September got off to a pretty spiffy start for us here at the OTW with an article from Inverse that talked about why people make fanworks and what the OTW does in fandom. (While the OTW gives many interviews, most resulting publications don’t actually talk about our mission, so this was exciting for us.) “Very often, fans come into [creating] fanwork because they’re not finding what they’re looking for, either from the show itself or from existing fan works,” the article says, adding that “what many creators have in common is the desire to shape their preferred narratives.” The article focuses on LGBTQ+ elements as a primary trait of many fanworks, and includes testimonials from fanworks creators about how “there’s just not a lot of mass culture that’s made for [LGBTQ+ people] and [their] tastes.” Is that why you create fanworks? Let us know in the comments!
More Pokemon! …or not. The fan-made game Pokemon Uranium, which was released on August 6th, is no longer available for download from its creators. Polygon reported first on the game’s release and then on its shutdown. The first article pointed out that “several other fan games live on without issue” despite potential copyright infringement, but with more than 1.5 million downloads, Pokemon Uranium was too big to go unnoticed. Nintendo did not contact the game’s creators directly, but they were “notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America,” and therefore “chose to remove the download links [themselves] out of respect for [Nintendo’s] copyright.”
If Devin Faraci’s proclamation that ‘fandom is broken’ had you seething last week, you aren’t alone.
In an article for Vox, Constance Grady discusses a number of anti-fanfic essays and blog posts and reminds us that bashing women’s interests is nothing new.
What is scary about transformative fandom is that it’s a place where young women love their media without reservation, and where they can make stories for themselves. That’s why as a culture we’ve decided that transformative fandom is weird and gross and morally wrong, and that’s why all the articles in the world explaining that transformative fandom is a totally legitimate way to interact with a text aren’t really making a dent in the never-ending stream of repulsed investigations of fandom. Because fandom is the province of young women and, culturally, we find young women terrifying.
Grady also corrected the persistent myth that fanfiction is ‘meant to replace and correct the work that inspired it,’ sharing her own experience as a fan of the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.