Paticipatory Culture: Fandom in the Digital Age

The web has dramatically changed the way in which fan communities operate. The web has allowed for fans to express themselves among other fans. Fan sites allow fans from all around the world to interact, connect instantly, share knowledge, share opinions, discuss and spoil. The concept of fan hood in itself has evolved with the development of technology. Fan communities with the advent of digital technology have become participatory. Anyone can participate anytime and anywhere.

Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture deals with the concepts of participatory culture, collective intelligence and the convergence of media. Chapter 4 Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Grass Roots Creativity Meets the Media Industry particularly deals with the concept of fan culture in relation to new media technology. Fan communities have

Wookieepedia The Star Wars Fan Wiki Source

Wookieepedia
The Star Wars Fan Wiki
Source

spawned through interactivity and participation. “Interactivity refers to the ways that new technologies have been designed to be more responsive to consumer feedback . . . Participation is shaped by the cultural and social protocols” (133). Fans have the power to interact with each other and create their own works through participation in relation to a film or television show.

Digital technology has given fans more power particularly in fan communities. Fans can create fan videos that explore subtexts within the original film or create parody videos in humorous fashion. Fans can now create their own versions of films or TV shows to create it the way that they specifically want. Fans play an active role as members of the audience. Sites like YouTube allow users to create their own videos and share it with other fans instantaneously. Fan culture has now become participatory.

Participatory fan culture has given fans a more powerful role in the success of a particular film or television show. Fan culture has produced the cult classic. Fans have the power to keep either a television show or a film alive and make it a success on the home market among a large fan base. The movie version for Veronica Mars was made possible through the television shows dedicated fan base. The movie was funded through a kick starter where essentially it was paid for by the donations of the fans. Digital technology has produced a participatory culture that allows fans to play a larger role in the success of a film or television show.

Jenkins, Henry. “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Grass Roots Creativity Meets the Media Industry.” Convergent Culture. New York City: NYU Press, 2006. 131-168. Print.

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