There are a number of TV shows and film franchises that have an almost cult-like following (e.g. Star Wars, Supernatural, MCU, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Doctor Who, BBC Sherlock). What’s the appeal? How or where do these "fandoms" start? Why do they exist? What do these "fandom franchises" have in common? And does it say something about our society that these are the shows that have gained fandom followings?
I think the social factors your questions allude are very good points of interest in this article. However, I think it'd be just as interesting to explore the impact of companies on fandoms too, because without the desire to make profit a lot of them cease to exist. Perhaps this suggests what should/shouldn't be promoted in society. Going down the rabbit hole of failed tv/book series because of small audience would be cool to learn about. But perhaps looking at "fandoms" generally is too much research for the author. It might be easier to look at the change of Fandoms in the past fifty years by comparing older ones with news ones, while addressing those same questions you've mentioned. Doctor Who or Star Trek against something like Harry Potter would be interesting, particularly as they began before the internet and encompass different generations. – olives2brand7 years ago
I definitely thing the popularity of certain fandoms indicates something about society. Mostly that escapism is stronger that ever. Whether or not this is a good thing is highly interesting! – reneekohler6 years ago
People seem to enjoy that feeling of belonging to a like-minded group, and fandoms operate to satisfy that sort of urge. Who does not like to engage with like-minded people? Is it escapism? Or a need to belong? – JudyPeters6 years ago
Explore the connections between people who are part of any "fandom" be it comic, movie, book or otherwise, and the potential benefits of it on their mental health. Does being a part of a community help them? Is it their immersion in another reality? Is it even helpful at all, or hurtful instead?
Is there any actual evidence of this? If not, I think it would be really hard to write about it. Interesting to raise the issue, but hard to make an argument. – ismael6768 years ago
Like anything this issue should be presented as having both positives and negatives as people can veer from one extreme to the other. Coping mechanisms can give way to dependency to addiction. The article could look at some warning signs of growing negative impacts. – Munjeera8 years ago
This is something you have to be super super super careful about writing. While it's fascinating to think of the effects fandoms can have on their members, you'd need to talk to people who take part for different reasons.
Take Asagao Academy, for example. On paper, a dating sim centered on real-life YouTubers sounds a bit odd, but this was done with incredible care and a sense of humor. More info: http://kotaku.com/when-liking-and-subscribing-to-your-favorite-youtuber-i-1776892213 – Payton8 years ago
As someone who suffers from mental illness but doesn't include themselves among any particular "fandom", I'd say it really depends on the person. Each fandom has their good and bad aspects, and falling into the wrong crowd online creates just as much as a negative effect on mental health as it would in real life. – BoomBap8 years ago