Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Winter Wonderland! (Wait, that’s not how the song goes…) Overwatch has begun its first annual December holiday, complete with in-game goodies. According to Kotaku, one goodie in particular has fans worked up. The character Widowmaker, “a character based around the tropes of the femme fatale, …[has] a highlight intro in which she holds mistletoe over her head, then punches the viewer in the throat and steps on them.” And, as the article succinctly put it, “the fandom is having a moment with this.” A very good moment.
Fans: "I WANT WIDOWMAKER TO STEP ON ME"
Fans: "THANK YOU"
— 🍹🤖Pasochan (アルマ) (@PasokonGal) December 13, 2016
At least, it’s probably a good moment?
(The Mary Sue has a roundup of all the Overwatch Winter Wonderland goodies, too!)
This next story comes with a warning for discussion of sexual assault and coercion, plus some spoilers. There’s been a conversation in the Outlander fandom recently on a potential season 3 plot point that, in the original books, includes what contemporary culture would define as rape. Inverse began this conversation recently with an article about how the difference in attitudes between today and 1993, when the book was first published, would have to be addressed in the television adaptation. Diana Gabaldon, the author of the books, responded to the article with an essay about why the plot point in question did not constitute rape. Inverse then posted a followup article to highlight some of the discussion this exchange has inspired. As one fan put it:
I see it as a generational divide. There is such a wide divide in thought within this fandom. I don’t know about others in my generation, but [“no means no”] is something I feel very strongly about. To realize you’re surrounded by people who feel the opposite is jarring.
According to another fan:
Diana [Gabaldon] clearly doesn’t believe she wrote a rape scene — so obviously, I’m not going to tell her what she did or didn’t write. A lot of people are questioning it, and I think that’s okay. We need to have these conversations. Fandom is such a psychological study. It’s so fascinating. I love being a part of it and I love watching it.
The article concludes with some thoughts on how the television series might handle it:
The responsibility of the producers is not necessarily to do what the fans want — because different fans want different things. The responsibility is first and foremost to the story, and second, to not engaging with difficult material without earning it. It’s not going to be a fun fandom or a real take on something if people don’t disagree. Variety is the spice of life — especially in fandom.
What do you think of all this? Talk to us on Twitter @otw_news!
Lastly, a happy bit. As 2016 winds down and changes loom, people are remembering Vine and all the joy it brought with compilations of their favourites. Check them out on Tumblr!
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