KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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Fannish history meme

Ganked from muggy_mountain.

Detail your fannish history as far back as you are able. Include fandoms you don't participate in anymore (or perhaps never participated in). Feel free to pimp hard and talk in length about your Mulder/Skinner OTP or unabashed love for the epic piece of cinema that is the Home Alone series. Bring us all the way up to the now.

So the first show I really remember watching was M*A*S*H. My dad was a big fan, and I'd watch the current episode every week and reruns every afternoon. I've seen every episode multiple times, and still catch it in reruns sometimes. According to my dad, I used to tell him stories about the characters instead of asking for a bedtime story. Unfortunately I don't remember this at all; otherwise it would be my first recorded fannish behavior. I didn't play games, or go to many movies, so TV and books were at the center of my media consumption. And there was a lot of it. I was a serious television junkie as a kid -- sitcoms, Knight Rider, The Love Boat. I also devoured books, particularly series books. I started with the Oz series, and then moved on to Ramona, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden. Now that I think about it, I wonder if reading series scratched my life-long itch to know what happens next to the characters. That's the thing about a stand-alone book -- once it's over, it's over. So it's probably not any surprise that I moved from those to Sweet Valley High.

If there had been an Internet in 1985, I would have been all over the SVH fandom. I had favorite characters, I had hated characters, I had 'ships (Elizabeth/Nicholas Morrow!), and I would happily talk meta for hours. I never wrote fic for it, but that's mostly because I never thought to do so. I made up the stories in my head, for sure. I would have written Nicholas/Elizabeth AUs and Steven/Cara stories and found Winston a decent girlfriend and put Jessica into all kinds of trouble. And it would have been awesome. As it was, I had to content myself with reading the books over and over and being obsessive about buying them. I had something of a competition going with one of the girls in my class as to which of us would be the first to have the latest one. I held on to the collection for many years, but at my parents' last move they didn't have room for them, and so off to the used bookstore they went.

I considered myself a Star Wars fan, too. Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I never really wrote fic for this either, but I once wrote an adventure story (in a notebook now long lost to the sands of time and many moves) with two male protagonists named Mark and Harrison. My first and only attempt at RPF? Perhaps. (Also my first Mary Sue in the form of the female character, who was named Jayne.) The names are about all I remember about it, except that Jayne and Harrison got stuck in a closet together.

Moving back to television. I never watched the original Star Trek really, but when Next Generation came out, I was all over it. My group of friends in college watched TNG regularly, and then we added Northern Exposure and Deep Space Nine. DS9 is my most lasting love from that group -- it is now not only my favorite Trek, but my favorite television show of all time, and the only series I own on DVD in its entirety. I also got into Babylon 5 at the end of its second season, and that ranks highly on my list as well. I started watching Friends during its fifth season, which is when it started in reruns. I fell in love right away and continue to consider it a favorite as well, even if it gets uneven about halfway through the fifth season. I also picked up The West Wing (TWW) at the beginning of its second season and Buffy at the beginning of the sixth (again, at the time it went into reruns, so I was watching new and old episodes simultaneously, which made for an interesting watching experience).

And then came Television Without Pity.

I don't remember how I first stumbled across TWoP, back when it was Mighty Big TV (MBTV), although I think it has to have been during my dotcom days, possibly during the 2001 summer hiatus. I was already familiar with HissyFit, the site that spawned it -- I read the stories regularly, and lurked on the message boards -- but since I didn't watch Dawson's Creek, I didn't follow them to Dawson's Wrap, so I had to rediscover MBTV a few years later. Anyway, I had to have been a regular on the site by the start of the 2001 fall season, because I started visiting the boards for 24 before the show premiered. And so began what I consider my first participation in a fandom. 24 wasn't the only board I visited, by any means; I lurked on the Buffy boards and posted occasionally in TWW and the baseball thread, I read lots of recaps -- including some, like Survivor, for shows I didn't watch. For awhile, TWoP itself was a fandom of sorts for me, complete with 'ship wars and drama: I lived through the death of Off-Topic Blather, the post purge of 2003, the name change, the banner ad wars (I even contributed to a couple of 24 banners, both in terms of paying for them and helping with the design), battles with the moderator (who was replaced without explanation one day, but not before he banned one of my best friends on the board as a going-away present). But 24 was my home board, and I spent hours and hours talking meta with people, joking around and writing song parodies, and generally being part of the community there. I even got together with people IRL a few times. My active participation in the 24 fandom lasted for over three years, even as I gradually drifted away from the other boards (except for brief flirtations with Joan of Arcadia and The Apprentice). But I pretty much gave it up it entirely when I stopped watching the show, after the 3rd season. I'd drop in from time to time to chat with folks, but it was never the same, and not long after I moved on to Final Fantasy.

I guess you could say I really started playing computer games during college. In elementary school, I would watch my friend Tammy play PacMan, and oswulf and I played Arkon and various other games on his Commodore 64, but I didn't play regularly until summers home from college, starting with the games on my friend DZ's computer. The primary game of choice there was Civilization, although we also played this game called Scorched Earth where we would fire on each other's tanks. We would spend hours and hours and hours playing Civ, taking turns driving, giving our cities funny names and trying to take control of the seas and win the technology race. On my home computer, the only game really of note was Arkanoid II, and I was totally obsessed with it. Senior year of college, I spent many hours on amybang's Mac playing Tetris and Shanghai and Sim City, and when I got my own Mac, Civ was an early purchase. Unfortunately, RSI drove me away from PC gaming. But console gaming was close on its heels with Final Fantasy X, followed by FFX-2, Kingdom Hearts, and the Ratchet and Clank series. I never interacted with any of these games in a fannish way, though, until I was driven to it by a very persistent plot bunny. I wrote that story and started the next, but it wasn't really until I started writing the Paine segment of The Confessional that I really got involved on the level that I'd been involved with 24. The FF fandom is was really led me into fandom as a serious hobby -- reading fanfic, reading meta, getting involved in discussions about online community, which is a subject I've always found fascinating.

I've also lurked around the edges of the Harry Potter fandom, off and on. I'm a member of HP4GU, although I've never read it regularly. I was also on the Paradigm of Uncertainty mailing list for awhile, so that I could follow along with madlori's work, and I was actually reading regularly when the Cassie Claire plagiarism scandal first came down. Little did I know that I witnessing fandom history in the making. But this was around the time I was getting more deeply into the MBTV/TWoP fandom, and so I never got any more involved.

So I think that's everything. Since finding fandom, I've added Lost and more recently Heroes to my TV routine, and Veronica Mars has come and gone. But I haven't gotten really involved with TV fandom again, although if I'd started with Veronica from the beginning, I might have gotten sucked in there. I've read lots of books but not really developed fannish love for any of them; the same for all the movies that I've seen (although I did love the LoTR and Pirates of the Caribbean series) and the other games I've played (although a replay of Final Fantasy 12 might get me rolling on a new segment of FF fandom; we'll have to see). In a way, LJ has become my fandom in the way that MBTV/TWoP used to be. How people behave online, the communities and cultures they form, is something I can watch and talk about for hours, and I look forward to seeing how it all continues to evolve.

Well. If anyone made their way all the way through this, I thank and congratulate them. ;) I have no idea if this is what muggy_mountain was looking for when she came up with this meme, but it sure was interesting to lay all of this out.
Tags: about me, books, fandom, meme, meta, movies, television, videogames
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