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Picking the collective brain

Was chatting with [info - personal] renay about fandom stuff, and we got to wondering something that really requires the collective consciousness of fandom. So, have a poll.

Do you consider FFX and FFX-2 to be a single fandom or two separate fandoms?

One fandom
20(66.7%)
Two fandoms
10(33.3%)

FF.net splits FFX and FFX-2 into separate, unrelated categories. If you were to post a story including both FFX-only and X-2 only characters, which category would you put it in?

FFX
1(3.2%)
FFX-2
7(22.6%)
It depends on who the main character/pairing is
20(64.5%)
It depends on another factor which I will explain in comments
3(9.7%)

If you were in an archive with one category named FFX, would you expect to find and/or feel comfortable posting FFX-2 fic there?

Yes
23(74.2%)
No
6(19.4%)
It depends, and I will explain why in comments
2(6.5%)

If you were in an archive with one category named FFX/X-2, would you expect to find and/or feel comfortable posting FFX fic that disregards X-2 canon there?

Yes
28(90.3%)
No
3(9.7%)
It depends, and I will explain why in comments
0(0.0%)

Do you consider FFVII Compilation to be a single fandom or a collection of separate fandoms?

One fandom
17(56.7%)
Multiple fandoms
12(40.0%)
Something else which I will explain in comments
1(3.3%)

Do you consider "Ivalice Alliance" to be one fandom or multiple fandoms?

One fandom
4(13.3%)
Each game is a separate fandom
10(33.3%)
The XII games are one fandom and the Tactics games are another
10(33.3%)
The XII games are one fandom, but the Tactics games are separate fandoms
5(16.7%)
The Tactics games are one fandom, but the XII games are separate fandoms
0(0.0%)
Something else which I will explain in comments
1(3.3%)

Which of these fandoms do you consider yourself to be part of? (just for informational purposes)

Final Fantasy
2(6.5%)
FFVII (any or all)
1(3.2%)
FFX and/or FFX-2
2(6.5%)
FFXII (any or all)
0(0.0%)
FF Tactics (any or all)
0(0.0%)



Please spread this one far and wide; I want as broad a sampling as possible. Also, my standard disclaimer: I welcome open and honest discussion, but I request that you not flame FFX-2 in comments -- flawed or no, I happen to be quite fond of it, so if anyone comes out with the burning hatred, the conversation isn't going to get very far. Thanks.

Comments

justira
Oct. 20th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
In which I make slow luxurious love to umbrella tags
As far as how to archive fanworks, I tend to prefer having umbrella canons for EVERYTHING, where available, with the option to put a fanwork in any entry under that umbrella OR only in the umbrella itself and not in any specific subcategory. I always sorely miss this option in every archive ever. There are usually ONLY umbrella canons (how VII seems to be treated a lot of the time) or ONLY separate canons (X and X-2).

I think this would be pretty useful especially for VII and, to a lesser extent, for X/X-2. This is actually a point of... agreement/disagreement I have with how ff_press categorizes things. There is an "Unspecified FVII Compilation" category there (and same for all other multi-entry canons except X/X-2), and I like having that category as a home for all the "just FFVII" fanworks. But I don't see it as a "you didn't make a proper header!" category, which is kind of how it's presented in the newsletter. I would like a category just like that, but for stories that really AREN'T part of any specific VII canon, and just exist in the VII universe -- see those synthesizing fans from VII.

I think I might come to this idea because of my history in anime/manga canons like Trigun and FMA. I have a hard time explaining this to people who haven't experienced such canons, but the anime and manga are VASTLY different. Not like "added some filler" different, but more like they both start from the same premise/characters and then go in WILDLY different directions. And in those fandoms I have definitely found a lot of most excellent stories that explicitly remain neutral about which canon they are set in. They could be mangaverse, they could be animeverse, but really they are just stories that start with the same premise/characters and go somewhere, somewhere neutral. And in those fandoms fans often (or used to, back in the late 90s/early aughts when I hung about there) label for animeverse, managaverse, or neither. Some of that was surely sloppy/lazy labelling, but a lot of it was truly just neutral.

Likewise, I KNOW (haha, do I ever) that a lot of the "unspecified" stuff for VII and XII is really just sloppy/lazy labelling -- but for VII especially, some of it just seems to be canon-neutral. I know one usual rule for labelling VII works is to label it with the most-recently released canon that it draws on, and this makes sense for spoilers. I am not sure how to handle that!

