Science Explains... Why Being a Fan Is Good for You | Inverse Magazine
The emerging field of fan studies takes our obsessions seriously and researchers are discovering unexpected benefits of going all in.

Fans “become textually productive in their reception practices” aka they analyze and then involve themselves in the situation. In The Secret Lives of Sports Fansauthor Eric Simons writes that part of the reason sports fans are so involved in the game is that they are “running active simulations as if it were the fan out there on the field.” Alternatively, in a study of Mad Men fans who discuss the show online, a practice the researchers considered creating “reality from fantasy”, their discussions were primarily very analytical examinations of the Drapers as parents and as people. These discussions, the researchers asserted, allowed the fans to better emphasize with others and understand themselves. Comforting Netflix bingers everywhere they wrote, “Television fandom for complex dramas can be healthy and psychologically beneficial.”

Booth believes that the influence of fandom on analytical thinking and creativity is a reason why the growing discipline of fan studies is essential for students.

“Fans want to make the things they love that much better, so they find something that they don’t agree with — a problematic representation or a social issue that could be highlighted — they talk about it, work with it, try to explain or understand,” Booth told Inverse. “This is how significant social change happens — it’s very difficult for media creators to be able to see their own blind spots. Having students learn from fans is a way of allowing students to become more critical of the media they watch.”

“Being a fan of being a fan might be the biggest ‘emerging’ fandom today,” says Booth, “There is a kind of ‘fandom of fandom’ that emerges — people love being fans because it means being a part of something larger than yourself.” 


seriously though

I honestly do not get creators who mock or hate on fanwriters and artists as a concept -

- like, here is a community of people who love your stuff, flaws and all, to such an extent that they’ve devoted hours and days and weeks and months and years of their lives to extending its lifespan beyond that of the original comic/series/film/book/game/universe/show - even if it was cancelled; even if it’s out of print or hard to find; even if you made it over a decade ago - and these people are, from their own love and dedication, actively expanding your audience, and your legacy, and providing enough groundswell for older narratives to be given new interpretations, new editions, new movies - 

- and in some cases, I would argue, especially when it comes to more recent adaptations of major franchises, these fans are actively filling in the gaps in the worldbuilding and backstories and canonical discontinuities by creating plausible, well-thought-out headcanons that, while still not part of the source material, nonetheless lend the entire story a greater depth and nuance than it already had, because other people read those headcanons and think, fuck YES I’m going to rewatch the entire series with that in mind, and get eight other friends who’ve never seen it to watch with me, so we can all sit down and discuss this meta we read online and see which interpretations make sense to us

- and at the same time, they’re also bringing whole new audiences to your creations by creating AUs and mashups and race- and gender- and queerbent versions of your characters and stories, which not only helps existing fans to see your work in a whole new light, but also encourages newcomers who might otherwise be put off by, for instance, the lack of representation in certain classic franchises (which, let’s be honest, is a legitimate issue) to be so inspired by the fanworks and the comparisons with other shows as to give the originals a try -

- and if you pay attention to all this stuff, to the crossovers and the ships and the artwork and the stories and the sheer, unbridled enthusiasm of your audience - if you actually listen to what makes them love your work in the first place - then you might just find that it helps make you become a better creator, period, not because you’re suddenly letting the fans dictate your output, but because fan interpretations and meta can, at times, be every bit as valuable as the input of professional editors and reviewers, providing you with valuable insights into your process, your characters and your narratives you might not have gotten any other way - 

- and if you still take all this joy and intelligence and camaraderie and enthusiasm in your creation, and laughingly respond with “UGH FANWORKS, it’s all just teenage girls and sad housewives writing crap gay porn, DO NOT WANT” then you can just go fuck yourself, because frankly, you do not deserve even a fraction of the magnificence your audience is giving you. 


Rarely are computing systems developed entirely by members of the communities they serve, particularly when that community is underrepresented in computing. Archive of Our Own (AO3), a fan fiction archive with nearly 750,000 users and over 2 million individual works, was designed and coded primarily by women to meet the needs of the online fandom community. Their design decisions were informed by existing values and norms around issues such as accessibility, inclusivity, and identity.

Thinking about your own death is difficult under normal circumstances. But what happens when you consider the effect it would have on your identity as a fan? If you’re like a lot of us, it probably comes with a moment of panic:

“What happens to all my fanworks?!”

AO3 has a fannish-next-of-kin option for account holders. Here’s why you might want to create one: http://bit.ly/1u9PCb0

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Asexy April is a month-long fanworks fest celebrating asexual, aromantic, grey-A, and demisexual characters and their relationships, back for its third year in a row! All canons, headcanons, and forms of media are welcome here!

Submit your fics, art, music, videos, mixes, meta, and anything else you want to produce to this blog or tag them #asexy april to have them reblogged! Works on AO3 can be submitted to the collection!

Posting begins April 1st and runs all month. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Brokeback Mountain author: I wish I’d never written that story

The author of the original Brokeback Mountain story has claimed she wishes it had never been written.


