The Oasis of the Real: How Team Fortress 2’s Fandom Stands Apart
The first time I found a Team Fortress 2 thread on 4chan’s yaoi board , I was amazed.
Spy and Sniper on a couch, by Kob.
As an online multiplayer-only, plotless, mindlessly-violent first-person-shooter, I had assumed that the female fanbase would be limited; confined mostly to diehard first-person-shooter (FPS) enthusiasts, a subset of games with few female devotees. Fewer in number than female WoW players, or Harry Potter readers, certainly. Despite this, the vast majority of the TF2 fanart posters—and artists—seemed to be women. Weirder still, not all of them even played the game, and very few of them played the game regularly. This was stunning. It was as if I had happened upon a cargo cult—imagine someone showing up to a Star Trek convention with exquisite Spock fan art and a beautiful costume, having never watched the show.
“The problem of writing: in order to designate something exactly, anexact expressions are utterly unavoidable. Not at all because it is a necessary step, or because one can only advance by approximations: anexactitude is in no way an approximation; on the contrary, it is the exact passage of that which is under way.”—
Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus