World-Builders on World-Building: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

World-Builders on World-Building

1st Edition

Edited by Mark J.P. Wolf


196 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367197254
pub: 2020-05-28
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With contributions from a distinguished group of world-builders, including academics, writers and designers, this anthology of essays describes the process and discusses the nature of subcreation and the construction of worlds.

From Oz to MUD, Walden to Rockall, all the worlds featured in this volume share one thing in common; they began in someone’s imagination, grew from there, and became worlds built with the assistance of multiple authors and a variety of different ideas and media, including designs, imagery, sound, music, stories, and more. This book examines this development, with examples and discussions pertaining to the process and final product of the building of imaginary worlds, including some transmedial worlds.

World-Builders on World-Building is a fascinating deep dive into the practical problems of world-building, as well as the theoretical aspects. It is ideal for students, scholars and even practitioners interested in media studies, game studies, subcreation studies, franchise studies, transmedia studies, and pop culture.

Table of Contents


Mark J. P. Wolf

"Matter, AntiMatter, Doesn’t Matter": Designing Lost in Oz

Henry Jenkins

The Making of MUD: Three Stories of Genesis

Richard A. Bartle

Rockall: A Liminal, Transauthorial World Founded on the Atlantis Myth

Mark Sebanc

Making Worlds into Games – A Methodology

Clara Fernández-Vara and Matthew Wiese

Surveying the Soul: Creating the World of Walden, a Game

Tracy Fullerton

The Place of Culture, Society, and Politics in Video Game World-Building

Mark R. Johnson

Concerning the "Sub" in "Subcreation": The Act of Creating Under

Mark J. P. Wolf

Appendix: Types of World-Building

Mark J. P. Wolf

About the Editor

Mark J. P. Wolf is Professor in the Communication Department at Concordia University, Wisconsin. His 23 books include The Video Game Theory Reader 1 and 2 (2003, 2008), The Video Game Explosion (2007), Myst & Riven: The World of the D’ni (2011), Before the Crash: An Anthology of Early Video Game History (2012), Encyclopedia of Video Games (2012), Building Imaginary Worlds (2012), The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies (2014), LEGO Studies (2014), Video Games Around the World (2015), Revisiting Imaginary Worlds (2016), Video Games FAQ (2017), The World of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (2017), The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds (2017), and The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence (2018), which won the SCMS 2020 award for best edited collection.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies