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The DanMan

The F word of gamer culture: Fandom

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fan·dom
ˈfandəm/
noun
noun: fandom; plural noun: fandoms
  1. the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something.
    "my 17 years of sports fandom"
    • the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.
      "the Breaking Bad fandom"

(Egregiously ripped from Google search results.)

You see the term "fandom" thrown around a lot among the nerdsphere these days; somebody's part of this fandom or that fandom, or I like this fandom but can't stand that one. Everybody's a fan of something; by extension, that's what makes them part of a fandom. But I've found that fairly frequently it's used as something of a dirty word.

As briefly mentioned above, a lot of people make judgements on fandoms. A big problem, however, arises; you really can't do that. It's impossible to (accurately) judge a whole group of people like that. What is seen on the internet is just a fraction of a fandom, and the ones that tend to formulate judgements are the most vocal about it.

I'll use an example: the youtuber/countdown maker JoshScorcher, while enjoying the Kingdom Hearst series, dislikes the story for understandable reasons. He put out a reaction video to the 2.8 trailer yesterday ("2.8: Final Chapter Prologue" if you must; the name's stupid regardless). A not-insignificant part of the video is him ranting and bemoaning about how convoluted he finds the story (which I somewhat agree with). A lot of the youtube comments called him out on talking over the trailer and his seeming lack of interest in the series, while saying how they personally do enjoy it's story (which, despite parts definitely being messy, I do); one or two said "We get it; you hate Kingdom Hearts".

After saying "I DO understand it; it still sucks", he goes and makes a couple posts on his tumblr.

"Kingdom Hearts fans are so rabid. Any criticism of the story is met with the “You just don’t understand it, Mom!” treatment. I do understand the plot.

It’s. Still. Stupid."

"Me: I think Kingdom Hearts story is overcomplicated, silly, and objectively isn't good.

KHFanbase: We get it, you hate Kingdom Hearts.

Me: I never said- how does that even- GAH!"

You see the issue here? He used a few more extreme youtube comments and then attributes them to the whole fandom, vilifying them and making himself look like a martyr.

Heads-up: a lot of fans KNOW that it's too convoluted. I used to lurk on the KHInsider forms, and it was a given there that "Yeah, it's overcomplicated". Elsewhere, on the Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Union podcast, a topic of discussion was broached about the series' future post-KH3. The consensus: if they want to honestly continue things, they need to pretty much start over and simplify things to maintain success, because the current state of the series is too complicated and has caused large amounts of continuity lockout.

But according to Josh, the " fandom" as a whole is rabid, likes something stupid, and can't take any criticisms. The "fandom" is much more broad and varied than he thinks; but here, it's used as a derogatory term to criticize a whole because of experiences with one small part (and that small part being youtube comments).

I went on a bit there, but that's a recent, specific example: here's one that will probably hit much closer to home.

The Fire Emblem "Fandom".

This is an extremely broad example that you reading this probably understands. Pre-Awakening fans, due to elitism on gamefaqs, reddit, and (unfortunately) some here, have been vilified all over the internet- in some cases, to a near-bigotry level hatred that causes any criticism to newer games to be dismissed as "elitist bitching" or something similiar.

The token stereotypes have also retaliated, vilifying newer fans as "waifufags" and weebs who only want to play "Awankaning" and "Fartes"* .

And yet, there's massive group in the middle who don't seriously care much for waifu/husbando nonsense. In addition, most fans here (who are members of the "old guard") are pretty chill about things.

But those people aren't heard that much.

I'll use a quick example: one of the youtubers I follow (this is a bit of a recurring trend), TheQuarterGuy, has weekly discussion videos of sorts about what he thinks of specific bits of news in the world of gaming. In one of those videos, when the topic of Awakening was broached by a commentor, he ended up going off on a mini-rant about how much he dislikes permadeath and starts vilifying veteran fans while propping himself up.

He's already assumed the worse and is judging the whole fandom, indirectly sparking negativity and conflict where there really wasn't.

I have a few more examples, but I think I've gotten my point across. Fandom is used too often as a scapegoat term; whenever there's a conflict over interests in entertainment, somebody will just vilify swaths of people. This is only confounded by the internet; face-to-face conversations will generally go better than two seemingly faceless individuals typing up rants against each-other.

