Dallas Mavericks View Wiki History

Jonathan Christian

For my article I decided to research the Wikipedia page of the Dallas Mavericks, a professional sports team that I have been following closely since my childhood. In reviewing the page history of the article after having re-familiarized myself with some of the team’s history, I came to find it truly interesting how humankind’s ability to network worldwide has come to affect a new understanding of our concept of “collective intelligence”. Collective intelligence, as defined by Jenkins in his article, is achieved by “the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal.”(1) Being that we now live in a digital age where communication can be transmitted almost anywhere in the world in an instant across the internet, I believe that in my experience I witnessed a much more honest, less-biased, and open dialogue in this atmosphere of “participatory culture” than would have been represented by some clandestine group that claimed to know absolute truth about the matter in hand but wished to share nothing that provided any source of material for evidence except one text published by themselves. Allusions to organized religious indoctrination aside, I believe this new form of transdigital cooperation is an extremely utile way for us to disseminate information to each other through online negotiation, or “the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative viewpoints” (1), even if their view don’t disagree with our own. I experienced these principles with greater reaffirmation when I further delved into the “view history” option of that Dallas Mavericks wiki. The reason I say this, is when one reviews the editing of the Mavericks, it becomes immediately apparent that not only is the page being edited by a multitude of aficionados and die-hard sports critics, but the frequency with which it is edited to add even the most minor of details, sometimes peaking with dozens of edits a day when something as monumental as trades, injuries, or championships become prevalent. “The ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of [these] different information source[s]”, or judgment (1), in this system is met with little criticism or doubt for one, or possible two, reasons. The primary factor for this is that with games streaming live over all media and a facet of NBA driven apps for smartphones and the like being readily available, the game is centered around not only live video coverage but also up-to-the minute statistics that is difficult even in a community of collective intelligence to misreport. The second and more ancillary reason, and perhaps what makes sports-watchers far more fortuitous than their gaming on other online counterparts, is that internet “trolls” have far less interest and ability to foment insurrection and discord among this sort of community due to the audience’s fixation on the game as it is happening in the moment and one typically does not telecast with complete strangers during the game as they would with something such as “Call of Duty”.CSpNZ1qeAhF6ffjK1CRWQ0Juw0mSW9Skgodenn0xtQgUk9CasNJllfQpI6PXpJ1ObUAEJvQkrTWZZnwISen36ydQmVEBCb8JKk1nWp4CEXp9+MrUJFZDQm7DSZJb1KSCh16efTG1CBST0Jqw0mWV9Ckjo9eknU5tQgf8BPA629OH8VyMAAAAASUVORK5CYII=


(Although dates and text is blurry (unsure as to exatly why here), this is meant to show the degree to which the site is updated with a certain degree of hype building up before, and existing during as well as after the game)

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part One). Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d.



Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling is a familiar concept in the discourse of popular media today, whereby the publication of additional storyline and events surrounding a text not only allows its intended receivers to derive further enjoyment from the brand, but also generates considerable profit for those who own the creative rights to the material. For these reasons both corporate and personal, the creators of this content have an innate desire to see the dissemination of their product across many venues of the transmedia landscape, so that their narrative may be told to a larger audience. One example of this type of transmedia storytelling can be found in the case whereby the movie Fight Club was turned into a popular videogame for multiple game consoles in 2004. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr_NOGPYd9I


Originally spun off from a book of the same name published in 1996, the movie Fight Club was considered somewhat of a financial disappointment in its initial run at the box office in 1999. However, within the span of a few years the movie had its reputation transformed into that of an underground cult classic, and with this new found renown came the incentive to re-market Chuck Palahniuk’s story in the guise of a videogame.


In Fight Club the videogame, the player effectively completes the text by making their way through fighting a list of subsequently harder opponents one at a time, a la Mortal Kombat. This can be accomplished either through the creating of a new character or playing with an ancillary character that has screen presence in the film. In using any of these characters, we come to find out not only their basic fighting style, but also obtain a clearer development of their backstory and see how they perceive the other members of their group in “Project Mayhem”. This plethora of story arcs and seeing how they intersect with one another reflects here the notion of worldbuilding, wherein the impetus for the story is created not only from “individual characters or specific plots, but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Jenkins). Furthermore, by allowing the player to choose from a variety of characters, the protagonist comes to fight different opponents in different situations and at different times throughout the narrative. The playthrough from start to finish deals in a multiform narrative, presenting a single plotline in multiple versions (Murray, 30) ensuring that playing through the story more than once never yields the same result.


Image result for abe lincoln fight club

Finally, Fight Club the videogame can be said to be a “self-reflexive” text as well, albeit a subtle one, due to one surprising example in the design of its unlockable characters. Throughout the film, the protagonists are constantly seen debating whom they would most like to fight in real life, at which one point Abraham Lincoln is mentioned. It is upon defeating the final level that the former president becomes a playable character, as a reward and homage to fans of the film. Thus is transmedia storytelling at its finest.



Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. Henry Jenkins, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.

Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York City: The Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1997. PDF.