Multiple stories being told over multiple platforms with these different plots coming together to tell a single pervasive story line. This method allows the audience to view the narrative in greater depth and is the simplest way to describe the concept of transmedia. Henry Jenkins explains the purpose as “creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” By removing the traditional confines of a story, transmedia narratives allow audiences to engage across all platforms during, between and after a show and this expands an audience market thus promoting and economically aiding the development of a story.
J.K. Rowling’s book series Harry Potter was an instant success and so the progression of being made into films and games and the creation of the interactive site Pottermore and more began. These multiple platforms of storytelling provide the audience with an opportunity to seek and help create extensions from the original fiction. Hollywood productions no longer have to rely on box office hits to make money as they now have film, comics, the web, albums, television, games and so on to market from. This production has been termed “synergy“; the economics of media consolidation.
But transmedia doesn’t just involve the industry; a ‘collective intelligence’ of consumers around the world is able to make unique contributions to a text, changing the understanding of the fiction as a whole. This is called ‘additive comprehension‘. Consumers are involved in creating extended information from the original fiction by building worlds and insight into characters. This collective intelligence isn’t streamed into one medium with different parts of information about the fiction being dispersed through each separate medium; consumers become hunters and gatherers, piecing together a consistent picture through the scattered information.
Transmedia reshapes the way of storytelling into one that’s interactive, filled with endless stories and is an exciting way to submerge yourself into a fictional world and seems to be one of the most successful and creative ways of dealing with the process of convergence.