OTW Signal, August 2022

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works.

In the News

A recent article celebrating Pride and game modding gave an unexpected shoutout to OTW’s academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC):

In a sense, every act of gaming is an act of fan creation. Each player creates their own version of the story, something unique to their playstyle and rhythms. Watching a streamed game can be seen in a sense as reading fanfiction. As Rebecca Carlson writes in her editorial to Volume 2 of the journal Transformative Works and Culture, “social participation and active production — of meanings and experiences as much as of concrete fan-made work — are embedded in all acts of gaming.”

The article quoted was published in 2009 and came from an entire issue focused on gaming fandom. It and all TWC’s now 37 issues — covering a wide variety of fandom activities — are freely available to read on their website.

Nerds of Color contributor Shawn Taylor gave a talk about the power of fandom for radical change. His over hour long discussion covers many topics including how fans interrogate the material they are watching and how fandom generates microalliances. At the end he responds to an audience question about how anyone new to fandom can get started in it.

Find out which property you dig the most…and then go to Archive of Our Own (AO3) online and it’s a library of fanfiction. And read the fanfiction of what you dig and then write comments to people, because you’d be surprised at how many responses you’ll get. Because real fans, not like the little “this is my fandom not your fandom”, but fans who understand it’s pluralistic…they want to bond with you, they want you to be a part of the fandom! So go to AO3 or to a creator you like.”(1:10)

Clearly more and more fans are taking this advice and engaging with one another at AO3, as this graph about comment increases over time shows.

OTW Tips

Like other OTW projects, Transformative Works and Cultures has a Twitter account to keep you up to date on new content, older content and calls for contributions. You can find links to all the OTW social media accounts on our website. There are also links to some academic presentations on fandom and the OTW itself via our YouTube playlist.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or news story you think we should know about, send us a link. We are looking for content in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in an OTW post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Archive of Our Own, OTW Signal, Transformative Works and Cultures

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