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FF:WA 10 Stages of Science-Fiction Fandom

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Jedi Daniel, Nov 29, 2002.

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  1. Jedi Daniel

    Jedi Daniel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 7, 2000
    I recieved this in an e-mail from a friend yesterday. It lists the stages
    that most science-fiction fans go through. Since we are all fans of Sci-Fi here I thought we could all relate to it. Please post what stage you are with Star Wars and any other Sci-Fi movies/TV series you watch.

    This is the stage where you first discover a show and decide you like it
    and want to watch it on at least a semi-regular basis. If you're home
    and it's on, you'll watch it. You'll read magazine articles about the
    show if you see them. Mention of the show on an entertainment
    newsmagazine will catch your attention. If someone else mentions the
    show in casual conversation it will prompt you to respond in some way.
    Most people and most shows never make it out of Stage One.
    At Stage Two, schedule rearrangements so as not to miss the show begins
    to occur. Taping of shows you're forced to miss is another sign that
    you've reached Stage Two. At this stage, *you'll* be the one bringing up
    the show in casual conversation. You may find yourself finding people
    who are also fans of the show to discuss it over the water cooler. The
    purchasing of magazines with articles about the show, magazines that you
    wouldn't ordinarily buy, is another symptom. Stage Two is still quite
    common amongst the general, non-sci-fi populace.
    Stage Three is where we start to get into areas that we'd call "fandom."
    Its most distinguishing feature is the taping of shows for a permanent
    episode collection and not merely for later viewing if you're not home.
    Other features: saving magazines and TV Guides that contain articles
    about the show, watching the show with a friend who is at Stage Three or
    higher, and organizing season finale or premiere parties. Stage Three
    is still relatively prevalent in the'd be surprised how
    many people have tape collections, especially soaps.
    Okay, now we're getting into serious fandom. At Stage Four, the fan will
    begin to search out and peruse websites about the show in question.
    Usually, it also involves the creation of a bookmark folder for sites
    about the show. Extensive and decorative labelling and cross-referencing
    of the fan's tape collection may take place. The fan may actively seek
    out and tape TV news stories or features about the show.
    Stage Five is tricky. It has two major components which I've observed
    have roughly the same level of commitment attached but do not always
    occur at the same time: membership to show-oriented mailing lists, and
    reading of fanfiction. If a person is either on mailing lists OR reading
    fanfic, they're at Stage Five. They may be doing both. Stage Five also
    includes perusal of USENET groups and active seeking (or avoidance of)
    spoilers from websites or newsgroups. Stage Five is where we first start
    to see fans begin to form connections with larger communities of fellow
    fans, usually in the form of fanclub memberships. It is also at this
    stage that we begin to see interest in acquisition of merchandise, and
    where fans begin to gravitate towards one specific character and/or
    actor and/or relationship from the show in question (though this does
    not always occur).
    Just started going to conventions? Welcome to Stage Six. It has many
    features: the eponymous convention attendance, increased interest in
    like autographs and merchandise, participation if peripheral
    show-oriented activities like role-playing games (RPG), CD-ROMS, and the
    like. Not all fans experience all aspects of Stage Six. For example,
    some collect autographs but have limited interest in merchandise and
    never do RPG. I would also count mailing-list administrators among the
    Stage Sixers...running a list is a greater commitment than just being on
    Stage Seven is like Stage Five in that it has two dist
  2. MariaLuna

    MariaLuna Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 15, 2002
    Wow, that list is quite spooky! I can currently relate up to stage 5 in Star Wars. I also used to be at stage 5 for Buffy, Angel and X-Files but gave that up 2 years ago. Star Wars remains. :)
  3. soneil

    soneil Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 30, 2000
    I guess I'm at level 8 for Starwars, though I probably bordered on level 9 at one point.
    For Startrek, I'd be around four, though I only started watching that in the last year or two. I don't generally tape episodes off tv since I've been watching them all from the video library rather than on tv.
  4. JediLeia21

    JediLeia21 Jedi Youngling star 4

    Dec 7, 2000
    I'm up to stage six, going to rpg's and the like.
  5. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000

    I once was a stage seven in X-Files, the same as your father...sorry. Couldn't resist.

    I tentatively would count myself as stage seven on Star Wars, given my plan to do a fan film...

    Star Trek stage one, as with all other SF shows out at the moment...

    (I notice that quoting the entire dialogue of ANH to keep yourself awake on car journeys isn't mentioned...stage four, perhaps?)


  6. MariaLuna

    MariaLuna Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 15, 2002
    At UWA I'm studying English and this year one of my units was Screen Cultures/Print Cultures. We studied Buffy and Star Wars as 'fan phenomenons'. We actually had the fan-film 'Troops' and the documentary 'The Fantom Menace' as our set texts! It was very interesting looking at it from that point-of-view, as I was a fan myself! I was constantly correcting people in tutorials and I suppose I 'educated' them more about fandom than the tutor did! Perhaps I should send that list to one of the lecturers. :)
  7. Jedi Daniel

    Jedi Daniel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 7, 2000
    Might be an idea ;)
  8. Dags

    Dags Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 3, 2000
    It's all pretty good except stage 3 is wrong.

    To be in "fandom" you must become actively involved with the sci-fi community, just being a hardcore collector of items is not enough. If you are "the biggest fan" of a show and own all the collectables and live and breathe the programme, you're still not in fandom unless you're sharing the experience with other likeminded fans who are linked into the "community".

    If anything, your fandom involvement begins once you join a fan club, and more importantly ATTEND meetings and conventions - this is because many fans of shows and movies are simply unwilling to take this big step.

    As it is I'd argue that being active in the forums here does not instantly make a person a member of fandom either because for the most part no one ever meets anyone else. However there is clearly a community presence here so I guess you could say it's a "pseudo" or "new wave" fandom.

    Becoming actively involved in REAL fandom is a big leap for some people because they then have to acknowledge that their interest in the show has progressed far beyond what they enjoy just by themselves.

    As for level 10, I'd say that would be for people who are either running fan clubs or are running conventions. This is because their interest in a show has progressed to a point where they now want to share that interest with other people and are creating a new outlet for that to be possible. I consider this to be the highest level of a fan because so few people ever actually do it.

    I once had to clarify with a young fan why his direct involvement with a SW fan club put him higher up the "fan level chain" than his mate who just owned a lot of toys.

  9. mutley

    mutley Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 13, 1998
    Stage 5 for me could be higher but con's and money are an issue-does SW at the powerhouse count?
    Rgds to all-have a safe X-Mas :)
  10. soneil

    soneil Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 30, 2000
    I wonder if being a founding club president would count. ;)
  11. Dags

    Dags Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 3, 2000
    Being a founding member of a SW club definately puts you in a high level "fan credibility" category.

    Going to the MoM doesn't really count unless you've taken a trip to Sydney just specifically to see the exhibition (which I've done twice so what kind of a dork am I???).

    The bottom line is that social fandom is full of "doers" and "followers", and if you're a "doer" then naturally your fan credibility will be higher than if you're a "follower". But then again, a "follower's" credibility will be a lot higher than just a fan on the street who shuns interacting with other fans (no matter how much of a hardcore fan they claim to be).

    So being a "follower" is still a good thing for the community.

  12. Jedi Daniel

    Jedi Daniel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 7, 2000
    Well I wen't to Sydney just to see the Magic of Myth Exhibition. If that was not on I wouldn't have gone.
  13. monkey_abbot

    monkey_abbot Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 14, 2002
    i think i'm at stage 4!!!
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