Dr. Carrie

Categorizing Fractured Fandom

Defining Fractured Fandom

According to the discipline of fan studies, at this point in history, being a fan is considered a positive for any individual. Being a fan helps people discover their identities, and to determine what they like and do not like. Being a fan helps people find friends, establish communities, and develop a sense of belonging. Being a fan allows people to express themselves creatively, whether through theories, writing, art works, or costumes. Being a fan represents a means for everyday people to establish themselves as active and powerful creators and participants in a capitalistic system that otherwise sees them as nothing more than passive consumers. In other words, being a fan, especially since the advent of the Internet, is considered a positive aspect of life.

There are times, however, when being a fan presents a problem: a problem for the fan; for others the fan engages with either inside or outside of any fan community; or for entire fan communities that clash with one another, whether from the same fandom, from different fandoms, or outside the context of any fandom. Sometimes, what one fan considers good another might consider bad. These differences hold the potential to cause problems in how individuals treat one another, and can impact people’s behaviors in such a way that what once seemed brilliant and fun becomes unwelcoming or even threatening. When an individual’s sense of self depends too much on identifying as a fan, or when a fan questions the legitimacy of another group of fans, then fandom becomes problematic. Such instances can lead to what I call fractured fandom.

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Mobile Media Technologies at the Intersection of the Virtual and the Real

The blending of the physical and the virtual is increasing due to mobile computing technologies.  Is our cybernetic future at hand? Christopher Olson uses digital tattoos to discuss the blending of realities, and the construction of reality in his latest article: Mobile Media Technologies at the Intersection of the Virtual and the Real. Continue reading Mobile Media Technologies at the Intersection of the Virtual and the Real

Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2

Pooky Amsterdam’s interview with a VWTV pioneer concludes with this second part.  And it raises the question: how likely is the virtual and the real to converge to produce television?  How likely are regular television consumers going to be persuaded to become television producers? Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2. Continue reading Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2

Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV

Pooky Amsterdam reports on a conversation she had with someone who might just be one of the pioneers of virtual world television.  Steve Benford was part of a research project in the United Kingdom who worked on merging virtual reality, virtual worlds, and television at the turn of the century.  Their work on “inhabited TV” would later be mirrored by the work of machinimists and … Continue reading Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV

The Multiplicity of Virtual Worlds

Our definitions and metaphors: Discussion of how researchers and designers as users make sense of virtual world technologies

This short essay reflects a project that occurred before, during and after an international workshop hosted by the Virtual Worlds Research Project.  The goal was to complete a dialogue to help us understand the multiplicity of terms and definitions virtual worlds researchers created and appropriated to describe their work.  This essay could use additional work to become a state-of-the-art review of the field of virtual worlds research — thus, anyone is welcome to add their terms and definitions to this conversation.

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2013 and the Future of Gaming

My last two posts for Clearance Bin Review as Dr. Geek have been considerations for the future of gaming given some technologies that are scheduled to be released this year.  These technologies all share a common aspect: they appear to be challenging the traditional console gaming market, whether by hardware, interface, or game distribution. In my article on the upcoming console system Ouya, I discuss … Continue reading 2013 and the Future of Gaming

Haunted Houses as Physicalized Virtual Reality?

It’s October.  Sure, here in Chicagoland it’s been 80 degrees for the past couple days, but the leaves are falling, and the calendar can’t be lying.  It’s October, which means every young person’s fancy turns to the ghouls and ghosts that go bump in the night.  For the very young ones, this time means donning costumes and trick-n-treating to acquire a supply of candies to … Continue reading Haunted Houses as Physicalized Virtual Reality?