Interacting With Fandom

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deactivated-5b6374a416885

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As the title reads, how does everybody interact with the various fandoms that encompassed the games, films you enjoy? For me I don't. Outside of the Giant Bomb community most of the fandoms for things I enjoy have become so poisoned by the "culture war" that I really want to just consume what I like and leave it at that, and want no part in engaging with communities for those things. What about the rest of you?

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defordj

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I don't either. Has nothing to do with any kind of "culture war" though; I just prefer to keep the media I consume as nothing more than that.

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myke_tuna

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@defordj said:

I don't either. Has nothing to do with any kind of "culture war" though; I just prefer to keep the media I consume as nothing more than that.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

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hnke

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What I really don't get is the shirts. Is it that important to you that you have to physically put it on you? All Star Wars shirts and Doctor Who shirts should be rounded up and burned. Pop culture crossover shirts should be sent on some special mission to the surface of the sun.

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breq

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Fandom will destroy anything you like if you let it. In the age of the internet/constant nostalgia, you aren't allowed to forget anything. Just go on liking what you like, at whatever level you're comfortable, and enjoy it. Don't let the pitchfork mob that's standing just out of frame ruin it for you, cause they will and want to.

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Slag

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I'll talk to people I find interesting. Don't really care or pay attention to if they are a fan of something or not. They usually bore me pretty quickly though if they are a one note zealot of some sort.

About the only way I engage with "fandom" per say is to use it as a starting point to join a discord. E.g. the GiantBomb unofficial discord.

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ArbitraryWater

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I feel like I can't be too disparaging to the mere concept of fandom, given where I'm posting and how long I've been posting here. I think it's important to mention that before I go on with something like how I occasionally wish people would shut the hell up about Star Wars and talk about literally anything else. There's obviously a wide spectrum in terms of accessibility and enthusiasm with fan communities, alongside how intolerable it is when you just like a thing but don't like it as much as the people who really like that thing, so I can't point too many fingers without getting fingers pointed at me. Pot and kettle and all that.

Regardless, I think I'm pretty done with interacting with the specific, dedicated communities surrounding games or media properties that I consume. My experiences on a long-defunct Fire Emblem fan forum when I was an adolescent kinda exposed me to the brand of lame, gatekeeper-y elitism, zealousness, and entitlement that I feel like comes with a lot of more niche properties (this was pre-Awakening, so Fire Emblem wasn't quite one of Nintendo's tentpoles at that point.) On the other hand, the number of 20something adults I know who still consider Harry Potter a depressingly intrinsic part of their lives doesn't endear me much to big mainstream franchises either.

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TheRealSeaman

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#8  Edited By TheRealSeaman

I sometimes browse the subreddits of games but usually it's only to see if a patch broken something or to see some cool clips.

I skip the "my boyfriend made this" or "my girlfriend made me this for my birthday!" posts, like cakes of Master Chief or some shit. Laaaaaaaaaaaame.

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FLStyle

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I am part of and engage with fandoms outside of Reddit and YouTube comments and I don't have any big complaints.

@hnke said:

What I really don't get is the shirts. Is it that important to you that you have to physically put it on you? All Star Wars shirts and Doctor Who shirts should be rounded up and burned. Pop culture crossover shirts should be sent on some special mission to the surface of the sun.

What about the Batman Arkham hat I bought yesterday?

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Wacomole

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#10  Edited By Wacomole
@flstyle said:

I am part of and engage with fandoms outside of Reddit and YouTube comments and I don't have any big complaints.

@hnke said:

What I really don't get is the shirts. Is it that important to you that you have to physically put it on you? All Star Wars shirts and Doctor Who shirts should be rounded up and burned. Pop culture crossover shirts should be sent on some special mission to the surface of the sun.

What about the Batman Arkham hat I bought yesterday?

More importantly, What about the Giant Bomb Merch store right up there? ^^^^

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nutter

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#11  Edited By nutter

I come here because gaming news sites are the worst kinds of clickbait and other forums seem up their own ass or like a complete cess pool.

As for expressing fandom, I guess I enjoy things, maybe talk about them if people want to engage, and leave it at that.

I buy and play games with a circle of friends. I see movies VERY rarely in the theatre, usually when I can just stream them.

The only thing in entertainment that’s truly a defining part of me is my love of music. I go to shows whenever I can and have been for over 20 years. I bought band shirts when I was a kid, but haven’t since I was a teen. I’ve considered doing it more just to support bands on the road, but haven’t yet in my adult life.

Going to shows is like a religious out-of-body orgasm of energy. It’s one of my big three personal joys (weights, backpacking, and live music). I’ve met a few people from bands I like, and have passed up many chances to meet others because, well, after a show I’m a sweaty mess with a 2-4 hour drive on my hands. When I have met folks, it’s been chance. I’ll let some go on about their day, other times it’s been a quick handshake and a “hey, I really appreciate what you do, keep it up, thanks for the amazing show.”

So, I guess by the way I went on, I geek out most about music. But I don’t have bumper stickers, shirts, post...okay, we did buy some really nice quality cancas-framed black and white prints of Johnny Cash, David Bowie, and Tom Waits. They’re in our dining room, of all places. It was my wife’s idea, but I dig ‘em.

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TheRealSeaman

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#12  Edited By TheRealSeaman
@wacomole said:
@flstyle said:

I am part of and engage with fandoms outside of Reddit and YouTube comments and I don't have any big complaints.

@hnke said:

What I really don't get is the shirts. Is it that important to you that you have to physically put it on you? All Star Wars shirts and Doctor Who shirts should be rounded up and burned. Pop culture crossover shirts should be sent on some special mission to the surface of the sun.

What about the Batman Arkham hat I bought yesterday?

More importantly, What about the Giant Bomb Merch store right up there? ^^^^

GB shirts are a fun way to be spotted by someone else in the know, unlike the most bland "look how nerdy I am" Star Wars logo shirts.

TBH I think a lot of the GB shirts have some nice designs but are based on parroted jokes that have no business being on a shirt, but I'm not the shirt police so have at it.

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Humanity

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I generally avoid “fandoms” and strict to conversing with the few people that seem to be regular human beings that just happen to like the stuff I like. Giant Bomb is far above most gaming sites but you still find yourself reading weirdly personal comments about how someone obviously hates someone else on the staff and you’re an idiot if you don’t see it.

At the same time I often feel weird about the staff interaction with the fans. Dan for instance seems to basically use his fandom as a crowd sourced search engine on Twitter. The most human interaction with staff members I’ve had were with Alex who will reply and comment about things you say.

I dunno it’s real weird for both sides I think.

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jaqen_hghar

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I rarely interact with fandom communities actively, as in I almost never post or speak up myself. But I do find it fun to read others take on things, theories and such. I try to filter out the negative aspects (this thing is the only good thing, these other things suck etc.) and focus on learning about more than just my perspective on the thing. There are several books, games, movies and music I like enough to own shirts, collectibles and future tattoos (tattoos are so expensive...).

That being said, I would much rather be forced to interact with "fandoms" for several hours a day than having to interact with people who shit on people who like something. Looking at the replies so far it seems there are, ironically, a lot of them on this site. But hey, it works out fine. I would never want to interact with someone who looks down on me for wearing a Doctor Who shirt anyway.

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TheRealSeaman

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#16  Edited By TheRealSeaman

@jaqen_hghar: I'm not looking down because of it, I just think "name/logo of a popular thing" on a shirt is lame most of the time.

Tattoos are a different matter, I can respect the art but I don't like tattoos at all.

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ajamafalous

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@defordj said:

I don't either. Has nothing to do with any kind of "culture war" though; I just prefer to keep the media I consume as nothing more than that.

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pauljeremiah

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Film fandom, I think it's just down to podcasts I used to listen to all the time I can't really stand now. They just all seem so negative or have to put a social justice stance on their review. Like some reviews of Isle Of Dogs where they said the film was insensitive and was exploiting Japanese culture.

So over the past year, I've cut back on the number of film podcasts I listen to, and I stopped reading or hearing film reviews until after I've seen the film.

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Atlas

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I avoid fandoms like the plague. Even when it's for things I like. Actually, especially for things I like.

