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The Narrative Consistency of the Warcraft Movie

Jonathan Barbara

Abstract


The transmedial consumption of stories is dependent on disjoint experiences that exhibit coherence despite their medium differences. Coherence, however, is subjective and depends on the audience’s prior exposure to other experiences in the transmedia franchise. This article presents an empirical study involving an online questionnaire with 106 participants worldwide on the narrative consistency of the Warcraft movie relative to the stories delivered through the many games, novels and comics in the franchise. Results show that the movie attracted narrative engagement from fans and non-fans alike. Fans judged it to be mostly cohesive in terms of storyworld, characters, and events which, the latter together with action, were the explanatory variables for the overall narrative consistency of the movie. Maintaining the sequence of events and their outcome, together with providing action consistent with the game’s mechanics, is a good way to maintain narrative consistency in movies based on games, while allowing the medium to explore its full potential in the visualization of the storyworld and the portrayal of its characters.


Keywords


Transmedia Storytelling; Narrative Consistency; Audience Reception; Questionnaire; Games

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2018-001-barb


International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X


Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.
Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)