Machinimators have created and distributed tens of thousands of fan vids, parodies, satires, reenactments and original content through online fora in an increasingly complex ecology of technologies and new media. Its influence has been widespread, impacting digital arts, film, new media platforms and even politics through the user-generated co-created and produced content, some of which has been used as ‘pre-production’ for big budget films that have subsequently been realised in mainstream environments such as Hollywood (eg., The Lord of the Rings and Resident Evil).
[Machinima’s] growth in popularity has impacted games developers significantly because it challenges the ways in which they view their intellectual property and the role of their customers (games players) in the creation of commercial value, effectively testing the boundaries between authorship and ownership. In turn, this has resulted in a shift in thinking about the format and framing of end-user license agreements (by eg., Microsoft, EA Games).
Machinima: A Meme of Our Time | Tracy Harwood ift.tt/2gKHZ5M
As films like Star Wars become more prominent, and with the growing importance of Chinese audiences, these kinds of marketing strategies that capitalises on the official and special edition merchandise will become more common. Fans as consumers will be normalised, as rather than participating in practices that often challenge the readings of the text or (Asian) societal norms, consumption advances the capitalist sensibilities of Hollywood studios that produce franchises like Star Wars.
Rarely are computing systems developed entirely by members of the communities they serve, particularly when that community is underrepresented in computing. Archive of Our Own (AO3), a fan fiction archive with nearly 750,000 users and over 2 million individual works, was designed and coded primarily by women to meet the needs of the online fandom community. Their design decisions were informed by existing values and norms around issues such as accessibility, inclusivity, and identity.
An Archive of Their Own: A Case Study of Feminist HCI and Values in Design | Casey Fiesler, Shannon Morrison, and Amy S. Bruckman ift.tt/2fs23fp
As noted above, material culture is generally limited by money and space (Woo 2014, ¶4.1). This is not the case for textual productions, because anyone with a computing device, an Internet connection, and network permission to visit a relevant Web site (e.g., Equestria Daily) can find and access them. Thus they belong to no one in particular but rather to the fandom as a whole (Busse and Hellekson 2006, 7). In contrast to Derek Johnson’s argument that assigning authorship to bronies “attributes the creativity of participatory culture to exclusively masculine, adult, and heterosexual identities” (Johnson 2013, 145), I have found that the combination of accessibility and the ambiguity of digital creativity creates a situation in which no one possesses exclusive rights to fan fiction, just as no one owns the show Friendship Is Magic. As a means of participation and expression, fan fiction and digital media allow individuals and groups to explore and renegotiate the MLP source text in a way that has a tangible impact on how the community in general thinks about and draws from pony and its own history.
Cuteness, friendship, and identity in the brony community | Theo A. Peck-Suzuki | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2eUIZYz
Monster High’s recent ad campaign claims, “We are monsters. We are proud.” Race, ethnicity, and disability are coded into the dolls as selling points. The allure of Monster High is, in part, that political identity and the celebration of difference become consumable. The female body, the racialized body, and the disabled body have long been coded as monstrous. Monster High reclaims this label, queering it.
Valuing queer identity in Monster High doll fandom | Sara Mariel Austin | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2fX1mrx
(S)he not only recasts popular fandoms with diverse characters, but also constructs a new historical and social narrative within her fan art. Her fan castings not only include a token person of color, but also often say something important about that character’s newly ethnicized background, and how it changes the familiar story now that this background has been included.
Racebending fandoms and digital futurism | Elizabeth Gilliland | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2fPPnOl
Fans rarely possess equal power with commercial producers. Despite this, SotMK fans co-opt the space, reconstructing the expected practices of theme park visitors. In fact, while the text of SotMK cannot be changed by fans, the text of the Magic Kingdom is being actively altered. In this way, fans are participating in a process, similar to what Juli Parrish (2013) describes (in reference to fan fiction) as “world building,” or a “process that remakes the place itself” rather than just borrowing pieces of it.
