OTW Fannews: Keeping up with the times

  • The experience of BioWare and EA, developer and publisher of multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic suggests that addressing problems of representation should probably not be done after the fact. While many were happy to hear the company would be introducing same-sex romance options to the game, the announcement received both the usual homophobic backlash as well as disappointment from same-sex romance supporters of how slowly and how poorly the gamers were accommodated. “These characters will only be available via Rise of the Hutt Cartel, an expansion pack to be released in Spring 2012 [sic], meaning that players will have to pay to be gay in the game. SGR will also only be limited to Makeb, a planet that has been dubbed as a “gay ghetto” by multiple media outlets.”
  • The Daily Dot also wrote about two fans’ live-action remake of Toy Story and included Pixar employee tweets stating “Remember when being a big fan of a movie only meant you could quote all the dialogue?”
  • Deirdre Macken of The Australian would likely prefer those fans of old. Lamenting “the extinction of literature’s audience”, she wrote “Instead of readers, a writer today will have fans who pay homage to the author by plagiarising their style in fan fiction. Instead of readers, a writer will have followers, for whom a retweet is as good as a read, user reviews (especially if mum knows her way around Amazon), festival audiences, theatre audiences and even corporate audiences, but few solitary sessions with a reader. The writer is downloaded into the library of good intentions but never read.” She also later adds “LOL, imagine linking SMS to literature” apparently unaware that writers have indeed published novels through tweets and texts since at least 2007.
  • Macken doesn’t seem to be the only one failing to keep up with cultural developments. Scott Sterling at Digital Trends thinks much the same of the TBS show King of the Nerds. “We all knew someone like the contestants described above, but somewhere along the line, we became them. Comic-book movies dominate theaters and fan-fic tops best-seller lists. Coding is widely practiced. Almost every person uses a computer on a daily basis, and half of us carry one in our pocket. The fact that mainstream culture has adopted nerds and their activities as their own is no revelation. The point is not that nerds are cool, as any commentary of The Big Bang Theory seems to end with, but rather that King of the Nerds makes it painfully obvious that we’re all nerds, at least in the traditional sense of the word that anyone of a certain generation grew up with.”

What fandom changes have you seen during your time in it? Write about your experiences in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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