Jeff Gomez on the Power of Transmedia Storytelling

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Transmedia storytelling, often referred to as crossmedia or multiplatform storytelling takes the elements of a character’s narrative and applies them uniquely to each medium while extending the story… Under the traditional model, when a big movie comes out, for example, we are offered the novelization, the adaptation in comics, and the videogame version for our Xboxes. It’s the same story over and over again, so the property is essentially milked until it’s dead. The transmedia approach to this kind of narrative would give us different pieces of the narrative on different media platforms, so that we can see the movie and then explore different aspects of the characters and the world in other media. Taken as a whole, it’s a richer, deeper experience that gives us more of what we really want. But most of all, transmedia narrative by definition has a number of what we call “invitational” components, where audience members are welcomed to participate by commenting on the narrative, by playing established or original characters, or even by contributing creatively to the world and the storyline… We are watching a generation rise to power that is plugged in and expects to be heard. They are learning to use these amazing tools and are becoming enormously savvy. They interface with gadgetry and any number of screens intuitively—but right now, most of the entertainment and brand messaging does not do that! The principles of transmedia storytelling address this, which makes transmedia narrative the most powerful in existence today. (SmartPlanet)

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