How to create a World
(w/ Davide Tolfo)


#1 Database:

Exceprt of the article:

“A world is a collection of objects, entities and the relationships between them. But a world is at the same time something more and less than this for a world is not reduced to its elements, it is not merely an empty container, a neutral background where elements of a different nature are ordered. In this sense, a world is more than the inhabitants it houses and the relationships that regulate their activities. However, the opposite is also true: the same inhabitants, the same entities that make it possible to describe a world possess, to varying degrees, an autonomy of their own that can lead, in some cases, to the formation of a different world than the one in which they were born or were created.“

Read the first column of How to create a World on Koozarch

#2 Persistence, Resistance and Ductility:

Excerpt of the article:

“The observation of the term storyworld, used by critic Mary-Laure Ryan to describe the space projected by the events - or the relations - between the different compositional elements of a world, focuses the attention on the very temporal feature of worlding.4 A world must endure over time, and its codes must work as temporal agencies in the space in which they act, or by quoting Ryan “it is not just the spatial setting where a story takes place, it is a complex spatio-temporal totality that undergoes global changes. Put more simply, a storyworld is an imagined totality that evolves according to the events told in the story.”

In Ryan’s analysis, the relations between single elements must be recognized as events, in a way to pass over time and, therefore, become agencies able to shape new languages. Codes cannot be mere objects that stand in a frozen state, they need to create relations between them, they need to be in motion and become temporal elements.”

Read the second column of How to create a World on Koozarch

#3 Interaction:

Excerpt of the article:

“The expansion of world-building outside the boundaries of the original world is not a recent process and prerogative of the virtual field of design: communities and fandom have always been fundamental in the construction and enhancing of a world as a consequence of the small narratives in the Postmodern age. A complex system of references, namely a database, is definitely shaped by the extensions and derivative contents created by fans, through a process in which their role gradually becomes as relevant as the one of the author. Countless fanfictions, sequels, prequels, texts and other objects have been realized by the community and became canon of the original world. This happens by turning the detail of a plot into a building block in order to construct new stories and new codes, as well as collectively explore a world through discussions and perspectives to make it more complex, demonstrating the importance lore has on the survival of a world itself. The lore is the lifeblood of the world, the dynamic vector that allows its codes to be invigorated, but also to create a larger database. When this active side of the lore is accentuated, we are faced with worlds in which interaction and sharing play a central role. This is, in a sense, positive decoding: Understanding the various elements and the details that make up a reality by sharing them with other inhabitants of the same universe means reworking and transforming the information received into new codes, with the possibility of creating new relationships. A world differs from a static place precisely because of its coefficient of interactivity and interaction between its inhabitants. In Synthetic Worlds Castranova explains that a world is defined not only by the way it can be perceived, but also by the consequences our actions can have in it. Equally fundamental to the understanding of a world are the roles reserved for the interactions between its inhabitants. It is, in this respect, that one can distinguish a lore as passive investigation from a lore as productive exploration.”

Read the third column of How to create a World on Koozarch

#4 Complexity:

Excerpt of the article:

“The analysis of possible futures through the practice of world-building is also a renowned method of exploration adopted in the field of design, in its broader meaning. Speculative processes and operations of layering different and possible theories about the impact of our actions on a defined ambience are some of the main strategies adopted by designers to improve technologies and cultural resources. In their text Back To the Future: 10 Years of Design Fiction, researchers Joseph Lindley and Paul Coulton delineate the procedures of creating sustainable and possible worlds through speculative fiction, defining the transmedial processes in design fiction as «(1) something that creates a story world, (2) has something being prototyped within that story world, (3) does so in order to create a discursive space.» This last concept examined by Lindley and Coulton opens up a variety of explorations in terms of complexity of a virtual world in relation to the interactivity of the media used in such building operations. By choosing the expanded field of design as an analytic territory in this research means to apply a series of methodologies which focus on the role of the users, but at the same time include a totality of areas of study, like game design, sound design, narrative design, and so on.”

Read the fourth column of How to create a World on Koozarch