Fictional universe

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A fictional universe is a made up world that is used as the setting for one or (more commonly) many works of fiction. It is often used in books but can be used in any form used to tell a story, for example role-playing games, television or movies. It can be said that every work of fiction makes a world of its own. A fictional universe is used when things in a story become a part either of other stories, or of games or other things.

Fictional universes are most often used in science fiction and fantasy stories but they can be used in any type of fiction. A fictional universe usually has certain things in them that make them different from the real world. These things could affect anything from cities the author created to entire galaxies. In most fictional universes, the laws of physics are different to let things exist which commonly do not, for example, magic or space travel to other planets. Fictional universes may also take place in any time period during the past, present, or future.

Definition[change | change source]

The term was first defined by comics historian Don Markstein, in a 1970 article in CAPA-alpha.[1]

Markstein's criteria[change | change source]

  1. Characters that meet are in the same universe.
  2. Characters cannot be connected by real people
  3. Specific fictionalized versions of real people can be used as connections
  4. Characters "meet" if they appear together in a story.

Examples of fictional universes[change | change source]

There are many examples of fictional universes. They are often used to provide a common theme to many different types of things.

Fictional universe and team-up crossover characters[change | change source]

The Star Wars expanded universe[change | change source]

The Star Wars expanded universe is a fictional universe that was started from the first Star Wars movie Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977.

The Buffyverse[change | change source]

Based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer the television series.

Many types of fiction have their own "universe". Many started in one category and now exist in many of them. For example, Harry Potter started out as a series of books then moved to movies and then video games.

Movies and television
Video games
  • Grand Theft Auto - Fictional cities that are analogous to each other such as Liberty City to New York City or Los Santos to Los Angeles
  • Final Fantasy - Fantasy creatures and magic
  • Resident Evil - Zombies and other creatures
  • The Warcraft series and World of Warcraft - Fantasy creatures and magic
Books
Role-playing games
Locations

List of Shared Universes[change | change source]

Abandoned shared universes:

The reboots of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre shared a universe, the New Line Cinema's House of Horror which was cancelled following disappointing figures and reviews

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "THE MERCHANT OF VENICE meets THE SHIEK OF ARABI", by Don Markstein (as "Om Markstein Sklom Stu"), in CAPA-alpha #71 (September 1970); archived at Toonopedia