A transmedia narrative is one fiction that has been dispersed over several media channels to form a coherent whole. This process of scattered information means that there are more entry points into a fictional story or world, whether it is through books, online gaming, movies, figurines etc. Multiple entry points can potentially attract different audiences based on their media interests, thus providing a variety of ways for audiences to engage and immerse themselves in the narrative.
Take Harry Potter for an example – one of the most popular transmedia narratives in the world. It all started with the books but eventually expanded across multiple media channels in order to appeal to a larger audience. The increased dispersion of the narrative creates a multidirectional flow of content that breeds connection, interaction, community and excitement thus enticing people to connect with the narrative.
Transmedia narratives represent the notion of collective intelligence through sharing ideas that add value, excitement and further develop the fictional world. In a lot of cases these fictional worlds exist in some way outside the media channels and within the ‘real world’. Speaking in terms of Harry Potter – there is an entire theme park dedicated to Harry Potter and on a smaller scale – just the other night my university accommodation campus held a Harry Potter themed scav hunt.
Media convergence evidently plays a large role in terms of transmedia narratives and the success that they have become. If it weren’t for convergence, Harry Potter and other narratives may never have expanded beyond a few books and movies. Instead we see how interaction between individuals, communities and their collective intelligence has extended far beyond the limitations of traditional media.