Public talk by Naomi Alderman “How to get people to write fanfic of your videogame?”

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design
Bersenevskaya embankment, 14, Moscow

What makes a story 'successful'? Is it in the amount of revenue it generates, the number of copies or tickets sold? Or is it something much deeper - whether it lives in the minds and thoughts of those who have seen it, whether it becomes unforgettable, whether the story has created a world that we can't bear to leave?

In this talk, British author Naomi Alderman will suggest that - for her at least - the creation of 'fan fiction' and fan art is one marker of success. Fanworks are a growing phenomenon. Fuelled by the internet, fans of everything from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, from James Bond to Jane Austen are writing their own stories, and creating their own art about their favourite characters. Copyright holders sometimes want to clamp down on this creativity, but Alderman will argue that fanworks are a sign of success.

Her own game, Zombies, Run! which was co-created with Six to Start and has sold more than 2.5 million copies is one of the most fan-fic-heavy videogames in the world. She'll talk about why she welcomes fanworks, and how to create a story and storyworld that is friendly to fan creativity. 

4 June at 17.00 as part of the 3-day Future of the Word Forum, devoted to new perspectives on reading culture, the publishing industry and creative literary process in the UK and Russia.

Naomi Alderman

Naomi Aldermanis a novelist, broadcaster and videogame designer. Her novels, which include Disobedience and The Liars’ Gospel, have been translated into 10 languages and have won numerous awards. She is co-creator of the hit fitness game and audio adventure Zombies, Run!, which has sold more than a million copies around the world. She has written online games for Penguin and the BBC, and was the lead writer (2004-2007) on the alternative reality game, 'Perplex City', which was nominated for a BAFTA. She broadcasts regularly on BBC radio, is the presenter of Science Stories on BBC Radio 4 and writes a technology column for the Guardian. In 2013 she was selected by Granta for their once-a-decade list of Best of Young British Novelists, and in 2012-13 she was mentored in the Rolex Arts Initiative by Margaret Atwood. Penguin will publish her new novel The Power in November; it's about what happens when almost all the women in the world suddenly develop the power to electrocute people at will.

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