I am doing a study on fan communities and participatory culture, in particular for the Monkey Island series. Participatory culture basically is when users (fans) become producers, by altering existing games/programmes/media or making their own interpretation of the original game. This is mostly done with the use of opensource software.
I know this is happening around the world, but mostly in genres like RPG. Amongst other things I’m wondering to what extent this is happening with adventure games, in particular Monkey Island.
And for that I could really use your help!
My first question to you is: Have you ever, or would you know anyone who has, made an adaptation of Monkey Island? If so, was it an adventure game or was it another genre but did it contain elements of MI (like characters, backgrounds, etc)? Did it maybe feature some next-generation elements? Basically I am interested in all fan creations in general, old school or not. But it would of course be extra special if it would ‘exceed’ the original games.
For my second and most important question, my point of reference is Henry Jenkins’ article on ‘interactive audiences’ (http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3...lligence.html)
, in which he basically states that there are three conditions that make participatory culture possible:
1) Fans or fan communities have the tools
Tools are software like ScummVM; just anything that would help you create.
2) A range of subcultures promote Do-It-Yourself
Fans have a collective
intellegence, by giving each other (technical) support and advice. The most important point here is that many can know
what one alone could never.
3) Corporate industries approve and even encourage fan participation.
Corporate industries are of course companies, big or small, that make games for money, like LucasArts or Autumn Moon Entertainment.
My second question is: do you think this is true?
- Are the tools available for everyone? Of course there is open source software for some games, but would you reckon it sufficient (most importantly for the adventuregenre, but also for their own genres). And most importantly, are those tools made only by fans, or are there some companies that put there software online for everyone to use or alter?
- Is there enough know-how in the (MI) fan communities? Do people support each other, share their knowledge, and if so, how (through forums, articles, special websites etc.)? And are there also real specialists active in these domains, or is it only done by fans?
- Is it true that corporate industries support participatory cultures, or would they actually just sue you if you would use any of their characters/worlds/etc. in your game? Furthermore, are some industries more supportive than others
To some of these questions I already have (part of) the answer, but it would be great to get lots of info from many different people, so I can compare and analyse it. For the same reason I have posted this thread on a couple of related forums, so you could come across it elsewhere.
I really hope you guys can help me out!
Linda van de Fliert
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands