Foundations of Transmedial Worlds
This chapter describes the broader field of transmedia studies to which the study of transmedial world relates. It provides a short introduction to research in the field, based on the focus of these studies: early foundational work, franchise-centric, medium-centric, narrative-centric, character-centric and Japanese media-mix research. The chapter then presents the original theoretical approach of the book: a holistic world-centric perspective, which integrates the aesthetic analysis of transmedial world with empirical studies of its audiences and an understanding of the platform through which the transmedial world engagement takes place. The chapter develops this foundational model of what a transmedial world is and how to analyse it, describing the mythos, ethos and topos of the world (Klastrup & Tosca, 2004), and expands it with the category of character. It discusses the importance of studying transmedial platform ecologies and outlines a model for how to study networked reception at two different levels: in the individual imagination of the audiences and as networked reception between users.