Paper: Transmedia storytelling and Online representations – Issues of trust on the Internet

Title: Transmedia storytelling and Online representations – Issues of trust on the Internet
Author(s): Andreas Zingerle, Linda Kronman
Email: andreas.zingerle (at), linda (at)

Published at: Cyberwolds 2011, Banff Center, Alberta, Canada.



In this paper we present an alternative way to raise awareness about online advance-fee fraud scams, by exploring the extent to which concepts of transmedia storytelling are adaptable in representing a scambait – the practice of scamming a scammer. Both scammers and scambaiters take advantage of the anonymity that Internet affords. By investigating their practices we can question the trust that is put into online representations. To understand the concept of scamming and scambaiting, the motives of scammers, victims and scambaiters are presented in this paper.
Transmedia storytelling can be very immersive and has successfully been adapted to fictional storyworlds. Yet, what happens when transmedia concepts are adapted to documentation material and blended with fictional characters? With the help of an example – the “Re: Dakar Arts Festival” – we illustrate how a documented scambait evolved into a transmedia story, unfolding over several media channels: an art installation, online on various social media platforms, a video trailer, as a card game and as a scambait kit. This case study presents the challenges that emerge when both fiction and reality are blended into a transmedial narratology.



419-scam, scambait, transmedia storytelling.

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Cite this Article:

Zingerle, A., & Kronman, L. (2011, October). Transmedia Storytelling and Online Representations–Issues of Trust on the Internet. In Cyberworlds (CW), 2011 International Conference on (pp. 144-151). IEEE.



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