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Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Mark J.P. Wolf s study of imaginary worlds theorizes world-building within and across media, including literature, comics, film, radio, television, board games, video games, the Internet, and more. "Building Imaginary Worlds "departs from prior approaches to imaginary worlds that focused mainly on narrative, medium, or genre, and instead considers imaginary worlds as ...more
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Published January 1st 2013 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2012)
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John Carter McKnight
Building Imaginary Worlds is a valuable entry into the study of fictive and transmedial worlds - provided one sees it as occupying a particular place on the shelf of key works.

Both the "building" and "theory" in the title and subtitle are a bit misleading. The book is of only secondary utility for someone interested in building an imaginary world: it is definitely not a how-to worldbuilding guide, though its extensive schemas of categorization and classification may spark ideas in a creator.

It
...more
Nelson Zagalo
Jul 25, 2016 Nelson Zagalo rated it really liked it
An excellent entry to the theorisation on imaginary worlds, very well researched and supported. The best comes from following an approach based in environments instead of based in narrative, but also the worst comes from that side also, because investing all in the environments makes you forget about characters.

Wolf is well known for his pioneer work on video games, this time it goes more in depth and presents a book that serves not only games, but also virtual worlds, and more than that all the
...more
Alex
Jan 17, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
While I did find the book as a whole a very good read, especially the first two sections, I think it misses out a little bit on thinking beyond a simple descriptive categorization of world-building. Since the examples of Wolf's narrative and authorial categories are usually drawn from a small number of worlds (mostly Middle-Earth, Star Wars and Myst), the book does little to explain what all these categories do with the material, what effect they have on the audience. Maybe this was not what the ...more
Joe Frisino
Jan 02, 2014 Joe Frisino rated it liked it
Useful but overly reliant on literature, especially Tolkien, for examples (not to in any way disparage Tolkien). Wished there was much greater emphasis on modern gaming worlds which, IMHO, are pushing quality and variety of "imaginary worlds" into new, exciting directions.
Andrew R. Keating
so far, this book shows the importance of settings, how it creates mood and atmosphere in a story and how these media create the magi the inundates a reader with the reality of a story. So far, it is awesome. I'll write more when I'm done.
Linnie Leavines
Jan 17, 2015 Linnie Leavines rated it it was amazing
Excellent, comprehensive book on this subject. As someone who would like to "subcreate," I found this very useful and inspiring.
Alain Thys
It's a nice introduction to the concept, yet a bit too academic for my practical/pragmatic taste (nothing wrong with being academic, just not my thing)
Micha
One of the most well researched books on and best tools for world building I've come across. This book inspired many stories from me. I look forward to more from Mr. Wolf.
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“Coleridge saw the active mind as one way in which human beings were made in God’s image:” 0 likes
“To develope [sic] the powers of the Creator is our proper employment—and to imitate Creativeness by combination our most exalted and self-satisfying Delight.” 0 likes
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