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

Keywords, page 1 of 9
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Keywords: Structuration

structuration (\ˌstrək-chə-ˈrā-shən, -shə-ˈrā-\): 
The interrelation of parts in an organized whole.

It is important to note from the outset that this project does not formally model transmedia scholarship in its execution, but rather begins to speculate about the argumentative affordances of transmedia scholarship, and anticipate any barriers to realizing such scholarship.  Because Scalar is designed to pull in content from a variety of media platforms, it would initially appear impossible to replicate the critical and collective "hunting and gathering" process described by Henry Jenkins.  We would suggest that publishing platforms like Scalar present a liminal space between multimedia and transmedia models.  As in the multimedia model, content is a click away, but like the transmedia model, no two readers will move through the content presented in precisely the same way.  Vitally, Scalar's commenting features also allow knowledge to be pooled, and we hope this project provides a space for those working on transmedia scholarship, or those considering embracing these principles in their work, to compare notes.    
Though Jenkins' initial description of transmedia storytelling stressed the fact that any transmedia extension might serve as a viable "entry point" for audiences, transmedia storytelling has thus far relied on a "mothership" logic, hierarchically privileging and insulating a primary text with promotable paratexts.  Transmedia stories, though they might temporally push at the boundaries of a narrative world in any direction, thus often suggest "appropriate" (and, frequently, linear) paths through the text.  These paths are determined objectively (the temporal order and succession created by the release of each new transmedia extension, e.g. a film, then a comic book, then a video game) and subjectively (the temporal order in which that content is consumed, e.g. a gamer might enter a transmedia property through a video game, then retroactively consume the film and then then comic).  Typically, though, the aim is to reconstruct a linear narrative from the transmedia extensions to create one cohesive "story."

The majority of the projects developed in Scalar are structured through the creation of paths . As in the case of transmedia storytelling, these are suggested (rather than enforced) routes through an argument, and offer a great deal more flexibility in the presentation of information and the structuration of interconnected concepts; for example, a Scalar reader may select a different "view" for any given page to explore its content and relationship to other material in modes and visualizations not afforded by traditional scholarship .  In an effort to not replicate the hierarchical or linear trappings described above, we initially discussed not providing readers with a "path" through this chapter's content.  However, as suggested starting points, we have created two intersecting paths as preliminary means of exploration:
  1. Examining the principles of transmedia storytelling and scholarship.
  2. Defining the keywords employed in this project.
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