Links roundup for 16 April 2012

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Here's a roundup of fannish passion stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • Star Trek fan Terilynn Shull wrote about her introduction to online gaming and attributes her persistence in improving her skills to fellow fans. Though she "rarely feared letting [her] Trek-freak-flag fly," she was surprised by the reaction of non-fans to her desire to play Star Trek Online: "I experienced a bit of shock from the computer salesman, who at first thought I was buying a computer so my son could play the game. I took a bit of pride in knowing the crow he was forced to eat was caused by my clarification that middle-aged women like Star Trek, even women like me who have no children." Her new experiences weren't limited to developing "the manual dexterity to wield a console controller," as she was also encouraged to blog and invited to participate in podcasts. "Sure, I could say that I play STO for the really great Trek writing and the beautiful scenery, ships, and vistas that I've always loved from my favorite television show, but that wouldn't be the entire truth. To me STO just isn't worth playing without the wonderful, loving, and incredibly passionate STO players."
  • In a post simply titled "I <3 Fandom", a blogger for xojane writes about the joy of interacting with other fans. "People in fandom truly connect with each other on a level that constantly amazes me, and it’s a connection rooted in a mutual love for creativity, and pop culture, and things that make us giddy with excitement." In addition, "People have these complex and amazing discussions in fannish spaces, and here is something else about people in my corner of fandom: They are wicked smart. I can turn to them with a question about pretty much anything and not only will someone have an answer, but someone else will have Opinions and there will be a whole complicated discussion on the subject that quickly surpasses my knowledge and leaves me reeling."
  • In an opinion piece for the UK's The Independent, writer John Walsh talks about "the passion of pure fandom", which he found through David Bowie and his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. "I identified with every note of Mick Ronson's honkingly metallic guitar sound, with every weird cockney-quaver of Bowie's voice. I learned to play 'Five Years' and 'Starman' on guitar. To prepare for a talent night in the college bar, I took a girlfriend to the Oxford shops to find an outfit...I was a man possessed. I looked a fright and didn't care." Although he has since moved on, he remembers the time fondly. "It's like falling in love or living under a dictatorship in which everything the beloved leader does or says seems the actions or speeches of a genius. It makes no sense, but it means everything."
  • The Fandom Post traces the rise and fall of particular fandoms with a focus on the next generation of fans. The writer talks about introducing children to popular media texts, saying "not every kid is going to be open to these things. But they can be exposed to it and it can help them discover which things they will like, as movies, TV, comics and anime all have a lot to offer...And just as I expose them to all kinds of things for entertainment, they bring me into things as well. I had missed Invader Zim the first time around but both kids are huge fans from the reruns and gobble up the merchandise. I never saw the show but it’s one that has won me over since, and it was a shared discovery. And shared discoveries are often long lasting ones."

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