Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by tquattle

Structured Language in Fictional World Building

Structured Language in Fictional World Building

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

Halo, Assassin’s Creed, and Superman are all examples of fictional worlds that have begun in one medium and have evolved into massive multi-platform experiences. Halo has video games, books, wiki-cites, even talk of a movie has surfaced on multiple occasions. Assassin’s creed has also expanded from video games to include multiple apps, wiki-cites, and a very successful book series. But the there are two fictional worlds that stand head and shoulders over every other; two successful transmedia campaigns that beat all others in the sheer size of content and following—Star Wars and Star Trek. Most extreme fans can pick out the minute details of how the worlds are polar opposites; how each expanse separates the two series even more. But when you look at everything on the large scale, the similarities are vastly evident. Both started on screen (TV and movie respectively), both expanded into novels, and with the rise of the internet, both are widely popular of this third platform. Eerily similar, but Star Trek has expanded into one world that Star Wars has fought and struggled to make headway in—the real world. Sure, both have massive followings at comic con and both are still very popular Halloween costume choices. But both of these still maintain a sense of false-hood. Language however is the most successful world building tool that is pivotal to bridging the gap between fantasy and reality. You can dress up as Darth Vader, but you’re still speaking Modern English. You’re no longer in a Galaxy far far away, you’re just a human in a costume of a fake world. Dress up as Captain Klaa and talk in Klingon however and you’re living in the Star Trek world. There’s nothing tying you to reality. You have successfully immersed yourself in a fantasy world. You have escaped Earth and are now somewhere lost in space. Apart from Tolkien’s Elvish, no pop-culture language has taken such a stronghold in the American consciousness. It’s hard to imagine anyone who knows anything about Star Trek not knowing about the language Klingon. The ability to immerse oneself in an artificial language is a goal that Star Wars has been trying to accomplish for quite some time now. In film, foreign...

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Language as a Rabbit Hole

Language as a Rabbit Hole

By on Sep 13, 2013 in Featured | 2 comments

To risk cliché as an English major, “I loved to read as a kid” and it engulfed my life. Not only did I learn to ride my bike, but the Cat in the Hat helped me along the way. Like most everyone, I fell in love with Dr. Seuss books, his goofy style of rhyming pocket to wocket and alliterating Horton, hearing and who kindled a passion for more than just reading, it sparked a continuous curiosity for language. As I matured I went from Seuss’ childish characteristics to Tolkien’s sophisticated Elvish to Orwell’s dangerous Newspeak. Through these authors and more I learned that English wasn’t always enough, but that languages had to be changed; destroyed; or, best of all, created. Now I know most people think of Klingon as the uber invented language, but I was never a Trekian, and so sadly was never exposed to the language. My most memorable run in with a language was the ‘Krypotonian Language.’ The allure of the Man of Steel’s history brought me to watch Smallville (yes, all 10 seasons). During the sixth season I began to realize that as Clark Kent was learning about his past, the spaceship he came to earth in was covered in a symbols that seemed logically ordered as to bring about the appearance of a natural language. So I jumped at the chance to explore more in depth. I did what any red blooded American of the time would do: I cracked open my dusty ol’ Laptop and googled it. But the answer wasn’t only in a single Wikipedia page, it was everywhere: different grammars, different symbols, even different histories were posted on different pages. It was as if everyone had their own variety of Kryptonian native only to that specific creator. It wasn’t the Vulgar Kryptonian I wanted though, it was the pure bred DC Kryptonian; the language directly from the source: the comics. Knowing my uncle was a big comic book guy I scoured through his massive stacks for any sign of Kryptonian. To my joy I found one comic that had the original Bridwell arbitrary scribbles. Happy to know that an original DC Kryptonian language did exist, I returned to the internet,...

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