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Title: Reinventing the book : exploring the affordances of digital media to (re)tell stories and expand storyworlds
Author: Franco, Claudio Pires
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 432X
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2017
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The focus of this thesis is on analysing the affordances of new technologies of the book. It looks at the transition between the affordances of the material book and the digital, focusing on the formal aspects of the book and its digital production and consumption. The research uses a coreperiphery model to locate innovation, looking first at a range of practices and then at selected producers and artefacts to identify relevant uses of the affordances of digital media, namely participation, co-creation, online reading communities, and the potential for cross-media extension of stories into other forms. The analyses of selected digital artefacts evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and ask: how have the affordances of the digital medium been used? What do these affordances offer to producers and consumers? And how have certain affordances changed the use value, the pleasures and the suitability of texts for their intended functions? This evaluation takes into account professional publishing contexts and a range of practices, looking at the ways in which producers make, classify and present their works. Affordances theory is used throughout, and ultimately shows that good design practices reinvent the medium, push the boundaries of the book, whilst considering the habits, needs and expectations of readers/users. A practice-led project is subject to analysis and reflection on practice in order to draw further insights and recommend approaches and tools for designers, publishers and other producers. This project experimented with reader engagement and co-creation to adapt the Nature Mage fantasy book series (Duncan Pile, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016) onto enhanced digital book and digital game texts. Media-specificity is used as a framework to look at the ways in which stories can be translated and expanded onto new forms that explore the affordances of digital media. The adaptations are located at the intersection of media, shaped by a range of intertexts from both analogue and digital media, and offering not simply another way of enjoying the narrative but texts that explore the digital affordances also to design features that relate to ludic, creative and social motivations and pleasures. Ultimately the thesis revisits the very definition of the book, its functions, its value and the ways in which emerging digital artefacts are doing the work of books and - thanks to new affordances and their hybrid nature - are not only changing the experience of reading, but also mixing it with the work of other media forms and genres. In doing so, this thesis contributes to furthering professional practice by highlighting a range of uses of the affordances of the digital medium to reinvent the book in the next chapter of its evolution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: affordances ; audience involvement ; convergence ; digital books ; electronic literature ; publishing ; Q320 English Literature