As society becomes more networked and technologically advanced, it forces those in the entertainment industry to market their ideas in a completely revolutionary way. One direct example of this is the event of transmedia storytelling. In an online article written by Henry Jenkins, entitled “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” he defines transmedia storytelling as “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,” It is basically the idea of creating your product (TV show, movie, comic book, etc.) and using different forms of media extensions of the product in order to elaborate more on the original story and to create a unique, personal narrative for audience members.
ABC’s Lost was a perfect example of a TV show that used transmedia storytelling to extend the narrative of their show. Lost used many different devices to do this including: mini webisodes, maps, blogs, reference sites, and even a Lost video game. I would like to focus on the Lost: Via Domus video game because it does an excellent job at utilizing the multiform story and also exemplifies the concept of world-building, two key elements in transmedia storytelling.
The idea of the multiform story is telling the same story through perspectives of different characters. Lost, the TV show, has already done an excellent job at fulfilling this by using every episode to focus on a different character and their perspectives. Lost: Via Domus even takes this a step further, creating a new character that never appeared in the series for you to use to interact with the original characters and landscape from Lost. This character even has his own back-story, never mentioned in the show, which fits directly into the plot of the TV series. This idea of creating an extraneous character that an audience member can use to interact with the setting of a TV series is transmedia storytelling exemplified and also plays into the idea of world-building. This is the idea that the series does not rely heavily on specific characters or plots but rather on complex fictional worlds that can revolve around many different plots and characters.
Clearly, transmedia storytelling is something that will become more and more apparent as we delve further into the technological age, and will be a new way for entertainment companies to market their fan base and create landmark series with cult followings. Shows like Lost seem to have perfected the current concept of transmedia storytelling and will set a precedent for future media to follow and embellish the ideas expressed by the creators of Lost through their multiple media platforms.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. March 22nd 2007. Web.<http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.
“Lost: Via Domus.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.