Time and Narrative

Cultivating Public Space, History, Research and Design with Transmedia


  • Tracy Eve Winton University of Waterloo


To familiarize my students with the value, complexity, and presence of history, I wanted to create an active learning environment, foster voluntary research initiatives, frame a workflow that would reward the group’s diversity — using collaboration connected with peer learning, and community involvement. We would leverage digital media to entice players, though ultimately their game would play out in physical, public space. Considering these parameters, I researched a fascinating art-form, quite new on the world stage: Transmedia composes stories by combining different arts-platforms and information-channels, each carrying unique pieces of information. While transmedia can take any form, each has its element of appropriateness, whether packages sent by ‘snail mail,’ geolocation tags, QR codes, or texting, so that events, plots, locations and characters can be developed in a depth not possible through a unitary medium.