Online Community Fiction (cecimoff and chrisdubos)

“SCP Foundation.” SCP Foundation. < http://www.scp-wiki.net/ >.

The SCP Foundation provides an excellent example of the phenomenon of divergent fandom. The collaborative community functions as a self-contained fandom, where the participants in the fandom are the writers, editors, and audience. This wiki displays how inter-fandom rules govern the ways that fiction is created when there is no “primary” source other than the primary reason for the website existing. The Foundation is similar to r/nosleep in that it is community driven, spontaneously created, and has accrued a massive cult following. The subject matter of the articles that can be found on the Foundation’s website are similar in theme and genre to the materials discussed in this course, and influences from some of our core texts can be found in specific SCPs given.

Benjamin, Walter, “The Work Of Art In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. Illuminations: Essays and Reflection. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.

This famous work is massively influential in the fields of cultural studies and Marxist philosophy. In it, Benjamin argues about the future of art and mass media in general using film as a specific example of a medium that empowers the masses. This argument can be extended to the Internet, which is an even more easily accessible and utile medium for expression.

Falzone, P. J.. “The Final Frontier Is Queer: Aberrancy, Archetype and Audience Generated Folklore in K/S Slashfiction”. Western Folklore 64.3/4 (2005): 243–261.

This article, although dealing with a specific branch of fandom (specifically slash fiction in the Stark Trek fandoms) introduces an interesting idea about the evolutionary path of fandoms and the fandom community’s relationship with its primary source. Through the Star Trek fandom, this article details how a fandom community eventually evolves away from the source material and how fanfiction influences the development of other media. In conjunction with the Benjamin quote, the article speaks to the empowering nature of fanfiction and the creative license it lends to participants and consumers.

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