News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Fan conventions

    Claudia Rebaza - Piątek, 16 sierpnia 2013 - 8:47pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Image by Robyn of gathered people with text reading Meetups Large and Small

    • SB Nation published a somewhat bemused summary of a day at MLB Fanfest but concluded that "The Real Baseball Thing has something to do with the act of playing baseball and something to do with the cumulative experience of watching it over a lifetime, and it's easy to sense its presence and see its effect. It manifests as a slow, blissed-out trancefulness, and it -- and not the sepia tones or the synergy -- is what still fills stadiums and domes. The chance to commune with it is what led volunteers to spend day-long shifts feeding pitching machines and encouraging strangers. It was the only reason anyone was at the Javits Center in the first place, and why the game -- alternately shrunken and puffed-up as it can seem -- can still fill six blocks with excited people."
    • Henshin Justice wrote about the growth of Tokusatsu fandom as seen at Anime Expo. "Power Morphicon is still in its infancy and focused on tokusatsu’s American counterpart; and G-Fest, the largest Godzilla / Japanese monster convention, is far away in the Midwest. Therefore, as the largest North American convention geared specifically toward Japanese animation and entertainment, Anime Expo becomes the big summer convention for most West Coast-based toku fans to meet and geek." This can be a mixed experience since no fandom is completely harmonious. "[T]okusatsu cosplayers aren’t exempt from harsh, unnecessary criticisms. John noted other toku fans who approached him and questioned his cosplay and criticized him for even liking anything related to the Kamen Rider Hibiki series."
    • Fan conventions are also the subject of documentaries, such as Fantasm, a horror convention documentary that "explores the bonds formed by the close-knit community of fans who attend horror conventions."
    • Get-togethers don't always have to be on such a large scale though, and animator Leigh Lahav created the short video "Fangirls" as a gentle poke at the trials and tribulations of female fandoms.

    What fan convention stories do you have? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Knowing your rights

    Claudia Rebaza - Środa, 14 sierpnia 2013 - 4:50pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Banner by Bremo reading This Image Has Been Removed for Copyright Reason

    • Microsoft has been in the news for its copyright decisions in the past few months. Shogun Gamer had a discussion about Microsoft's retraction of a DRM decision that would have limited game buyers' rights to share games and would have required people to be connected online daily, which also restricted who could use the content. Perhaps the earlier controversy informed their second decision to open up the X-box to development. "[T]he company is doing away with its unpopular publishing restrictions, opening the door for independent developers to create and release their own games on Xbox One without enlisting the aid of a publishing partner. That essentially turns every Xbox One owner -- from well known developers to your average Joe -- into a potential Xbox One game maker."
    • At PBS' Mediashift, Patricia Aufderheide discussed the case of a music copyright incident and its troubling outcome. "Baio warns fellow remixers everywhere that “fair use will not save you,” and “nothing you have ever made is fair use.” Whoa. Neither of these statements is true. Fair use is riding high in the courts. The fair uses of "Jersey Boys," who used clips from "The Ed Sullivan Show," were forcefully vindicated just a few weeks ago, and the litigious rightsholders were ordered to pay the defendants’ costs and fees. Georgia State University successfully defended a copyright lawsuit brought by greedy publishers, and got a court order for the publishers to pay over $3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs."
    • It's easy, however, to find cases of companies taking questionable actions, such as the movie subtitle fansite undertexter.se being raided by the police. The site contained user-submitted translations of movie dialog. "The copyright industry in Sweden has previously asserted threateningly that the dialog of a movie would be covered by the copyright monopoly, and that any fan translation – even for free – would be a violation of that monopoly." However, a similar case took place in Poland where "the charges were dropped and the expert opinion was that translating from hearing and sharing for free is not infringing the copyright monopoly. This is relevant as any EU court sets precedent all over the EU."

