the Heroes storyline Several web based series Various wikis Games Here as opposed to telling a singular narrative across media, this portal enhances the story universe across media by creating additional story threads for characters, and providing access to added content of various types including interactive games. Many television programs are extending their narratives through "character" created content as well : The vampire Jessica has her own blog in Tru Blood where she not only reference events from show episodes but extends the depth of her character as well as providing clues and insinuations on motivations for actions that occur on-screen The character Barney Stinson from "How I Met Your Mother" writes a personal blog where he comically shares his thoughts on just about everything, including The Bro Code and its many nuances. Is it a Deadly Affair ("Deadly Affairs" on the Discovery Channel This story played out across a dedicated experience/catch-up website (as well as a Storify page), forum, Twitter, Facebook, Email and Tumblr In game content included pictures, audio recordings, receipts, and business card Content was shared and created in real time concerning the story of a couple Gabby and Rob who appear to be the perfect couple until things start to unravel Participants could tweet, comment, and email the characters within the story and receive responses to their submissions The story itself unfolded revealing that the character of Gabby, who is thought to be Rob's wife, is in fact the "other woman". Content begins to appear from a woman calling herself Steamy Hearts who participants assume in the other woman, only to have the tables turned and have it end deadly. While the story itself was pre-scripted, however much of the actual "dialogue" of the story occurred between participants and the characters themselves
Commercial and Entertainment IP (Intellectual Property) Designed to support, promote or enhance a specific intellectual property Many take the form of an ARG - narratives with embedded puzzles and game mechanics that participants solve to move forward along the story Good budgets and creative teams (42 Entertainment, 4th Wall Studios, etc) The one main difference is that for non-entertainment entities, there is no main storyworld or narrative upon which to build around, so the transmedia narrative is one that is created as an original property in and of itself Commercial projects represent the majority of narrative experiences that are created Why? Brand building / loyalty (community building around narratives) Product promotion is generally secondary (though for entertainment companies it plays a larger role) Connecting brand to experience / Brand and/or product sharing based on the experience Engage with fanbase ___________________________________ Business / Commercial I Love Bees (Halo 2) ARG created for the video game 'Halo 2' The game involved the fictitious crash landing of an alien military aircraft, where the alien presences took over an Internet site called "ILoveBees". Portions of the alien story are revealed through faux memory dumps on the website. The plot for the actual ARG story arcs with the storyline for the Halo 2 video game (the ARG basically tells the story of how the Covenant are notified of the location of Earth for their intended invasion, a major plot point of Halo 2) Participants were provided with clues through game trailers as well as actual jars of honey with the website on it (sent to players of previous ARGs) The game was played largely online as well as through recorded phone messages at payphones where participants would line up each week to receive clues and story information The culminating live event for players was the opportunity to visit two theaters to play the, at the time, new Halo 2 game in advance of its release. Creators of the game have in fact confirmed that the events, characters and reference in the game are considered official Halo canon. 750,000 active participants online with nearly 2.5 million casual participants tracking the experience Art of the Heist (Audi) This marketing experience was designed to specifically promote the new Audi A3 The story centered around the theft of an A3 the night before its scheduled debut at a large NYC car show. Audi released materials treating the theft as real seeking information about it (commercials, billboards, signs, etc) - they did actually stage the "theft" including fact actors playing security guards who ran after the "thieves The release materials provided rabbit holes to enter the experience by phone as well as website The story then introduced two characters who ran an art recovery firm that had been hired by Audi to recover the car. Further plot points were introduced through various websites, viral videos and coded messages and even an appearance by one of the characters at the E3 conference where people could interact with him and ask questions. Participants were also invited to meet characters at live events and help with missions one of which included retrieving packages from various vehicles Multiple rabbit holes as well as a catch-up blog
Literary / Publishing Skeleton Creek - Ryans Journal (Patrick Carman, 2009) Novel written by author Patrick Carman involving a haunting of a mining dredge in the town of Skeleton Creek The novel itself takes the form of a journal written by the male main protagonist Ryan, and videos created by the other protagonist Sarah. The links to the videos are provided in-story in by Ryan in his journal. While conceivable you could experience the story by reading the journal alone, it is through experience both that the full breadth of the story is revealed and reader fully engaged with the storyline 3:15 Stories (2012) Another project by Patrick Carman which he designed as his response to bringing children back to reading His idea was to create these small supernatural stories which were designed to last 15 minutes, and had three media components that play out in specific order (per story) Listen to the book as audio for the first few minutes Read the text of the book where the audio leaves off Watch the end of the story as a video The 3:15 experience can be