Transmedia storytelling: “uses multiple media platforms to tell a narrative across time. The audience becomes actively involved, elevated to social and creative collaborators. They become stakeholders in the transmedia experience alongside the brand or cause.”
The advancement of technology has helped increase the number of platforms and mediums used to explore these stories and broaden what we originally thought was possible for storytelling. This has led to an overwhelming amount of content on the internet- often people don’t even recognise where the story came from originally!
It is a brilliant way for brands to increase audience participation and engagement with their content, stories and characters, as it helps to reach more people in many different ways and changes the way perceptions for audiences. Many of these transmedia universes are filled with fanmade content and engagement to assist in the production of new content.
People are able to enter the narrative as so many different points which, again, changes the interaction of each individual, so many entry points it is difficult to stay on top of the story as a whole. So leads to the question: where did you enter this narrative? at the beginning, middle or end? and how do we actually know where things begin anymore and do things ever end?
The level of depth provided in each platform is different depending on the medium and the outlet the content was originally shared on. How many times have you seen a Youtube video or TV show turned into a simple GIF or meme on Facebook and a shortened version on Instagram? They still convey the meaning, but change the narrative—- this links to ‘the medium is the message’ the way things are manipulated and changed through the mediums they audiences and creating and interacting with.
They are all a continuation of the narrative that give little points of insight into the story. And now look at how many comic books have their own movies and TV shows?
“Transmedia: The stories told in each medium are not redundant and instead construct a transmedia story world-transmedia franchises aim to further develop the story world in each new medium (Jenkins, 2011). The addition of new elements in each text as part of the world-building process to foster an understanding of the narrative as a whole is part of an “additive comprehension” Whereas classic media franchises are based on licensing content to third parties and having one sole outlet for the story to play out in with no room to add and change the original storyline.
We all know and love Mario and Luigi, at least once in our lives we have sat and had a Mario battle against siblings and friends, my love for Mario stems for MarioKart-the greatest game in the world, which I rock at. Yes, even on Rainbow Road (I’ve come first before *all bow down*). But what part of Mario did you know and love first? Mario is a perfect example of a transmedia story because some many of us entered at different stages- Super Bros., MarioKart, or even simply by buying the merchandise- the brand goes on and on. And although many of us think of video games when Mario is mentioned there are so many different extension on the brand, including movies, TV animations and spinoffs and comic books
Mario has created his own little universe, with a whole community and society of observers, as well as creators: Check out this site for some fan made games, these extensions have continued on the Mario narrative throughout a transmedia narrative, it is such an amazing way for people to interact with their favorite characters and explore the storylines the creators never went down originally- such as Bowser being the good guy (like what?)
Oh, and yes you read right there is a Mario movie! Check out the trailer for the Mario Super Bros. movie!
If you have the time, check out this Youtube video that looks at Mario Transmedia Analysis, it breaks down different elements that can be used in the transmedia universe: Mario as Transmedia