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FrostyRyan

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@hnke said:

What I really don't get is the shirts. Is it that important to you that you have to physically put it on you? All Star Wars shirts and Doctor Who shirts should be rounded up and burned. Pop culture crossover shirts should be sent on some special mission to the surface of the sun.

why would you wear a shirt with nothing on it. that's boring

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mellotronrules

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nothing kills my enthusiasm for a thing faster than overzealous fans. it's great that you love a thing- but please don't theme your wedding on it. besides- life is more interesting when you surround yourself with people that different interests that you come to understand.

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FrostyRyan

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nothing kills my enthusiasm for a thing faster than overzealous fans. it's great that you love a thing- but please don't theme your wedding on it.

Isn't that your fault that you're so bothered by people theming their wedding on things?

Why does it matter to you how much a person likes a thing? They do them and you do you. That's just unnecessarily grouchy.

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mellotronrules

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@mellotronrules said:

nothing kills my enthusiasm for a thing faster than overzealous fans. it's great that you love a thing- but please don't theme your wedding on it.

Isn't that your fault that you're so bothered by people theming their wedding on things?

Why does it matter to you how much a person likes a thing? They do them and you do you. That's just unnecessarily grouchy.

is it my fault? 100% yes- i'll own that. and you're right- it probably is somewhat grouchy. but i also think it's possible to take it too far- to an extent that you're either alienating those that share the same interest (but to a lesser degree), or those that have no entry point into your personal fandom.

there's nothing wrong with loving something to such a degree that it becomes part of your outward identity per se- but i think you'd also have to work to ensure it wasn't keeping those that can't directly relate at a distance. and you could argue "well- they're not worth your time anyway." but along the same lines, i think that would have an isolating effect.

but yes- "you do you" is a good credo to live by.

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BladeOfCreation

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I used to have a ton of fandom related shirts. This isn't because I was stuck on nostalgia or anything. I legit think the concept of "high fashion" is elitist AF. Yes, I'll wear a button-up or polo shirt on a nice night out or something.

I recently, within the past year or so, went through my clothes and got rid of a bunch of fandom shirts. You know, the kind that you get from mystery boxes like LootCrate and the like. It's not that I don't still wear some, I do. But I just had so many. I felt, personally, that it was kind of ridiculous. At the same time, for some reason I developed a visceral, almost-instinctual level of disdain towards those fandom mash-up shirts that you see on sites like ShirtPunch. I used to get the daily emails and check them frequently. For some reason, they just started look they were trying TOO HARD. They're like the Ready Player One of shirts.

There got to be a point where I'm wondering, "Why am I wearing this Firefly shirt. It's been well over a decade. I feel silly." I still have a handful of fandom shirts, but I don't partake in them nearly as much as I used to. Perhaps it is largely due to the ways that fandom (as an entity) acts on the internet.

...I have a Beastcast shirt and wore my Giant Bomb hoodie all winter. In conclusion, I am a man of contrasts.

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BladeOfCreation

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@mellotronrules: I have friends who had a video game (primarily 8-bit, I think) themed wedding. It seemed to work well for them, and it made a lot of sense, since they literally met on a video game forum.

I think themed weddings can be an expression of how art has affected a couple's life together and relationship.

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DinosaurCanada

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#27  Edited By DinosaurCanada

Fandom and communities have helped a lot of people I know break out of their shell, find community to help through a difficult time in their life, find some purpose, or connect with new people in general. There are a lot of conversations you can have about how they innately promote elitism, toxicity, and fervor that can push people away and deject them as much as they let people in, that I am not equipped to start.

I've definitely been a part of a few forums dedicated to certain niche things before and got immersed into them, a little bit like right now. I think there's something really special about connecting with and finding solace among people surrounding something I'm really passionate about. Hell I've met some really good online friends I still stay in touch with through it.

Also, guys, we're all on the Giant Bomb forums, maybe don't act so high and mighty about avoiding cultural fandoms.

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MezZa

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#28  Edited By MezZa

Damn, didnt realize there were so many downers here. People like a thing, why should we complain about how they show that they like a thing? Some people just enjoy the act of enjoying the things they enjoy. Hard concept to grasp, I know. Now if you're talking about incidents like raging fanbases on social media targeting individuals or making public incidents in real life then, sure, that's bad. But complaining about people representing their interests publicly just comes across as snobby.

