Recent Comments

A Picture of the author's Farfetch'd from the Pokemon Go app.
Michael Iantorno

This theme of nostalgizing place seems to be present across many of Nintendo’s core franchises. Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Zelda, filled the land of Hyrule with memories of his childhood explorations of rural Sonobe. He once referred to the world as “a miniature garden that you can put into a drawer and revisit anytime you like” - as if the game serves as a portal to the less-industrialized, simpler times of his youth.

It is interesting to consider how fantasy reinforces this nostalgia. As you mentioned, Pokemon Go imagines a somewhat modern setting where industrialization and urban sprawl never reached the level where it is today. Zelda takes things one step forward, turning the forests and neighbourhoods of 1950/60s Japan into a sprawling fantasy kingdom.

Title Slide - Giving Fans Latitude: The Nexus Between "Official" and Fan Cartogr
Jamie Henthorn

It’s so interesting to see the pieces together. How much do you find fans try to align their work with the original world builders’? I played a good bit of Skyrim and have my own emotional map of the game, places I’d return to again and again, locations that were particularly fun or challenging.

Silas University Map from the web series Carmilla
Michael Iantorno
Tanya Zuk

Making headcanon explicit is always intriguing, as it brings attention to the differences in interpretation present across fandom. Harry Potter is a particularly compelling example, as the franchise has already weathered much debate concerning how visual and aural elements were presented across the feature films (as compared to the books).

It would be an interesting exercise to see how an audio map would look and sound if it was derived from literary content that has not received a movie, television, or radio adaptation. With no audio-visual baseline, would we see a greater variation in headcanon between participants?

Stranger Things Season 2 Will's Map
Jamie Henthorn

Bob’s nerdiness makes him so endearing. I loved these scenes for all the reasons you mention.

I know it’s not mapping fantasy, but your post has me thinking about the act of mapping trauma and the process of taking connecting a strong emotion to the real world has me thinking of attempts to map trauma in the world. The first thing I thought of was ihollaback ( The group has an app and encourages individuals to document and locate street harassment. Several of these apps have been tried in a variety of locations and most of them have ultimately failed to be maintained over the long run.

One Page Dungeon Contest logo
Mihaela Mihailova

I was struck by the range of responses to the challenge of balancing design efficiency (necessitated by the format’s constraints) with visual appeal and potential for engaging play. From a design perspective, I was most interested in The Shattered Temple and its “creative cheating” approach towards overcoming the spatial limitations via fragmentation of the sheet of paper. While still technically compliant with the competition’s central rule, the resulting pieces function to extend the reach of this particular work both spatially (by allowing for multiple configurations) and temporally (by encouraging replays and extending the duration of player engagement). It is a DIY solution that, while not necessarily novel, remains notable because it is easy to implement by players and reproduce in a different context by other aspiring game designers. Given the contest’s emphasis on the open library concept, this is a particularly valuable aspect of the design.

Silas University Map from the web series Carmilla
Jamie Henthorn
Tanya Zuk

Thanks for this thought provoking post. I…looked at the projects before I read your note and was also struck by the fact that the Hogwarts space has no sense of time because of the the approach to sound. Video games and films are obviously able to give cues to the individual as to changes in time, but maps have always had more of a challenge in showing event-ness because they have a lot of control over where and when the audience is in those spaces.

One way around that would be to create several Hogwarts maps for different events. One for the Battle of Hogwarts, one for the events at the end of book/movie 3. I’m now thinking through how those maps might both limit and expand potential for fan-narratives within these spaces.

Good sound has been a challenge to media (moving from silent film to talkies, dialogue in video games, just all radio and podcasting) in a way that images have not. Thanks so much for making me think on this topic.

I found this to be thought provoking as someone unfamiliar with this trope! It’s interesting to think whether other nostalgic media (whether this be movies, shows or video games) also make use of similar popular tropes from the time of this setting, perhaps this is a common danger of nostalgic media?

Similar to the above comment, I also wonder if series 2 manages to address the fan’s outcries for justice for Barb? This almost seems mirrored by Nancy who takes it upon herself to get said justice. Do you feel that this was a conscious decision made following fan’s strong feelings towards Barb and that these emotional links perhaps helped strengthen Nancy’s storyline in series 2?

Ruth Doughty

Hi Kimberly, thanks for your comment. I completely agree that Spike Lee always places politics at the centre of his works. I think part of Lee’s agenda is to pose questions rather than offering neat solutions. His discourse on gentrification is testament to this. As you point out, he inituated the debate in ‘Do the Right Thing’ and continues you to explore the complexity of the changing demographic in his latest work. I feel there is a sense of plurality in his approach, on the one hand you have the new resident Bianca who is clearly objectionable with a misplaced sense of entitlement. On the other, you have ‘Da Mayor’, originally from Fort Greene, but now displaced and homeless after returning from fighting in Afghanistan. In addition to the two ends of the spectrum, Lee depicts a diverse community struggling to find a collective voice, but unafraid to engage in dialogue. In spite of the tensions, that are at times paplable, I believe that Joie Lee’s (Septima) statement rings true:

It’s our differences that make Fort Greene great. The new folks, you gonna keep on comin’. And the old heads, well, we aint goin’ nowhere. But we have to find a way to make it work.’

Dafna Kaufman

I actually did not know the story of John Henry! Wow that adds even more fascinating layers…Thank you for mentioning it. The connection with John Henry makes the link to, as you said “exploitation of black (male) labor,” even stronger and more powerful. Thanks for the info and comment!