Arrow: Transmedia Storytelling Through a Wiki

Arrow picture

          The CW Network’s television show, Arrow, tells the story of a billionaire’s son, Oliver Queen, who was shipwrecked, missing, and presumed dead for five years. He’s found and returns home to Starling City, a changed man. He creates a secret persona of Arrow and tries to help his family, himself, and Starling City. The show has taken different forms of transmedia extensions, including comic books, a wiki, character Twitter accounts, and character appearance in video games. I will be focusing on the wiki because it is a strong example of transmedia storytelling, “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” (Jenkins).

http://arrow.wikia.com/wiki/Arrow_Wiki

The Arrow wiki is narratively connected to the Arrow television show by providing detailed character biographies, images of characters and from scenes in the show, promotion videos for the episodes, polls, and blog posts by users of the wiki. The wiki builds on the television show and acts as a hypertext fiction, “a set of documents of any kind (images, text, charts, tables, video clips) connected to one another by links…they are best thought of as segmented into generic chunks of information called ‘lexias’” (Murray). Viewers can click on any word (important phrase, name, location, etc. from Arrow) that is typed in green and be taken to another page within the wiki about that particular topic. Viewers can actively piece together the story themselves, creating an individualized narrative, sometimes in a non-linear fashion. They are viewing “lexias” and rearranging them. As someone who has only seen the first seven episodes of this show, I used the hypertext to navigate the wiki and gleaned more information about the storyworld and the characters and, essentially, got “caught up” by jumping from page to page on the wiki. However, my experience was different from anyone else who has visited the same wiki.

The Arrow wiki functions as a cultural attractor, “drawing together like-minded individuals to form new knowledge communities” (Jenkins). Several Arrow fans have created user blogs and use them as platforms for sharing ideas, knowledge, and commentary about what is happening at that moment in the show. The wiki even has two dedicated pages showing every single edit and who has made each one.

http://arrow.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Flamejoe736/Arrow_Predictions!

http://arrow.wikia.com/wiki/Special:WikiActivity

http://arrow.wikia.com/wiki/Arrow_Wiki?action=history

Jenkins argues that transmedia narratives also function as textual activators, which “set into motion the production, assessment, and archiving information” (Jenkins). The Arrow wiki is archiving information about the show, documenting episodes, characters, and the overall narrative outline. If anyone wants to know anything about Arrow, this is the place he/she should go. It has very detailed accounts of people, places, and events in Arrow and holds record of the past, present, and future of the show.

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The    Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins. Web. 1 March 2014.

Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York City: The Free Press,    1997. Print.

 Photo

http://lightsaberrattling.com/tv-to-watch-cws-arrow-hits-the-mark/

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The iPhone: A Revolutionary Device

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Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007. It combined three kinds of technology— a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone, and Internet device (Ritchie). Steve Jobs said, “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone. We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse” (Ritchie). Apple thought and still does think that the iPhone makes everyone geniuses. The iPhone was promoted through television advertisements, posters, online advertisements, etc. that showed its groundbreaking functions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lfmlKYZ-vU

The iPhone breaks down many binaries— being face-to-face while having conversations, the space/distance between people, etc. The cultural response when the iPhone emerged was instantaneous and people were ecstatic that this device had arrived. Over time, the perception of the iPhone has changed. In Re-Newing Old Technologies, Tom Gunning explains the importance of the cultural archeology of technology, which refers to grasping again the newness of old technologies. The excitement surrounding each new generation of the iPhone proves how this ideology is, in fact, true.

People go through Onians’ four stages of amazement every time a new generation of the iPhone is released. For example, when I received my iPhone 4, I was amazed that it was a shiny white, slick, thin phone and I couldn’t believe how “pretty” it was (Stage 1: a striking visual or aural experience). I was in shock and didn’t know what to do with it. (Stage 2: physical paralysis). Since I was fascinated by the iPhone and everything it could do, I wanted to learn how to use it to its greatest potential (Stage 3: a mental reaction leading to learning). Finally, using my iPhone has become part of my lifestyle. Among other things, it reminds me to do tasks, wakes me up in the mornings, and, most importantly, allows me to keep in contact with my friends and family (Stage 4: a new action) (Gunning).

Gunning uses the word “uncanny” to describe the unfamiliarity which greater and constant exposure [to the technology] will overcome (Gunning). The iPhone is uncanny because it takes items that we use daily and makes them virtual. For example, the iPhone is like one’s own miniature computer. It is normal for people to use computers, but it is an “alien” concept that the iPhone, being small, is like a computer in and of itself. Through de-familiarization (Gunning), people have “rediscovered” this technology. The iPhone is a revolutionary device that has changed the world (and people’s lifestyles), creating a way for people to do and be a million things.

Gunning, Tom. “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of-the-Century.” In D. Thorburn and H. Jenkins (eds). Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 39-60.

Ritchie, Rene. “History of iPhone (original): Apple reinvents the phone.” iMore. 26 August 2013. Web. 31 January 2014. <http://www.imore.com/history-iphone-2007>.