Creative choices and fan practices in the transformation of theme park space | Carissa Ann Baker | Transformative Works and Cultures fanhackers.tumblr.com/post/152918045701/fans-rarely-possess-equal-power-with-commercial
This problem is especially pernicious in–though as the J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter lexicon case demonstrates, not limited to–visual media, where the legal cases involving images and questions of fair use have placed far more limited restrictions on what can be done with images as opposed to, say, text. A scholar of a modern or contemporary poet would likely not even think of requesting permission to reprint an entire poem in a scholarly work (because, of, you know, fair use), whereas in, say, comics studies, it has become standard practice for publishers of comics scholarship to demand that authors get express written permission for each and every image to be reproduced, even though a work of scholarship is an obvious example of fair use.
Ba Zi, 9c. Fair Use and the Translation Stranglehold ift.tt/2eDaiVp
The kind of literature that fan fiction is did not spring fully formed into being in the 1960s and 70s, though some journalists still seem to think so. Throughout this book I have been stressing the link, in literary terms, between fan fiction and any other fiction based on a shared canon […]. It is clear from the comments of fan fiction writers like Ika and Belatrix Carter that one major attraction of this genre for writers is the sense of a complicit audience who already share much information with the writer and can be relied on to pick up ironies or allusions without having them spelled out. Writing based on the canons of myth and folklore can do this too, though as Belatrix Carter pointed out in chapter 7, these canons have been so extensively used for so long it is becoming harder to do anything with them that feels original.
But there is another point, implied in Ika’s remark in chapter 2 – ‘What I like about fan fiction is that you can still get that very highly trained audience that can understand very, very complex and allusive things.’ The use of ‘still’ alludes to the undoubted fact that for the traditional canons of myth, Bible, history, and folklore, this “very highly trained” audience is not as reliable as it once was, because the canon information is not as widely shared as it used to be. […] a writer can no longer allude to Lazarus, Circe or Alexander and be reasonably sure that most of his readers have in their heads the thoughts, stories or images for which he was aiming. The human need for heroes and archetypes does not go away, but their faces change with time, and one avatar takes the place of another. Ika’s point is a shrewd one: in an age of fragmented rather than shared cultures the fan fiction audience is unusual in having as thorough a knowledge of its particularly shared canon as a Bible-reading or classically educated audience once did.
Sheenagh Pugh, The Democratic Genre: Fan Fiction in a Literary Context, p. 219 (via nihilistelektra) ift.tt/2e8XhTk
The mainstreaming of fandom into millennial culture is a chosen stance of fans to represent their modes of engagement as more than only niche and subcultural. Fans choose to post about their fan engagement in the public spaces of Tumblr rather than the locked communities and friends-only journals of the late 1990s and early 2000s. They may perceive these fan spaces as intimate publics, as I’ve written about elsewhere, yet they choose to allow for the possibility of visibility, for a default public culture, albeit one with intimate semi-private pockets. Indeed, the social activism of, for example, what some refer to as Tumblr feminism is part of—or at least deeply connected to—this fan performance of fandom as an expansive mode of engagement with something important to share and spread.
Who Are Millennial Fans?: An Interview with Louisa Stein (Part One)
See also @millennialfandom ift.tt/2dL1h99
Understanding that comic book fandom has historically been organized around the physical, tangible objects of comic books in paper pamphlet form is critical to examining the way technological innovations affect the industry’s future prospects and the relationship between reader and text and any potential shifts in the role comic book stores play in those relationships. Are comic book readers not fans if they collect digital files instead of physical texts, or has this historic boundary shifted as a result of textual digitization? Can one “own” a digital comic book text and, if so, how does this ownership alter the historic boundaries between comic book readers and comic book fans? And how does the locus of fan community shift if texts are no longer primarily distributed through comic book stores?
(Re)examining the attitudes of comic book store patrons | Stevens | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2dKj0R2
Less a form of antisocial (or subsocial) behavior, fandom is shown as a way for individuals to creatively manage, at both the personal and the interpersonal levels, the “rules of play” imposed upon them by a variety of social institutions (economics, education, family, etc.). At least, this is what the episode itself suggests has happened for the protagonists Dean and Sam, who are depicted leaving the fan convention with a new appreciation not only for Supernatural fans, but also (…) for each other.
Review of Playing fans: Negotiating fandom and media in the digital age, by Paul Booth | Gregory Steirer | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2eSabXq
Corporations no longer need to sue fanfiction communities; rather than being litigated into submission, authors now give up their rights willingly.
Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education, p205 ift.tt/2e6dGYd
Fan fiction archives’ mission is to preserve all fan works for all fans, not to judge which are “worth” saving and which are not worthy. Fan critics can debate which fan works, in any given universe, are the “best,” but fan archivists strive to preserve all of the works, as much as they can - because they value their fandoms as important and significant living cultural communities, and they feel that every corner of their cultures is worth safeguarding.
Abigail de Kosnik, in Why Study Fan Archives: An Interview with Abigail De Kosnik (Part One) ift.tt/2eB5H7g
Social science research has pointed to a gradual lessening of both homophobia and heteronormativity in the United States since the 1970s. That this lessening is mirrored in K/S fan fiction points to the utility of fan fiction as a lens through which to study society. While writers of slash fan fiction might be, on the whole, more accepting of nonheterosexuality than their nonslash-writing peers, these individuals are still clearly influenced by normative cultural expectations. Therefore, a study of slash fan fiction across the decades could also point to changes in how sexual identity is understood, how roles within relationships should be articulated, or even in our understanding of what is sexually pleasurable. Thus, studying changing US norms of gender and sexuality through slash fan fiction is a fruitful—dare I say logical—endeavor.
Homophobia, heteronormativity, and slash fan fiction | April S. Callis | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2dnmWHi
The importance of having an online space to explore identity is perhaps not as clearly defined as seeing, say, a blockbuster superhero film helmed by a black actor, or a post-apocalyptic society populated by more than one or two token people of color; however, these spaces still allow unparalleled explorations of self, as well as how that self is defined, in ways that we perhaps do not yet fully understand.
Racebending fandoms and digital futurism | Elizabeth Gilliland | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2d2ONsS
Fan fiction often demonstrates a high level of knowledge of and insight into its source texts (or canons, in fan fiction vocabulary) and, as an allusive literary form, rewards equally high levels of knowledge in its readers. This knowledge has an erotic inflection (as, famously, in early English translations of the Bible, where to know is to intimately penetrate); fans have not only understanding but intimacy with their canon, and fan fiction increases this intimacy. Theorists of fan fiction often speak of fan fiction as filling the gaps in a source text, a phrase with its own sexual undertones that also describes fan fiction’s self-assumed role as interlinear glossing of a source text. Silences and absences in the source text act as barriers to intimacy, and fan fiction writers fill these silences with their imaginative activity, enabling their own deeper understanding of the world and characters of the source text. In its current context in popular media fandom, fan fiction is, among other things, a heuristic tool: a mental technology that facilitates understanding of a text by means of an affective hermeneutics—a set of ways of gaining knowledge through feeling.
Wilson, Anna. 2016. “The Role of Affect in Fan Fiction.” In “The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work,” edited by Ika Willis, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 21.http://ift.tt/2c6cCRl. (via wildehacked) ift.tt/2dHAQa6
The behavior is a blur between punk fashion and commune. Like punks, mass hoarders implicitly critique capitalist values by inventing a playstyle that elevates self-expression, personal goals, and nontraditional desires. But this practice is communally rather than rebelliously focused: they create a mutually supportive subculture in which the profit motive is derailed in favor of a rigorous sense of fairness. Through this combination, the fans turn an app designed to stress profit and acquisition and to minimize personality into a space where both clear identities and fair play can rule. They create pockets of humanity and humane behavior in a digital world where those sentiments were (perhaps intentionally) omitted.
Hoarding and community in Star Wars Card Trader | Jeremy Groskopf | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2dnIxye
Whether you like or loathe the term “millennial” and the idea of generational categories, they are unlikely to disappear any time soon, and a sustained focus on millennial fans (who are prime targets of the media industry) is not only welcome, but long overdue.
Review of Millennial fandom: Television audiences in the transmedia age, by Louisa Ellen Stein | Helena Louse Dare-Edwards | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2dzo8bT
Just as hooking up is central to many sexual subcultures, rewatching, reworking, reviewing, and redoing are central aspects of many fannish practices. (…) This queer, fannish emphasis on the re, rather than the mix, is the place where creation and authorship in fan communities most clearly opposes normative practices of future-oriented production.
Fannish masculinities in transition in anime music video fandom | Samantha Close | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2cN4EOZ