Build Better Worlds: Anthropology for Game Design, Film and Writing


Have you wondered why fantasy stories mostly are just copies of Medieval Europe? Why pop culture has been so obsessed with zombies? Or why Black Panther and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier seemed to hit the right chord at the right time for American conversations on race? To answer these questions, we're diving into world building, the process of creating realized worlds for (mostly) fictional stories and how anthropology could literally change the game.

On this episode Astrid Countee joins Adam Gamwell to co-host a conversation with the very dynamic duo of biological anthropologist/archaeologist Kyra Wellstrom and cultural anthropologist Michael Kilman. Kyra and Michael are educators and authors, and their latest book caught our attention because it does two things at once. First, it serves as an introductory textbook for anthropology students, digging into key ideas like culture, ritual, food, power and death. But second, it’s premised around how to use anthropology for building better world for game design, fiction writing, and filmmaking.

Building a better worlds is about creating more authentic characters based on actual science and data on culture. Thus the book is both an introductory text for anthropology students and creators.

Production: Adam Gamwell
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