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Transmedial Imaginary Worlds Experience Model

In order to better to describe and actualize transmedial imaginary world experiences, I embarked on my own constructionist project and built a model (out of LEGO!)  It is three-dimensional, with three axes.  Ideally the model would be dynamic, interactive, or animated, but that will have to be a future iteration, so that the platforms could move around rather than be fixed, or pathways between the experiences could be traced.

Three Axes: Platforms, Affordances, Structure

On the first axis, moving vertically, are platforms or windows that indicate where the experience is made manifest; the physical world is at the bottom, the foundation, with the medium of physical LEGO bricks and objects; moving upward, we move up an axis of increasing representation and decreasing simulation (to use Frasca’s terms), with the second platform as interface, the third as screen, and the top as page.

The second axis is a spectrum of what the person can do in that experience (affordance or user function, embellishing on Aarseth ), moving from interpreting, to exploring, combining, remixing, transforming, and inventing.

The third axis represents level of structure, the poles of which can be by Roger Caillois’s foundational terms of paidia and ludus for respectively, turbulence and rules, “a primary power of improvisation and joy” and “the taste for gratuitous difficulty” but informed by an understanding of how structure and agency can “mutually constitute each other.”

The model is best imagined, though, as a model of a space of performance possibilities through which any transmedial experience connects different platforms and affordances. 


Espen J. Aarseth, Cybertext : Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997).

Roger Caillois, Man, Play, and Games (New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961)., 27.

Brennan, Karen Ann. "Best of both worlds: Issues of structure and agency in computational creation, in and out of school." PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013, 25.