Transmedia and the new world order

Inanimate Alice

Inan­i­mate Alice–a bril­liant edu­ca­tional trans­me­dia project

What I learned from work­ing this blog over the last cou­ple of months is that the future of media enter­tain­ment is cross-platform–“transmedia,” if you will.

What this knowl­edge has led me to believe is that the tran­si­tion into new media mod­els could very well change a whole lot about what and who we per­ceive are impor­tant and influ­en­tial in the world. Here’s what I mean:

  1. Trans­me­dia is not being led by Amer­i­cans (gasp!). Con­tent cre­ators from Aus­tralia, Ger­many, France… well, from every­where, actu­ally, are ahead of the game from what I’ve seen. Why is this? 
    In part, I think that this is because other nations are being proac­tive and fund­ing trans­me­dia projects that ben­e­fit their soci­eties. I also think that it’s because the aver­age Amer­i­can is too busy try­ing to plan for prob­lems and prof­its to really take the leap toward inno­v­a­tive change and grab for the brass ring. Are there good Amer­i­can offer­ings? Of course, but they are not as numer­ous as one might expect.
  2. Within Amer­ica, the peo­ple you are expect­ing aren’t the ones who are lead­ing this change. For exam­ple: Ball State Uni­ver­sity keeps com­ing up high on my search pages. I’ve heard of them (I grew up in Indi­ana, and my sis­ter did a sum­mer camp there), but I don’t know any­one else who has. But this (seem­ingly) incon­se­quen­tial uni­ver­sity jumped on the trans­me­dia band­wagon early, and pref­er­en­tial attach­ment dic­tates that early is good–Ball State is four google result pages (in other words, light years) above the USC film school on the search I ran.
  3. Hol­ly­wood isn’t cap­i­tal­iz­ing on trans­me­dia the way it could be. They have money to put into these projects, and some stu­dios are mak­ing a token effort, but the big names aren’t giv­ing us com­plete expe­ri­ences by “includ­ing all the ingre­di­ents. “ In fact, Hol­ly­wood is actively work­ing against this trend, and is going to suf­fer for it.
Where am I going with this? Frankly, I’m not sure. I think that that is the point, though. None of us knows for sure how this ride is going to end, but those who got on early got the best horses.
Luck­ily, there’s not only one brass ring on this roundabout…

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