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Types of Transmedia

The various types of transmedia storytelling can be thought of in terms of the following:

  • the narrative spaces covered (location, characters, time)
  • the number and relative timing of the platforms (sequential, parallel, simultaneous, non-linear)
  • the extent and type of audience involvement (passive, active, interactive, collaborative) .

The first two dimensions can be represented by the diagram below.

The next illustration shows the “Franchise Transmedia” project. It’s a series of single-platform deliverables – a book, a movie, a game. In many ways the platforms are independent except that they often cover different narrative spaces: prequel, sequel, flashback which may dictate a release order or schedule. In any case there’s no apparent audience interactivity between the platforms.

Portmanteau Transmedia project, by contrast, might look like an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) which will often cover a single narrative space across multiple platforms – each alone insufficient to carry the complete story but like jigsaw puzzle pieces they must be assembled to complete the picture.

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