The Hunger Games transmedia potential

I wrote two articles this week at Words and Things about The Hunger Games trilogy, what I did and didn't like, things we can learn from a writing perspective, etc. I've heard brief discussion about the potential of turning the Hunger Games into a transmedia property, and I thought I'd make a couple notes on those lines as well. The Hunger Games presents a great, action-packed, emotionally engaging story with characters we can connect to, strong themes, and a very cool storyworld. It has a huge audience, primarily of a demographic that would be most receptive to a transmedia treatment (young adults, who intuitively grasp transmedia principles more than others). It seems ripe for a transmedia treatment.

I think, had a transmedia producer been brought on board during the writing process, or if Suzanne Collins had envisioned it as a transmedia property from the start, it would absolutely have great potential to expand beyond the books and fully flesh out the world and characters across multiple media.

Now, though? I'm less sure.

The problem I see is that the trilogy represents this huge world conflict, from start to finish. And it has the stories of all the major players in the narrative. There's very little left at the end that a transmedia extension could explore.

By the end, I frankly don't care about what happens to the other characters, to each of the Districts and to the country as a whole. I get the picture. A lot of the characters (SPOILER) are dead. I might be interested in Gale's story after the rebellion -- except I kind of dislike him by the end as much as Katniss does.

Every bit of world building was bent to the task of telling the story in the trilogy. There's nothing left to play with. No stories I want to hear.

Could you write a story taking place in the world? Maybe a prequel, or even a sequel, or maybe the story of a character during the time span of the novels, maybe the Games from the perspective of another tribute? Absolutely. But they would hold nothing to the trilogy, because Katniss and her story are made into the only thing that matters. Any of the other characters who really have a story to tell have their story told within the context of Katniss's story already (Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Snow, Finnick...). These extra stories would not, I think, add to or enhance the Hunger Games property.

It could have made for a great transmedia setting if the novels had been written differently. But they weren't.

I think this is a good example of the fact that you can't apply transmedia to everything. Sometimes it's just not appropriate. Sometimes it's just not needed.

Feel free to disagree -- I'd love to see your comments!