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This Week in Fandom, Volume 103

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, the the 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced. What are your predictions for who will win?

It’s been over a month since the Tumblr Purge, and the long-term effects are starting become apparent. The Mary Sue published an article examining the effects the purge has had on fandom specifically. The article states that there appears to have been a decrease in activity on the site.

What’s clear is that there’s been a fractious exit from Tumblr, with those who have left scattering to distant corners and no one clear alternate platform able to replace what Tumblr had been.

Tumblr isn’t totally dead, of course. Many people have remained, but from my perspective, there’s been a noticeable slowdown in activity.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Hansi Oppenheimer

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Hansi Oppenheimer is a Filmmaker & Fangrrl committed to supporting and promoting underrepresented voices in Pop Culture. She has been called a the “By-any-mean necessary-MacGyver of no budget documentaries” and her films, the Rashomon of documentaries with their focus on oral history and on fan recollections. Today, Hansi talks about the collection of activities under her Squee! project.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I’ve been actively involved in online fandom since roughly 2001 when I began to collect interviews for a documentary on the band The Replacements. I used message boards and My Space as well as talking with fans at performances to collect interviews for the film Color Me Obsessed which was released in 2011.

In 2012 I discovered fanfiction and wanted to explore that as a topic for my next project. I was reading academic works but I was having a really difficult time getting anyone to discuss writing fic on camera and was told that many writers felt they had been burned by the media and its focus on slash. I was more interested in exploring why fanfic existed: some of it offers opportunities for representation and diversity, some is just for the joy of creating a “what if” story and some of it is just for fun and wish fulfillment. I support all of these approaches.

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 90

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! This week, there’s been even more discussion of angry fans and the “toxic fandom” issue, so we’re going to take a look at three stories that explore different elements of this topic.

Gamers are upset over recent plot developments in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. (Warning for spoilers at the links in this section.) This week, it was revealed that instead of occupying the world tree Tel’drassil as planned, Horde Warchief Sylvanas burned it out of spite, leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians. As PC Gamer explains, this “is easily the most controversial moment in World of Warcraft’s history.” Because of a statement from game director Ion Hazzikostas that the world of the game is “a world of grey, it’s never been a world of black and white,” players had expected more nuance behind this event. When that turned out not to be the case, people were angry. Read More