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dark Dean

My fandom adventures

Posted on 2014.11.30 at 14:42
Tags: , , , , ,
Well, hi! I still appear to have a LJ account, and some friends! *waves to friends*

I thought I’d just do a quick ‘where I’m at’ post and see who’s about – I’ve had a little mooch around and I don’t seem to be the only one who’s posting less frequently, although I am taking it to extremes! But, Heaven help me, I signed up for the discoveredinalj Advent Calendar, for old times’ sake, despite having written precisely nothing for well over a year, so I thought it seemed an opportune time to check in.


1) Supernatural
I’m bang up to speed on SPN, rather enjoying Season 10 – there’s a welcome return to something approaching an early-season feel and a brotherly vibe which makes it easy to handwave imperfections, Jensen is doing his bit by becoming even more outrageously good looking, and I’m still totally and hopelessly in love with Dean Winchester – and disappointed that there appear to be no plans to release Season 9 on DVD in the UK. It’s taking up a lot of hard drive space!

I haven’t even attempted to write in the fandom recently, but insofar as I’m reading anything, it tends to be SPN, either fiction, ep reviews or meta. The tone of the meta seems a little less fractious recently, which is nice – I do struggle to understand how Deangirls and Samgirls can despise each other so much, given how Dean and Sam feel about each other, but I’ll never dip my toe into that water!


2) Ylvis
So, what happened was, my kids were listening to ‘What Does the Fox Say’ on Youtube, I watched along to make sure it was appropriate, was rather charmed by the harmonies and the bit about the friendly horse, and started looking into this Ylvis guy. Realised pretty quickly that they were largely unsuitable for children (at least within British culture), but as I watched more and more videos, progressing from the music vids into clips from their stage and TV shows, I got more and more hooked on the sense of humour and the relationship between the pair of them.

For those not in the know (which is the majority of the world!) Ylvis are Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker, two brothers from Norway who have been performing together as a comedy duo since the early 2000s. They are reasonably well-known in Norway, having hosted their own late-night comedy/talk show for three years, but Fox catapulted them into a kind of temporary mega-stardom which saw them playing massive events in America and the Far East. As a lot of their comedy is observational anyway, and given the Scandinavian tendency towards cheerful self-denigration, this ‘fame bubble’ has given them an opportunity to see what life is like for international superstars without getting excessively affected by it themselves.

The Ylvis fandom seems to be divided into Tumblr fans and Facebook fans. As far as I can gather, Tumblr fans slash Bard and Vegard like crazy (and it really isn’t hard to do, they are pretty close even for brothers, both very attractive and – well – just check out pretty much any ‘Norges Herligste’ video, especially the ‘Gay Sex Shop Owner’ or the ‘Skinny Jeans man’ (in which Bard poses erotically in tight jeans in a shower while Vegard takes photos of him and says ‘That’s my brother’ quite a bit) whereas Facebook fans look down their noses at these Johnny-come-lately post-Fox fans, decry any UST between the two because of the incest factor (fair enough, they’re both happily married and probably not doing each other) and post a lot of video content from pretty much every appearance Ylvis have ever made. For which I love the Facebookies. (Even though I do slash them a bit!)

As a bonus effect, I am now really pretty competent in Norwegian. To the extent that I’ve built it into my Languages scheme of work - I teach French to all junior classes, but in the summer term I teach each class a different European language, and Year 6 are now getting Norwegian!


3) Minecraft

Yes, this isn’t a misprint! To explain, Minecraft is kind of the video-game version of Lego with added zombies and other dangers. And yes, I do play it on and off – I find it pretty relaxing – but it’s the fandom that’s growing up around it that really fascinates me, because it’s so multimedia compared to what I’m used to.

What we have is a game that’s very popular with children, but this generation of children who are more than comfortable with social media. It’s also quite popular with your stereotypical geek gamer (mostly boys, late teens-early 20s) who have been using Youtube to share gampelay videos and game reviews etc for some time.

So, the kids started searching Youtube to see what was on there relating to Minecraft. Some of the gamers had already started making videos (tutorials, playthroughs etc) and the kids started to form attachments to specific Youtubers. But, crucially, the thing that sets Minecraft apart is it’s a game set in an infinite (PC) or at any rate very large (Xbox) landscape, without a defined storyline or set of achievements, so it’s up to the imagination of the player to make whatever they want of it. Some players love to build, and they have created downloadable adventure maps and survival games arenas; some players like to play on these, and have taken to recording their gameplay, often in episode format like a TV show.

My children have become pretty obsessed with a particular gamer called Stampylongnose, and his gaming partner iBallisticsquid. I’ve been watching these two for about a year now, and they are pretty entertaining, and have a bromance-style friendship which makes for really enjoyable bantery commentaries.

So yes, I do watch the videos, and follow the epic adventures of Stampy and Squid! But what I’ve really been interested is how the fandom has expressed itself. There’s not much in the way of fanfiction, and what there is tends to be pretty rubbish as it’s mostly written by 8-year-old girls. Instead, fans are making their own let’s play videos, trying to become famous Youtubers in their own right, communicating with each other through Youtube comments (and, I believe, Tumblr, but I remain terrified of Tumblr so I haven’t really gone there much!)

It amuses me that children are going to school and being taught how to create a Word doc and (still) Excel spreadsheets, and then going home to hook their laptops up to the TV and recording software, recording and editing videos, publishing them online, linking to them on Twitter and Facebook, in some case creating servers to play with their friends – all skills that the average primary school teacher couldn’t hope to match. I think it’s brilliant.

As an aside, I took the kids to a gaming convention last year and was lucky enough to meet Stampy, Squid and a few of their friends – something that would be much more difficult now – they are genuine celebrities among children, Stampy in particular is beginning to be known in mainstream media, and they tend to do Meet and Greets now rather than mingling as they get mobbed! At the time, though, I was blown away by the patience that these two twenty-something gamer lads showed in dealing with wave after wave of over-excited children desperate to have a word with their idols. Really lovely guys, and I wish them the very best.

So that’s about it. Thanks to Proslib, I’ve kept up with Pros fandom up to a point – this was my first fandom, and I will always hold it dear. Which is why, to come full circle, I’ve gone and signed up to write again. We’ll see how that goes on December 23rd!

Comments:


heliophile_oxon
heliophile_oxon at 2014-11-30 17:55 (UTC) (Link)
Hi there! Well, I have to admit that much of what you mention is Strange and Furrin Far-Off Worlds to me *g* but I'm glad to know that Pros still has a place in your heart - and that you'll be posing in the dialj calendar!
vic
saintvic at 2014-11-30 19:34 (UTC) (Link)
Hey luv, just wanted to say it is fantastic to see your post. *hugs you hello*
Strike while the irony is hot
draycevixen at 2014-11-30 20:33 (UTC) (Link)

Hello you!

Lovely to see you about the old place. :D
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