Storyscape, a new medium of media
Blumenthal, Henry (Hank)
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A storyscape is the new medium of storytelling. It originates in the model of transmedia storytelling defined by Henry Jenkins (2006a) in Convergence Culture and applied to The Matrix franchise. The storyscape medium is conceptualized from the author/designer perspective as four gestalts that create a whole from stand-alone parts. The four gestalts are mythopoeia, character, canon, and genre. This approach frames the authoring of this story-centric model in opposition to the design approaches of world-building or storyworlds. The four gestalts also provide an academic approach that unites theory and practice with a unified design vocabulary and an orientation toward the creation of a cultural and creative product that is defined as the storyscape medium. Storyscapes, such as The Star Wars franchise or the Marvel Universe, consume the lion’s share of our cultural capital (Johnson 2014). Therefore, the development of a consistent vocabulary, a design approach, and an understanding of how they create meaning and define worldviews is critical to our understanding and practice of a new medium (Dena 2009). Starting with the frame of storytelling as a practice and previous aesthetic models such as The Poetics, this research charts the evolution of the storyscape medium across topics of academic transmedia approaches, principles, affordances, and the connecting or conceptualizing principles that act as gestalts.