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Seven interactive essays on digital nonlinear storytelling
edited by Matt Soar & Monika Gagnon

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Keywords: Migratory Cues

Migratory Cues (ˈmīgrəˌtôrē kyoōs):

Marc Ruppel defines migratory cues as "network edges in the form of fictional information that allow an
audience to shift from one site in a transmedia network to another without any loss of engagement."  Whether these cues are external or internal, Ruppel argues that migratory cues are "highly directional," and that it is this directionality that ultimately drives the audience's engagement with and understanding of transmedia narratives.

Building on Ruppel's work, Geoffrey Long suggests that transmedia stories must craft a range of potential migratory cues that subsequently become actualized migratory cues when narrative extensions are developed on other media platforms. These migratory cues are marked by instances of negative capability, but Long also notes that in a digital environment, migratory cues might represent a series of links or reference points, a form of "digital notebook" that allows us to track pertinent information and textual intersections.

Within a publishing platform like Scalar, these "cues" can be codified through the creation of a system of paths and links that, while allowing a more flexible experience of navigating a particular text or argument, still provides a sense of structure and direction to the reader.  If we conceptualize transmedia scholarship as existing across platforms, released incrementally, the creation of a "digital notebook" as a supplement to the broader project might be necessary in order to critically frame argumentative intersections and theorize transmedia scholarship as a form.
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