Fandom and Neomedia Studies

Monumenta Mythica Volume 1 Abstract Pre-Prints

We are pleased to bring you these pre-print abstracts of articles that will appear in the first issue of Monumenta Mythica. This page will be updated as more papers are approved for inclusion.

Understanding Ludic Mythology: Deities and Heroes in Synthetic Worlds

Daniel Browne, University of Queensland, Australia

Myths express the human experience by distilling it into compelling narratives. Video games are a powerful communicative medium with significant cultural influence. These factors mean the myths that appear in video games assume tremendous cultural importance. And yet there is a distinct lack of academic research into this phenomenon. This article seeks to fill the space in what is known by investigating the relationship between video game mythology and existing forms of mythology. It argues mythological video games typically either adapt existing mythological traditions or appropriate the raw material of the past to transform it into something new. It further contends that ludic mythology—contextually important video game narratives that typically thematise deities, supernatural powers, or heroic journeys and the associated mise-en-scène that validates these stories—deserves to be studied as a separate phenomenon because existing comparatist, psychological, ritualist, structuralist, and ideological approaches towards the study of mythology do not acknowledge the distinct characteristics of the video game medium. Ludic mythology has an identifiable point of origin. Game designers and players co-author mythic narratives that are both malleable and capable of rapid change. Ludic myths take place in synthetic environments. They explore themes such as deicide and apotheosis that can be problematic for other mythological traditions. And the player’s interactions can determine both the content and structure of these stories. Essentially, ludic mythology is a new form of mythology that will be of great interest to mythologists and to those who study popular culture.

Celebrating the Past, Present, and the Future: The Case of Odumu Music and Dance among the Idoma People

Dr Godwin E. Ogli, Department of Music, Federal College of Education, Okene, Nigeria

The theatre of Idoma performative culture has served in various religious, entertainment, and historical functions. Using the language of music and dance, Odumu music offers an entertainment space for both young and old in Idoma traditional society. The music celebrates the people’s conquest and subjugation of their environment, effectively making it friendly, habitable, and useable for cultivation. This paper discusses Odumu musical performance and its socio-cultural significance among the Idoma people of Benue State, Nigeria. It captures Idoma’s celebratory story of conquest of the wild, self-rehabilitation, and occupation in the face of wars in the past. While the composition of the group depicts the strength of Idoma traditional society, the performance structure, musical instruments, and occasions for performance reveal the inter-personal realities, social interactions, belief systems, and entertainment priorities of the Idoma people. Further still, the work reveals that musical performance like Odumu is a vehicle par excellence for promoting Idoma identity and arts.

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