Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Transmedia is a paradigm change

The new PGA 'Transmedia Producer' credit and it's ensuing discussion in the blogosphere has got me thinking about the fundamentals of what Transmedia actually is again, a favourite topic of mine. The article about the credit over on NewTeeVee notes that Steve Peter's of No Mimes implied that he think a whole new guild for Transmedia Production might be necessary. To me this both captures and misses the point - Transmedia is far more significant then one credit amongst a bunch of others in a production, yet it isn't served by separating it out into a whole new field of production. Transmedia is not a new, separate field cultural production, it is a paradigm shift in our current fields of cultural production. It's the significance of this overarching change that get so many people enthused about the topic. In the future all media will be transmedia. We won't be asking 'Is your media transmedia?', we will be asking, 'How trans is your media?'.

In our contemporary culture, all media bleeds over into other forms, whether it is a conscious decision of the producers or not. Transmedia is simply a recognition of the producers / creators attempts to control, direct and utilise that transversal across media forms in order to better shape the viewer/user experience. Cultural producers, whether they are film-makers, tv producers, writers, musicians or game designers, don't get to decide if their work will be 'traditional' or 'transmedia', their work will be transmedia. They just get to decide whether they acknowledge that and work with it, or ignore it. This is why ultimately creating separate categories for transmedia, whether they are new credits or new guilds, is somewhat futile - transmedia is the new medium that replaces all others. From here on it's only going to become harder to ignore the transmedia properties of your work, and personally, I think that's a good thing.


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