Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ryu Vs. Darth Vader: How Fandom Works In Our House

Fandom is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy 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.
A fandom can grow up centered around 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. - Wikipedia

Ron and I are both geeks. Yes, geeky love is wonderful, and you probably think that mutual fandom is what brought us together; this is not the case. Yes, we do have a few similar geek choices, but mostly we geek about very different things.

I, on one hand, love all things Star Wars; as I'm sure you already know. My Star Wars collectables take up most of a geek shelf that we share in our new house. You may not know this, but I'm also a doll collector, as in Barbie, Monster High, Sailor Moon, and of course, Star Wars dolls. These take up an entire shelving unit in my craft room and I am very proud of this collection. I also have a lot of geeky art that I have either gotten at comic conventions or that my Dad has drawn for me. This consist of Sailor Moon, Maleficent, Kermit the Frog, Cloud from FFVII, Edea from FVIII, Wheel of Time maps, and my all time personal favorite, my Lord Of The Rings picture from my Dad.

Now Ron on the other hand, is into totally different things. He is a huge computer/gadget geek. Over the years we've been together, he has shown me he loves me through gadgets. He once built me computer! I wish I understood everything that went into it, so I could truly appreciate it, but the fact that he built me a computer because he loves me, is pretty f*ing amazing. Ron's computer room in our new house is filled with gadgety goodness. Every gaming system pretty much ever made resides in this room, as well a his own memorabilia. But unlike my haphazard collection, pretty much everything he's collected is still pristine in the box. He goes more for Street Fighter and anime characters, most of whom I only have a vague idea who they are. He has boxes of pristine comics and anime art scrolls.

It's not that our fandoms don't mix, it's just that they're very different. He thinks that when I take my collectables out of the box, I'm ruining their value and I believe that by leaving them in the box I'm not appreciating them as much as if I can hold them and pose them and get a real sense of them. He looks at the the lessening value of mine and scoffs and my fingers are itchy to tear those toys out of their packages. So far, everything is still intact and we laugh about it a lot.

But when we pin our fandoms up against each other, this is what we get.


Ok, so it's more like Princess Leai vs. Chun Li, but I still think this is a great analogy.
In the end, love always wins over fandom and our differences are part of the reason we love each other.

Thanks to Distracted by Star Wars and the Student Pocket Guide for the video and YamaO for the great Street Fighter art. And of course to Ron, for loving me despite my love of Star Wars :P

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