consumed either through a mobile app (the app is free, but each story costs $2.99) or you can purchase the story as a book, which provides passwords to retrieve the audio and video portions directly from the 3:15 website Cathy's Book, If Found Call 650-266-8233 (Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, 2008) Created by two transmedia professionals (co-creators of the I Love Bees campaign), Cathy's Book is a young adult novel that centers around the protagonist, Emma, searching for her friend Cathy using various media to unlock the mystery The book came with websites for readers to visit, phone numbers for them to access and even hack into character voice mails, as well as an evidence pack of physically reproduced artifacts - all of these media tied together cohesively and leading the reader, along with the text, to discover the mystery of what happened to Cathy. There is also a website forum where participants can post comments and share thoughts about the mysteries and clues, and find out more about the story Pottermore (JK Rowling and the Harry Potter universe) An interactive experience from Sony corp and JK Rowling which extends the Harry Potter world with: Interactive user profiles where participants can earn badges, play games, and unlock various forms of content Gain access to exclusive writings, notes, inspirations and thoughts shared by the author about the series Engage with the characters and locations in new ways by clicking on signs, and exploring specific locations within the web browser Connect with friends and other Harry Potter fans in sharing your progress through the experience Can mention the Amanda project series (missing girl plot) and that fact that it has incorporated the user generated content as canon and included it in subsequent sequels In regards to literature, most works operating in this transmedia space have been children's and YA/Teen (Scholastic, Harper and Penguin teen imprints. However, that is bound to change as millenials age and the generation before them comes of age in this new media paradigm.
EDUCATIONAL / SOCIAL CHANGE World Without Oil (2007) A game experience created by Jane McGonical Director of Games and Research Development at the Institute for the Future (she is big name in the ARG and game design industry) The main storyline concerns a group of people in-story that find out that an oil shock is coming and prepare a website to prepare people' stories during the event The participants were provided with content that set up the game world situation and story such as fake news reports, videos, audio recordings, and blog posts The participants were then charged with, upon consuming the "story" content, to submit their own stories by email, phone, blog, comic, video about what it would be like for them in a world without oil. The content that created could be accessed and consumed by other participants and then update or create new content reacting to the stories of others The idea was to encourage and foster an idea sharing network getting people to think about this type of crisis and possible solutions Participants were then encouraged to take their solutions and ideas into the real world 1800 players from 12 countries participated Conspiracy for Good The brainchild of Tim Kring, the creator of Heroes, who wanted to create a movement that used transmedia principles to evoke real world change or action The experience created by Kring with support from Nokia followed the story of school teacher in Zambia, Nadirah X, and her goal to have a library built in her local village, which was being foiled by a global conglomerate looking to build a pipeline where the library would go The storyline followed the character, and the secret organization 'Conspiracy for Good' as she attempted to travel to London to bring down the conglomerate Participants were encouraged to join the 'Conspiracy for Good' and work through puzzles, websites, and various live events including flash mobs to help Nadirah reach her goal. However, in also helping to reach her goal, actions were built into the experience that had players donating toys to Kidco (a British based non-profit), and We Give Books (a non-profit that donates books to developing world areas through reading of books online). With these and other benevolent embedded actions built into the story, Conspiracy for Good was able to build a library in Zambia for 450 students, fund 50 scholarships and donate 9000 books to libraries throughout Zambia
Indie Projects Rides.TV A transmedia platform created by 4th Wall Studios which allows the user to watch webisodes, during which they can engage with interactive elements built into the webisode These interactive elements can be : email, text, added video or audio content, artifact images, or phone messages/calls The way it works is that while watching the episode, you can see a timeline that tracks during the progress of the video below. When it reaches a certain point, you will unlock a piece of transmedia content that enhances what is going on in the video. From there you have two choices as far as how to receive the content It can be sent to your mobile device (calls your phone, sends you a text, emails a link to your registered email address) It can also be viewed or listened to right from within the browser without the mobile device The platform has allowed content creators a vehicle for creating immersive video stories in episodic format In fact, the Rides series 'Dirty Work' about a crime scene cleaning team just won a 2012 Emmy for Best Creative Media Experience Guidestones The Guidestones experience, created by Jay Ferguson, centers upon a mystery involving the Georgia Guidestones. The main character Sandy, along with her friend Trevor become involved in trying to solve a mysterious death that ultimately leads them to the Guidestones monument in Georgia. The experience is delivered to the participant in real time through email links to webisodes of about 2:30 minutes in duration The real time element is really great element to the story as it adds additional tension the narrative as it moves along its plot. For instance, you might receive a webisode showing the