The Definitions Supplement

So what is all this meta for, what is its purpose? I mentioned the intended audience for this project though about its true aim I have been vague. But perhaps it was apparent that this was meant from the start as a commentary on the current state of transmedia, a treatise writ in the language of its premise. This was intended as both demonstration and manifesto, so I may as well make explicit my demands.

I want to see transmedia projects that focus on depth rather than spread. I'll avoid the snake oil salesmen and vaporous wares, dotting social media sites with empty profiles for easy cachet. I am wary of an old guard that might seek to redefine innovation only in order to bolster its entrenched interests. And my time, my desire to take action, my willingness to expend additional energy in pursuit of something is more dear to me than dollars, and insists upon a proportional increase of return on investment for my effort.

I want to see more replayable content, where subsequent events don't just introduce new data but build in significant ways upon those I have. I want progressive value, not just glitter and fluff. I want to see more dense or deep media that recognizes the difference between mechanics and substance where only the resources necessary to the story are employed, yet I want them to deliver through unique channels deeper messages than those readily apparent.

As more eloquently presented by Mathias Poulsen, I want transmedia storytelling to be my window to a world rather than a glimpse at a brochure. I don't want to buy a DVD four times solely for the unique cover art, as such things are only valuable to collectors. However, I care less about superficial interaction with a world than I do about my ability to discover more of it, to share what I have found while reveling in the discoveries of others, to speculate about the meaning of our findings, and to develop theories and predictions of what may come.

With this particular project, I tried to think about how to use media in unconventional ways, or how to think of things as media that were not traditionally so defined, such as designing the structure and content of a short story as the foundation for a larger discussion, as well as mirroring that structure and style in the telling of itself, and the telling of the telling. I wanted to create a self-explaining example of how one might use transmedia techniques to simultaneously deliver storytelling and messaging. Thus the short story I wrote was merely the seed for this project, its fruit this series of posts.

"Yes, the universe had a beginning. Yes, the universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our bodies' atoms is traceable to the Big Bang and to the thermonuclear fusion that went on in the center of a high mass star, that gave life to us. We're not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it. One might even say that we've been empowered by the universe to figure itself out. And we've only just begun."
- Neil Degrasse Tyson

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Big thanks go out to my friends Krystyn, Andrea, Jon, Cary, and Dina, whose assistance was invaluable in constructing this series. Thanks also to the guys at the Machine of Death for the inspiration.

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