Child's Play: Researching Meaning-Making in Transmediated Worlds

Meagan Rothschild


Understanding the inherent pedagogies of transmedia products that push past single product use (such as game, card, virtual world, comic, etc.) and embrace a suite of products as entry points to narrative worlds requires knowledge of learning, design, and media cultural theoretical frames. This discussion aims to bring the discourses of multiple fields of study together to consider the ways in which narrative worlds can be created and researched to foster productive play. Specifically, the author investigates what makes "good" transmedia environments for learning, and how this learning situates itself in broader forms of play and activity? By analyzing transmedia worlds with an emphasis on the ways play and design can facilitate learning experiences, the research-driven educational media development communities can leverage new ideas for their own research and development. And by asking how the world invites and even requires 'activity' on the part of the user, designers and producers can generate new worlds and environments that enable rich play and learning experiences.