Worldbuilding Past the Screen and Pages

Harry Potter is without a doubt one of the biggest fanbases in America today, which has inspired dozens of transmedia extensions for the books and movies including video games, toys, an amusement park, and an online wiki named, “Potterpedia”. This wiki contains all of the possible information about the Harry Potter universe including detailed descriptions of every major and minor character, the places listed, the spells, the wands, the creatures, the potions, and virtually everything about the universe that either the book, movie, or both do not address.

                Potterpedia aids in the Worldbuilding Capacity of the Harry Potter universe. In the wiki, all of the content is categorized specifically based on information about the Hogwarts students and faculty, their age, their habits, which books they appear in, and so on. The wiki also discusses things mentioned in other written sources based off of the Harry Potter universe, such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard, increasing one’s desire to learn more. It has clearly been said by Henry Jenkins, “we are drawn to master what can be known about a world which always expands beyond our grasp.” The span of up to seven book with additions of other books that expand the already existing universe is a brilliant tactic planned by the original author to stir up excitement from fans.

                People always like a page turner, or something that will keep them constantly excited about something over an extended period of time. So it should come to no surprise that J.K. Rowling’s book series along with Warner Bros.’ film adaptations maintained Cultural Attraction and Activation on a nation-wide scale. This is accomplished primarily through the story of a boy learning about the wizard world and facing against the evil wizard that killed his parents, only to discover many terrible truths about himself in the process. Since the readers/viewers also learn about these secrets along with the main character, it adds to the storytelling suspense and makes them want to turn to Potterpedia to try and guess what will happen in the next story.

                People always refer to Potterpedia for answers because they’re led to look there after reading up on Migratory Cues that were dispersed through the stories. Whether if they find out that Tom Riddle is Lord Voldemort, or that Sirius Black is Harry’s godfather, or that Harry Potter is a horcrux, they always refer to the other books, video games, interviews with J.K. Rowling, or Potterpedia in order to figure out what will happen next. Janet H. Murray sums this up by saying that, “contemporary stories, in high and low culture, keep reminding us of the storyteller and inviting us to second-guess the choices he or she has made.” In other words, the wiki adds to the page-turning obsession that makes readers even more anxious about each book and movie that comes out.

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part II

Works Cited:

  • Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Genesis Framework, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.
  • Murray, Janet H. “Chapter 2: Harbingers of the Holodeck.” Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: Free, A Division of Simon and Schuster, 1997. 27-64. Print.

Image Sources:

  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Digital image. Savvy Auntie. Savvy Auntie, n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
  • Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part II. Digital image. HD Wallpapers. HD Wallpapers, 14 June 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

YouTube: What it Really Does




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The inception of YouTube occurred when three men at a party concluded on the difficulty of sharing videos online, and decided to create a Flickr-style video sharing website. It obviously became more than expected over time, and today holds the title as the 3rd most visited website on the internet, behind Google and Facebook.

Teens aged between 12 and 17 picked up the new media platform the quickest, after undergoing visual amazement of seeing the accessibility they had to so many videos. Then there came physical paralysis, in which they started watching the different videos ranging from home videos to old movie clips. Afterwards there was mental reaction from realizing that any person in the world could post his own personal videos on YouTube, which lead to new learning. At that moment, new action took place through the growing number of different videos posted each day, giving every YouTube user the impression of being an official filmmaker.

The parents however, did not receive the new media as efficiently as their kids. In the same way, Tom Gunning compares media to a railroad track, as in how its “early railway journeys entailed a gnawing fear of death through accident, a fear founded in a very real possibility, and in the novelty of traversing space at unheard-of speeds.” Parents feared that YouTube could corrupt their young ones due to little knowledge about public broadcasting.

Could YouTube really be a technological shift that the world never knew before? In some instances, no. We have always had the privilege to cite our opinion onto the world through television and radio, and create our own art, so what makes YouTube any different? From society’s perspective, encouragement of free expression ultimately grew more accessible since YouTube’s introduction to the internet. So is YouTube really new or just an expansion off a previously existing source?

But one statement could be said for certain: YouTube may or may not be “new,” even while deemed a “technological doppelganger.” It does virtually what other technological shifts have done in displaying the works done by other people so that it could be seen by the public. In its basic sense, YouTube combines what film, television, and Blockbuster Video have brought into the world of free speech. While the video library has copied off what everything else in the media does, it also brought the powers of film and television underneath its feet in the business, offering free movie clips and TV shows.

As a whole, YouTube became an enormous innovative force in the realm of the internet and how people communicate. It’s created instant celebrities, organized a movie rental system, aided educational settings, provided hilarious videos that kids get a kick out of, and made video access a whole lot easier for everybody.

Works Cited:

·         Gunning, Tom. “Renewing Old Technologies.” (n.d.): n. pag. Blackboard. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

·         Helft, Miguel. “YouTube Takes a Small Step Into the Film Rental Market.” New York Times. The New York Times Company, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

·         “History of YouTube.” Article Alley. Oyster Internet Ltd Company, 31 Mar. 2010. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

·         O’Malley, Gavin. “Ad Age Digital.” Advertising Age Digital RSS. Crain Communications, 21 July 2006. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

·         Sharif, Syra. “Is YouTube a Good or Bad Influence on Society?” PolicyMic. Mic Network Inc., 6 May 2012. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.