The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds

Edited By

Mark Wolf

ISBN 9780367876302
Published December 10, 2019 by Routledge
468 Pages

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USD $59.95

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Book Description

This companion provides a definitive and cutting-edge guide to the study of imaginary and virtual worlds across a range of media, including literature, television, film, and games. From the Star Trek universe, Thomas More’s classic Utopia, and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Arda, to elaborate, user-created game worlds like Minecraft, contributors present interdisciplinary perspectives on authorship, world structure/design, and narrative. The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds offers new approaches to imaginary worlds as an art form and cultural phenomenon, explorations of the technical and creative dimensions of world-building, and studies of specific worlds and worldbuilders.

Table of Contents

About the Contributors



Part 1   Content and Story

1. Locations and Borders Gerard Hynes

2. The Hero’s Journey Lily Alexander

3. Invented Languages Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins

4. Invented Cultures Mark J. P. Wolf

5. Backstory Benjamin J. Robertson

6. Narrative Fabric Mark J. P. Wolf

7. Saviors Mark J. P. Wolf

8. Portals Jennifer Harwood-Smith

Part 2   Form and Structure

9. World Design Mark J. P. Wolf

10. Ontological Rules Marie-Laure Ryan

11. World Completeness Benjamin J. Robertson

12. World Consistency Rodrigo Lessa and João Araújo

13. Geography and Maps Gerard Hynes

14. History and Timelines Benjamin J. Robertson

15. Mythology Lily Alexander

16. Philosophy Edward Castronova

17. Transmediality Lars Konzack

18. World-Building Tools David Langdon

Part 3   Types of Worlds

19. Island Worlds Ian Kinane

20. Underground Worlds Peter Fitting

21. Planets Jennifer Harwood-Smith

22. Utopias and Dystopias Peter Sands

23. Uchronias, Alternate Histories, and Counterfactuals George Carstocea

24. Virtual Worlds Mark J. P. Wolf

25. Interactive and Participatory Worlds Matthew Freeman

Part 4   Authorship and Reception

26. Subcreation Lars Konzack

27. Authorship Jessica Aldred

28. Reboots and Retroactive Continuity William Proctor

29. Canonicity William Proctor

30. Escapism Lars Konzack

31. Genre Lily Alexander

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Mark J. P. Wolf is a Full Professor in the Communication Department at Concordia University, Wisconsin, USA. His books include Abstracting Reality, The Medium of the Video Game, Virtual Morality, The Video Game Explosion, Myst and Riven: The World of the D'ni, Before the Crash, Encyclopedia of Video Games, Building Imaginary Worlds, The LEGO Studies Reader, Video Games Around the World, and Revisiting Imaginary Worlds. He is also the founder of the Imaginary Worlds book series. With Bernard Perron, he is the co-editor of The Video Game Theory Reader 1 and 2, and the Landmark Video Game book series.