I personally don't use the term that often; fandom is a wide-reaching term that is used all too often in exaggeration and hyperbole.

I don't dislike the people I used as examples; I just wish I was able to face-to-face talk to them, or that they'd just refrained from using the term and/or stereotypes of one.

As-is, the word "fandom" in gaming (and indeed, internet culture in general), is used way too hyperbolically and unfairly.

*(If you're reading this Integrity: no offense. I'm just using it to get a point across, as I've seen similiar nicknames thrown around elsewhere.)

Edited by The DanMan

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There is good and bad in every fandom. Some people don't care if someone has a different opinion about something, and some people get defensive if someone thinks different from them.

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Active lovers/haters are just the most noticeable parts of any fandom. It's unavoidable.

While the middle ground exists, they just don't say anything while the haters/lovers fight each other.

So people latch to what they see.

That's all there really is to it, sadly.

I say this as a member of the FE13-hater faction who'll say what they think... But I don't really care if people like FE13 since opinions are opinions and it's possible to get along regardless of them.

Edited by Glaceon Mage

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People tend to assume the loudest ones represent the entire fandom.

And it's very easy to judge a group of people, by considering the loudest ones.

And some people just want to critize things, without being critized for it, take JoshScorcher:

He critized Kingdom Hearts, but to avoid being critized for it, he made himself look like the victim and the fandom looks like the villain.

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At some point, you have to say "fair enough" when confronted with something reasonable. When people do that is up to their maturity level. Even though I know I haven't been the best example of that, it's an inevitable result.

I mean, how long can you hold a grudge and be judgmental of a minority of any fandom? Or hell, if you're part of that minority, how long will you care?

At some point people will move on from their bickering and become more enlightened or bicker about the next thing that triggers them.

Edited by shadowofchaos

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what am i being offended by? i coined fartes

I just wasn't quite sure if you'd want it to be used in such a way as I did.

Edited by The DanMan

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I also want to say this about Joshscorcher. He is free to think of how he wants about Kingdom Hearts. But I think the thing that he should realize is that if he gives his opinion or criticisms, people will do the exact same thing in return. While some may seem a little extreme, I feel like that is the risk you run by saying stuff like that especially on the internet

Edited by DarkDestr0yer61

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I also want to say this about Joshscorcher. He is free to think of how he wants about Kingdom Hearts. But I think the thing that you should realize if he gives his opinion or criticisms, people do the exact same thing in return. While some may seem a little extreme, I feel like that is the risk you run by saying stuff like that especially on the internet

I'm fine with his criticisms; the video's okay. It's how he's been handling it elsewhere, and making it seem like any and all criticisms towards him are undeserved and blaming the whole "fandom" for a few youtube comments.

Disagreements and arguments are all well and good if both sides keep their head; here, both sides lost it, and one's using "fandom" as a scapegoat.

For instance, whenever somebody talks about how bad the Sonic fandom is I cringe; half of the reason is because those people generally are a fan of Sonic games. They've compartmentalized all the bad, and then said that they're nothing like them.

Edited by The DanMan

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I'm fine with his criticisms; the video's okay. It's how he's been handling it elsewhere, and making it seem like any and all criticisms towards him are undeserved and blaming the whole "fandom" for a few youtube comments.

I'm not faulting you because auto-correct screwed up I was trying to say before I edited it.

But you misunderstand. I am saying HE should realize that he is going to get criticized for saying that. To assume that you aren't going to piss some people off is just a bit ignorant

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I'm fine with his criticisms; the video's okay. It's how he's been handling it elsewhere, and making it seem like any and all criticisms towards him are undeserved and blaming the whole "fandom" for a few youtube comments.

Disagreements and arguments are all well and good if both sides keep their head; here, both sides lost it, and one's using "fandom" as a scapegoat.

For instance, whenever somebody talks about how bad the Sonic fandom is I cringe; half of the reason is because those people generally are a fan of Sonic games. They've compartmentalized all the bad, and then said that they're nothing like them.

The Sonic fandom would be fine if there wasn't such a sharp decline in quality for the series beginning ~2005 or whenever Shadow the Hedgehog came out, either that or Sonic 06. And the quality isn't much better now, especially considering Sonic Boom.