    What legal and technology stories have you seen that impact fan activities? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom spinoffs

    Claudia Rebaza - Niedziela, 11 sierpnia 2013 - 6:28pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Handcuffs, ribbon, and a key by caitie~

    • Emma Di Bernardo wrote a post for the online zine Wom*news asking Twilight Fanfiction: Can It Turn Sexism Into Feminism? "The most popular, successful and fastest growing genre in Twilight fanfiction is Alternate Universe, or AU. These fics take away what many presume to be the most enticing elements of the Twilight series...That Bella loves Edward unconditionally and forgives him for any mistakes or sexist, misogynistic, or manipulative behaviour and...Bella is super submissive and basically the character equivalent of a doormat with no personality...Fans are given the chance to rewrite parts that they didn’t like about the books, or take the essential physical traits of the characters and use the already established familial and romantic relationships to shoulder an original plot."
    • Posting at The Writer's Block blog, Lyda Morehouse also cites fixing canon as one of her three reasons for writing fanfic. "Fandom used to be a word that encompassed the entire community of fans, no matter what their individual fandoms...I find it’s a whole different kind of writing than what most professional writers are used to because there is a serious amount of instant gratification...It’s not like sending a book off to a publisher and never hearing boo from your readers. I get feedback chapter by chapter for my fics, and sometimes a dialogue happens between the reader and the writer—someone will say, 'Oooh, I wonder if x will happen?' and the author writes back and says, 'I never thought of that! I might use that!” and suddenly a community is writing a story.'"
    • Speaking of Twilight fanfic and fandom communities, Examiner.com wrote about the continued interaction between author and fandom. "Fifty Shades of Grey fans got a heartfelt thank you from E L James on July 7. The author made an impromptu call into Seattle WAVE radio which was devoting 3 hours of airtime to the 'greysessed' fan community. Planning to discuss fan fiction, fan art and all things 'Fifty Shades,' host Lori Ness was excited when E L James called to give a 'huge thank you' to all her loyal fans. James went on to tell prospective writers to 'write for yourself.'"

    What fanwork spinoffs have you seen in your fandoms? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanfiction around the world

    Claudia Rebaza - Piątek, 9 sierpnia 2013 - 5:42pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Map of the world with pictures of fandom

    • The Hindu featured an article on writer Shreya Prabhu Jindal who discussed her start in fanfic. "Most of the audience members were eager to know how Shreya, in her early twenties, managed to write a book at such a young age. Shreya, an English teacher at Vasant Valley School, began writing when she was 13. As a young girl and a budding writer, she discovered fan fiction, and ever since, has written in that genre, relatively unknown in India. 'A lot of my writing is inspired by fan fiction. I visualise stories as scenes and there are cliff hangers in my stories.'"
    • The National of the United Arab Emirates wrote about Kindle Worlds. "[P]ushed to its logical conclusions, it has potentially major implications for the way the creative industries work, and, indeed, for what we mean by 'fiction'. As fan fiction comes into the mainstream, it’s possible to envision a future in which popular novels become only the first instalment in an ecosystem of further stories. And over time, will the great distinction we maintain now between the original work and the fan fiction simply fade away? Currently, our idea of the creative process, and of 'art', is tightly wound up with the idea of a single author – this is the idea of the creative genius, given to us by the 19th-century romantics – but in this networked age, perhaps that conception of art is finally losing relevance. Instead, we may come to see art as the aggregated efforts of a number of networked people: a creation of the global brain, not a solitary author."
    • Malaysia's The Star Online had two features on fanworks. One focused on online RPGs. "Nurhanani Fazlur Rahman, 19, prefers the unique collaborative effort involved in 'role-play fanfic'. And she doesn’t do her writing on forum boards like most of the others in the genre – she does it on Tumblr, as part of a community of about 30 authors from around the world. In fact, Nurhanani – or Nani, as her friends call her – has five separate Tumblr blogs, each dedicated to a character from the A Song Of Fire And Ice series."
    • The other feature focused on fanfiction's evolution. "Known simply as fanfic, this genre of storytelling has actually been around for quite some time. Some even say Charlotte Brontë and her siblings pioneered it when they started writing fantasy adventures based on Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington – an actual person. In today’s world, that’s known as real-person fanfic – very popular among One Direction and Kpop fans. And in the 70s, of course, we had the Star Trek-based Spockanalia fanzine, which was basically filled with fanfic. But thanks to the Internet, e-books and tablet devices, fanfic has really started to grow like crazy in recent years, including in Malaysia."

