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The Magic of Fandoms

Rob Saey
A group of people at a convention cosplaying as their favorite characters.

Are you obsessed with a series or novel to a crazed degree? If so, you may be a part of a fandom. We’re all part of a fandom, including myself, whether you know it or not. Everyone’s a fan of something, and with being a fan of something comes the collective group of fans. People of fandoms often post things such as art or writing about said fandom, or even dress up as their favorite characters. So what makes a fandom so interesting; what makes it important for every fan to be a part of? 


Fandoms are important to people simply due to the fact that they’re nearly a family, as a lot of people say. A group of people that are interested in, or have similar interests, as you could be considered familial in a sort of way. It gives the person in said fandom a group of people to talk to when it comes to video games, movies, etc. It was popularized in the early 2010s with series’ such as My Little Pony, Supernatural, and Portal, but has existed since the 70s! A few examples of these fandoms may be Star Wars, Pokemon, or Supernatural. 


Fandoms also give a sort of artistic creativity to people. People in fandoms often draw things such as fanart, fanfictions – otherwise known as a non canonical story of characters, and even cosplays, in which are costumes someone either creates from scratch or commissions to resemble a character in media. People may post these crafts on social media such as Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter, and some even gain a following of them. I, for example, have done this for years on end, based on my favorite books. I’ve met very like minded people and made many friends from this. Many people also use these fields to show off their talent, and when it comes to cosplays, some even go to conventions in said outfits!


Jasper Harrod is someone who’s quite dedicated to the craft and joy of being in a fandom, one of my closest friends, and has been involved in fandom culture since the sixth grade. “I had always been picked on for having ‘weird’ interests, so when I found people online who also liked those things, it was very nice.” They say. “I didn’t feel so alone, I finally had people who wanted to talk about the same things I did. There’s a ton of people I consider close friends that I made by being in fandoms.”


Many people discuss how fandoms have helped them realize a deeper understanding of themselves and others. https://www.meredithlpc.com/ discusses how we may see ourselves in characters, gain a sense of empathy or gain a new perspective on issues we may see on screen or paper. People also learn about complicated, nuanced characters that force us to change our thinking, perspective and understanding about nearly everything. These people may also find out their fandoms help them realize what they want to do in life, if they were currently in school during this all. I’ve met many people who have decided they want to be a professional artist, tailor, or even a therapist, all because of the fandoms they had been involved in.


Many people classify fandoms as cringe, but they have yet to know the sheer joy it brings people all across the world. Next time you get into a series, try and explore and find similar minded people to hang out and talk with. Who knows what it’ll bring you?

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