Toying with Transmedia: The Future of Entertainment is Child’s Play | MIT World
I stumbled upon this lecture of MIT’s Henry Jenkins and suggest you watch it. I personally believe it is brilliant. You go to their side here
About the Lecture:
In what could be the ultimate twist on Toy Story, Henry Jenkins suggests that action figures — those Star Wars and Masters of the Universe dolls from a few decades ago — had the power to spark human creativity and transcend their original function. Jenkins argues such toys served children and young adults as “authoring tools” in stories that grew increasingly elaborate and technologically sophisticated over the years, spawning new kinds of play in our own time.
In a lecture spiced with stills and video, Jenkins demonstrates that early generations of action figures, such as movie, cartoon, and cereal box characters, inspired a cohort of player “creators,” and helped shape the emergent phenomenon of transmedia. This, describes Jenkins, is a storytelling process “where integral elements of a fiction are dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.”
Transmedia is not about “dumbing down popular culture,” Jenkins says. It involves complex mythologies that kids and adults can throw themselves into, with large casts of vivid characters in complex plots rivaling those in Russian novels. Transmedia storytelling also encourages children to “play out different fantasies,” try out roles, and begin to construct their own identities. Storm trooper marshmallows in Star Wars cereal do not qualify, he warns, since branding alone does not unleash storytelling juices or encourage user immersion.