The Participatory Game and Sense of Wonder. Some Notes on the Numinous Cooperative Model of Popular Culture

Date of Publication:



Contrary to the currently prevailing neomarxist concept of hegemony, this study uses a model of participative culture in the research of popular culture. It is based on the idea of cooperation between agents of cultural industry and its users, especially in the environment of distinct subcultures. The author of the study complements this idea with the concept of the participatory game as a fundamental principle in the genesis and reception of popular culture. This game element is related to the concept of archetypal-mythical thinking, which is also characteristic of present-day man. This concept brings the sense of the sacred into popular culture. The author sees this phenomenon as particularly important, especially in the area of popular fantastical literature (science fiction, fantasy), the basic characteristics of which include the so-called sense of wonder. He presents fanfiction, in which “amateurs” recreate and reinterpret pop culture artifacts, as one of the specific creative expressions of religiosity on a game basis.


popular culture; participatory culture; game; myth; numinosum; sense of wonder

Full Text