Transmedia: Interactive becoming Immersive.by Survey of Interactive Media
Talking about the evolution of media going beyond interactive to completely immersing the audience.
Interactive Media has evolved and entered to many of our forms of entertainment today. We have television shows that we can read about online, there is musicians we can interact with to develop a new sound, games have become the forefront of technology, and we even have an encyclopedia on the internet that the readers populate with information. The audiences around the world want to be involved with their entertainment and want to be able to be apart of the Universe or world that is created around the characters they love.
The way interactive media is becoming immersive is through the newly coined term transmedia. Transmedia is the process of taking a story, for any form of media, and expanding and developing for all media. The type of transmedia that is going to be immersive is transmedia storytelling. This is somewhat different because many movies, graphic novels, and video games have crossed mediums and expanded but have had the same story line and story about the same characters. Trasmedia storytelling would be the expansion of the universe or world created telling the story of many inhabitants of a world. "The Matrix" is a perfect example of what is happening to media in the entertainment world. The story of "The Matrix" in theaters was told about a man becoming the savior of the civilization, but there was also a video game that was available that told the story of the two captains of ships from "The Matrix" that gave the players more information about the movie story and also gave us more information about the rules of "The Matrix". There were two games that allowed this to happen and were an extension and support to the movies. This was not the final extension for learning and immersing into the the world of "The Matrix". The creators took it even farther and created a graphic novels. Each media form does not retell the stories of the other medium, rather they keep expanding and exploring the world. Finally the creators collaborated with animators to make a series of "Animatrix". These are a series of animated shorts that expand and explain the history of "The Matrix". It is amazing how, depending on the audiences want, it is to learn and explore this world. The creators made it possible to not only interact with this world but to become completely immersed in the world. This is the future not only because of the want and need to be entertained but to have entertainment be more detailed and smart for the matured audience. This is not the only franchise that has successfully created a universe for its audience. "Star Wars" would have to be the grandfather of all transmedia storytelling. First being a series of books, then a series of movies, evolving into video games, and finally becoming an animated series.
When studying these two franchises and looking where they made the right choices it is easy to see that these two franchises were successful in transmedia storytelling because they offered their audience not only a peek at their worlds but an ability to explore every aspect of many characters and the ability to learn and be a part of these worlds. I do believe that this will become the most desired form of entertainment in the near future both for the audiences and creators. The audience have been wanting to me immersed in the worlds and it is shown by the success of "Star Wars" and then later with "The Matrix". It is very advantageous for the creators to be able to completely explore a world and it also adds value with a variety of revenue streams.
John Paul Henderson