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It depends, I hold this opinion on many fanbases who people tend to exaggerate about. It's more likely to occur between sites, and other places on the internet still think SF is a bastion of elitism.

But there are some that are just unpleasant to be around. Dark Souls fanbase is one that I would personally call myself, so much so that I would rather just play the games rather than thrust myself into the community where there is constant arguments about how you should play or what "is right". I don't dislike everyone who plays Souls, because I play it myself, but the ones that populate Souls message boards tend to be unbearable. Even then, there are those that are worse than others.

It's inevitable, though. You put yourself out there and you get people criticizing every minute detail. I've made videos for youtube and it can be discouraging when the "you're playing wrong" comments are constant. I just stopped giving a shit, but it understandably leads me to make generalizations about that fanbase even if they aren't true.

Edited by Tryhard

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I said it before and I'll say it again. Youtube. Comment sections. Suck. (I should make this my member title or something.)

Anyways on the topic of the two fandoms above:

I enjoy Kingdom Hearts a lot, but that doesn't mean I think it has the best story ever. In fact, if you look at every step of a Kingdom Hearts game plot, you find most of it is just interacting with the Disney characters with some convoluted overarching plot sprinkled in. Personally, knowing the ins and outs of the KH story is fun because not many people get it, but while it's fun to laugh as you see people rage over it confusingness, that's it. No reason to attack people over something you really shouldn't expect them to know well.

As for the "elitist FE fans", they don't bother me, but mainly because I've never come directly under fire. I agree it's unfortunate the series now attracts fan artists if you know what I mean, but I don't see them as detrimental to the overall community. If that's how the show love for the series, they can have their cake. I'm just sightly bothered by the ones who shame people for choosing to play on casual. I like Fire Emblem on GBA bunches, but Awakening captured my heart more because I could have the (mostly) phenomenal character writing and not have to worry about replaying the same hour and a half chapter over and over (looking at you, Sacred Stones!). I don't hate the elitists though, they're probably having the same reaction as any human being to change, and with FE's popularity on the rise and numerous gameplay additions its not surprising.

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The Sonic fandom would be fine if there wasn't such a sharp decline in quality for the series beginning ~2005 or whenever Shadow the Hedgehog came out, either that or Sonic 06. And the quality isn't much better now, especially considering Sonic Boom.

thats pretty much the issue there.

heck i'll take a game i like, undertale, and say that i typically don't like interacting with the fanbase because i either run into literal children that can't hold a conversation outside of "i like this" and "i saw _____ play it on youtube" or "oh man you gotta see the amount of nude goat mom art i've drawn." perverts.

very rarely i will find someone that isn't one of the two and we'll actually have long and cool conversations about our opinions, but it happens far less then the above mentioned.

but yeah, fandom has become a negative word, and for good reason i believe.

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Fandoms arent a bad thing

its the people who are part of them are the bad thing, and the people who are bad are the minority

i dont have a problem with fandoms.... every fandoms have the "few" that puts a negative light on the entire fandom.... so if a fandom ruins something for you? thats your fault. you got to involved in the part of the fandom that sheds a negative light on the entire thing instead of embracing the good parts to it

if you think "porn" of stuff is bad... r34 is a thing.... if it exists there is a porn of it, no exceptions.... so dont think that anything is excluded from it.... when that not true...

i am a member of many fandoms... and when the negative stuff happens... i ignore it because it doesnt matter to me... i do what i want in the fandom and nothing else, i enjoy the art, the music, the good people who enjoy the same things as me

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The Sonic fandom would be fine if there wasn't such a sharp decline in quality for the series beginning ~2005 or whenever Shadow the Hedgehog came out, either that or Sonic 06. And the quality isn't much better now, especially considering Sonic Boom.

Though the ups and downs have definitely caused quite a fracture, for every one person who codified the "Sonic fanbase" there's probably two who are all "Yeah, some of them are definitely better than others. Moving on."

Really, it largely boils down to vocal minorities' prevalence on the internet and people's desire to accentuate the negative.

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FANDOMS: RIGHT AND WRONG!

First off, here's how to generate negative opinions of the fandom:

I say this as a member of the FE13-hater faction who'll say what they think but doesn't really care if people like it.

