Ethnography of Fandom…

November 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

will almost always be a misrepresentation of the facts. The ability to survey fan culture would be nearly impossible mainly of two reasons:

  1. A surveyor’s ability to objectively observe the culture becomes null because the fan culture has immersed and changed them
  2. A surveyor’s presence modifies to some extent the fan culture within itself.

With that said, I want to talk about fan cultures of films from books. Take the Harry Potter (HP) series for example. It had a solid fan base while in its textual form, but when it hit the big screens the fan base increased exponentially. Do we consider the people that jumped on the wagon post movie premiere fans? If so, do we breakdown fan culture into different tiers? How do we distinguish the genuine fans from the hype fans? This is something that is very interesting to me, mainly cause I am too at fault for this sort of fake-fandom. I’ll admit  before the premieres of the HP series in the movie theaters, I didn’t really know anything about it about it. However I was immersed in the hype of everyone instantly becoming interested. I find that this is the scenario for the majority of cases, from movies and novels to games.

From the gaming aspect, I’m a proud participant in the gaming societies mainly involving MMORPGs. November is always an interesting month due to the fact that it is the prime month for game releases and updates. It becomes an interesting experience to watch the game culture complete putting down a game and the next week after a teaser trailer, even the diehards that were against the game seem to switch sides when the community migrates. In my eyes, the true fan is the one that supports their choice in peak times and slow times. They stay strong in their belief and aren’t persuaded otherwise from society. All the hype-riders irritate me sometimes, but then I step back and realize I’m at fault as well. There’s no one to really blame, that’s just how fan culture goes.

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§ One Response to Ethnography of Fandom…

  • catriarchy says:

    I guess you could say there are different subsets of fandom, but I wouldn’t consider people who got into Harry Potter after the movies were released to be FAKE fans. That was how I got into Harry Potter, after all. I had seen the movie, and it spurred me to read the books, which I think are much better than the films. I guess if you’re SAYING you like something just to have a particular image, then yeah, you’re not really a fan in my opinion. If you actually like something for what it is, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be considered a fan of it. Obviously, fans come in varying levels of obsessive tendencies, but just because someone may like Harry Potter more than I do doesn’t mean I’m NOT a fan of it.

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