Date of Award

2012

Embargo Period

10-30-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)

Department

Design

Advisor(s)

Gill Wildman

Second Advisor

Nick Durrant

Abstract

“The Artwork of the future...transplants the player into a dramatic space, by all means of his visual and oral faculties; making her forget the confines of reality; to live and breathe in the drama which seems to the player as life itself, and in the work where seems the wide expanse of a whole world.” | Richard Wagner, The Artwork of the Future, 1849

The Internet has changed the way we experience stories, although like any new technology, it was used to curate long before it was used to create. As entertainment industries collapse, producers both castigate the Internet as the culprit and embrace it as a panacea. For narrative designers, the Internet is a global stage where the house lights are on 24/7. It is a mediated performance that self documents and offers an endless supply of props for audiences eager to become participants in immersive experiences. Most importantly, it outlines the future for a new form of narrative art called transmedia storytelling.

For producer Turo Drakvik, “This form of storytelling is native to the Internet in the same way that the novel is native to print.” Transmedia narrative content unfolds in non-linear arcs across multiple platforms that are best situated to evidence the storyworld, and it blends media arts with performance-based arts and game systems. The role of the audience has been fundamentally changed. Rather than spectators, they are now encouraged to be invested co-creators of the experience.

My thesis focused on experiments that examine how storytellers might use the Internet and digital media platforms to create participatory storyworlds. To explore this emerging medium, I created the first transmedia comedy—a 4 week immersion called Love and Luck(y)—and documented roles, artifacts, and principles for future storytellers.

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