Date

4-2014

Department

Communication Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Carey Martin

Keywords

Adaptations, Gospel, Kony 2012, Media Convergence, The Jesus Film Project, Transmedia

Disciplines

Christianity | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | International and Intercultural Communication | Missions and World Christianity

Abstract

Throughout history there has been a constant need among humans to create an avenue by which we share a connection of commonalities and differences. This desired avenue may be reflected through the exchanging of language with another which is commonly known as, communication. During this time there have been a wide variety of technological advancements invented for the purpose of connection. A newly emerging media term called transmedia authored by Henry Jenkins, was analyzed within this study. Transmedia is a method that communicates different portions of a fictional story each across different media. This thesis was conducted for the purpose of determining if transmedia could be applied to Christian missions for further dispersion of the Gospel message globally. These core goals summarize the research questions for this study. The core method used within this study to determine the use of transmedia is Jenkins Seven Principles of Transmedia which include Spreadability vs. Drillability, Continuity vs. Multiplicity, Immersion vs. Extractability, Worldbuilding, Seriality, Subjectivity and Performance. These principles assisted in establishing the criteria for how a transmedia story world is built and the methods used in doing so. The results showed that transmedia could be applied to a non-fictional story world and could also be used within Christian missions. However, there were limitations present in building a non-fictional transmedia story that was already created and where the message would still maintain its authenticity. The results concluded that in order to overcome this limitation then fictional elements, such as portraying a character from a different perspective, would be incorporated within the non-fictional story world. Therefore, the message would maintain its authenticity but the audience would be given the opportunity to engage and become involved within the story world based upon the fictional elements. This ultimately allows for social exchange to occur where a variety of cultures and people groups are reached based upon the variety offered. As a result, further dispersion of the Gospel occurs.