OTW Fannews: Jumping to conclusions

Tardis in space with three actor photos

  • Longtime fans are fairly familiar with the variety of judgments they’re subject to for their hobbies, but these don’t only come from outside their fandoms. A recent post on Hypable discussed congoing and how it seems a step too far for some. “All this time, I thought the people who went to Harry Potter conventions were weirdos or nerds who didn’t have much else to occupy themselves with. After the trip to the TVD Con in Chicago though, I’m almost in mourning that I missed out on all the early HP conventions. I’ve learned that at these events, you can be a giant nerd if you want to…I’m jealous that I missed the opportunity to go to some of the first conventions, or that I didn’t go to the midnight book release parties, even if I would have been the oldest person there.”
  • Unleash the Fanboy hosted a post criticizing anger at casting choices. “Predictably, even the hint of casting against type has lead to the repetition of a depressingly familiar conversation, the conversation that happens any time there is a chance of changing a character’s race or gender or sexual orientation or whatever…The more I hear people make this criticism, the more difficult it becomes for me to pretend as if there is anything to it besides an open sewer of raw bigotry.” This is because the “characters we love are not solid objects: they are constellations of ideas.”
  • Of course sometimes assumptions do come from outside fandoms. The UK’s Daily Mail discussed another study on gamer demographics which came to the unsurprising conclusion that women spend as much time on games as men, and that gamers are generally older, married, have children, and are socially engaged with others when they game. “A spokesman for Pixwoo.com added: ‘This snapshot into the lives of ordinary gamers disputes many myths about the pastime, showing how integrated gaming is into our daily routine.'”
  • Writing for Den of Geek Laura Akers examines an episode of Castle to highlight the media’s changing approach to geeky pastimes. “Ironically, it is the actors, those who have traditionally profited from but sometimes cruelly patronized geek fans, who are portrayed [in the episode] as dysfunctional (and morally ugly).” She concludes that the Castle writers recognize that “geeks are no longer a marginal group who can be used and then mocked or dismissed. While Fillion is a bonafide geek, he and those like him are simply smart. They recognize that we are now legion—there are enough of us to build a substantial career on.”

What points of dispute have you come across in fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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