There's two ways to interpret this:

1. "I don't like FE13, I'll speak my mind, but I don't have a problem with those who like FE13".

2. "I don't like FE13, I'll speak my mind, and I don't care if people like what comes out of my mouth".

First off, apply a bit of empathy before speaking your mind (I'll assume that you do, but I know that this doesn't apply to every last person who'll read this). Second, ambiguity is a great way to spark an argument, especially if someone who's rabid about Awakening sees it.

thats pretty much the issue there.

heck i'll take a game i like, undertale, and say that i typically don't like interacting with the fanbase because i either run into literal children that can't hold a conversation outside of "i like this" and "i saw _____ play it on youtube" or "oh man you gotta see the amount of nude goat mom art i've drawn." perverts.

very rarely i will find someone that isn't one of the two and we'll actually have long and cool conversations about our opinions, but it happens far less then the above mentioned.

but yeah, fandom has become a negative word, and for good reason i believe.

So, let's dissect what's wrong with how this opinion is expressed:

- "literal children". This is somewhat ironic, given what you've said about yourself in the past.

- The other comparison are the Rule 34 perverts.

- If someone breaks these classifications, it's "rarely".

- Apparently, person who I'm quoting is one of the few that's capable of holding a long and cool conversation about his opinions, which puts himself above the others he mentioned earlier

What can we draw from this?

- Blanket negative labels are bad

- So is trying to elevate yourself by putting others down

- If the rest of the fandom is THAT BAD, why bother being associated with it?

The second list of bullet points are things that the negative part of anything (fandom, social circle, etc.) does. Don't do these things, on SF, on another message board, or IRL.

Now, the good:

At some point people will move on from their bickering and become more enlightened or bicker about the next thing that triggers them.

This is an excellent point. It applies to a lot of the persistent negative things I've seen on SF. Pretty sure it applies to IRL stuff, too, though I try to stay out of hot-button topics ('sides here on SF, where I have to keep an eye on them instead).

I also want to say this about Joshscorcher. He is free to think of how he wants about Kingdom Hearts. But I think the thing that he should realize is that if he gives his opinion or criticisms, people will do the exact same thing in return. While some may seem a little extreme, I feel like that is the risk you run by saying stuff like that especially on the internet

It's a risk that's run by saying ANYTHING on the Internet. Do you like Chrom? Guess what, there's a group out there that can't stand him. Think that FE4 was awful? There's people on SF who beg to differ.

However, there's a marked difference between "I thought that FE4's maps were too long, so I couldn't bring myself to finish the game" and "FE4 fans secretly want to fuck their sisters". The former is why I have yet to finish FE4 despite numerous starts. The latter is unacceptable.

And then that one post that showed up while I was typing this:

Fandoms arent a bad thing

its the people who are part of them are the bad thing, and the people who are bad are the minority

i dont have a problem with fandoms.... every fandoms have the "few" that puts a negative light on the entire fandom.... so if a fandom ruins something for you? thats your fault. you got to involved in the part of the fandom that sheds a negative light on the entire thing instead of embracing the good parts to it

if you think "porn" of stuff is bad... r34 is a thing.... if it exists there is a porn of it, no exceptions.... so dont think that anything is excluded from it.... when that not true...

i am a member of many fandoms... and when the negative stuff happens... i ignore it because it doesnt matter to me... i do what i want in the fandom and nothing else, i enjoy the art, the music, the good people who enjoy the same things as me

Do you know who's part of the FE fandom? Me. And you. And others who are posting on SF, unless they're mafia transplants or something. Regardless, each of us is a part of it. "It's not my problem" is definitely preferred over shitting all over everything. However, blaming someone for thinking that a fandom ruins everything is something I don't always agree with. For example, if a community treats its newcomers like shit, I won't blame people for wanting to stay away.

For those that use "the fandom ruined everything" as an excuse for leaving, I'll evaluate that based on individual posts. Some people have legit reasons for leaving. Others just use it as a last bit of salt on their overly spicy opinions.

---

Oh, MY actual opinion? The loudest voices get heard. That's why I feel that the moderates, those who have likes/dislikes, but won't shout them from the roof, need to speak up. Not to become the extremists, but to keep them in check. It's why I've pointed out specific posts and yelled at them for being bad, right down to asking TC "why did you even post this".