I have no patience for authors who are like “boo boo people wrote fanfic and changed my ending and it’s an outrage because they aren’t slavishly accepting my interpretation!”  Let’s be real - the original Brokeback Mountain story was beautiful but it was also just another in a long line of dead, sad queers.  If someone wants to make their own fanfic and give Jack a happy ending with Ennis, more power to them.  They aren’t hurting anyone and Anne Proulx can suck it up and deal with the inconvenience.  We live in a meta-media world and the death of the author is a thing she needs to build a bridge and get over.  

Or if she really wants to wash her hands of it, she can sign over all her royalties to a worthy LGBTQ organization.  I’m sure they would be happy to take her money.

- Sarah 

Check Please! Valentine's Day Fanworks Exchange Masterlist

forget the wax and the feathers and mix by captainamericaisavirgin for philcoulson

Bros to the Soul and mix by Naeshira for broditore


Just Take My Hand and Step One by knight_tracer for coyotefoxes


boys wanna be her by lisztomanias for Schuyler

we make each other better by coyotefoxes for sparklyslug


Jack/Bitty art by allociaorin for lilbookofkell

Chowder/Dex/Nursey art by allociaorin for Naeshira

Jack/Bitty art by lilbookofkell for MokuK

Jack art by arcticbonobos for perfect_enigma

Jack/Shitty art by juliaere for jackszimmerman

Jack/Parse art by broditore for allociaorin

Jack/Bitty art by thosethingstheheartbelieves for anilad


In Focus by sparklyslug for jedusaur

Player Development by jedusaur for knight_tracer

Time Changes by monj for thosethingstheheartbelieves

Three’s Company by iunia-kallistrate for adimlittleplanet

simmer by bropunzeling for captainamericaisavirgin

I Can’t Explain the Feelings Plain to Me by anilad for twentysomething

Betsy’s by Schuyler for arcticbonobo

Romance Shit With Ransom & Holster by MWI for saintallison

it’s my sweet beginning by philcoulson for iunia_kallistrate

meddling v. to intrude into other people’s affairs by jackszimmerman for amyellliotdunne

This is Not a Love Story by saintallison for lisztomanias

Positive Image by twentysomething for prouvares

Kent-Freaking-Parson by shadeblue for juliaere

songs stuck in my head by perfect_enigma for TheMoonByNight

stuck in the jet wash by perfect_enigma for monj

Let My Love Loose Again by northerndownpour for shadeblue

A Real Good Bet by riverlight for northerndownpour

The Future Freaks Me Out by northerndownpour for MWI

Mean What You Say by TheMoonByNight for riverlight

Thanks to everyone for participating, and extra-special thanks to my pinch-hitters for making sure everyone got a gift: allociaorin, bropunzeling, perfect_enigma, and northerndownpour. You rock!

Court Says MPAA Can't Say Alleged Infringement Was 'Piracy,' 'Theft' Or 'Stealing' Techdirt

Dear fanfic writers, fanartists, vidders, giffers, meta-writers, and pretty much all other fandomers: 

You’re not pirates or thieves and you’re not stealing anything when you create transformative works. 

We know you probably already knew that, or at least you’ve been told that, but it’s always nice when a federal judge says it (in a roundabout sort of way). 

In a case involving the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hotfile, the judge told the MPAA that they can’t say the alleged infringements were piracy or theft, or that the uploads were stealing content. As Torrentfreak posted, Hotfile “asked the court to prevent the MPAA from using ‘pejorative’ terms including piracy, theft and stealing”. The case involves the uploads of entire show/film/music files, and if the court thinks that piracy, theft and stealing are too pejorative to apply to that kind of infringement, then it's definitely too pejorative to apply to transformative works. 

Here’s a bit from the court’s ruling: 

“In the present case, there is no evidence that the Defendants (or Hotfile’s founders) are ‘pirates’ or ‘thieves,’ nor is there evidence that they were ‘stealing’ or engaged in ‘piracy’ or ‘theft.’ Even if the Defendants had been found to have directly infringed on the Plaintiffs’ copyrights, such derogatory terms would add nothing to the Plaintiffs’ case, but would serve to improperly inflame the jury.“

Case law in the US develops when lawyers argue by analogy, so it’s now possible to look to this case, and link to it, when someone calls creative fanders pirates or thieves or says they are engaged in stealing or theft. If file-sharing isn’t any of those things, how could creating a transformative work be? 

We are very interested to see what sorts of euphamisms the MPAA and their witnesses come up with - but we also hope they just say "copyright infringement” a lot. 

You can also call it “counterfeiting” if someone makes an exact copy of the contents of another’s work and puts it online. That’s what purses and watches are called when they’re sold on blankets on the streets of NYC - it’s a copy that keeps money out of the hands of the creatives who made the original work, whether it’s a book or song or film. It’s a copy that doesn’t prevent anyone else from owning a copy, which is why it’s not the same as stealing someone’s flowers or wallet or car - nobody else is deprived of owning it just because you’ve uploaded a counterfeit. But it does take something away from the creator(s) (and the distributor or marketer who may have put money up to support the creator(s)). It takes revenue away from them which makes it harder for them to finance new stuff for you to enjoy. Illegal uploaders are counterfeiters,