Fandom and Exclusion

The past few weeks have been pretty good for any fan of entertainment or pop culture. Not only are we currently in the midst of Pokemon Go fever, but we’re also just relieving from Comic-Con and all the hype that surrounds it. However, recently there’s been a surge in hostility towards the idea of properties such as the aforementioned Pokemon Go, becoming more mainstream and popular. This is especially true when it comes to new fans indulging in what would’ve normally been considered niche or geeky stuff. 

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The idea of nerd credibility is nothing really new. I still remember the big upset over whether good-looking cosplayers actually knew the characters they were portraying sufficiently enough. As well as all the fuss about fake nerd girls and fake gamer girls. Pokemon Go is the most recent instance of this, with examples all over the internet of “90s kids” pissing over the fun of children by saying they’re not real fans of the series because they didn’t experience the original games. 

While it might be cringe-inducing to hear a kid spout false information about the history of Charizard, you risk alienating these new fans from actually enjoying the game by having such an elitist attitude. These types of things should be enjoyed by everybody, not just the select few who deem themselves worthy enough. There’s also an inherent benefit in having more people interested in what you like. In this case it means more updates, more content, and more money for developers to spend on bettering the overall experience. 

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All of this also applies to comic books and superhero movies. When Batman v Superman came out, defenders of the film would go on about how the movie was made for passionate fans of these characters and that critics just didn’t understand because they don’t read comics. Even the director said he tried to base the storyline and visuals off of the aesthetics you’d find in a graphic novel. But people need to understand that Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, are more than just heroes from a comic book. Although it may seem strange to say, these characters are pop culture icons who have transcended their original mediums, into cartoons, theme parks, and massive movie franchises. 

When it comes to basically anything, there is never a need to try and exclude particular people from enjoying what you hold so near and dear. From an artist’s point of view, what’s even the point of creating something if other generations of human beings can’t also appreciate it? I understand that there is a special feeling to having liked something before it was brought to the wider public, but if it annoys you that much, then you’re more of a common hipster than a fan or geek. 

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4 thoughts on “Fandom and Exclusion

  1. There’s a weird sense of ownership that comes along with passion. People get unnaturally defensive about ‘faker gamer girls’ as if not to be as fierce a fan as you are would be to trespass on your personal feelings.

    As an unreasonably attractive man I get this all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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