characters leaving to drive somewhere that takes three hours travel time. Then, three hours later you receive the next webisode as they arrive at their destination. The emails for each video are sent in real time as if the events are actually happening Within each webisode are embedded clues to additional content which could be additional videos, images, emails, or websites that further unlock portions of the story (although they are not necessary to consume to enjoy the main storyline itself) For instance, discovered video content regarding the main characters mother is referenced in a webisode in regards to her condition, but only by viewing the actual video will the participant get the full gist of the reference to the video that is made. Additionally, the participant receives in-story emails from a character who works as sort of a clue-master providing assistance in finding the embedded clues and content from the webisodes. Lizzie Bennet Diaries This is a modern retelling of the Jane Austen novel, "Pride and Prejudice" created by the team of Hank Green and Bernie Su The story itself is told primarily through a vlog on Youtube, but is also supported through character social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr where participants can interact with them (and which also flesh out characters details and provide them with more depth) Why? Because storytellers need to tell their stories (altruistic indeed) Experience building for the creator Community building and following loyalty Side projects (adapting technology, tools or information from paid jobs and applying them to their own creative endeavors Where is the money to be had?
Most library specific foray's into this space have been through ARGs: Blood on the Stacks (Trinity College : Coates Library) Developed by Trinity College Coates Library as an orientation tool for incoming students Story arc involved the theft of Egyptian canopic jars from the collection Students were invited to help find the jars by coming to library at designated times and completing research skills challenges that unlocked parts of the story for them, as well as earning them prizes Should Brandon and Nicole Get Married (Univ of North Carolina Libraries) A 2 week long ARG developed by the University of North Carolina Libraries The experience started an opening live event of a fictitious marriage proposal on a busy part of the campus Fortune cookies with a URL were handed out to students at the event where they were brought to the male character, Brandon's blog, where talked about their relationship and posted audio and video Puzzles were also incorporated into the experience designed to expose participants to campus history The goal of the experience was to provide an engaging way to teach about social issues in a non-classroom setting as well as incorporating information literacy and history into the experience What Happened to Wellington - A One Book NJ Myster y (Cranbury Public Library) Describe the experience The Mystery Guest (Finksburg Public Library) This was a summer reading ARG from the Finksburg Public Library, run almost entirely by their teen group The story here is that a fictional character escaped from his/her book and participants were charged with indentifying the escaped character through clues, and then figuring out how to get him/her back into the book The game used a blog created by the teens demonstrating creative attempts submitted for how to get the character back into the book The teens also acted as game characters and liaisons for the participants Challenges were incorporated where participants earned Library Bucks which could be redeemed for prizes However, transmedia storytelling is also being used in education settings to immerse and enhance student experiences with written fictional works Laura Fleming (River Edge Schools) - School Library Journal - did a project where she encouraged her students to create a fictional "storyworld" for the main character from the book Weslandia using a fictional character Facebook page Students also created musical pieces designed to accompany certain chapters in the book In their physical education class, created a game that main character might have created in his world, based on certain information, ideals and characteristics gleaned from the written work. Inanimate Alice (Laura also on steering education committee that formed around the project) A digital novel created by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph exploring the story of Alice and what it means for children and young adults to conduct their lives online Participants interact with each self contained episode or chapter which contain music, text, images, sound effects, and puzzles The site where you access the novel, is also where you can download the various educational supplements including lesson plans, curriculum information, activities booklets and teacher resource packs. Scott Nicholson at Syracuse iSchool has received partial grant to create ARG toolkit for libriares NEH provides grant funding for projects that would fall under this category of storytelling as well So after all this... why should libraries or librarians be paying attention to transmedia storytelling?? What Happened to Wellington
We are a " story brand" We provide stories, we tell/read/perform stories, we help select stories (RA) - the medium should not matter, it is the stories that matter Our traditional storytelling mediums are converging, whether we choose to ignore, embrace it, or at minimum recognize it is up to us
We are a literacy skills brand These experiences are opportunities and tools for teaching and learning 21st century digital literacy skills, such as Social discovery Online community building Collaborative problem-solving Contextual information gathering Multimedia analysis and information synthesis Critical thinking skill building Knowledge sharing and expertise pooling Navigation of complex information environments As my Rutgers Records Management instructor Stephen Dalina once told me, this is "edutainment" (and yes he said he had it copyrighted which is why I provide credit here but I have a feeling he was pulling a fast one on us!)
