Ralph J. Moeller

Ralph J. Moeller was born in Vienna/Austria in 1969. He is the CEO of two independent software/service vendors and has been working in IT as consultant, software developer and trainer since 1991. His big interest in games led to a postgraduate study of Game Science which he finished in 2016, to be followed by a study in Game-based Media and Education. In the course of this study he developed a deep interest in Transmedia Storytelling which would also became the subject of his latest master-thesis.

A certain kind of “freedom” – the in-between-state of Game Studies in Germany

FROG 2022 – Talk

Modern transmedia franchises like Star Wars or Star Trek contain a high amount of complexity, for the builders of those worlds as well as the consumers. Part of the complexity results from the versatility of the universes built within the franchises, the story worlds and characters created.

Divergence occurs when a Transmedia Storyworld becomes incoherent within itself. Recent developments in several storyworlds have shown this phenomenon to have a strong impact on the franchises and sometimes even caused notable changes in storytelling. Prominent examples shall be discussed during the presentation.
The gaming industry is affected by this just as the film and streaming industry is. The effect of Divergence on game perception and immersion can be negative, even more so if the franchise or game is still fresh and growing.

This talk shall give insight into the means created by the author to identify, isolate and, if desired, prevent divergence in transmedia franchises. I will present a proposal for a categorization of said phenomenon and focus on the reasons divergences within a franchise surface, how they can be identified and what kind of divergence can be isolated.
As supportive means for the categorization method, a graphical model will be presented to illustrate the methodology. Using this model, the method can be demonstrated on several examples from prominent transmedia franchises.


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