Halo and the Structures of Transmediation

             Transmediation is a technique that uses multiple forms of media, known as platforms, as a way to tell a unified storyline. This is a technique typically executed through new media. Transmedia is composed of several essential structures that serve to define it. The Halo Canon uses transmediation as a way to build the Halo universe. A canon is a collection of texts that are produced by one author and recognized as genuinely that authors vision. World building is something the creators of Halo have heavily used in order to let fans dive into the halo universe head on. World building is when an author releases stories through different medias in order to explain and create a complete story for fans to consume. The Halo Canon feeds off this particular structure. Bungie and Microsoft, Halo’s creators, have released several books alongside the primary texts. (video games) They did this in order to open fans to more storyline between games, as well as introduce more characters and places within the fictional space.Image


The cover even says, “The official prequel to the award-winning Xbox game!”. The books while serving the purpose of world building also simultaneously serve as contributors to additive comprehension. Additive comprehension is another transmedia technique where a text serves as a addition to the understanding of the narrative. This particular book serves as a prequel to the first Halo game which is the original text, thus enhancing the original narrative, Halo: Combat Evolved. Henry Jenkins attempts to define several of the characteristics of transmedia storytelling in his blog titled, “Transmedia Storytelling 101”. He defines additive comprehension in the same fashion and comments on the necessity of the function that additive story telling serves. The Halo creators have brilliantly created additive comprehension even within their video game series which is considered the primary texts in the canon. An example of this is the 5th video game installment, Halo 3 ODST. ImageImage

This game served to tell more events that occurred during the game Halo 3 but through a different perspective. This game was released two years after the first Halo 3 game was released. A brilliant move by Microsoft in my opinion. The Halo franchise is a perfect example of relatively small scale transmedia storytelling. This is one of the many reasons why thousands of people and I love the Halo canon.






One comment on “Halo and the Structures of Transmediation

  1. The blog post does a good job of introducing Jenkins and his text to provide context for readers unfamiliar with the concepts discussed; however, introducing Jenkins earlier in the post would have provided context for the keywords defined earlier. On that same note, be sure to cite any information from external sources, including paraphrased information (not just quotes). The post does a good job of defining keywords for the reader. Providing some basic information on the subject examined (Halo) might be useful for unfamiliar readers. Also, providing a bit more detail on the application of terms might help the reader understand the concepts better. For example, what do the books cover (more specifically) that isn’t covered in the games? Does the reader get the story from a new perspective? Does the reader need to read the books in order to understand the story in the game?

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