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Nick

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i went to a Ren and Stimpy fansite back in the mid 90's and that was pretty cool

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monkeyking1969

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I really never connected with fandoms that are too "defined". I connected with my current friends about similar things, but really going to a "themed" convention or being in a "themed forum" never has appealed to me.

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Tom_omb

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#31  Edited By Tom_omb

I don't see it as "fandom" is poisonous and terrible, but the internet (taken as a whole) negativity prevails. Because the most obnoxious, angry voices are the ones that scream the loudest. The Giant Bomb community isn't even immune. This applies to politics, click bait headlines, youtube/twitter comments, as well as game and movie fans.

I try to ignore content like this, and give attention to more positive and creative sources.

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mrfluke

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As the title reads, how does everybody interact with the various fandoms that encompassed the games, films you enjoy? For me I don't. Outside of the Giant Bomb community most of the fandoms for things I enjoy have become so poisoned by the "culture war" that I really want to just consume what I like and leave it at that, and want no part in engaging with communities for those things. What about the rest of you?

yea this is more or less where im at as well.

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oldenglishc

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The key is finding the right people in the fandom to interact with. It takes a little looking around, but there's always at least a few sites that do a good job of moderating out the dipshits.

The only two things I enjoy that I occasionally feel like discussing outside of my normal friends and family group are video games and Pistons basketball. Without too much effort I found two sites, this garbage scow of the internet and Detroit Bad Boys, where I can discuss these things with predominantly fun and knowledgeable people when I get the urge.

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fatalbanana

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@mezza said:

Damn, didnt realize there were so many downers here. People like a thing, why should we complain about how they show that they like a thing? Some people just enjoy the act of enjoying the things they enjoy. Hard concept to grasp, I know. Now if you're talking about incidents like raging fanbases on social media targeting individuals or making public incidents in real life then, sure, that's bad. But complaining about people representing their interests publicly just comes across as snobby.

Fandom comes down to the community aspect of liking a thing not simply liking a thing. A group of people liking a thing is different than an established club of liking a thing. The latter is problematic, structured around gatekeeping, toxic inclusivity and group fed stake burning of anyone they see as threats to the thing they like. Not that all fandoms are that but all fandoms have that element in them and how dominant those voices are is the question.

Fandoms are questionable because of its tendency to create these consolidated communities of bad faith actors that see the thing they like as under attack and need to be defended. Gamergate, Star Wars fans harassing an actress because they don't like her character, etc. Being a fan of something is obviously fine, liking something as a group is fine, the easy slip on the slope is turning the thing you like into a thing that needs to be protected and that's less fine and that's an easy thing to fall into when you find yourself trying to "out-fan" others in your group and doing things you wouldn't in other circumstances to preserve the original effect the thing had on you. These things easily fester in fandoms and I think those are important lines to draw in whatever community you find yourself a part of.

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HarbinLights

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I like listening to fan-music and fanart. Does that count as interacting with fandom?

Anyway, the things I like are part of who I am. So yeah, I definitely feel a connection to people who like the same sorts of media and the same sorts of things about them as I do. Like the characters.

I just don't let the toxic parts of a fandom define me. And proudly like the things I like about a thing I like.

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craigieboy

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@tom_omb: This is more of less the point I was going to make. The fact is anyone can be part of a "fandom" if they like the thing it represents and unfortunately this can lead to people who are so selfish and single-minded that they think it's appectable to bully others who like what they like as well as the people making the thing that they like. I find it difficult to really blame anyone for those kind of incidents apart from the person themselves so I don't consider fandoms as a problem.

I think partly the reason groups of popular games/shows get ternish by a few individuals actions is that they are given a bigger platform then they deserve. 95% of fans talking and discussing a new announcement of a game/episode isn't nearly as juicy clickbait as a couple of angry trolls losing their shit over a typically inconsequential change. People being civil isn't interesting to watch so it gets ignored when the subject of fandoms is brought up.

