A fandom is, to me, a collective of people who share a common interest in a specific piece of entertainment. It could be a video game, or television show.
I’ve seen several memes on my timeline about how Undertale was “ruined” by the fandom. How Five Nights at Freddy’s “suffered the same fate.” And now “Doki Doki Literature Club is Doomed.” I’m kinda tired of it.
Allow me, if you will, to get a little personal.
This weekend, I spent many hours writing fanfiction with a close friend from another country. Allow me to repeat that. A friend from another country.
When I was 12, I started writing fanfiction. I started roleplaying. On what was then called MSN Messenger, I lived my online life everyday after school. Sure, I had a few friends from school. However, I also made friends from Canada, other parts of America, and even a few from Europe while diving into the Kingdom Hearts fandom.
But, it wasn’t just about the video game itself. These people I roleplayed with became my friends. We all got cell phones as we got older, and we exchanged numbers. We started playing video games online together. A few of these friends I’ve actually met in person at conventions over the years.
Kingdom Hearts is just my example, but I’ve always been in one fandom or another because you automatically share interests with people in that particular social circle. It could be Tumblr, Twitter, or even Archive of Our Own, when people share interests they tend to click. And that can never been a bad thing.
For all the “discourse” one fandom may have, the good strongly outweighs the bad. Every. Single. Time. When people are brought together, they do amazing things. Raising money for charity, cheering one another on though simple twitter posts, or even helping promote art so that people can get paid for it (see the #FanArtGotMePaid hashtag on twitter! It’s amazing!).
Positive energy is positive. Period.
I understand that drama is bad. Particularly in a space that’s supposed to be relaxing and distract you for awhile. I think it’s worth dealing with for the price of admission.
Stephanie is a gamer, otaku, and your local friend who posts on Twitter too much. From Mississippi, she spends most of her free time prepping for her next convention or getting beaten at Overwatch. Follow her on Twitter.