Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Transmedia, Shigeru Miyamoto: The Big Picture of Digital Narrative

To add to our discussion of Henry Jenkins's 2003 article summarizing transmedia storytelling in Technology Review (eek, so long ago!), here is Jenka Gurfinkel's slideshare presentation on Transmedia (which I serendipitously found today in my Twitter feed).

From Jenkins:

"In the ideal form of transmedia storytelling, each medium does what it does best-so that a story might be introduced in a film, expanded through television, novels, and comics, and its world might be explored and experienced through game play. Each franchise entry needs to be self-contained enough to enable autonomous consumption. That is, you don't need to have seen the film to enjoy the game and vice-versa. As Pokemon does so well, any given product is a point of entry into the franchise as a whole."

The example of Lost
The example of Star Wars
Your examples

Here is the link to the New Yorker profile of Nintendo game design genius Shigeru Miyamoto, and we'll discuss the attitude towards gaming presented in the article as well as the example of Miyamoto.

Miyamoto's caves
Huizinga and Callois
Influence of Miyamoto

Monday, January 17, 2011


This course blends theory and practice in an exploration of digital narrative: how stories can be told with digital and new media technologies, and how narrative can be experienced in games and immersive environments. We will work critically and creatively with linear and nonlinear narratives in a range of media: writing, graphics, animation, games, multimedia, virtual worlds, and interactive media.

The overall theme of the course will focus on moving image narratives--both linear and non-linear--that explore ideas about storytelling, time, and memory. In particular, we will consider how interactivity changes narrative, and whether there are new kinds of digital narratives and aesthetics emerging, especially in games, and in what games might become. Students will make movies, games, websites, DVDs, and online installations that illuminate ideas about story, plot, character, time, and narration, comment on their creative work using the critical concepts they learn, and experiment with word processing, graphics, machinima capture, video editing, game design, and web design software programs.

All students will analyze their own responses to the games, films, readings, and other media we encounter in terms of the key concepts from the course in order to deepen their understanding of how meaning is made in digital narrative and interactive media, to enhance the production of their own creative projects, and to explore the nature and complexity of the role of digital media in our society and culture. Students in the Video Game Scoring Minor will focus on deepening their understanding of the subjective experiences of game play and narrative in a range of interactive media in order to be better able to score video games effectively and creatively.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1) Evaluate current theoretical and practical tendencies in the emerging field of Interactive Media.

2) Formulate a critical framework for analyzing traditional and new forms of narrative.

3) Develop narratives that employ the theoretical and critical concepts explored.

4) Apply new media tools and aesthetics to create digital narrative.

5) Analyze the subjectivity of a game, immersive, interactive, spectatorial, or narrative experience so that you are better able to compose music for that medium, and be better at communicating with the people who make the kind of media you will score.

6) Synthesize theory and practice in an interdisciplinary exploration of narrative and technology.

7) Connect academic studies and the changing world in which we live.

COURSE MATERIALS: Required Books, available at bookstore & online
The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich (LNM)
Game Design Workshop , Tracy Fullerton (GDW)
Recommended: Man, Play, and Games, Roger Callois

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to Digital Narrative Theory & Practice Spring 2011

This is the blog for our class at Berklee College of Music. We'll use it as a shared web resource to post ideas, comments, links, and material for the course.