I hope SF's reputation has changed to a place that welcomes fans of all skill levels, from Normal Phoenix to FE12 Lunatic+ Arran solo.

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However, there's a marked difference between "I thought that FE4's maps were too long, so I couldn't bring myself to finish the game" and "FE4 fans secretly want to fuck their sisters". The former is why I have yet to finish FE4 despite numerous starts. The latter is unacceptable.

Did someone actually say the latter or did you just make it up?

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There's two ways to interpret this:

1. "I don't like FE13, I'll speak my mind, but I don't have a problem with those who like FE13".

This one was my intention. I get along fine with people who like 13 so long as there's mutual respect for each others' opinions.

Sorry about the unclear wording, I will go fix it.

Edit: That phasing slightly better?

Edited by Glaceon Mage

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It's a risk that's run by saying ANYTHING on the Internet. Do you like Chrom? Guess what, there's a group out there that can't stand him. Think that FE4 was awful? There's people on SF who beg to differ.

I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear, but I meant having an opinion on anything on the internet will at least tick off someone. But what I'm saying is that I feel like someone who is a YouTuber should know that there are going to be people who disagree with how he feels. But I do agree with the TC about how he shouldn't generalize an entire fanbase.

However, there's a marked difference between "I thought that FE4's maps were too long, so I couldn't bring myself to finish the game" and "FE4 fans secretly want to fuck their sisters". The former is why I have yet to finish FE4 despite numerous starts. The latter is unacceptable.

I don't think joshscorcher falls under this category. I have seen several YouTubers and other people on the internet who will basically generalize things in the worst way possible. Example, I have seen people complain about how they must avoid the Sonic fandom as much as possible because they "consist of a bunch of people who just like to fuck animals" which obviously is not true. Edited by DarkDestr0yer61

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I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear, but I meant having an opinion on anything on the internet will at least tick off someone. But what I'm saying is that I feel like someone who is a YouTuber should know that there are going to be people who disagree with how he feels. But I do agree with the TC about how he shouldn't generalize an entire fanbase.

I don't think joshscorcher falls under this category. I have seen several YouTubers and other people on the internet who will basically generalize things in the worst way possible. Example, I have seen people complain about how they must avoid the Sonic fandom as much as possible because they "consist of a bunch of people who just like to fuck animals" which obviously is not true.

To be honest, I don't even like the Sonic games enough to want to buy them, and even if I did, although the bestiality part isn't true, I think the more radical Sonic fans intimidate the moderates so much that someone who genuinely appreciates the Sonic series would not want to out themselves as a Sonic fan purely based on the internet stigma of being associated with them.

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I just play the good Sonic games and go fast and have fun. No fanbase for me.

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when i say literal children i mean literal children below the age of 18, they are allowed to like games but its hard to hold a convocation with one due to me being an old fart and the generation gap.

i mean are you saying that people that are children can't possible enjoy videogames so everyone on the internet that does play games are older then 18?

everything else you said is right about me being a negative nancy, but i felt like i had to clarify that as it seemed to have been misinterpreted.

Edited by HF Makalov Fanboy Kai

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Not sure what OP wants me to say. People like things. That's cool. Sometimes they're passionate about said things. That's also cool. So times they're fanatical about those same things. These guys need to tone it down a notch (it doesn't need to go to 11). Being reasonable about your preferences and distastes is swell. I like Mega Man.

Did someone actually say the latter or did you just make it up?

As a noted FE4 fan, I can confirm that that is definitely a charecteristic that all FE4 fans share wait I don't even have a sister dammit.

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Read the entire opening post. Here's the short and sweet response I've got:

It doesn't matter. This is a trivial matter. You have to remember that people, in general, are stupid.

Internet folks will take the first thing you've said that they don't like and put more emphasis on it than the rest of your post. Immaturity and misunderstanding is so much more common than their counterparts.

People generally toss words around very loosely. You can look up the definition and argue it as much as you want but chances are that if you have to do so, the definition of the term has been bastardized so much by the general populous.

Don't care so much about things like this. Let fools be fools, focus on yourself and your loved ones.

Edited by Sirius

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