What is this tool?
This tool is an example of how methods in the digital humanities help in understanding the complexities with shared imaginary worlds. It focuses on Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 because its ‘lore’ is a challenge for both newcomers to the setting, as well as those already interested in it. To use this tool, please feel free to add content by focusing on an event within the lore, then add your ‘insight’ as how best to understand it. This should be more than simply an opinion. It should be a well-thought-out piece of information that adds significance to the event. Most critically please point to at least one published text (and add a page number, paragraph number, or e-book location). You can also add a research ‘question’, that others can respond to with their own own answers. These work just like insights. Any insights can be challenged, if you disagree, or supported, if you agree. You can also take a new direction from an insight and develop your own similar, but different idea.
My hopes are that certain key conversations will emerge as of interest and that as people add their insights, we will create a canvas of the most important texts that address these elements. Questions over the canon, or references that appear to contradict each other are welcome. But the intention is to find references that clarify the published record of a topic. This tool is meant to augment online encyclopedias with specific references, providing an easily searchable list.
I will begin by offering the nature of the Emperor, his divinity, his origins, his fight with Horus, etc., as a starting point. Other conversations might begin by charting all the references to the two lost Primarchs and their legions. Have you ever wondered which published texts reference these Primarchs? Or maybe we might discuss what happened to Dorn, or where Russ might be. The key here is to create a type of online concordance that points to published sources and, if possible, page numbers.
As this tool develops, I will also add techniques for how to better articulate insights, as well as how to respond to the insights of others.