The Relationship Between Transmedia Storytelling and Semiotics

Transmedia Storytelling refers to different pieces of content that are shared through several media platforms; each of these pieces is a story, but all the parts combined form a storyworld (Jenkins, 2006). Therefore, from a perspective of semiotics, Transmedia Storytelling can be considered a supersystem formed by many sign systems; the supersystem is the storyworld and each of the sign systems (story, experience, platforms, audience, business model) is a component of the story; in addition, each of those systems is composed by subsystems (Gambarato, 2012).

Carlos Scolari holds the view that Transmedia Storytelling is a narrative structure that expands through different media platforms using different types of languages such as text, images or symbols. It also expands through different forms of meaning, such as verbal and symbols and also different forms of media, which allows the story to extend and differ from the traditional approach of developing one single storyline on several platforms.

In Transmedia Storytelling, consumers can seek for information in each media platform to make their own connections (Jenkins, 2006) and give the story continuity and meaning. In stories that involve multiple platforms a dynamic cycle occurs when users interpret the semiotic signs that are being given to them through different media, thus generating a meaning from them. These must be used carefully in a Transmedia Storytelling setting considering that “we interpret the presented visual content differently because we align its meaning with that of the presented content of the accompanying text” (Lemke, 2011, p.577). Therefore, semiotics is the part of TS that links the meaning of the elements it contains.