Keywords: transmedia, storytelling, audience engagement, framework, communication design
The Transmedia Approach is a cultural paradigm that allows audiences not only to access contents in a different way, but also to participate in the meaning-making process, with a subsequent changing in the relationship between the mainstream media (top-down) and participatory culture (bottom-up or grassroots). But what really means the term transmedia? Henry Jenkins (2006) described it like «Stories that unfold across multiple media platforms, with each medium making distinctive contributions to our understanding of the world». Robert Pratten (2011) continued said that «the engagement with each successive media heightens the audience’ understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story». Christy Dena (2009) defined the transmedia as «a working implementation of unity in diversity». Jeff Gomez (2009) advises us to become orchestra directors because «What transmedia does is it brings a few of those instruments together and attempts to compose music that allows for talented people to play them in some kind of concert». Or again Fred Fuchs (2012) said that «transmedia is evolved storytelling for evolved audiences». So many voices, so many projects, so several definitions for a common field, but the questions remain.
How this is changing the design practice? How aesthetic and economic issues work together in the ‘design ecology’? Is Transmedia a possible approach able to support the construction of a human landscape, relying on the storytelling ability to foster multiple perspectives and allowing people to become aware of their lead role in the contemporary mediascape?
Aim of this work is to suggest a framework to situate new media works in Transmedia. Understand the ‘DNA’ of such an approach in order to apply it not only to the big Hollywood (or transmedia franchise) projects, but also in local and small works within the limit of the everyday scenario.
- Mariana Ciancia, Design Department, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Full text (PDF) p. 380-383