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BlueRenCon 2017: Fandom Panel (a discussion)


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Hyatt-Regency-Dulles-P086-Ballroom-Theat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One tried and true and sometimes cherished Con staple is the Panel. Where you get to sit in with your favorite companies, actors, artists, from every fandom you can possibly imagine. Listen to what they have to say, and ask questions. Questions that range from where a specific show will go in the upcoming season to actors favorite type of cookie.

Well what kind of Con would we be without our very own panel?

Now granted this one works just a tad differently, here we ask YOU the questions!

 

We're all a part of one Fandom or another. We're all a part of the WoT fandom. But there's always more, the Fictional Universe is massive and all encompassing. Some may not know of one fandom that you love, others may love the same one but never knew you did as well. This is where we'll all geek out together. Discuss our fandoms, what we love about them, what we'd wish we'd see from them. What fandoms have done for you. All that good stuff.

So you ready?

 

Let's Discuss Your Fandoms!

 

 

First up, what fandom (aside from WoT) are you really into?

Edited by Adella
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Suikoden.

 

Oh it's Shad; of course he's going to pick something obscure.

 

Well, not so much.  Suikoden was a pretty big deal in its day, and it spawned forums at least as active and diverse as Dragonmount's social groups in their prime.  It presented a vast high fantasy universe with hundreds of developed characters and subplots, sprawled out across each game in the series at a time when almost all RPGs were stand-alone universes whatever roman numeral the producer decided to latch onto the end.  But unlike novels, you can't revisit 20 year old games and encourage your friends to play them too.  They're inaccessible, so if you weren't there experiencing them as they were released, you probably never will.  The Suikoden series was also left painfully incomplete, because its visionaries hit a brick wall trying to juggle their artistic intentions with Konami's terrible management.  The series stagnated after its fifth installment in 2006 with many of the stories only half told, and it was eventually canceled altogether with the staff that inspired it scattered to the wind.  It's a shame that we'll probably never see a Suikoden VI, let alone the ten or so installments it would have taken to properly bring the story to a close, but it's a much greater shame that most, perhaps all of you, will never get to experience it at all.

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To give you some idea of its depth, I can name the vast majority of the characters in that image above off the top of my head having not played the game in a decade, and that's just taken from one game in the series.  It was the one video game franchise that really held its ground against the great high fantasy fandoms of literature.

 

Before the age of MMOs of course, though I'd still take it over any of those I've played.

Edited by Shad_
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What fandom am I not into?? That would be a shorter list...

 

I enjoy: Doctor Who, Sherlock, Pern, Harry Potter, Final Fantasy, Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek, Zelda, Firefly, Narnia, Hunger Games, and more...

 

Right now I am super into Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere. I don't want to go too in dept into it because... major spoilers when I get too excited.

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I love star wars, game of thrones... but for the moment I looooooove those bioware games like Mass Effet and Dragon Age. I'd favor these above all else because they really manage to make you feel like the hero ^^

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Game of Thrones, for certain... I was a fan of the books before the show was developed, and it was actually my excitement for that series that introduced me to Wheel of Time - thanks to Kaylee :wink:

 

Buffy/Angel/Firefly would be another love

 

Less so lately, but the Warcraft universe was an obsession for several years running - I played WoW for five years, and still love the lore of the backstory and read the novels as I can find them.

 

I can also get pretty enthused about Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere and dearly look forward to the next Stormlight Archive book and the upcoming adaptations.

 

 

There are others that I enjoy thoroughly (Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, and a handful of others mentioned), but I'm less likely to spend hours upon hours reading, listening to podcasts, rewatching the shows, and pay to attend a con to participate in the other fandoms.

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clearly the list of fandoms is nigh inifinite. and someone would be hard pressed to stick to solely one especially in this day and age. large to small and possibly obscure (i have never heard of that one shad, looks like something i'd play too. shame) 

 

what do you think it is about fandoms that generates the passion in people who follow them? 

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I think the biggest is the well flushed out universes.  But I've read well described settings with bad characters, if they characters don't have something I can relate to well, if the characters themselves aren't flushed out, I'll drop it like a sack o' potatoes.

 

Definitely this.  For me, it has to feel like a real world.  Stories that focus strictly on the main cast and don't dabble into anything beyond their immediate periphery feel isolated.  I just feel like I'm reading their tale, not one tale in a vast world filled with endless stories to be told.  I think a good high fantasy (or sci-fi) setting has to keep reaching out to the edges of what the people within it would commonly know.  Real life is a mystery, in a sense.  You can never know everything.  To feel like a real world, there needs to be references to places and people and events that grow increasingly more vague the farther in time and distance they stem from the heart of the story.  It has to leave you thinking that there's way more out there than what's being told, just as would actually be the case if the fantasy world were real.

 

But if the cast is dull and feel interchangeable, then it defeats the purpose somewhat.  Warcraft comes to mind as a universe that can start to feel artificial if you engage the dialogue too much.  So many characters lack originality and distinction that, after a time, they start to all blend into one and I lose the feeling of expansiveness.  (Certainly the geography of Warcraft is deliciously vast, but the people within it can be painfully homogeneous, to the point where I might be gazing on a giant city filled with hundreds of NPCs and still find it empty and incomplete.)

