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Batland: Transmedia Strategy & Videogame Spatiality in Gotham City


Batland: Transmedia Strategy & Videogame Spatiality in Gotham City

Sinervo, Kalervo A. (2018) Batland: Transmedia Strategy & Videogame Spatiality in Gotham City. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Batland: Transmedia Strategy & Videogame Spatiality in Gotham City is an interdisciplinary study of how transmedia strategy (the construction and management of massively collaborative popular culture franchises) has impacted digital gameworlds, and what these gameworlds can tell us about transmedia protocols. It builds a foundation for critiquing and reshaping transmedia theory through frameworks of media studies, game studies, and philosophies of urban geography. To elaborate this argument, the dissertation focuses on Gotham City. As the hometown of pop culture icon Batman, Gotham has appeared consistently across every conceivable medium and venue for franchising for nearly 80 years. By examining its history of representation across media (particularly videogames) and reading Batman media texts as an assemblage produced in a networked transmedia complex, I argue that narrative analysis must expand beyond auteur theory to account for dispersed authorship. A focus on narrative as assemblage will cut through the dialectical tension between transmedia as a narrative storytelling mode, and transmedia as a strategic and tactical business model.
The case studies comprise a historical overview of the commercial and narrative functions Gotham City serves in a range of media including comics, film, and merchandise; an examination of the Arkham games series’ geographical qualities; and an interrogation of the licensing structures and transmedial techniques of the Lego Batman franchise. By examining environment and spatial considerations in the context of transmedia protocol, the thesis demonstrates that transmedia dictates the construction of fictional and virtual spaces by dealing with them in terms of the functions they serve commercially within specific media. It also introduces urban geography theory into the conversation to construct an interdisciplinary argument that transmedia cities form a key structure of interpellation in constructing consumers. In developing its larger argument, the dissertation finds that the nature of transmedia authorship demands that we reshape our consideration of the author-function in broader discourse.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Sinervo, Kalervo A.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:18 October 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Wershler, Darren
Keywords:Transmedia; Batman; Videogames; Videogame Space; Media Studies; Media Industries; Cultural Production
ID Code:985181
Deposited By: Kalervo A. Sinervo
Deposited On:07 Jun 2019 16:51
Last Modified:07 Jun 2019 16:51
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