Taking the game beyond the table, or Roleplaying and the Transmedial Story

edited October 2009 in Story Games
I picked up Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture when I dropped by the library last friday. I've read parts of it before but this time I dived into a chapter I wasn't that familiar with. Chapter three deals with transmedia storytelling, The Matrix being the main example: The Wachowski brothers told their story in movies, video games and comics, ending up with something that, for the fans, definitely was bigger than the sum of it's parts.

Of course, I'm intrigued about how you could do something like this and put the gaming in the center. I wish I had the patience and analytical bend of mind to start a really solid thread about this, but I've always been one to discuss things with others rather than figuring them out by myself. Hence, I'm just throwing this out there.

Do you think there's something to be had in going transmedial with your game? Would it be worth the effort?
Are you already using blogs, wikis and podcasts to broaden or deepen your game?


  • Castle Falkenstein comes to mind.

    Players were expected to keep in character journals to be read aloud at the start of each session. They were to include bits of story that happened both in play woven with "off screen" material. In fact the GM was expected to award character advancement primarily based on what happened in the journals as opposed to what happened in the game.

  • edited October 2009
    Yeah, in the past we've done bluebooking and other extra-game stuff (in-character blogs, art, conversations, videos, etc.) as part of our games, but we stepped away from providing in-game rewards for doing that sort of thing when we realized that the people who enjoyed doing all of that would continue to do it without any official rewards, and that it was kind of shitty to lay that expectation on the people who didn't enjoy doing it or didn't have the free time to do it. "No homework required" has to be the rule when you're gaming with busy adults with time-consuming jobs and full social calendars, because it's hard enough for some of them just to carve out four hours for the game itself.

    So now, anyone can produce whatever they want away from the table, if they feel so moved, and it's always cool to see what comes out of that. You won't get extra XP or any tangible benefits from doing it other than the satisfaction of making something cool and sharing it with your friends...but really, that's enough. And there's a tacit understanding that the "big story" of the game, whatever that might be, will be something we address at the table on game night...if you didn't have time to look at the extra-game stuff, the important bits (if any) will be summarized for you, that sort of thing.
  • I'm specifically working with agenda in mind on my Quincunx project.

    The core of the setting is a freely accessible roleplaying game, no cost involved. Telling tales of supernatural hunters in a reality TV show based on the home town of the players.

    Revolving around this will be an ongoing comic book (predominantly based in Sydney Australia, but I'm hoping that other player might write up some of their own stories to add depth around the world), and if it takes off, an active forum community.

    I honestly couldn't see it taking off past these media forms, but discussing the project at roleplaying conventions and comic conventions, I've been told of TV producers looking for the "next big thing", or some kind of hot property to exploit...it was even suggested that I launch a couple of ideas in that direction.

    I don't think the ideas are fully formed enough for that yet, but it was exciting to hear such things.

    A big picture for player who want to get involved; and a low impact, easily accessible story game for those who just want to come to the table and have a bit of fun.

    I don't know where it will head...but it's a nice goal.
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