Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Immersive Transmedia Storytelling Fold Project by Jasen Davis, Emily Falica, Sydney Bidinger and Amy Cory

Posted by jasendavis on March 27, 2017

Okay! Our FOLD project is a review of three popular Science-fiction properties: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars. We analyze how the three series have succeeded in creating a presence in multiple media formats and how that has contributed to either longevity or fortune of the show/ movie series.

For The Walking Dead, we examine how the show has spawned multiple video games and fan fiction. Both of these allow fans of the show to expand the universe in way they may see appropriate. The Walking Dead video games expand the realm of the Walking Dead by introducing players to new situations and characters. The fan fiction allows for modifiers of the series to take the characters and stories they love and give them their own twist, making the story their own. Some of these twists may be minor (such as the writing of a romance that a viewer has imagined) or major (think new characters, or maybe the death of a beloved one).

We also examine how the coproduction of the TV show and the comic books help to maintain interest in the Walking Dead as a whole. Differences between the two and prediction as to how they are related are common banter for online forums on the series. This helps to keep the brand alive and well even when the show is in its offseason.

For Game of Thrones, we analyze how the books by George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the popular HBO series feed off each other in order to generate great popularity. Unlike The Walking Dead, the books and the TV show share nearly the same story line. Where the drama comes in is in the fact that Martin himself is an executive producer of the show and has great clout with the creative team. The debate then becomes, “How is he going to end this thing?”

Video games also expand the Game of Thrones realm. Players of the multiple games are transported to Westeros and live in the same world as their favorite characters (luckily without the same chance of death). The video games, as well as a gigantic market of memorabilia make Game of Thrones a prominent entity even when the show isn’t being aired.

The final example is probably the best: Star Wars. Star Wars was able to survive a nearly 25 year hiatus due to thee strong connection the trilogy mad with fans. From the Mid-1980’s until the early 21st century, there were no movies produced, but there were books and toys and games. All of these fed the insatiable hunger of some of the most dedicated fans on Earth. There have been over 200 books written and nearly 100 video games produces since the debut of A New Hope in 1977. The result? A world with nearly infinite bounds of worlds and characters that even the deepest, most dedicated fan will never completely discover.

These three brand share three characteristics:

  1. The quality of the product is high.
  2. Interest is kept by the release of auxiliary products.
  3. These brand spur conversation and debate amongst and between fans.

Fold Project


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