Reader research and audience involvement to design a book-to-game adaptation concept

NatureMage-settingsThis book chapter by Claudio, founding director of Zoomkind, presents a reflection on practice and relevant academic studies to help define how readers and other audiences can be heard and involved to produce better adaptations. How can games tell stories based on books? What content from the book ought to be represented in the game? What are the best game features / devices / affordances to enhance the story in a new medium? And how to you translate from words (and the mental images created by every single individual reader) to actual representations that have a visual appearance, that move and behave in specific ways in a game?

Weaving Nature Mage: Collective Intertextuality in the Design of a Book-to-Game Adaptation

Research based on the analysis of previous cross-media game adaptations, on empirical research, and on reflection on practice with the design of a game concept for a fantasy book. Book-to-game adaptations are particularly interesting examples of cross-media adaptation. They not only weave the literary source text with intertexts from the game medium, but also require a modal transposition from the realm of words to a visual, interactive, multimodal medium where narrative and ludic logics intersect. This study proposes to look at different layers of cross-media intertextuality in the process of adaptation – at the level of specific texts, at the level of medium conventions, and at the level of genre conventions. It draws on crowd-sourcing research with readers to demonstrate that collaboration operates through multi-layered processes of collective intertextuality through which the intertextual repertoires of individuals meet to weave a final text.

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