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Abstract

Contemporary cases of transmedia storytelling have thrown many conventional understandings of ‘adaptation’ into disarray. The resurgence of tabletop game culture has thus far played a significant role in this, though scholars have largely neglected the subject, particularly in terms of how transmedia relationships reconfigure the meaning(s) shaped by and through games by players. This paper addresses this phenomenon through a close analysis of two board games based on The Lord of the Rings, in which the (re)construction of the story-world of the source text(s) impacts strongly on ‘conventional’ modes of narrative and identification. Governed by the adoption of various mechanics and innovative uses of the ‘competitive-cooperative’ spectrum, such transformations frequently have significant implications for how narrative meanings might be generated through play.

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