After an intense study session of Henry Jenkin’s official weblog ‘Confessions of an Aca-fan’ I (finally) developed a relatively in-depth understanding of transmedia narratives, and came to realise how effectively they can be used as well as how a progression of media agencies in this direction will be evident in the future.
Firstly, I’ll give you a good ol’ definition so we’re on the same page: Transmedia storytelling (also known as transmedia narrative or multiplatform storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies – (Thanks again wikipedia).
Henry Jekins expands on this, stating: “Most often, transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories. This process of world-building encourages an encyclopedic impulse in both readers and writers. We are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.”
It was this statement that triggered my brain back into Dexter mode, something that has sadly been absent for some time now as a result of season seven having not made it to DVD yet, however, the previous seasons undertook some major advertising campaigns so as to launch their premieres, which involved, none other than transmedia! It was cleverly utilised through “diverse platforms to build a ‘world beyond the page’ of Dexter Morgan.” (Cheshire & Burton, 2010) Minor transmedia movements included: print (Dexter newsstands), TV, magazines, webisodes (Dexter: Early Cuts), DexterWiki, user-generated-content such as YouTube videos and spin offs, street marketing, real online investigations, mobile and online videogames, social networks, online shop etc. The most innovative and what proved to exceedingly successful, was the interactive, online investigation launched just before the premiere of season six. The video below gives a brief depiction of the experience:
In my opinion, the success of the online investigation stemmed from Jenkin’s allegation of being “drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.” The world of Dexter is so encapsulating, any given watcher would thrive to become even a small part of it. Our participatory culture and its intensifying levels of produsage are at a completely new means of convergence, consequently transmedia is assisting in the way such culture is dealing with this ongoing progression.