Transmedia (Storytelling?): a polyphonic critical review

Domingo Sánchez-Mesa, Espen J. Aarseth, Robert Pratten, Carlos A. Scolari

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearch


This article looks at some of the fundamental problems that feed into recent debate and
research on transmedia narratives and/or transmedia storytelling. These issues have been
approached as questions or challenges for all the disciplines involved in the discussions
(comparative media studies, transmedia narratology, game studies, cultural studies and
comparative literature): from the key elements of the potential novelty of transmedia storytelling
or transmedia narratives, through to the new role of audiences, the declining influence of the
narrative factor as it is overtaken by the building of storyworlds and transmedia characters;
the influence of videogames, attention and comprehension deficit to the role of adaptation in
TS; the “demediating” effect or the loss of media specificity in TS theory; the importance of
collaborative creation and how to stimulate it for new (academic/business) research projects
and teaching, in order to respond to the new industry dynamics and sociocultural habits. In
interviews, made and conducted by Domingo Sánchez-Mesa, these issues, among others,
have been put to three prominent figures in academic research and the creative professions
in the area of new media: Espen Aarseth, Robert Pratten and Carlos A. Scolari. The three-way
dialogue, that also has connections with other articles in this edition, has generated a polyphonic
discourse that aims to produce a critical x-ray of our object of study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArtnodes: E-Journal on Art, Science and Technology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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