Marc Ruppel's latest paper

Marc Ruppel is a researcher into what he terms “cross-sited narratives”. He has put one of his talks online, a presentation that was part of his PhD Comprehensive Exam in Digital Studies, University of Maryland College Park. Marc terms:

cross-sited narratives “as multi-sensory stories told across two or more diverse media (film, print literature, web, video games, live performance, recorded music, etc.)”.

He also notes that these narratives “challenge the idea that convergence results in less media”. Yay! I am amazed at how many people think media has only one direction! Marc talks about CSNs as being complex systems with a “centrix”, “simplex” and “complex”. I’m still thinking about these, need some more information Marc. He says that there are two types of CSNs: Horizontal and Vertical.

Horizontally Cross-Sited Narratives: “similar to the horizontal integration of a market, HCSNs function in the expansion of a narrative across media”.

Marc gives examples from The Matrix and the ARG I Love Bees. The other, Verticals, are explained through Mark Danielewski?s House of Leaves (a book I still haven’t finished reading — is it possible to ever finish reading it?!).

Vertically Cross-Sited Narratives: “similar to a vertical market share, VCSNs traffic in emptied signifiers and sustained signifieds that are encoded with an awareness of the other media invoked by the narrative (not a metatext, but a metanetwork)”.

[Question Marc: how does VCSNs differ to collage?] Finally, Marc also discusses what he terms:

Migratory Cues: “any sign within one simplex that can be found in another simplex; a signal towards another medium?the means through which various narrative paths are marked by an author and located by a user through activation patterns”.

CTAs! Call-to-Actions! The referral system! Cool. I’ve got a post about such calls/referrals/cues coming up soon. Well done Marc. This would have to be one of the most thoughtful works on cross-media narratives I’ve read yet. Good stuff.

Ruppel, M. (2005) ‘Learning to Speak Braille:Convergence, Divergence and Cross-Sited Narratives’, Things as They Are?… [Online] Available at:

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.