    What stories have you seen about fanworks in your country? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Academic takes on fandom

    Claudia Rebaza - Czwartek, 8 sierpnia 2013 - 6:01pm
    Typ wiadomości:
    • New York City's Museum of the Moving Image is hosting a presentation on vidding given by former board member Francesca Coppa, titled "Remix Before YouTube." The presentation is on Friday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Video Screening Amphitheater.
    • Drew Emanuel Berkowitz writes in School Library Journal about Fanfiction: What Educators Really Need to Know. "It wasn’t too long ago that educators believed writing stories based on television shows, movies, comic books, cartoons, and video games was “nonacademic”, “frivolous”, and even “inappropriate” for K-12 public schools. Recently, however, a growing number of teachers and librarians...have written about their successful attempts to bring fanfiction writing into their classrooms." Yet some educators "worry that in-school fan practices might not be able to maintain the qualities that have made out-of-school fan practices so appealing."
    • Austenprose provided a review of the book Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, by Deborah Yaffe. "After the lively introduction which explores her motivations for writing the book, it is broken down into three parts, much like dramatic structure of Austen’s three volume novels. Within the ten chapters one or two different personalities in the Janeite world are featured as an example of the diversity of Austen’s fans and how they express their passion."

    What academic takes on fandom have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Jumping to conclusions

    Claudia Rebaza - Środa, 7 sierpnia 2013 - 4:14pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Tardis in space with three actor photos

    • Longtime fans are fairly familiar with the variety of judgments they're subject to for their hobbies, but these don't only come from outside their fandoms. A recent post on Hypable discussed congoing and how it seems a step too far for some. "All this time, I thought the people who went to Harry Potter conventions were weirdos or nerds who didn’t have much else to occupy themselves with. After the trip to the TVD Con in Chicago though, I’m almost in mourning that I missed out on all the early HP conventions. I’ve learned that at these events, you can be a giant nerd if you want to...I’m jealous that I missed the opportunity to go to some of the first conventions, or that I didn’t go to the midnight book release parties, even if I would have been the oldest person there."
    • Unleash the Fanboy hosted a post criticizing anger at casting choices. "Predictably, even the hint of casting against type has lead to the repetition of a depressingly familiar conversation, the conversation that happens any time there is a chance of changing a character’s race or gender or sexual orientation or whatever...The more I hear people make this criticism, the more difficult it becomes for me to pretend as if there is anything to it besides an open sewer of raw bigotry." This is because the "characters we love are not solid objects: they are constellations of ideas."
    • Of course sometimes assumptions do come from outside fandoms. The UK's Daily Mail discussed another study on gamer demographics which came to the unsurprising conclusion that women spend as much time on games as men, and that gamers are generally older, married, have children, and are socially engaged with others when they game. "A spokesman for Pixwoo.com added: 'This snapshot into the lives of ordinary gamers disputes many myths about the pastime, showing how integrated gaming is into our daily routine.'"
    • Writing for Den of Geek Laura Akers examines an episode of Castle to highlight the media's changing approach to geeky pastimes. "Ironically, it is the actors, those who have traditionally profited from but sometimes cruelly patronized geek fans, who are portrayed [in the episode] as dysfunctional (and morally ugly)." She concludes that the Castle writers recognize that "geeks are no longer a marginal group who can be used and then mocked or dismissed. While Fillion is a bonafide geek, he and those like him are simply smart. They recognize that we are now legion—there are enough of us to build a substantial career on."