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Hmmm, I love a lot of books and tv series but I'm going to list the ones that I've spent hours researching and reading blogs and listening to podcasts etc

 

Song of Ice and Fire - I was into this before the tv show was announced and was one of those people eagerly "dreamcasting" actors for the hoped for tv show. My interest in this has waned slightly but I used to be super into it. 

 

Harry Potter - loved this. Fanfic and blogs and the Leaky Cauldron site. Still am super into it.

 

Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere - a lot of you guys seem to be into this as well, it's awesome and I spend a lot of my free time reading theories on his own fan website

 

Divergent - I was quite into this book series for a while and even though the characters were not the best it really left parts of the world unexplored that was very interesting to my brain as I could set my own story there.

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Planning a trip to JordanCon next year :biggrin:

 

Other than that, it's mostly the hours upon hours of reading and/or binge watching... listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos related to the subject... and the occasional merchandise purchase.

 

I am considering future attendance to something like Con of Thrones, but I think I would rather attend something where I have people I know already.

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I'm more dedicated to books personally, so I spend a lot of time on the forums here, as well as the 17thshard for the Cosmere. I reread those more to try to catch what I have missed, as well as researching online.

 

Star Wars is the big one in our house. We have endless t shirts and movie posters and artwork, and we plan to go to Star Wars Celebration in Disneyland one of these years. Lots of family members just default to buying Star Wars stuff for my husband for Christmas and his birthday, so we have a lot of stuff we wouldn't have bought on our own either, but we still enjoy it.

 

I also have some artwork that depicts Belle from Beauty and the Beast, as well as some tank tops and t-shirts but not much else so far. I would decorate my whole house in Disney if I could get away with it.

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For me, I mostly just spend time reading and learning and writing about what I like.  I love star wars but have one shirt.  However I used to DM star wars D&D a lot and still have tons of trivia and knowledge about it all that is sadly no longer cannon.  Except for the Old Republic stuff I suppose.  I still have some of those old Star Wars card game that was popular during the late 90s, early 00s.

 

As for WoT, mostly just this site.  This may be horrible to some of you, but I don't own a single one of the books, I have always just borrowed or checked the books out at the library.  The most recent time I "read" through the books last year, I checked out the audio books from the library.

 

As for Narnia and LotR I have all of C.S. Lewis's books and almost his entire collection of letters he wrote from childhood to his death and I'm trying to wrap up my complete collection of Tolkien's written stuff as well.

 

On a side note, has anyone read C.S. Lewis' scifi trilogy?

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Let's see...

 

Obviously WoT fandom, the Potterverse (yes I have Pottermore and I'm a Gryffindor), LotR, Narnia (second fantasy series I read), Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

 

In terms of games, I love Mass Effect and Dragon Age (the latter is my absolute favourite) and WoW. I haven't been on in a bit but I have many groups on facebook that I'm a part of.

 

In fact, I have more fandom related posts on my facebook than anything else.

 

I'm going to be starting to cosplay soon and make cosplay for others as well. I'm working with a friend of mine who is huge into steampunk and I'm losing my mind because I keep coming up with combinations of steampunk and my fandoms

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as you can see there's clearly diversity in fandom, you'd be hard pressed to find a person who is involved in only one. and it breeds a sense of family and friendship. however there is a dark side as well. there have been several instances in varied fandoms where fights and arguments have broken out, where bullying and even threats  have issued forth over things from debates about canon, to art work not being depicted 'properly', even coming down to some not wanting women in a fandom and vice versa.  

 

have you ever seen or experienced this side of fandomry? 

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The Song of Ice and Fire fandom is pretty starkly divided between the book purists who can't stand the TV show changes and those who can enjoy the Game of Thrones show on its own merits and not get too upset about the storyline alterations.

 

Aside from that, the other thing that springs to mind is from the book series/Starz adaptation for Outlander. There's a significant portion of the fandom that thinks the two main stars' on-screen chemistry is so great that they insist on shipping the actors off-screen, and some have gone overboard with it.

 

As I recall there was a bit of a controversy over it last year, and William Shatner got involved.

 

https://www.themarysue.com/william-shatner-outlander-fandom/

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I'm gonna start off and say I know this isn't everywhere and everyone...

 

Gaming. I play MMORPGs and for some reason the males refuse to accept that females enjoy gaming. Especially if a female happens to be better than them at something. If you reveal you're female or talk in a group chat, they call you a pre pubescent boy, or call you a liar/fake. I don't get into it with people anymore, I don't care what gender they think I am, but I definitely still see it all the time.

 

Not just on MMOs either, I see it in playing D&D and board games and reading comics, and basically being a nerd in general. For some reason the nerd=male stigma is still going very strong. I haven't seen it on DM ever though so that is really nice.

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Thankfully I've consistently removed myself from any group or people that get to that kind of negativity.  There is always going to be something of a disagreement and there can always be fun discussions, I've had many about the various inconsistencies in Star Wars and Star Treck.  I know very well the very heavy "male" emphasis in Warhammer 40k involving the space marines. (I used the quotations because they are so genetically altered and enhanced they aren't really any gender but stilled referred to as male.)  Usually once the trolling get's beyond the simple stages and any raging start, I'm out.  I mean, we're talking about a fictional series that are solely for entertainment.  Pointless arguments are not very entertaining.

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