Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by thughes

The Marvel Universe

The Marvel Universe

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

The Marvel Universe has grown a lot since its beginning in the 1950s.  What started as a series of comic books would become one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world.  Marvel has since expanded to explore mediums such as comic books (of course), short films, feature films, video games, and a television series all based on characters from the Marvel Universe.  While certainly ambitious, having so many entertainment outlets marketed more towards the mainstream can cause inevitable problems with canon.  In addition, new stories that aren’t based on the original comics can disappoint more die-hard fans.  My goal is to discuss how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded and how it branches away from the original roots of Marvel Comics. I am not very familiar with the original comic books, so most of my experience comes from the movies and doing my own research. I do know though that comic book plots can be very complicated, with official canon, non-canon issues, issues dealing with hypothetical plots, and even crossovers with the DC Universe.  People who aren’t completely invested in these plots would naturally be confused.  It is my belief that these intricate plots are streamlined for film to appeal to audiences and fit all of the plot points into a 2-3 hour window. However, film adaptations for anything tend to get mixed reactions out of fans.  The most common complaints I’ve come across are that the adaptations are either too true to the comics and less appealing to the casual moviegoer, or they deviate too far from the source material in an effort to please the average, non-comic book reader. One example I can remember is people complaining that Spiderman didn’t use webshooters in the 2002 film Spider-Man, but instead shot webs out of his wrists directly. Another I found had to do with the order of events that will lead up to the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and eventually Ant-Man, namely that Ant-Man is directly responsible for the events that happen in Age of Ultron and should go first.  Lots of these complaints are easily shrugged off by people who don’t know about the comics, but comic book fans feel as if their beloved...

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Looking Back On “I Love Bees”

Looking Back On “I Love Bees”

By on Dec 6, 2013 in Featured |

I remember being obsessed with the development of Halo 2 in 2004. As an avid Halo fan, I would check the website of the game’s developer, Bungie Studios, almost every single day to get updates about the game’s progress.  However, even though I remember reading about it, I never paid much attention to the underground promotion for the game called I Love Bees, and alternate reality game, or ARG.  I remember people discussing it, but for whatever reason I just never looked into it.  Now after studying alternate reality games I’ve decided to look back on what I missed back in 2004, and hopefully learn something new about the almost ten-year-old game. I Love Bees was a promotion for the extremely anticipated Xbox exclusive Halo 2 in 2004. 42 Entertainment, tasked with creating a story independently from Bungie, spearheaded the project.  42 Entertainment also worked on the ARG, The Beast, which was designed to promote Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The plot of the ARG was about an AI that crashed on Earth and had to survive by transferring itself onto a server, which turned out to host a bee enthusiast’s website.  The AI, named Melissa, must survive and repair itself while fighting a mysterious program that would turn out to be a Covenant AI trying to find the location of Earth.  The ARG reveals a story of characters within the Halo Universe trying to help Melissa stop the Covenant’s attempt.  However, they ultimately fail and the Covenant invades Earth.  While this storyline is not considered canon, references to it are featured in other forms of Halo media such as the graphic novel. I Love Bees first appeared in the first trailer for Halo 2, which briefly showed the ARG’s website, www.ilovebees.com, at the end.  Visitors to the site would, at first, see a bee enthusiast website, but upon further inspection discover that the website had been hacked by an artificial intelligence.  Beyond this initial clue, players were left to fend for themselves.  They eventually discovered that the goal of the ARG was to find payphones, indicated by GPS coordinates featured on the website, all across the United States and wait for a call that was set to go...

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