“We don’t get to stay the same way we started”: 'The walking dead', augmented television, and sociological character-building

Freeman, M (2019) '“We don’t get to stay the same way we started”: 'The walking dead', augmented television, and sociological character-building.' Frontiers of Narrative Studies, 5 (2). pp. 287-304. ISSN 2509-4890

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1515/fns-2019-0017

Abstract

The dominant turn towards transmediality across the contemporary media industries has brought a range of emerging digital innovations and new possibilities for telling stories, be it in interactive television experiences, apps, social media, and so on. Despite such rich possibilities, the transmedia phenomenon has also arguably led to a kind of indirect flattening out of how we now understand different media forms, platforms, stories, and even characters. This article will explore the character-building practices that have been employed in augmenting the televisual experience of The walking dead (2010–present) across platforms. It looks at The walking dead: Red machete (2017–2018), a six-part webisode series available on AMC’s website, the AMC Story Sync facility (2012–present), a double-screen application designed to enable audiences to post live comments about the episodes, respond to surveys, and talk to other audiences via a chat platform, and finally AMC’s Talking dead (2011–present), a 30-minute accompanying talk show. I demonstrate how these three examples of what I call augmented television draw on sociological and anthropological notions of communication, modern social life, and environment in ways that present chances for what I call sociological character-building.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: augmented television, character-building, sociology, The walking dead, world-building
Divisions: School of Creative Industries
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 09:40
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 13:32
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