OTW Fannews: Where fandom’s going

Banner by Sidhrat of a road in the desert stretching into the distance.

  • The San Jose Mercury News wrote about the Quidditch World Cup. “The founder of San Jose State University’s quidditch team has no doubts that in another decade or so, her beloved broom-riding, ball-chucking game that was ripped from the pages of boy-wizard fiction will be an Olympic event.” However, as its athletic appeal grows, many want to detach it from its origins. “‘You’ll see people get into it who are really socially awkward, fan-fiction writing nerds, and they’ll be at practice along with lacrosse players…It’s a really diverse group…I get it, I see why people would want to distance the sport from that,’ she said. ‘But that would be abandoning our roots.'”
  • However, fandom has been at the start of many things, including the World Wide Web. In a look back, Engadget profiled the experiences of early users. While one contributor discussed game forums and Gone With the Wind fanfiction, another talked about creating fansites. “When one of my favorite comics at the time, Cyberella (which was a sort of Max Headroom-meets-Disney cyberpunk tale), got canceled in 1997, I made a fansite for it complete with timeline and FAQ page. The latter of which got me a slightly annoyed letter from the comic’s artist, Don Cameron, pointing out an error. It was the first letter I’d gotten from a creator about my sites, but not the last.”
  • The fact that both of the Engagdget contributors discussing fandom were women should be unsurprising. In an interview with Sequential Tart, fan studies author Anne Jamison discussed the gendering of fanwork creation. “A lot of people write fanfiction because they see fanfiction they don’t think is good and then think, ‘Well hey, I could do better than that.’ I think women are more culturally conditioned to accept that their work will be unpaid, that their creative activities are hobbies and ‘just’ hobbies. They may also be more culturally conditioned to enjoy a lot of process and interaction, more communal activity (at least in some cultures, very broadly speaking). I also believe it’s changing very fast now. As the stigma lifts and there are more opportunities to profit from fic-like activities, I predict we’ll see more men.”
  • Although Buzzfeed never uses the word “fandom”, they discuss how the cruise industry is focusing on fannish interests. “In recent years, cruises organized around rock bands have become a popular and successful way to attract a younger demographic. Not unlike Coachella, Bonnaroo, or other land-based music festivals, people don’t seem to mind being in a captive environment if it means drinking beer, listening to music, and meeting their rock idols.” There are already “cruises around Bravo’s Top Chef and the NFL’s New England Patriots. The company has also struck partnerships with the Oscars, Olympics, Tony awards, Dreamworks Animation, and others.”

What fandom movements have you seen? Write about them on 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.