So since I know this poll has to do with how to categorize fanworks, here is my ideal system!

Sets like X/X-2, VII Comp, and Ivalice should have umbrella labels and labels for each subcanon -- but also the option to tag for the umbrella only.

But again, there's no real way to prevent abuse of the umbrella tag.

And yet!

I feel like such a system would provide homes for, say, a story with both X and X-2 characters but isn't deeply related to the plot of either game. Like, say, a story about Rikku and Gippal growing up together on Bikanel. It's set in the X timeline, but an X-2 character, and isn't really deeply related to either X or X-2. It could be argued to be an X-2 story, since it that is the most-recently released canon it uses, or as a crossover -- but I just see it as a Spira-verse story. And I think it's fair to treat a lot of stories this way -- stories that combine bits and pieces of various canons to make something that definitely lives in that world but in no particular canon. And it feels kind of... unfair... to treat stories like that as, say X/X-2 "crossovers". There are cases where I think a story could be fairly balled as both X adn X-2 -- for example stories that deal explicitly with the transition between the two games. I think it might also help maybe with how X-2 sometimes gets relegated to some bastard AU instead of a sequel. Fans who want to integrate X and X-2 can play in the umbrella canon, and fans who want to keep them more separate can play in the individual canons.

Likewise I'm sure there are similar cases for VII. It doesn't seem as dire in the Ivalice games -- again, they are by and large comfortably separated -- but it might still be useful there.

Haha, I am so sorry KJ >.>
venefica_aura
Oct. 20th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Re: In which I make slow luxurious love to umbrella tags
I feel like such a system would provide homes for, say, a story with both X and X-2 characters but isn't deeply related to the plot of either game. Like, say, a story about Rikku and Gippal growing up together on Bikanel. It's set in the X timeline, but an X-2 character, and isn't really deeply related to either X or X-2.

This is exactly my problem with labeling FFVII fic sometimes. My favorite characters are Old Dudes, and one of them popped up in a Compilation game, and I thought he was awesome, but I have no desire to write him during his actual game timeline most of the time because it's too short, and well, it's pretty spelled out what's going on during that time. I'd rather write pre-BC for him, or during the OGC timeline, or post-OGC. Because that's when I can do fun tricksy stuff! But I always have to label the game he's from, because yeah.

That and there are stories that literally depend on nothing more than characterization and a passing plot point (...also a favorite, clearly I should just be writing original fiction).

I mean, that was my main problem with the Compilation--they did it like what you do for your first fanfiction. Throw in lots of OCs! A new threat! See how many times we can bring back Sephiroth!

So it gets to be a huge sprawl. I combat this by putting decent author notes on stuff to explain where the heck it comes from, generally.
owlmoose
Oct. 21st, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
In which I pull out a tiny bit of your awesome epic comment and pick at it
Whenever I see anyone describing a fic including characters and elements from FFX and FFX-2 as a "crossover", it makes me twitch. How can a story based entirely in a single universe be a crossover? It makes me wonder about other metafandoms, like the Buffyverse -- would people describe a story containing Buffy characters and Angel characters as a crossover? Or different installments of Star Trek, or different seasons of the same TV show?

I have wished, both in my conversations with Nay and in general, that there could be some other name for "the Spiraverse" (which is a great expression that I am totally stealing) that doesn't exclude either of the games (as using FFX as an umbrella term would) but that also makes it clear that fans can ignore X-2 canon if they want to. Some sort of umbrella solution would be my favorite, especially if we can find a way to do it that doesn't marginalize X-2 into some sort of "secondary" canon or fandom.

I think I am in an unusual position, because I am so strongly tied to both games. I think what you say above is true of many people in X/X-2 fandom: they might play around with crossing that line, but most tend to gravitate toward one or the other. And on the surface, I probably appear to fit that mold: most of my fic explicitly references the X-2 canon, and if you asked other people what my primary fandom is, they'd likely say FFX-2. But really, I consider myself to be equally tied to both "sides". (FFX is actually my favorite game; Paine and Auron tie as my favorite characters.) I am in the Spiraverse fandom, whatever form that might happen to take at a given time. And that's why I take such a hard line on wanting to see them treated as a single fandom; when the division is forced, it's much harder to play in the Spiraverse as a whole. The dilemma you describe with that Rikku/Gippal story is exactly the problem. And I actually think that forced divisions, like the one on FF.net, exacerbate the tensions between the two "sides" of the fandom.

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