The Shallowing Hypothesis

 

Storytellers are challenged with capturing the essence of a story and delivering it to their audience in a convincing way. Story elements might include a mood, a subtle emotion or a moment of shock and surprise. Transmedia authors have the same challenges but they face an additional challenge in picking the appropriate channel to deliver their story. Even after an author has crafted a story he or she needs to understand who is listening to those channels and how to engage them. Some recent research on text messaging out of the University of Winnipeg seems to indicate that heavy users of texting channels are becoming shallower. When you think about how carefully a story element needs to be crafted to reach an audience this can have some meaningful implications.

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“Defiance”: A Big Transmedia Gamble

“Defiance” is a new science fiction television series/ massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that will be released on the SyFy cable network channel April 15th. Another television series and video game set in a dystopian future that has earth invaded by aliens and destroyed by an environmental disaster isn’t an original approach. You only have to look to a host of television shows like “Falling Skies”, films like “Independence Day” or video games like “Gears of War”. The originality, and the risk, comes from the creation of a story world that spans both the television series and the online video game in real time.

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