Assassin’s Creed: Transmedia Storytelling

Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft’s Flagship Game of recent years with more than seven main installments and countless side movies that gap between games, and books, is a perfect example of a medium with various transmedia extensions. Assassin’s Creed is first set up in the era of the crusades, where the Assassins, a secret society whose creed is “Nothing is true, everything is permitted,” vows to protect the world from the Templars, an evil society that wants to find an ancient artifact, the Apple of Eden, which hides incredible power with which the Templars want to take over the world with.

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As Henry Jenkins states in his article, Transmedia Storytelling 101, 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.” Assassin’s Creed’s fans are a very loyal fan base, thus Ubisoft saw the need to create multiple small movies that bridged the storyline between games, further enhancing the games storyline. One example is Assassin’s Creed Lineage, a small three-part movie that sheds light into the past of Ezio Auditore’s Assassin Lineage, featuring his father, Giovanni Auditore, as an assassin of the Medici, a powerful political family during the renaissance according to an article form Rice University’s The Galileo Project, and how he is trying to uncover a conspiracy against the ruling body in Florence. Other side movies include Assassin’s Creed Project Legacy, Ascendance, Embers, The Fall, and The Chain (Assassin’s Creed Wiki).

Another kind of transmedia concept that the Assassin’s Creed Franchise embraces is that it itself is a multiform story. A multiform story is a “written or dramatic narrative that presents a single situation or plot line in multiple versions, versions that would be mutually exclusive in our ordinary experience (Murray 30). In the game, a bartender by the name of Desmond Miles, is kidnapped by a company of disguised Templars named Abstergo. They want to get their hands on the Apple of Eden, so they take advantage of Desmond’s “genetic memory” since he is part of the assassin’s lineage, to put him in the Animus, a machine that let’s a person relive their “genetic memories” in their minds, to retrieve the location of the Apple. In a way, Desmond is relieving his ancestor’s lives through his own perspective. Specially in the game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, where Ezio Auditore is himself reliving a past Assassin’s memories to uncover the location of the Apple of Eden. That is, Desmond is connected to the Animus where he is reliving Ezio’s Memories where Ezio is himself reliving another assassin’s memories.

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Assassin’s Creed might be the best example of how the fandom of a game can push for more media related to a game, adding significance and knowledge about a game that is unprecedented.

Works Cited

Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck- The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: The MIT Press, 1999. 30. Print.

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MacBook: Facebook Machine?

Apple Inc. first released the PowerBook series in 1991. The PowerBook series had many iterations, but, according to Ryan Block from Engadget in his article 30 years in Apple products: the good, the bad, and the ugly, “the PowerBook [series]… had been a laptop trendsetter since its inception. One of the first consumer laptops available with 802.11b [wireless internet]…” And in a way it continues to be, with Apples current ultra-book series, the MacBook Pro line, trendsetting. The MacBook Pro, as known by many people, is one of the best laptops for Designers of any creative field and now Developers for various reasons: “ …Mac users often rest on qualifiable and subjective arguments such as ‘it feels intuitive’ or ‘I enjoy using it more’…(Five Reasons Why Designers Developers are Switching to Mac Mark Nutter). Consistency is another one, as Mark Nutter from Smashing Magazine states in his article. Consistency is often a principles for designers, according to Nutter, and OS X was designed to be consistent, from the menu bar to the simple drag-and-drop interface, everything is consistent.

Nevertheless, there are people who only use this expensive piece of machinery to browse the internet and edit text documents, never using the laptop to its full potential. These people are responsible for Apple’s bad rep in recent years, specially intensified by Microsoft Enthusiasts. They claim that these laptops, or any other Apple product, is only for rich people that don’t know how to use computers. However there is a reason why people still use these laptops, and Gunning mentions an interesting concept that explains why so many people now, besides designers and developers, are starting to turn to the ‘Apple’ side of things.

As Gunning mentions in his text, Renewing Old Technologies, “A discourse of wonder draws our attention to new technology, not simply as a tool, but precisely as a spectacle, less as something that performs a useful task than as something that astounds us by performing in a way that seemed unlikely or magical before”(Gunning 45). As an up-and-coming Web Developer and Designer myself, I can say that a Mac outperforms a PC anytime while working with high-demand software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, while having close to six web browsers open and an IDE open all at the same time, and, like Gunning mentions, what a Mac does seems magical, I don’t know what it does to still perform well under that much pressure, while making the whole experience seem unified.

MacBooks might be $2000 Facebook machines for some, but for me and the rest of the Design/Coding community, it is a magical box that helps us daily get the job done.

Works Cited

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