Mapping the Imaginary—Maps in Fantasy Role-Playing Games
This paper deals with cartographic representations as means of communicating the imaginary using maps in fantasy role-playing games as an example. Drawing on SCHUTZian accounts of intersubjectivity and communication we understand maps as one of many strategies to deal with the problem of "medium transcendencies" posed by communicating with others. The methodology of "sociological hermeneutics" (SOEFFNER) is introduced as means of approaching maps and the interactions they are involved in. In our analyses of maps used in role-playing games we can then show that maps are not only a means of locating oneself but also a means of actively creating a meaningful place in which we are entangled. Thus, maps help to form a sense of belonging in (imaginary) territories which are only given to us in mediated form.
maps; cartography; role-playing games; video hermeneutics; sociological hermeneutics; visual sociology