New Media, Tech & Storytelling: Annotated Bibliography

Alexander, B. 2011, ‘Social Media Storytelling’, New Digital Storytelling, The : Creating Narratives with New Media, pp. 77-89, e-book, accessed 03 August 2016, <http://RMIT.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=678297>.

In this chapter, Alexander explores some of the trends in social media storytelling over the past decade. These focus on short form serial content such as podcasts and web videos. Alexander details some of the narrative devices utilised in these mediums and uses an array of examples to illustrate these techniques.

Podcasts, Alexander contests, have a historical sensibility, dating back to old forms of aural storytelling. This is something that resonated with me as I have definitely felt a sense of unexplainable nostalgia when listening to podcasts, akin to reading a paper book. Alexander notes the different spaces and ways in which we consume podcasts and how this can influence our experience of the text. Listening to a podcast whilst at home on your web browser is obviously very different to listening on a portable device whilst walking on a city street. The way in which digital storytelling and media consumption now occupies public spaces is something that interests me and would’ve liked to have delved into further here.

Throughout this chapter, Alexander notes the transmedia and participatory nature of social media storytelling. Examples from both podcasts and web video series’ show how creators utilise multiple platforms in which to tell the same interconnected story. Moreover, how audience commentary on the content itself as well as social media and blogs, video responses and fan fiction is further blurring the boundaries of social media storytelling.

This was a good introduction to short form content in digital spaces. There were some interesting points and it has given me some more ideas of where to explore next, such as ideas around technological spaces. My main gripe is that I found the content to be dated and there wasn’t much that excited or surprised me, but given this book is now five years old, that is perhaps a reflection on how quickly technology is developing and how difficult it may be to find articles that are relevant and forward thinking.

Klastrup, L. & Tosca, S. 2014. ‘Game of Thrones: Transmedial Worlds, Fandom, and Social Gaming’ In: Ryan, M, & Thon, J (eds) Frontiers of Narrative : Storyworlds across Media : Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, US., pp. 295-331. Available from: ProQuest ebrary. [4 August 2016].

This chapter examines the marketing campaign and utilisation of transmedial worlds (TMW) in the lead up to the launch of HBO’s hugely successful television series, Game of Thrones. The main concern of this article, was puzzle game The Maester’s Path, which was an interactive online game created in which to tease the upcoming television series.

Klastrup and Tosca briefly outline transmedial world theory, which dictates a great level of depth and complexity required to provide context to the transmedial world, its characters and its history in order to achieve a satisfactory level of engagement.

Examining the campaign of this specific example, The Maester’s Path encouraged user engagement to solve each puzzle in which they would then be rewarded with a video teaser from the upcoming series. Throughout the game, users were prompted to share their involvement via social media — cleverly masqueraded as sending a “raven”, consistent with the language of the TMW itself, and to recruit other players or “apprentices”. Interestingly, this feature had some negative impact as some users felt exploited in that they were forced to share content to their social networks, not all of whom would have been interested in the game, in order to proceed.

This article had some great points regarding TMW theory and specific marketing strategies in how these different platforms might interconnect and engage with audiences. Gaming is not an area I would ordinarily feel inclined to research, however my prior knowledge of this specific example and the direction of new technology towards an interactive digital storytelling lead me to explore this side of new media. Looking at specific examples is useful in understanding how transmedial storytelling has developed over time, how people engage with it, and how it might continue to expand and be utilised as newer technologies are developed into the future.

Spurgeon, Christina. Participatory media and ‘co-creative’ storytelling [online]. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 154, Feb 2015: 132-138. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=996482486057482;res=IELLCC> ISSN: 1329-878X. [cited 02 Aug 16].

Mittell, Jason. “Transmedia Storytelling.” Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling. NYU, 2015. 292-318. Web.

Wu, S, & Din, H 2014, Digital Heritage And Culture : Strategy And Implementation, London: World Scientific Publishing Company, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EBSCOhost, viewed 2 August 2016.

Mann, Denise; Johnson, Derek; Gray, Jonathan 2014, Wired TV : Laboring Over an Interactive Future, e-book, accessed 02 August 2016, <http://RMIT.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1598092>.