OTW Fannews: Fandom Education

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  • At Campaign Asia-Pacific Dave McCaughan wrote about studying fans to develop marketing strategies. “Personally I was a little surprised that when we asked 20,000 people around the world about being a fan of something, only around 40 per cent see themselves as fans. Of that number, 5 per cent say they are die-hard fans. Of course the numbers vary. Higher in the USA, much lower in Hong Kong and China. And this was fans of anything, not limited to football or sports. But as I said it was self-defining. And regardless, the numbers of ‘fans’ are huge. And among those millions who recognize their devotion, we noted three distinct new behaviors.”
  • Loyola University’s Student Dispatch wrote about a lecture on Harry Potter’s links to Christianity. “John Granger came to speak at Loyola University on ‘The Seven Keys to Harry Potter’, hosted by the club Alliance for Awesome…He told the crowd that reading the [first] book brought him to tears and the comparisons to Christianity are unmistakable. ‘I realized by the end of the book that she was a Christian,’ Granger said. ‘She chose to entrench the books with Christian symbolism like Narnia.’ The lecture continued to dissect each book, and several characters and moments and relate them back to Christianity. Granger also commented on J.K. Rowling and her faith life.”
  • NPR reported on Robert Morris University-Illinois’ institution of 45 to 50 athletic scholarships to competitive gamers. The “school of 7000 students, reports it has received 70 applications and over 500 email inquiries since the announcement. The only qualm Shaffer has, he said, is the existence of varsity sports in the first place, and the millions of dollars spent on them by universities around the country. ‘Whether it makes sense to award scholarships to an academic institution based on performance in a sport (whether electronic or not) is less clear.’ In other words, if giving kids money to hit buttons on a controller seems strange, so is rewarding kids who are good at putting a ball through a hole.”
  • Fanfiction is increasingly seen as a way to get young people writing, but Camp Lejeune’s The Globe profiled a library making fandom a family affair. “‘The goal of the event is to celebrate all the fandoms out there and remind people that being a fan of something is good and cool,’ said Pittman. ‘Also for the families to have something different to do on base and above all have fun.’ After competing in costume contests and bean bag toss games, families gathered for popcorn and treats as they watched Marvels ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.'”

Did you get to study fandom in school? Write about your courses in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.