Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by Kaylee

Pottermore: A New Level of Interactivity and Worldbuilding in Harry Potter

Pottermore: A New Level of Interactivity and Worldbuilding in Harry Potter

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

In transmedia storytelling, one of the most important components, according to Andrea Phillips, author of A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling, is worldbuilding, which “is all about conveying information about the time, place, and mood of your story.” Making the world your story exists in seem authentic and thought out is essential if you want your audience to become emotionally attached and involved in the characters and themes you are developing. One of the most widely successful franchises that have attempted (and succeeded at) worldbuilding is definitely J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter saga and the extensive wizarding world that has been built around it. Within the Potter universe exist several artifacts from within the wizarding world, such as maps and several books written from the perspective of wizards, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. Although these help to extend the the confines of the world considerably, Phillips advises that “in transmedia storytelling, the most effective tool is to actually create a small piece of your world and give it to your audience to play with.” This is exactly what has been done through the creation of  Pottermore, a transmedia feat that provided a new chance for fans to be re-immersed into the wizarding world. First, J.K. Rowling starred in a video announcing Pottermore and explaining her reasons for creating it. This was a good move because Rowling is such a well-recognized face to the Harry Potter franchise, and any fan would be sure to hang on her every word. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIApkyunK9Y[/youtube] Then another video was released which showed and explained some of the gameplay. There isn’t a verbal explanation of what is involved in the site, but that creates more of a mysterious allure than would a cut and dry breakdown of what the site has to offer. It shows players how the interactive scenery works within the various chapters, as well as potions and dueling. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6pKuQli7OI[/youtube]   It all started in 2011 with an announcement (in the video shown above with J.K. Rowling) and a puzzle in the form of the “Quill Quest.” Those who completed the quest were allowed to beta test the site months before it actually launched, and by suggesting that only a limited number of players...

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The World of LARPing

The World of LARPing

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

In the world of modern transmedia fiction, there are several different facets of a fictional world which an avid fan can delve into, whether it be books, games, movies, TV shows, etc.–but none take the concept of total immersion in a fictional world quite so far as “LARPers”. LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role Play, and for those who truly invest themselves in a fandom, LARP is not just a way to contribute to their fandom family, but it allows them to temporarily part from reality and actively participate in the fantasy world to which they’ve so fully dedicated themselves. To participate in Live Action Role Play, one acquires or makes the costume and equipment for their favorite character, whether it be a medieval mercenary, Aragorn, or even a Teletubby (hey, you never know), and then they congregate with other die hard fans to act out scenarios from their chosen fandoms while assuming the personality traits, appearance, and actions of their favorite character, thus taking the elements of the fictional world and its characters into their own hands. LARPing may seem rather outlandish to someone who has never heard of it, but many LARPers are people who appear to be fairly “normal” according to standard social conventions–that is, they hold down steady, sometimes even high-profile, jobs and don’t spend all their time reading Lord of the Rings fanfiction on the couch in their mother’s dark basement. LARPing is just another fascinating, yet curiously little known and under-documented, aspect of the fandom universe, and it’s a Big Deal.   Most tend to think of LARPing as merely a grown-up version of make-believe or escapism, but who’s to say these are bad things? According to Aeon Magazine columnist Damien Walter, it is human nature to escape the grimy reality of our lives, because “we hunger for an escape so complete it borders on oblivion: the total eradication of self and reality beneath a superimposed fantasy.” Complete immersion in a fantasy world is essentially a coping method that some people use to grapple with the grueling or otherwise monotonous grind of daily life. Additionally, PhD student and gaming expert, David Owen, claims that LARPing is actually healthy for this very reason,...

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