We are becoming a "production" or "maker" brand Libraries have traditionally supported initiatives surrounding literary authorship and associated projects We have begun to explore the maker culture and where we can play a role in that space (physical creation, digital media labs) May libraries are supporting their patrons in providing spaces and expertise in digital media products Producing and supporting the production of these types of projects would certainly fit in with the trends and traditions libraries have supported and continue to support in their communities From the libraries perspective, there are opportunities for us to employ transmedia stories in a variety of ways Literacy programs and instruction Marketing library services Highlighting collections and materials of significance Providing opportunities and platforms for civic engagement There are more.. I just haven't thought of them yet :)
We should be an "experience" brand We also have the opportunity to create positive and powerful experiences that can propagate and enhance our brand Libraries should strive to employ the tools and approaches we have at fingertips to not only enhance, but create and/or connect our patrons to powerful experiences associated with the library Engaging experiences draw people in, draw people back, get people talking, they create connections, they create memories, they evoke response.. especially when those experiences are designed in such a way as to make the intended target or participant an active partner.
Some transmedia playgrounds... Social Samba - "scripted" social networking with a powerful backend creation platform allowing creators to use posts, images and videos to tell stories - and allow users to interact with the stories as they are presented (scripted Facebook) Storify - social network curation (gather posts, tweets, etc to create "stories" from across social platforms Wanderlust Stories - Location based storytelling platform ; Experienced on the web from a mobile device, the story uses location to move you to different locations to play out the narrative (can email them if you would like to create a story) Transmedia stories can also be built on singular platforms that provide the ability to added other content mediums to them - ex. Facebook or Prezi
Transmedia Storytelling Using Multiple Platforms to an Tell Engaging and Interactive NarrativeDoug Baldwin2012 NJLA Adult Services Forum
While we wait for the show to begin .. Take this Lollipop OR Lost in the Echo Or ... BOTH??
By the end of this story...• What is transmedia storytelling• Categories / types / approaches• Examples• Engagement and Impact• Resources and Tools
Feel free to follow alonghttp://bit.ly/asf12_storyand ... share using #asf12
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdwatcher63/5367727228/Convergence and New Media
Transmedia storytelling"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"Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture (2003)
The Breakdown• Integral elements of fiction• Systematically dispersed across multiple delivery channels• Creating a unified and coordinated experiencehttp://traumarecoverydotnet.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/many-paths-one-purpose1.jpg
It cant all be good can it?Why not mainstream:•Complex to enter ("embedded entry")•Complex to understand•Passive consumption is still "a thing"•How far are we willing to move for an experience?• Costs to produce (vary)• Time to produce (lots and lots and lots and..
Are You Experienced?• ARGNet• Story Forward (podcast)• UnFiction (online forum)• 4th Wall Studios• 42 Entertainment Convergence Culture (Harold Jenkins, 2003) Reality is Broken (Jane McGonical, 2011)
Lets Build Something Together• Social Samba• Storify• Wanderlust Stories A Creators Guide to Transmedia Storytelling (Andrea Philips, 2012)