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Transmedia Cultures

A Companion


Edited By Simon Bacon

What is Transmedia?

The Transmedia Cultures companion demonstrates that transmedia, and indeed transmedia storytelling, are fundamental to the human experience of being in the world and creating the stories of who we are, both as individuals and communities. Transmedia is not just limited to the Star Wars or Harry Potter franchises nor narratives exclusive to new media platforms and devices, though both these areas will necessarily be discussed. Indeed, transmedia embraces a multiplicity of media platforms (old and new, online and offline), content expansion, and evolving forms of audience engagement.

This collection of concise, readable essays takes a holistic approach, expanding the areas of everyday life implicated in transmedia worldbuilding and the levels of immersion that they, purposely or otherwise, create. Beginning with a comprehensive introduction and historical overview, the volume explores contemporary transmedia worlds like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, Life is Strange and BTS Universe as well as urgent topics such as COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and human rights on the internet. User-created worlds (Magic: A Gathering) and ones that express individual identities (Queerskins) are also of particular interest.

This volume offers a fresh approach to transmedia cultures, revealing the ever-increasing levels of entanglement they have within our real lives and with those we experience in other more imaginative or creative ones, bringing into focus exactly what is at stake in the «worlds» we choose to call our own.

CONTENTS: Simon Bacon: Introduction – Precedents and Contexts – Vibeke Børdahl: «Wu Song Fights the Tiger» (Anonymous, n.y.) – Oral Storytelling, Drama and Novel – Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.: The Second Shepherds’ Play (The Wakefield Master, c. 1500) – Medieval Theatre as Transmedia Performance – Victoria Lowe: A Cuckoo in the Nest (Walls, 1933) – From Theatre to Film – Mark J. P. Wolf: The Star Wars Universe (Lucas et al., 1976–Present) – Worldbuilding – Matthew Freeman: The Walking Dead: Our World (Next Games, 2018) – The Screen and Beyond – Global Franchises and Ownership – Henry Jenkins: Snagglepuss (Hanna-Barbera, 1959–Present) – The Entertainment Supersystem and Retrobranding – Amanda Firestone: Madam Irma Pince, Hogwart’s Librarian (Rowling, 1997–Present) – Authorial Control – Erin Giannini: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Whedon, 1997–Present) – The World Beyond the Franchise – Shawn Edrei: Knights of the Old Republic (BioWare, 2003–2011) – Inter-authorial Conflict – Chris Pak: Magic: The Gathering (Wizards of the Coast, 1993–Present) – Author and User in Evolving Worlds – CarrieLynn D. Reinhard: Being The Elite ( Jackson & Jackson, 2016–Present) – Transmedia Fandom – Linking Virtual and Public Spaces – Erik Esckilsen: The Simple Art of Murder (Misak, 2020) – Transmedia Teaching – Phil Fitzsimmons: The Fury (Baez, 2020) – Art and Transmedial Space – Katie Ellis/Gwyneth Peaty: Sense8 (Straczsynski, Wachowski and Wachowski, 2015–2018) – Audio Description as Transmedia – Karen Schrier/David Shaenfield: Life Is Strange (Square Enix, 2015–Present) – Playable Transmedia Experiences – Dan Hassler-Forest: Janelle Monáe (Artist, b. 1985) – Transmedia and the Civic Imagination – Ethical and Ideological Concerns – Lauren Rosewarne: The Newsroom (Sorkin, 2012–2014) – Revenge Porn – Okan Tansu: COVID-19 (2020–Present) – Digicrimination – Mart Susi: Human Rights on the Internet (United Nations, 2012) – Online Freedom of Expression – Tarik Sabry: Morocco’s Arab Spring Protests (2011–2012) – Transmediality as «Doing-Publicness» – James Arvanitakis: Black Lives Matter (Garza, Cullors and Tometi, 2013–Present) – Digital Activism – .Cultures and Identities – Colette Balmain: Bangtan Universe (BTS, 2017–Present) – South Korean Transmedia Universe – Katy Wareham Morris: I Am Jazz ( Jennings, 2013–Present) – Transmedia Autobiography and Transitioning – Barbara Chamberlin: Witch «Zines» – Transmedia and Communities of Practice – Vicki Callahan: Queerskins (Szilak and Tsiboulski, 2017–Present) – A Transmedial Feminist Phenomenology – Megen de Bruin-Molé: The World After (Blandy, 2019) – Posthumanist Transmedia.