Transmedia Storytelling

Telling stories across multiple platforms is quite common these days, and there is no better example than the recently released Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 2011). Many of us have grown up reading, watching or hearing about the adventures of Batman, but only in computer games can we get a convergence of many different forms of media. For example, many of the characters are voiced by their original voice actors from Batman: The Animated Series (TV series).

The game also features an extensive character biography section, which lists each characters real name, occupation, height, weight, eye and hair colour, as well as their first appearance in the Batman universe (for example, Catwoman’s first appearance was in the comic book Batman Issue 1, released Spring 1940). As mentioned by Henry Jenkins in his blog, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: ”These comics provided back-story which enhanced the viewer’s experience of the film even as they also help to publicize the forthcoming release.”

Now that the history of the comics have been incorporated into the game, players don’t need to go searching too far to get a basic understanding of the characters and the universe. But the game can be used by developers or publishers to reinvigorate a fan’s love of the comics, or get the fans excited about an upcoming movie (The Dark Knight Rises, 2012).