The Simpsons did it: Exploring the film trope space and its large scale structure
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Author/sGarcía-Sánchez, Pablo; Vélez Estévez, Antonio; Julián Merelo, Juan; Cobo Martín, Manuel Jesús
SourcePLoS ONE 16(3): e0248881
Creating a story is a challenging task due to the the complex relations between the parts that make it up, which is why many new stories are built on those cohesive elements or patterns, called tropes that have been shown to work in the past. A trope is a recurring storytelling device or pattern, or sometimes a meta-element, used by the authors to express ideas that the audience can recognize or relate to, such as the Hero's Journey. Discovering tropes and how they cluster in popular works and doing it at scale to generate new plots may benefit writers; in this paper, we analyze them and use a principled procedure to identify trope combinations, or communities, that could possible be successful. The degree of development of these different communities can help us identify areas that are under-developed and, thus, susceptible to such a type of development. To detect these communities, with their associated degree of development and interest, we propose a methodology based on scientometric and complex network analysis techniques. As a secondary objective, we will obtain a general perspective in the trope and films network: the tropesphere. We have used a dataset of 10,766 movies and 25,776 tropes associated with them, together with rating, genres and popularity. Our analysis has shown that not only there are different trope communities associated with specific genres, and that there are significant differences between the rating and popularity of these communities but also there are differences on the level of development between them: emerging/declining, specific, transversal or motor.