Monday, November 12, 2012

POST 3 - Multimedia vs Transmedia

Henry Jenkins states that multimedia and transmedia assume very different roles for its spectators, consumers and readers. The differences between multimedia and transmedia are that multimedia refers to the integration of multiple modes of expression within a single application. Whereas transmedia refers to the dispersal of the same elements across multiple media platforms. For example transmedia storytelling form is a story being told and introduced in a film, which later is expanded through television, novels, comics, video game play, or even can be experienced as a amusement park attraction. 

Offering these new outlets gives consumers a variety of mediums to chose from. In a multimedia form, consumers just need to click the content and its there for them, whether they are just watching something on the computer or in a movie theatre. According to Jenkins, "a transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole" (97-98).  In this transmedia form, consumers are intrigued because it attracts their target audience with there different constituencies by pitching the content differently in the different mediums. Films and television have on of the most diverse audiences, where as comics and games have the narrowest. However, opening up these medium expands the audience for the product.

For example, my favorite television show right now is called The Walking Dead, the show airs on Sundays at 9pm on the AMC network. This television series is a form of transmedia. Right now, the show is on its third season. I am a huge fan and surprisingly I found out that the show is originally based on a comic book series. Not only has the show expanded from comic books to television, they even have created a action zombie adventure video game for the show plus a iPhone app of the show as well. When I found out this information I quickly went to the show's website and wrote on the forums. I felt like I needed to find the comic book series especially if its as good as the television show. What I learned was that the television show is different from the original comic book series. I read from hard core fans that the show doesn't even come close to the comic book series. However, this goes to show that transmedia allows the consumers to indulge in a participatory culture, whereas multimedia limits communication and participation from the audience. Allowing learners to shape the narrative themselves is a particularly good way of allowing learners to pull what they need from the learning experience.

The television series also has other outlets of media. There is a social media interactive game that can be played on Facebook. The interactive game test consumers survival skills by allowing them to even encourage their Facebook friends to join in on the fun and experience the story line and defeat the missions. If gaming is something that doesn't interest you, there is no need to worry because consumers can still find out clues and information from each episode from the talk show.  The talk show is called Talking Dead that airs right after each episode of the show. The show Talking Dead allows all fans of the show to discuss what happened on the show just in case they missed any important details. The consumers are able to participate in on by watching the show, to answering poll questions on Twitter and Facebook, and by even engaging online on the forums and threads. 

The use of various platforms benefit everyone involved because by doing so it expands the audience. The show and games are essentially designed together because the game deepens and expands the fiction. If the television series just simply repeated the material from the comic book it wouldn't gain everyone's attention. As Jenkins states, "It should be organic to what made the film experience compelling" (108). Consumers want to feel connected. Transmedia allows fans to experience their favorite shows/games in various ways to make them feel involved. Transmedia brings the content to reality for the consumers giving them the ultimate entertainment experience. 


1 comment:

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