I’ll admit that I’ve never really considered myself to be a part of any fandom. I’ll often obsess over a game or a television show and I’ll often find myself creating works—be it art, music, or some sort of game—around these media. However, beyond maybe talking with a few of my friends about the shows/games/movies/whatever, I’ve never really joined in any sort of group of people devoted to any of these things. To be honest, I’m not quite sure why that is.
Coming into this particular study, I am very interested in the expressive works—art, music, memes, costumes, stories, games, videos, etc.—that are coming out of the fandom (which are totally sweet, by the way) and the stigma that is often attached to being a brony (which is the opposite of sweet). Since Jason’s last post begins to deal with the latter of these issues, I’ll think I’ll make my first official post on the former.
Looking through sites such as Equestria Daily, checking out fan art, listening to music, and spending way too much time playing Canterlot Siege 2 when I should be grading, I became very interested in the ways that the different genres/types of creations that bronies make and consume are similar to or different from the types of things created in other fandoms.
While the work created within the brony community is original/awesome, the forms and genres that these works take conform in many ways to those that arise in other sorts of fandoms. For instance, fanfics and fan art take somewhat similar shapes regardless of specific fandom; cosplay is pretty well a universal sign of fandomness; and it even seems like there is at least one tower defense game has been created for every game, show, or movie out there (which is very unfortunate for my productivity… this post was supposed to come out yesterday by the way). Even being able to talk about (and study) fandom as a general “thing” suggests to some extent that there are specific ways of being in (or, perhaps “doing”) a fandom that have developed over time and, as people become fans of different things, they continue to express themselves in ways that are associated with being in fandoms in general—cosplaying, writing fics, etc.
My questions along these lines, other than perhaps whether or not my observations hold water, are about how the content created around/by the brony community relates to other fandoms you have had experience with (beyond the fact that the MLP:FiM community focuses on MLP). How does one brony? How are the things that people are creating similar to those of other fandoms? How are they different? For instance, I’ve noticed that several previous comments on this blog have talked about the music that bronies are creating (this is particularly awesome to me, as a musician and music researcher). Where several people have commented on the musical aspect of the brony fandom and Equestria Daily (which has been one of my major resources in checking out brony creations) has no fewer than six different music sections in its “media” menu, I haven’t seen as much emphasis on music in other sorts of fandom sites that I have been to. I also found it interesting that Equestria Daily didn’t have a cosplay section until this past August, which certainly doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a lot of cosplay going on, but is still interesting.
Also, on a somewhat related note, I am hoping to write at least one of my next posts on music being made by bronies and will thus be listening to a LOT of music in the very near future. Any suggestions, thoughts, or comments as I go about this would be awesome. What are your thoughts on the music coming out of the brony scene? Which genres do you like to listen to? Who are the best artists? What are the best songs/works? What are the worst ones?
Thanks for reading and for any comments that might come out of this. It’s been great to hear everything you’ve had to say thus far. I think I can also speak for Jason when I say that we’re very grateful to all of you for everything you’ve done to help get this blog started.