In this post, I will discuss how digital storytelling is created for distribution over any digital device such as the internet and how the fandoms and fan fiction have played a big role in transmedia storytelling. I will argue how fans participate in the expansion of storytelling by applying their own situations and characters in an already made universe and how the original narrative embraces the cultural shift of the digital age.
Since the arrival of the internet, new forms of digital communication over the digital age such as social media, games, chat sites and blog sites have led to the further age of communication in the 21st Century. According to Carlos A. Scolari, he discusses that transmedia storytelling is “spreading from one end of the media ecosystem to the other, taking old and new media in its stride (Scolari, 2).” This means that active user participation is vital as they expand from one medium to another. User participation in this case are fandoms who are a group of fans of any type of film, show or book.
Fandoms play a big part in transmedia storytelling through their creation of fan fiction, in which they expand the universe of a canon story that can include either the same characters in new situations or new characters in different situations set in the same original universe.
An example of this is the Doctor Who fandom. It is one of the most successful attempts at evolving transmedia into reality. For example, after the original airing of the show in 1964, Doctor Who has been turned into various forms of storytelling in different platforms such as comic strips, spin-offs and novelisations. All of these provide fans with the ability to imagine and expand the universe of the Doctor Who world by fleshing out their stories.
Neil Perryman discusses that “BBC Online spent considerable amounts of money on developing its brand-specific products during the first years of the 21st century and this included a second devoted to its “cult” television output (Perryman, 6).”
The fandom is so big for Doctor Who that even the show itself incorporates fan service to appease the fans. BBC themselves accepted the massive fandom and created various interactive narrative just for fans.
Overall, overall while the world of films, shows, games and books have a large following, the use of transmedia storytelling will always be in the digital world where user participation by the fans or creators themselves can expand the worlds over a series of platforms.
List of References:
Scolari, C. A, 2014. Transmedia Storytelling: New Ways of Communicating in the Digital Age. AC/E Digital Culture Annual Report. Focus 2014: Use of Technologies in the Performing Arts, [Online]. 1, 2. Available at: http://www.xn--accionculturalespaola-tbc.com/media/Default%20Files/activ/2014/Adj/Anuario_ACE_2014/EN/6Storytelling_CScolari.pdf [Accessed 22 March 2017].
Perryman, N, 2008. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. Doctor Who and the Convergence of Media: A case study in "Transmedia Storytelling", [Online]. 14, 6. Available at: http://davidlavery.net/Courses/Doctor_Who/Readings/Perryman.pdf [Accessed 22 March 2017].