Participatory worlds: models of collaborative textual production beyond the entertainment industry

Blázquez, José M. (2016) Participatory worlds: models of collaborative textual production beyond the entertainment industry. Antae, 3 (3). pp. 310-323.

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Throughout history, participation has been a term closely related to transgression and the democratisation and the balance of the inequalities in society. Participation has continued being a major concept in the digital age where 'participatory culture', a culture where audiences get the framework, knowledge and tools to take part in the creation and production of content, has becoming more popular and visible than ever before. Co-creation practices between producers and consumers (also known as value co-creation or co-creation of value) has been seen for many academics, gurus and organizations as a way to generate industrial innovation in the near future. Software development and testing, ‘modding’, knowledge exchange and participatory journalism are areas where user participation has been applied successfully. However, there are other disciplines where co-creation practices have seen very little improvement within the industry. This is the case of narrative contributions to story-worlds. Entertainment industries, IP owners of the most popular franchises, generally keep a strict control over their fictional worlds and user participation may only be considered as a part of a marketing strategy, market research and customer feedback. Even when channels for participation exist (for example, in the form of a contest), narrative contributions created by fans are merely treated as fan-fiction.

In contrast, projects based on participatory story-worlds allow audiences to contribute canonically to the fictional world. Generally supported by independent ventures, the nature of these projects transgress the mainstream, going beyond the rules and conventions established by the industry. However, participatory worlds also keep ties with entertainment industries and with their practices, platforms and conventions. This dual relationship with the mainstream places participatory worlds in the margins of the norm. This paper attempts to bring to light this relationship and demonstrate that participatory worlds are situated both ‘in’ and ‘out’ of the system.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Co-creation, participatory culture, imaginary worlds, participatory worlds
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies > Department of Culture, Film and Media
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Depositing User: Sánchez Blázquez, José
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:25

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