Fan-atic or Fan-tastic? (FSEM: Beyond the Selfie – Week 13 Initial Post)

Anti-Fan Bases:

Image result for fan culture memes

 

Fan Bases:

 

As you can see, fan culture encompasses a wide variety of topics. On one hand, there are fans who embody their interests or passions over a wide variety of ways, and anti-fans who can serve as trolls and satirists or as people who absolutely reject a passion of somebody else. Ironically, this rejection can lead to activism against a passion, and become a passion in itself. Based on the readings, these views of passion versus obsession are contained within in the eyes of the beholder. Personally, I believe it is important to note that without an extreme, there may be no middle ground, which is where I lie in the spectrum of fandom.

This being said, I think it’s neat when people create things based off of original works. One could say I’m a “fan” of several video games. Within these games people have the potential to create mods to the game, similar to any other fan base, and alter the experience of the game, or change it completely in order to allow the user to shape their experience in the way they want to. Without mods in my games, the story would get bland after several replays, so I believe having access extend and use this cultural product is beneficial. In my case, the culture I’m a fan of doesn’t show to many people, but certainly to those I’m closest with. Most importantly, the things I’m a fan of helps me to discover my own identity in a reverse-engineering sort of way. It isn’t so bad having people “tamper” with original workings. Trying on different identities is what helps people to discover themselves, and that’s one of life’s biggest questions: who are you? With people giving others access to altered versions of the cultural products they are fans of, they can refine their understanding of themselves, whether they know what they are doing or not by exploring these paths. You see, there really isn’t any tampering going on – the original is still there for those who prefer it over any adaptation. Social culture is so interesting because some people – I assume the radical fans and anti-fans – believe their version of a work, whether it be an original or a rework, is a piece of art, if not the best.

In one frame of mind, this ideology can drive people to argumentation over pointless topics in pop culture. In another frame, this ideology actually serves as a catalyst to cultural development. Memes and cosplay as depicted above would not be possible without the more radical fan or anti-fan bases so people like me can sit back and have a laugh, think about each argument’s perspective as I like to do, or have a discussion about these fandoms and their influence on culture as is happening now. Even fans and anti-fans who feel that they have to defend and argue their viewpoints against each other can get satisfaction from this, not just the in-betweenies. I’m sure each group enjoys the opportunity to express their opinions, whether they compel the other group or not – such is the nature of passions. Overall, whether someone is a fan or an anti-fan, portions of the populace being passionate about a cultural icon serves to catalyze and develop human culture as well as personal identity. So is fandom fanatic or fantastic? All of the above, most likely.