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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsThere are some slight differences between traditional storytelling and transmedia storytelling. From this course, we will learn the sense of how to more accurately describe the features of transmedia storytelling and to gain awareness of how content creators can utilize these distinctions in formulating their stories. Instead of having a single leader guiding the formation of the story, there is simultaneous involvement from several participants in a process of co-creation. As a result, there is a diverse abundance of opinions. Rather than sticking to one world-view, this type of story creation is inclusive and collaborative. While it may seem like a unique, singular world is being created, in truth, it is the creation of a range of unique characters and stories within a singular world.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 secondsThis is unlike the linear nature of reading and writing that we are accustomed to, because in the storytelling of today, both the start and conclusion are diverse. We can even interrupt a story and continue it using a different media channel. This may be an un-comfortable experience as we are used to starting at one point and ending at another. Never before would we have thought to transfer a story to a different delivery channel. However having several people participate in the story creation heightens enjoyment, rather than discomfort, in the process. From a conservative viewpoint of cultural and content consumption, the completeness or consistency of such a process may seem flawed or lacking.

Skip to 2 minutes and 14 secondsDiscontinuity has become a feature of modern society, and it is the role of creators and consumers to fill in the blanks and keep the content flowing. So while an online article is rich with breadth, online comments left by readers may be ten times longer than the article itself. In the past, the paper was more important than its small annotations, but now the reverse holds true. That’s more interesting. People’s online comments are more fascinating and engaging than the media content. The comments have value; they are not just auxiliary to the prose, and media consumption focuses on the comments themselves. As always, we yearn for more complete content.

Skip to 3 minutes and 11 secondsThe difference is that now there is a collective desire pertaining to the progress of the content, to its evolution, and to our expectations of participation and enjoyment. Are we too accustomed to drawing a linear picture? Or are we becoming more open to multiple possibilities in a story’s conclusion? Some traditional novels have attempted to experiment with this. There are some novels where Mr. A and Ms. B agree to break up after the first chapter, at which point the reader can flip to Chapter 2 if he or she wants the two characters to get in touch; if the reader doesn’t want them to see each other again, the reader proceeds to Chapter 4.

Skip to 4 minutes and 6 secondsIf you choose Chapter 4, there would be various other alternatives for you to select in order to finish the story. There are writers who have attempted such stories, but this is still forcing a story into its conventional, traditional mold rather than being experimental. This isn’t quite the same situation we see in transmedia phenomena. Let me give an important example from transmedia to illustrate. Let’s take some transmedia content in France about a hostage situation. The story started with a single line asking for opinions on how to rescue the hostages. From there came contributions regarding the hostages’ backgrounds, strategies to save them, and even movies, ideas, internet cartoons, and newspaper strips.

Skip to 5 minutes and 8 secondsAn immense amount of content was produced, creating a community for these users. Although it began with just one line, it was enough to inspire audiences to immerse themselves to participate in the story’s creative process. Audiences wanted to take part, to draw a picture, to produce a documentary, to write an article,to write the next scenario. This one-line stimulus was the start, and the surrounding community continued to evolve and grow. We won’t know when the story will be complete. A problem in the old paradigm was the lack of completion, but now, with modern content consumption, stories will continue and come to completion by themselves. As people become involved in this process,they experience joy.

Skip to 6 minutes and 12 secondsTheir fellow participant becomes an associate to check and embellish stories with, thus enriching the experience. In some cases, the story may evolve in an undesired direction or may conclude when the consumer doesn’t want it to. But this is actually less important, because the consumer can participate in it, or through a different community, twist and redirect to expand the story. In a way, it is like SimCity and other simulation games. You create a civilization and watch with delight as it grows and expands. This is unlike the classic linear narrative, with a start and end; today ’s new generation is interested in creating and growing the narrative.

Skip to 7 minutes and 9 secondsFor now, know that the story is a framework within which background stories, great characters, and plots exist. The framework that has served us for so long is still valid. The only difference now is how it is managed and applied. As it then follows, the numerous traditions and norms in standard storytelling are also still valid, and we need to understand these to train our minds for transmedia storytelling. We can now start to appreciate storytelling by exploring the differences in operation, effective rules, and effective methods to construct narratives.  

THE DIFFERENTIATION OF TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING

In this video I talk about how discontinuity has become a feature of modern society, and it is the role of creators and consumers to fill in the blanks and keep the content flowing. So while an online article is rich with breadth, online comments left by readers may be ten times longer than the article itself. In the past, the paper was more important than its small annotations, but now the reverse holds true. Do you agree?

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This video is from the free online course:

Transmedia Storytelling

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

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