Playing as a mutant in a virtual world: understanding overlapping story worlds in popular culture video games

On the basis of interview data with a video game designer, this author team explores the nuances of stories and story worlds in video games as complex multimodal, compositional processes that can be harnessed to our understandings about contemporary literacy learning. How we enter, exit, mediate and transmediate stories across media channels has been naturalised into the ways that we view and understand media texts, yet as literacy scholars interested in the role of media and literacy learning and teaching, do we actually understand the mediational practices and logic enacted when a story moves from a film to a video game? This article goes some way in extrapolating the process of story transformation when a ‘canonical’ story moves from a film text to a gaming text. By using X-Men Destiny as our exemplar, the article classifies and attends to three overlapping worlds that are negotiated when approaching adapted video games: a canonical mythic universe, the adapted game world and the story world of a learner, in order to enable the harnessing of video game practices for literacy contexts.

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