    What points of dispute have you come across in fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Audiovisual histories

    Claudia Rebaza - Niedziela, 4 sierpnia 2013 - 6:34pm
    Typ wiadomości:

    Picture of a cassette tape with post title caption

    • A few posts have recently discussed fannish audiovisual works. One was at Learned Fangirl which examined musical remix culture. "One advantage in analyzing the creativity surrounding Daft Punk’s Get Lucky is that the original visuals doesn’t matter to the re-imaginings at all. This allows the public to focus on the brilliance that is possible with just the reuse and re-purposing of the music." Addressing a frequent criticism, writer Raizel insisted "All of these works **are** transformative – all of them have the original and change it into something new and different. Instead of stripping away the economic value of the song, they have increased it. Fans found this song meaningful and 'made it their own', helping others find the fun as well."
    • At The Daily Dot, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw explored the evolution of fandom mixtape culture. "Fanmixes can be created as the soundtrack to a fanfic, but they’re just as likely to be like a normal mixtape: capturing a particular moment or mood. It’s just [rather] than being 'breakup songs of 2007,' the mood in question is more likely to be 'music on the theme of defeating Voldemort.'" The importance of new online platforms was cited as a breakthrough. "With the advent of playlist sites like 8tracks and Spotify, fanmixing has become a lot more accessible. Up until recently, mixes were mostly uploaded onto file-sharing websites and then posted to LiveJournal communities, meaning listeners had to commit to downloading the whole thing. Plus, there was the ever-present threat of copyright infringement (the boogeyman of fandom), so a lot of those communities were members only."
    • Polygon.com featured "an eight-minute CGI piece called The Lord Inquisitor: Prologue" which "represents a reaction, of sorts, to an official 2010 film called Warhammer Ultramarines, which failed to meet the hopes of many in the 40K community." While the creators hope to eventually make a 40 minute film that's financed by outside producers, they feel they are taking a fannish angle to the project. "'They take your favorite thing and they make it crappy. You get disappointed. You want something better, You realize that in order to do that you need to engage and spend your own time to make that happen. That is the fundamental thing our group is trying to prove...Hollywood has this money-driven agenda to produce things that sell. But fans can create things that are more in-depth, more challenging, more fun.'"

    What audiovisual histories do you know about? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom surprises

    Claudia Rebaza - Poniedziałek, 29 lipca 2013 - 10:19pm
    Typ wiadomości:
    • Bronies have frequently been written about as the poster children for unexpected fandom demographics, but they aren't alone. Writing about "The Male Fandom of the Disney Princesses", Steven M. Johnson said "Maybe it was because I grew up in a family with two older sisters and no brothers — but in my house, videos of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty played every single day — and I enjoyed them just as much as my sisters. Dads don’t have any need to worry or feel funny if their sons are Princess fans. Just like the great Disney heroes, the Disney heroines can teach your kids, male and female, valuable lessons of strength, independence, and pursuing their dreams."
    • While academic discussions of fandom have explored its cultural implications, it's also revealed activity obscured by assumptions about who takes part in what. Anthropologist Meghan Ferriter has been studying the fandom of the US Women’s soccer team on Tumblr. "What the USWNT fandom actually discusses and creates are representations of the USWNT, players, other fans, opponents, and other popular culture narratives...Mediated sport discourse, as well as USWNT fandom Tumblr disourses, provide accounts; neither reality nor clean interpretation of events. Rather, as with discourses of mediated sport, Tumblr discourses present a version of events that speaks to broader social relationships and understandings of sexuality, national identities, gender, and imply relationships of power."
    • WhatCulture.com suggests that pandering to preconceived fannish notions will be the downfall of the Hollywood machine. "There is a virus sweeping the boardrooms of film studios throughout Hollywood. It is a bitter, poisonous little blighter that sucks the joy and originality out of anything it touches. It is a self-serving, self-aware, tyrannical strain of social profiling. And it is quickly dominating the way in which films are conceived and made. It is eating away at filmmakers, and rapidly controlling the output of every major studio in modern cinema. It is known only as the ‘Fanboy’ plague."

