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Chambers, AC., Skains, RL., 2015.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Multimodal Mash-up: Film as Participatory Narrative

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:Participations: International Journal of Audience & Reception
Volume/Issue:12 (1)
Pagination:pp. 102-116

This paper examines Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Wright, 2010) as a multimodal text,
exploring the ways in which the film's appropriation of aesthetic, semiotic, and narrative
tropes from graphic novels and early graphic videogames invites the audience to participate
in the narrative, even while it is delivered through the physically passive, deinteractivating
medium of film. Intertextual references to the popular culture of the Gen X era (1980s/90s)
abound, evoking emotional responses from a generation that formed, in part, around 8-bit
videogames and comics. The graphic images trigger a participatory engagement through the
parallels with the highly interactive medium of videogames, and again forms a nostalgic
connection with the audience. In combining media genres and communicating through
these references to more participatory media, the film's alternate Toronto becomes more
than a secondary world; it becomes a virtual world created in part by the audience's
cognitive participation.