The big screen treatment: Gratifications sought in game-to-film transmedia consumption

Jaime Banks, Joe A. Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Popular culture is rich with transmedia storytelling—the adaptation of narrative universes from one medium to another—and although much work has attended to audience uses and gratifications of discrete media, little is known about audience motivations for shifting from one medium to another. This study takes a step toward bridging that gap through thematic analysis of videogame fans’ gratifications sought in viewing the inaugural films of two established videogame franchises: Assassin's Creed and Warcraft. Emergent themes—entertainment, expanded experience, personal fan development, community/franchise legitimization, and personal connection to the film—were largely consistent across both franchises (with variations explained by each franchise's maturity and fan norms). Although some gratifications are consistent with those of discrete media, discovered themes also reveal a) a more extrinsic and communal orientation toward franchises receiving the “big screen treatment” as a mark for the health, welfare, and cultural legitimacy of the franchise and fan community, and b) considerations of the target medium as both the source and referent of gratification such that the medium is a gratifying thing-in-itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-83
Number of pages12
JournalPoetics
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Fandom
  • Film
  • Transmedia
  • Uses and gratifications
  • Video games
  • media migration

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