Playing Dead: Transmedia Pathos and Plot in The Walking Dead Board Games

‘Playing Dead: Transmedia Pathos and Plot in The Walking Dead Board Games’

Paul Booth

In a rapidly converging media environment, the relationship between games as ancillary products to a narrative core franchise generally problematises conceptions of transmedia coherence. Almost by definition, media-based board games cannot influence transmedia narrative development. If games are not narratively consequential, can they even be considered transmediated?

In this article, I argue that to integrate board games into a transmedia franchise requires a more inclusive view of the concept of transmedia storytelling. Previous analyses of transmediation, most taking their cue from Henry Jenkins canonical 2003 definition, articulate the term as a plot-based aspect of narrative. However, integrating games into a transmedia franchise means opening up the term to include affect and pathos as additional components of narrativity. I conclude that the affect of individual audience members generated via character pathos is an important and relevant aspect of game/story transmediation. Using The Walking Dead board games as case studies, I extend research into transmediation as it portends a more affective transmedia environment [Full Article Here].

From: Issue 7 (Summer 2014), eds. Bethan Jones and Wickham Clayton

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