An excellent article that explores the link between Minecraft and the concept of transmedia education. It underscores the importance of defining transmedia as a cross-media experience and critical 21st century literacy (and not immediately escalating to images of a Hollywood franchise). It also contains links to a couple of very good 'transmedia education' resources if you haven't read them.
Transmedia approaches encourage (or even force) people to actively acknowledge and design for a fluid and multi-dimensional, rather than linear, media environment. For the human brain, stories are not constrained by what's on the page. Transmedia begins to replicate how we think and encourages producers to innovate in each platform to create multiple touchpoints that facilitate our natural ability to imagine, project, expand and experience.
Eager to learn more about 'For the Records' and it's dynamics--interactivity, audience participation, multiple threads--and where the gaming elements intersect with the other elements. All the things that create a rich sense of narrative transportation and multi-sensory experience may go a long way to shift perceptions through empathy.
This exciting exhibit underscores the blending of boundaries between art and technology (along with hints of potentials in storytelling to come). When my daughter went to Parsons to get an MFA in exactly that--Design and Technology, I can see that at the time, as cool as I thought it was, I didn't understand the full magnitude of that kind of degree. Do we handicap our kids by thinking about subjects to study in the ways we always have--in silos--rather than integrative? We're concerned about encouraging the study of STEM skills particularly among girls but do we talk about them as part of the arts? Or mention that there is no engineering without design? (as in, engineer what?)
Parents/Mentors/Anybody--if you're near this exhibition, take your or somebody else's kids (with permission, of course). Talk to them about the stories the creators are trying to tell AND talk to them about how those cool things are a product of science, technology AND art, integrated into a powerful thing. Tell them that every art lesson can be translated by technology and every science lesson can be expressed in some kind of art or design. (You'll be introducing them to the unsung hero of every venture--art or science--user experience.) Science, like art, exists as expressions of human creativity for the (presumed) betterment of humanity. Every human experience is a story.
Journalists and society-at-large do #Amazon and viewers a huge disservice by tagging kid-centric content as '#binge-viewing' as if putting the viewer in control of what he/she watches is a bad thing--not to mention that it has nothing to do with what Amazon is trying to accomplish with their programming for preschoolers.
Creators working with Amazon have intentionally tried to step out of their adult bias and look through eyes of preschoolers. Their goal is to create engaging content that triggers curiosity and creativity. This is the same approach I advocate for storytelling and central to the persona development and audience profiling in the courses & workshops we teach via Fielding's Masters program. The fact that Amazon streaming allows for viewer controlled consumption encourages other activities because there is no #FOMO by playing through scheduled broadcasts. Seriously, how is this even remotely negative? When will we get over blaming the audience for exercising choice in content consumption? I get how this is disruptive to current business models and how media companies might not be thrilled at having to be more creative to earn attention and loyalty, but consumers should be celebrating not labeling and journalists should get on board.
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