Hi Digital Diary Followers
With the recent launch online interactive fan experience The Capitol Tour it is easy to see how the Hunger Games falls into the category of Transmedia Storytelling. Starting with the success of book trilogy we have seen The Hunger Games empire grow across media channels spanning into four movies, the online experience, mobile applications and Facebook games.
However it seems that Transmedia Storytelling has also given way to a grassroots movement coined Transmedia Activism. Jenkins describes Transmedia activism as the effort to promote social change, like Transmedia storytelling, by sharing media messages across multiple platforms. Activist fan organizations tap into the myth-making capacity of transmedia franchises to motivate social and political change.
Sticking with the theme of The Hunger Games this grassroots style of activism was seen when the movie was released last year. Oxfam America used hundred of volunteers from the Imagine Better Project to blanket movie theatres during the opening weekend to promote the campaign “Hunger Is Not a Game” which sought to battle world hunger. Using the hype around opening of a new transmedia channel the organisation attempted to make a change explains Vicky Rateau who was the manager of the campaign (Dylan Stableford, 2012).
It is not the first time transmedia storytelling has been used to attempt to promote social change. In 2007 a similar campaign was launched known as The Harry Potter Alliance which used parallels from the book to alert people about the effects of global warming, poverty and genocide (Dylan Stableford, 2012). Looking on the Imagine Better website it states “It is a place where we take all of the stories and communities that excite us and turn them into fuel for a better world” (Imagine Better Project).
However it seems these heart-warming stories of social change do not have a happy ending again due to this idea of conglomerate control. After the launch of the Hunger Is Not a Game campaign it did not take long for Lionsgate to ask Imagine Better to remove all references to the movie and threaten to take down the site due to copyright (Steven Zeitchik, 2012). A spokesperson also stated that the campaign came into conflict with deals that the studio made with other anti-hunger groups (Steven Zeitchik, 2012).
Evan Dehavan of Ignition Interative sum up the idea well when he states “we want to bring things to life and allow people to tell stories through technology rather than telling people to live within these boxes and these rules while they’re making something. Now we’re just looking forward to fans and the world seeing what we’ve created.”