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Tom_omb

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@craigieboy: Yeah, the internet is full of smaller communities, like this one, where respectful conversation and supportive creativity happens frequently. Just taken as a whole, the internet looks like an insufferable hellhole because it's the garbage that you notice.

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ichthy

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Kind of a side tangent, but does anyone notice that communities for hobbies that are constructive (making and building stuff, be it models or woodworking or baking) seem way more friendly and inclusive compared to consumptive hobbies (games, movies, music, comics, etc.)? I used to spend a lot of time on the Gunpla sub-reddit and that was the nicest sub. People were super helpful and friendly to newcomers, and would compliment even straight kit builds. Meanwhile, game specific sub-reddits can and usually are toxic hellholes. This this all just anecdotal but it's something I've noticed over the years interacting with communities from my different hobbies.

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NTM

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Hmm. I've never been part of a fandom group (or whatever you want to call it) where there is no one that has anything negative to say about it. The farthest I go is just coming on here to discuss games I'm interested in. I mean, I do use Facebook as a way to keep up with specific games or series', but I am not really there because of the community. To be honest, I'm not really sure what this all entails? Like, what is the consensus on how far it has to go before it is annoying and a negative thing? I've never been that deep into fanfare for the things I like with a community of like-minded people. I just play/watch things I'm interested in, and obviously, hope there are those that are interested in it too, but I would never become a part of a group that wants to go out and wear costumes of characters from something or what have you (though, in a way, I don't have an issue if others like doing that).

I think when it comes to clothing that's about games or comics or films, that's totally fine; I've gotten a few of them myself, but I don't often wear them. Most recently, I've seen a lot more people having video game related bumper stickers, from Destiny to Portal. To be frank, fandoms that become so entrenched into what they like that they diss other things people like is a rarity to me. The last time I personally had the happen was over ten years ago in high school, where two AP students wore GameCube controllers as belts, and they made fun of my brother for listening to the Halo Collection soundtrack. That pissed me off and it really shaped my view of them, really until this day. The last time I ran into one of those people, they pointed out that I was buying two DMC4's (one on PS3 and another on 360, so I can have one and my friend can have another) as if I was an idiot. "You know these are the same game right?"

Fanboys are shit, but I stay away from wherever they crop up, and when I do see it, I don't comment on it and leave it be as if they're the trolls they are. To me, trolling or being a negative fanboy is of a bygone era in my world, so whenever I see one I am a bit surprised by how ludicrous that person is. It obviously still happens, but I keep clear away from it.

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soulcake

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I use to be a big Star Wars fan going to local cons and stuff where you tend to meet the same folks every year, Now Star Wars and the whole marketing thing has become so big ( yeah i know Star Wars was always big into marketing) but Disney upt'd the ante a other 5 spaces. That i don't even care anymore, i haven't even seen Solo yet and i don't really care anymore. Con's in my area used to be Sci-Fi nerds and weird anime people and enough roomspace to feel comfortable to walkthrough. A few years back i went to the same con 10 years later to be trampled by people and models in cosplay gear it's fucking awful i want nothing to do with this thing anymore it felt like hell on earth. So yeah with Fandom fucking sucks ! Kinda Reminded me of music festivals.

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gamer_152

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#42 gamer_152  Moderator

I spend a fair bit of time reading forum threads, comments, and Twitter threads, and sometimes posting. I follow various people on Twitter and you just end up hearing about fans' general opinions on games via podcasts, news stories, and the like. On the whole, however, I don't really want to interact with video game fandoms. A lot of the conversations going on in those spaces just don't interest me and the games community has been rife with toxicity. I think if you want decent perspectives and exchanges on games, you have to be very selective about how you engage. The same applies for anything else "nerd culture".

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emprpngn

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I don't really have a problem with fandoms. I like wearing band shirts, and have a few sci-fi and game related ones as well. I'd rather decorate my home with framed posters and well-made replicas than... whatever you're supposed to decorate your home with.

I don't appreciate the negative aspects of fandoms that have been mentioned above, of course. I guess there's some instinctual competition that lends itself to arguing over whether brand A is better than brand B, but I'd rather spend my time enjoying what I like than diminishing other's enjoyment of stuff. Seems like a needless conflict in an age where there's pretty much enough good media to last several lifetimes.