1st Edition

World-Builders on World-Building An Exploration of Subcreation

Edited By Mark Wolf Copyright 2020
    170 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    170 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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. The book examines this development, with examples and discussions pertaining to the process and the 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 its 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.


    Mark J. P. Wolf

    "Matter, Dark Matter, Doesn’t Matter": An Interview With Lost in Oz's Bureau of Magic

    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


    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), The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence (2018), which won the SCMS 2020 award for best edited collection, and the puzzle book 101 Enigmatic Puzzles: Fractal Mazes, Quantum Chess, Anagram Sudoku, and More (2020).