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Definition of FandomWhat is Fandom? Such a basic question with a multitude of complex interwoven answers with an infinite number of possibilities. According to the generic dictionary definition of fandom, it is “the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something.” In this instance, I’m most definitely a fan of many of the activities of which I partake, especially my computer gaming and books.

A more in depth look at it according to Wikipedia says that, Fandom (a portmanteau consisting of fan [fanatic] plus the suffix -dom, as in kingdom) is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates "fannish" (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

NewslettersA fandom can grow up centered on any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genres or fashions. While it is now used to apply to groups of people fascinated with any subject, the term has its roots in those with an enthusiastic appreciation for sports. Merriam-Webster's dictionary traces the usage of the term back as far as 1903.[1] Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to the interconnected social networks of individual fandoms, many of which overlap.[2]

There is a multitude of types of fandom and activities for fans of any one of thousands of genres from TV, Movies, Books, and Games. There is organized subcultures, for example Star Trek® has multiple types from fan fiction authors to anime artists to cosplay gurus that love touring the convention circuits. There’s conventions, both fan run and organized from within the industry. Fan fiction, fan art, games, toys, cosplay, and so much more.

Starfleet LogoStar Trek® and Star Wars® have two of the largest fan bases world-wide that range from your average fan to diehard, ultra-devoted cosplayers that live for the thrill of creating realistic replicas from the movies that will just leave you dumbfounded. Conventions that are held year round all over the world, stacked with the stars from the series’ to bring in the big bucks to vendors of all types selling fandom wares. Fanzines and Newsletters published by the grove full til your heart’s content for your type of fandom.

It truly is what you make of it, how far you’re willing to take it to enjoy your experience in your favorite fandom world.

[1] Merriam-Webster:fandom (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fandom)
[2] Wikipedia:fandom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fandom)

S Adam Day

This page was last updated: April 23, 2015 by Red Earth, PLP