Transmedia History Paper

So @Stephers super-power is decoding encoding media messaging and I know she’s working on a series around world-building. As I have done quite a bit of research into ed-tech gaming and digital nudging I told her about Elaine Raybourn at Sandia National Labs. She is a specialized in human-computer interaction and behavior change across media platforms - military and other. I found this paper - not by her - that describes history itself as an unacknowledged “transmedia learning” project. I haven’t finished the whole thing, but it is a very interesting premise IMO.

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Elaine Raybourn on Littlesis Elaine Raybourn - Add Relationship - LittleSis

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Raybourn in Albuquerque on Transmedia storytelling in 2015.

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On the origins of Serious Games - Charles Abt of Abt Associates, government consulting firm since the mid 1960s based in Cambridge, MA with ties to impact investing.


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Abt advising Third Sector Capital on Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success pilot programs.

https://littlesis.org/relationships/1489107

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I posted these links (credited to you, of course) on my comments thread in Part 1 of my W0RLDBU1LD1NG series, as it relates directly to Alex McDowell (uncanny coincidence) of the World Building Institute, and his work in creating narrative via transmedia:

So for me, the beginning as a designer, the entire front end of working towards a film is an entirely interactive gamified process, really. We’re using all the tools of game. We’re using game engines to drive visualization tools. We’re putting multiple participants, creative participants, into that space simultaneously, in order to allow it to evolve. So yeah, I think that we’re now in this space where the 100 years of storytelling in cinema has incredibly powerful tools that need to be drawn on to change the way game thinks about storytelling, but I think that the sensitivity of the game space, of the interactive media space, to the demands of the audience and to the nuance of the individual audience’s relationship with the story space is equally important, and if you look now at, say, the mixed reality space, at virtual reality, sure, but much more interesting, the augmented reality, these two things are going to have to come together, this sort of idea of the power of the individual user as an interactor within a story space, and a new way to developing powerful stories that come out of the cinematic tradition. Those two things have to start mapping onto each other.

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There’s a new standard for creating both physical and digital immersive storytelling experiences. Hear from pioneering world-builders on how integrating social interaction into designed environments and ecosystems is creating a profound and multidisciplinary entertainment medium that audiences are hungry to spend time in and share their own stories. (my emphasis)

Peter is a visionary in the fields of communications, entertainment, and design. He is credited for producing the Blade films, creating the integral pre-vision sequences in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, and supervising marketing efforts for Ray, Spider-Man, and Transformers. (my emphasis)

https://worldbuilding.institute/people/peter-frankfurt

Transmedia storytelling uses multiple media platforms tell a coordinated story across time. Multiple narratives come together, constructing a larger storyworld. Each media piece—whether it’s a comic, advertisement, social media post, novel, video game, mobile app, or a film—functions as a standalone story experience—complete and satisfying. Like a giant puzzle, each piece contributes to a larger narrative. The process is cumulative and each piece adds richness and detail to the story world, such as character backstories and secondary plotlines. This makes for a richer audience experience and multiple access points. For entertainment, it lets creators weave together several stories over time, expanding ways for the audience to engage, immerse and enjoy a larger experience. Think Marvel Cinematic Universe. For brands, it creates more ways for consumers to imagine themselves with the product or service, triggering emotional connection and personal investment through identity and aspiration. (my emphasis)

Transmedia storytelling takes advantage of the way the human brain processes information and constructs meaning: synthesizing, linking and exploring multiple sources. (my emphasis)

Transmedia storytelling is fully participatory . The audience is actively involved, elevated to social and creative collaborators . When people actively participate, either through content creation or following a trail across assets, they become stakeholders in the transmedia experience alongside the brand or cause. The unfolding story design creates the motivation to engage with other participants, seek out other parts of the story, and contribute to the narrative by adding content. (my emphasis)

Transmedia stories can be simple, across a few low-tech media platforms or break down the barriers between the story and reality by bringing the narrative out into the real world, in the form of complex and exciting alternative reality games (ARGs), where participants engage with narrative elements and characters using real world locations as part of the storyworld. (my emphasis)

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When I read “following a trail across assets” I think stigmergy.

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Note Philip Rosedale (of Second Life) at Future of Storytelling (I don’t recall what thread he is in?) . . .

Philip Rosedale - CEO & Co-Founder / Creator, High Fidelity / Second Life
in 1999, Rosedale founded Linden Lab, and built a virtual civilization called Second Life. One million people actively use Second Life and spend close to $1 billion a year. In 2013, he cofounded High Fidelity Inc. to explore the future of a next-generation virtual-reality system and fulfill his lifelong dream of creating an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world. High Fidelity envisions a virtual world in which you will be able to conduct business, travel, explore caves, and do nearly anything else you can imagine with other people from around the globe.

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This slideshare from Elaine Raybourn of Sandia National Labs and Advanced Distributed Learning Orlando Office (military training) made a big impression on me when I first started researching ed-tech. I’m pretty sure Scholastic was pitching transmedia learning back in the day - that 39 Clues book series. It’s like taking multi-channel marketing to a new level by layering in more high-stakes behavior change than consumer consumption. Here are a few images from that deck. It also syncs with what @leo has said about the imperative of perpetual risk analysis in handling these complex digital systems and how that becomes inherently militarized whether the product developers want to acknowledge it or not.





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Here is Scholastic

“Building on our success with multi-platform publishing, Scholastic is delighted to be working with Ruckus Media Group and Rick Richter in the rapidly growing area of children’s transmedia properties,” said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade Publishing. “Under the Ruckus imprint, we will expand the scope of our offerings to meet the rapidly growing demand for multi-platform properties that parents can trust and kids love.

“Ruckus and Scholastic share the same vision – to reach kids where they are, at home and in schools, and on the electronic devices they love. Working with some of the best children’s authors around, we will engage kids with innovative, fun and educational apps and books, whether delivered digitally or in print,” commented Rick Richter, Ruckus CEO. “Most importantly, we’re proud to have been selected to work with Scholastic in this highly competitive marketplace. Scholastic’s tremendous brand recognition as a trusted source for parents and educators worldwide plus their enormous distribution capability makes them our perfect partner.” Scholastic and Ruckus Media Announce New Children's Transmedia Imprint | Scholastic Media Room

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According to this recent article, Second Life has on average 200,000 daily users (which may not even be accurate as surely there are bots) and $600 million in GDP (however they calculate that). Whatever the numbers it’s disturbing.

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