Hello Transmodiologists!

On March 20, 2008 by christy

Yes, hello! You probably don’t like being called something you have no idea what it means, but I assure you I consider it a compliment. I came up with the term ‘transmodiologist’ (with the help of my half-brother who is a  whiz at Latin) to differentiate myself and my research method from ‘narratologists’ and ‘ludologists’. The former describes researchers who interrogate the nature of narrative and the latter the nature of ludic, ludus or games. I too interrogate the narrative and ludic elements in multi-media platform works, but I look at both the narrative and ludic elements…not one or the other. And, I question whether what has been subsumed under either is valid, as well as develop an ontology that is narrative- and ludic-agnostic. That is the quick explanation. Feel free to question me at any time!

More on what this research area is…shortly…. But for now, welcome. 🙂

2 Responses to “Hello Transmodiologists!”

  • Dear Christy

    While combining narratology and ludology, is it feasible to qualify a user poking around a website as an act of play? In saying so, is not the narrative co-construction of a new path by the user treated as a subtext of ‘ludology’? Claiming that hypertext narrative provides autonomy over authority to the user, an aura of righteousness marks the transformation over authorial control. Ludology on the other hand sounds like the user experience is low on on ‘morality’ quotient. How do we balance the two?

  • Hello Shuaib!

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    You’re right, both narratology and ludology have their own research questions that are not always compatible. But what I’m doing with my research is two-pronged: (1) I’m drawing on relevant theories from narrative and game studies to illuminate the nature of the phenomena I describe as ‘polymorphic fictions’. That means, I’m not trying to merge the inquiries. Instead, I’m implementing a kind of transdisciplinary approach. (2) I’m proposing one way to address the issue of both narrative and game elements being present in a work is through a ‘transmodal’ approach. That is, rather than seeing them as distinct elements that battle for supremacy, I’m looking at how common traits reveal a mode that can be expressed through a narrative or a game mode.

    This may not seem clear now without a whole lot of other words, but I am keen to hear your thoughts. I will have a chapter published in the next few months, though, that explains some this with more detail: http://www.routledgelanguages.com/books/New-Perspectives-on-Narrative-and-Multimodality-isbn9780415995177.

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