Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts Tagged "fandom"

How Transmedia Brought Firefly Back to Life

How Transmedia Brought Firefly Back to Life

By on Nov 24, 2013 in Featured |

If you love space travel combined with the western joys of cowboys, then you would enjoy Firefly.  Created by Joss Whedon, it is a television series following the story of Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the Firefly class ship called Serenity, and his crew as they go about their rather illegal trading and transporting business while also hiding from the Alliance, the governing body of this universe.  There is action, romance, comedy, gunfights, space battles – everything you could ever want from a television series. In late 2002, the series came in out of nowhere and took the country by storm.  Despite being shown out of order, causing confusion with the storyline and backgrounds of the characters, it still became popular.  It was interesting and new, high up on the list of well-written space western franchises.  The characters were lovable and relatable, from the crotchety yet humorous Captain Mal to the young, messed-up-in-the-brainpan River, to the religious and peaceful yet strangely good with guns Shepherd Book.  It was possible the fastest creation of a cult-like fandom in the history of fandoms, with the series spanning only eleven episodes aired so far.  Fans created forums, calling themselves ‘browncoats’ after the rebel fighters in the series.  They wrote fanfiction.  They went crazy over these characters and the world they lived in, creating a fanverse before the first season had even finished.  At the time, all that existed was the television series; soon enough, however, it would grow beyond even Whedon’s expectations for it. Before anyone could really get a grasp on the series, it ended.  The show only had fourteen episodes, and had shown only eleven episodes on TV.  It was cancelled before it got a chance to shine.  Fans were shocked.  Where had their new favorite show gone?  What about River and Simon’s flight from the Alliance, Inara and Mal’s constant romantic tension, Kaylee’s growing affection for Simon, Jayne’s one-liners and huge guns, Wash’s sarcastic comments and humor, Zoe’s sturdiness as Mal’s second-in-command?  The reasons for the cancellation are listed as low ratings, but no other solid reasons for cancelling the show were offered up.  It was an expensive show, of course – space battles, elaborate costumes, elaborate scenery, plus cast and...

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The World of LARPing

The World of LARPing

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

In the world of modern transmedia fiction, there are several different facets of a fictional world which an avid fan can delve into, whether it be books, games, movies, TV shows, etc.–but none take the concept of total immersion in a fictional world quite so far as “LARPers”. LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role Play, and for those who truly invest themselves in a fandom, LARP is not just a way to contribute to their fandom family, but it allows them to temporarily part from reality and actively participate in the fantasy world to which they’ve so fully dedicated themselves. To participate in Live Action Role Play, one acquires or makes the costume and equipment for their favorite character, whether it be a medieval mercenary, Aragorn, or even a Teletubby (hey, you never know), and then they congregate with other die hard fans to act out scenarios from their chosen fandoms while assuming the personality traits, appearance, and actions of their favorite character, thus taking the elements of the fictional world and its characters into their own hands. LARPing may seem rather outlandish to someone who has never heard of it, but many LARPers are people who appear to be fairly “normal” according to standard social conventions–that is, they hold down steady, sometimes even high-profile, jobs and don’t spend all their time reading Lord of the Rings fanfiction on the couch in their mother’s dark basement. LARPing is just another fascinating, yet curiously little known and under-documented, aspect of the fandom universe, and it’s a Big Deal.   Most tend to think of LARPing as merely a grown-up version of make-believe or escapism, but who’s to say these are bad things? According to Aeon Magazine columnist Damien Walter, it is human nature to escape the grimy reality of our lives, because “we hunger for an escape so complete it borders on oblivion: the total eradication of self and reality beneath a superimposed fantasy.” Complete immersion in a fantasy world is essentially a coping method that some people use to grapple with the grueling or otherwise monotonous grind of daily life. Additionally, PhD student and gaming expert, David Owen, claims that LARPing is actually healthy for this very reason,...

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