chapter  14
20 Pages

The Enchantment of Visiting Imaginary Worlds and ‘Being There’: Brand Fandom and the Tertiary World of Media Tourism

ByMatt Hills

Imaginary worlds have become increasingly central to the commerce of transmedia franchises.1 But while it may be true that merchandised items rarely add to canonical subcreation,2 a specific form of media merchandising-part of what’s been termed the “experience economy”3-promises to add a sense of “bodily proximity” to consumers’ literal visits to (a physically constructed version of) the imaginary world.4 Such extensions into the tangible, material world of consumer culture can occur in the form of theme park rides, location tours, and even studio visits.