Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thompson_Ch 4_Jenkins_Q

Jenkins states: "Increasingly, we inhabit a world of transmedia storytelling, one that depends less on each individual’s work being self-sufficient than on each work contributing to a larger narrative economy."
Jenkins gives the example of Star Wars. The Star Wars game does not provide the same insights into plot that the film version offers; however it does provide gamers with a rich, interactive "Star Wars world" to explore.
So ... two questions come to my mind based on the quotation above ...
1) Is "transmedia" storytelling inherently different from the kinds of cross-referencing and allusion that have been going on in literature for thousands of years? For example, I may be able to comprehend a Shakespeare play on my first reading of it, but my enjoyment and understanding of that work will be deepened considerably [probably] as I learn about S.'s numerous allusions to earlier works of poetry, the Bible, etc (a larger "narrative economy").
2) Is providing a rich "space" for gamers to explore and manipulate "enough"? Can a game such as the Star Wars game stand on its own (is it still comprehensible and enjoyable to play?), or do we crave a more traditional narrative format to provide information and reduce uncertainty? Just curious ...


At 7:38 AM, Blogger Mark said...

When I read the discussion of Star Wars games I also had similar thoughts to these. Also with the Star Wars Lego game the game play follows the traditional structure of the first three movies but after you have unlocked characters such as Darth Maul you can play the series as him as the hero. So in the end when me and my friend played through the entire narrative as Darth Maul and the Emperor including fighting ourselves at several points.

I do think that these games can stand on their own as narrative archetypes. In fact some games, spawn other forms(movies and books) so I guess I have to say yes.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Curtisgeist said...

This statement was burr for me too. Because, when Juul refers to a game as a transmedium in this sense, he is referring to it as a sort of sub-medium, which depends on its parent narrative medium its metastory or whatnot.


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