Supplemental Transmedia Aquarium Experience
As the aquarium industry continues to grow and expand its educational and entertainment reach, so too must the supplemental materials that exist alongside it. Although a number of modern aquariums have developed transmedia experiences that incorporate cross-platform storytelling parallel to their live animal exhibits, few offer true immersive, cohesive connection including materials outside of the tanks themselves. The transmedia experience outlined here is intended to be a stepping stone toward changing our view of aquariums from simply “live animal viewing centers” to institutions that enable us to enter into a world outside of our own. This project synthesizes research and analysis of current aquarium encounters and their effect on audiences and examines marine-related experiences offered online and via smartphone apps in order to propose a new approach to scientific learning. The immersive website that has resulted from this research allows audiences to experience the aquarium setting in a new way by introducing artistic and storytelling elements to be used in conjunction with physical exhibits. This marriage between scientific learning and creative vision will enable website users to access supplemental experiences inside and outside of the aquarium, promoting learning in a way that feels more like discovery.