    What assumptions have you seen perpetuated about fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom in life and death

    Claudia Rebaza - Sobota, 27 lipca 2013 - 11:29pm
    Typ wiadomości:
    • The death of Glee actor Cory Monteith put attention on the show's fanbase. A former social media worker for the show discussed how the fans had won her over. "I spent several hours a day in the company of the gleeks, whose intensely positive outlook was genuinely disarming...The job was part marketing and part customer service, but I also found myself drawn into the role of unofficial counsellor. These were teenagers passionately involved in the lives of onscreen high-schoolers who reflected and played out their own feelings of isolation and confusion. They tweeted incredibly personal things to each other – and to me. Although I was just a disembodied online voice, I was still a sympathetic ear; an almost-real imaginary friend."
    • Meanwhile Junkee.com looked at the fanworks that were being produced. "Glee’s fan fiction community was quick to react. Numerous stories appeared on FanFiction.Net overnight, some of them are set within the world of the show, as Finn’s friends and relatives deal with the news of his death, and some are about the actors themselves. Some are maudlin, some are strangely poignant, but together, they offer a fascinating insight into the ways that people process their grief for a beloved character and a person they’ve likely never met."
    • In MLB fandom, it was the case of a fan's death and a player's decision to attend the funeral that made the news. "On the day of the memorial service for the love of her life, Meredith Benton wore her black Mets jersey stitched with orange and blue." She was not alone as "[i]n Jim's obituary in the Nashville Tennessean, attendees of the memorial were instructed to wear orange and blue." Mets player R.A. Dickey who lived near the memorial service heard about the death and went to meet the family. "To live a life without being passionate about something, be it a sports team or poetry or art, would be a really hollow life. So to see someone be passionate about something, I respond to that. It's a good thing, and I appreciate it. And there's no doubt he was passionate about baseball, in particular the New York Mets. So I felt a connection to him, even though I had never met him."

    What fandom attachments have you seen live on? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Post-Kindle Worlds Writing

    Claudia Rebaza - Czwartek, 25 lipca 2013 - 7:29pm
    Typ wiadomości:
    • Amazon's move into fanfiction has launched more than one exploration of "what it all means." Time Magazine summed it up with "Amazon Steps Into the Cloistered World of Super-Fandom". "[F]or professional writers, getting in on it from the beginning makes economic sense, says author Barry Eisler, whose John Rain novels are part of the program. 'Some people just do not like the feeling of other people writing stories with the characters they created,' he says. ;Publishing for me is a business, not an ideology. When I sold the Bulgarian rights to my book, I was very excited to sell them—and this is just another subsidiary rights offer.'" OTW Board member Kristen Murphy "points out that this isn’t the first time a non-fan organization has stepped in to try to turn fan devotion into a business. 'I think a lot of fans are very suspicious of what looks like attempts by outsiders to come in and commodify the community and make money off of us,' she says. 'There’s always going to be, I think, some of that suspicion.'"
    • In Publishing Perspectives Anna von Veh discusses how Amazon's move is disappointing for everyone. "Kindle Worlds and the form of the ebook itself fulfills a gatekeeper role for the World licensors, rather than being also an online vehicle for writing, reading and building community for the fans, which is what one might have expected of a fanfiction-based publishing venture." Pointing out the importance of community, she adds "[O]nline writing sites, even the most basic, enable and enhance one of the most important aspects of a fandom: the sense of belonging, of community, created through the opportunities for immediate and direct interaction and feedback with readers and followers" and "also provides the means for writers to include all sorts of external pop and culture references, and hyperlinks, which can be managed by even an amateur techie."
    • The importance of the online community is cited by many a fanfic author turned pro, exactly the people Kindle Worlds is meant to attract. Writer Carolynn Gockel mentioned this advantage and more in her post "How Fanfiction Made Me a Better Author." "In the process I made fans, and more importantly, made fans who enjoyed my work but could be honest and critical. They helped me keep my characters true and my stories humming along...I would argue that my work which combines action, romance, fantasy and science fiction might have been hard to find a writers group for. By writing fanfiction in my chosen genres–sci-fi and fantasy–I was able to meet like minds." What's more, she was able to track the responses of readers to stories in progress. "I can see how many people are reading my stories, what stories they’re reading, what chapters in the stories perked their interests, and when I let them down. I can tell which stories are well read, but aren’t getting a lot of reviews...People who don’t review still buy stories."

    What do you expect to see in fanfiction post-Kindle Worlds? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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