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Matrix Assignment: Transmedia Stories

For this assignment, I’d like you to experience one of two transmedia stories related to The Matrix. Post your response as an entry to your own journal.

Due Date: Monday, October 5

Option 1: Animatrix

Come to John Stone Hall to watch one of the video shorts created post-The Matrix. Ms. Swords has the dvd and we have a tv/player set up in the Writing Center that you can use. Final Flight of the Osiris, one of the videos referenced in Jenkins’ chapter, is on this dvd. The Wikipedia entry will give you a synopsis of each to help you decide which to watch, but it will spoil the experience of discovery for you, so I recommend refraining from accessing it if you can.

Option 2: The Matrix Online

Visit The Matrix Online, the “memory book” site for the now-defunct Sony game. Choose the red or blue pill to browse the various documents describing the game and the stories created by the players.

For either of these, write a post discussing this particular genre–the animated short or the participatory game–as part of the transmedia storytelling enterprise.

  1. First, consider what Jenkins means by “transmedia storytelling”, detailing his definition in your own words/understanding.
  2. Next, discuss what you believe the role of this particular item to be in the transmedia franchise of The Matrix; what gap does it fill or purpose does it serve as part of the storytelling apparatus? What other roles does it fill (as marketing tool, as social point of contact, as means of inviting participation)?
  3. Finally, consider your own experience as a viewer of The Matrix today, now that the entire trilogy is complete and the participatory culture surrounding the film is mainly defunct. How does your knowledge of this extended world of the story impact your view of the film(s)? Are you intrigued by the extra-textual possibilities, uninterested in them, or entirely turned off by the franchise’s attempt to actively draw you into the story? Do you think there’s a future in transmedia storytelling; do audiences want to be part of the tale?

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