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Friction and tensions when different media meet

Marie Denward at Malmö University College has written a dissertation titled Pretend that it is Real: Convergence Culture in Practice. By studying the production "Sanningen om Marika" (The Truth about Marika), she studies the altered relationship between producers and consumers in today's media landscape. She has studied how new and old media interact in today's society, where media, culture, and the economy are so intimately intertwined, and where the previously so well-defined areas of production, distribution, and consumption are unclear today.

The production "Sanningen om Marika" was a kind of hybrid media production where TV programs and game activities were integrated. The two collaborative partners, Swedish Television (SVT) and the game company called The Company P (P), jointly designed and produced the production, from idea to finished product. The overarching goal was to create a new type of drama-game production that would involve and engage the audience.

By making use of various media platforms in creating the game world and offering the public the opportunity to participate in various ways, the idea was to create a "total experience" for a mass audience. Marie Denward followed the production "Sanningen om Marika" throughout the entire process, from planning to the completed game. Her dissertation takes up various aspects of the collaborative process and analyzes the experiences and perceptions of the participants and the final game and drama production.

"There was a collision between the different companies, Swedish Television and the game company and their differing media logics. The narrative tradition differs greatly between broadcasting and games. TV drama has linear narration, whereas games are extremely non-linear. The view of quality also differed. Also in terms of the audience's experience of 'Sanningen om Marika' the differences between the TV and game media were important. The audience found it hard to understand what was fact and what was fiction, and they interpreted the story very differently."

Media convergence is a key concept in the dissertation - what is it?

"Media convergence can be different things. In 'Sanningen om Marika' I identified several types of convergence, such as industrial convergence, that is, the collaboration between the two companies, and technical convergence, such as the fact that different platforms were used for the narrative, and that the media logics - as in the way of telling stories on TV and the forms of narrative, or participation, you have in game activities - differed.

Marie Denward, a doctoral candidate in media and communication science, will publicly defend her dissertation Pretend that it is Real! Convergence Culture in Practice on Friday, October 7, at 1:00 p.m. at Malmö University College. It is the first ever dissertation within the framework of the research profile NMOG (Nya medier, offentligheter och gestaltningsformer [New Media, Publicities, and Forms of Interpretation]).

Contact: Marie Denward marie.denward@tii.se; ph +46 8 633 17 89 cell +46 70 50 90 89 or skype: sirrelirre

idw :: 05.10.2011