Telling stories across multiple media lends depth to the narrative.
At Nordic Games Conference this year, mere moments before I took the stage, a gruff man from Hamburg asked me why I had come.
"Transmedia," I told him.
He scoffed. "Transmedia is irrelevant," he said.
This sentiment isn't exactly hard to come by in gaming circles. According to prevailing feeling, transmedia is bad films based on your game. Or bad games based on someone else's film. It's marketing gimmicks and action figures. It's exploitative, brings no value to the audience, and definitely doesn't make the experience of the game itself better. Right?
Story isn't necessary to make a game. Not even a great game that people love - games from Tetris to backgammon do a stellar job without even a hint of narrative.
Wrong. Transmedia and games are a natural fit - arguably more so than transmedia goes with film and TV. Games have done things I'd consider transmedia for decades. And I maintain that modern games can become better by adopting even more transmedia narrative methods.
First, though, we need to establish a definition for "transmedia storytelling." Per USC Prof. Henry Jenkins, transmedia storytelling is the art of telling one story across multiple media, where each medium is making a unique contribution to the whole....