At the recent FSNNA conference (were you there? Did we meet? If you’ve been there, the panel recordings and the discussion space is still available for a week.), Katherine Crighton, Dr. Naomi Jacobs and Shivhan Szabo introduced an online game where you can create new fanworks for your blorbo for the newest fannish sensation: Blow the Man Down. The catch is, this fannish sensation is not a TV show. The story is reverse engineered through the fanworks created for it, but in a sense, it doesn’t exist. Your blorbo also doesn’t exist. My blorbo is real cool, though, their name is Bogdán.
When it comes to fannish creation, there are some key theories to reference. Participatory culture is one, we also talk about gift economy, affective labor; can they possibly explain why we are able to act fannishly when there isn’t even a canon to be fans of? Are we experiencing real feelings for a fake blorbo because we participated in their creation, committing to this silly man? Or is it because of the nature of the work, we used fannish practices to create them, which is inherently affective? Or is it, as the presentation already points out, due to the spear theory: we build our blorbo by piercing many blorbos through and that creates our type? I dare you; play the game and let us discuss our experiences. Or if you’ve ever gonched, what did you think of it?