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Signs, Systems and Complexity of Transmedia Storytelling

Keywords: sign , system , complexity , transmedia storytelling

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Abstract:

This article addresses key concepts such as sign, system and complexity in order to approach transmedia storytelling and better understand its intricate nature. The theoretical framework chosen to investigate transmedia storytelling meanders is Semiotics by Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) and General Systems Theory by Mario Bunge (1919-). The complexity of transmedia storytelling is not simply the one of the signs of the works included in a transmedia franchise. It also includes the complexity of the dispositions of users/consumers/players as interpreters of semiotic elements (e.g. characters, themes, environments, events and outcomes) presented by transmedia products. It extends further to the complexity of social, cultural, economical and political constructs. The German transmedia narrative The Ultimate SuperHero-Blog by Stefan Gieren and So a’s Diary, a Portuguese multiplatform production by BeActive, are presented as examples of closed and open system transmedia storytelling respectively.

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