Is the idea of fandom dying?

#1Boo DestroyerPosted 4/25/2013 12:09:41 PM(edited)
I was just looking at sites like Mario Wiki and all those excuses for news sites now, and you know what I was wondering?

Has the whole fandom spirit thing gone nowadays? Because all I see now are dull wikis and news sites dedicated to either reposting standard gaming news about a subject or taking anything said by the Japanese source as some sort of immutable canon that must not be ignored. It seems like we've lost the whole point of being a fan in general.

What happened to all the fanon and stuff? Why don't more Mario or Zelda sites try and find out about the games' many mysteries and piece them together in whatever ways possible like SMBHQ did? Why don't other sites have fun sections like SMBHQ's Neglected Mario Characters comics/stories or speculate about what the setting of their favourite series is like? It seems like everyone's become too obsessed with either being 'journalists' or mimicking Wikipedia and forgetting the whole point of fandom.

I miss the days when sites like The Odyssey of Hyrule tried to figure out all the secrets and mysteries in Ocarina of Time, when fan sites were actually run by fans because they enjoyed the series rather than wanted a quick buck from advertising and page hits, when sites dedicated to a series actually praised that series and always looked for the silver lining rather than slamming it for not selling twenty million copies and becoming a break out hit.

Heck, look at the Donkey Kong Wiki. Why don't they lighten up a bit and maybe stop assuming that 'wiki' has to mean '100% neutral reference sources'? Why are all the Nintendo wikis now all trying to be based on some Japanese canon and not coming up with their own answers like SMBHQ or Mario Monsters or the like did back in the day? Even SMBHQ wrote their own flavor text about everything in the games a lot and came up with their own Mario stories.

Sometimes I wonder whether this is due to all the outsiders trying to set up sites for the money rather than any real interest in the subject. Or because certain webmasters seem to think of themselves like newspaper journalists rather than fans and have lost sight of how being a video game fan isn't some super serious endeavour. It feels like much of the soul has gone. While I realize the point of wikis is to gather as much information as we can, it seems like the wiki mindset has taken over and made people try too hard at knowing about everything in each franchise.

But does anyone else feel the same way? That there's too much focus on 'canon' and 'no original research' on fan sites now and that they're trying too hard to either be 'unbiased reference sources' or 'professional journalists' rather than just fans of a certain series? And that we've stopped making up fanon to explain things or coming up with interesting theories about how a fictional world works?

Not to mention the whole general 'news' like feel of fan sites now and the often lack of real interesting pieces about the series. I don't go to a Zelda site to hear why Zelda is apparently dying a slow death and why Aonuma should be fired, I go to learn more about the series and see some... well, more positive responses to the games. I go to fan sites to hear theories about why that random passage in Dire Dire Docks would lead to the castle pond in Super Mario 64 or what that village is in the background of Wet-Dry World. Or even ideas on how to make Peach a better character than she already is. SMBHQ was great at these. Fans should be obssessed with the subject matter, and I think nowadays they don't seem to be.

tl;dr Fans and fan communities aren't what they used to be anymore. Too many canon-worshipping wiki-goers who think they know everything about every franchise have the run of the Internet now, and no longer have fun with coming up with their own ideas like they used to. Among other things.
#2sunK1DPosted 4/25/2013 11:55:24 AM
Wrong website for this.
#3DoomsSDPosted 4/25/2013 11:56:08 AM
Fandom didn't die. It de-volved.

Into fanDUMB.
Well, I suppose it's time to get kidnapped again...
#4Boo Destroyer(Topic Creator)Posted 4/25/2013 11:57:42 AM
^ Sounds just about right.
#5FayeLadyPosted 4/25/2013 11:58:41 AM
customer loyalty is dying because corporate loyalty died first. It just takes a long time for ideas to spread among the common folk.
If I support the game company, then I won't be supporting the blank DVD business.
#6splodeymissilePosted 4/25/2013 12:00:47 PM
The rise of the internet means that most secrets don't stay secret for long.
I've seen the colour of my soul and it's black.
Nintendo network ID: missile
#7Boo Destroyer(Topic Creator)Posted 4/25/2013 12:04:42 PM(edited)
FayeLady posted...
customer loyalty is dying because corporate loyalty died first. It just takes a long time for ideas to spread among the common folk.

I don't think you saw what I was getting at.

splodeymissile posted...
The rise of the internet means that most secrets don't stay secret for long.

True on this. Not only that, but wikis have taken away a lot of popularity from the old school fan site, it's just they seemingly lot the personal feel in the process. Even if fan sites are somehow 'obsolete', why do all these wikis have to try and be all neutral rather than 'fun'? There's no reason the likes of Mario Wiki or Zelda Wiki or Bulbapedia have to be so obsessed with 'canon' and Japanese sources and what not, they could just as easily fill in the gaps themselves. It seems like the mindset has changed as much as the format.

Similarly, the overuse of Japanese names on MarioWiki is infuriating sometimes. Come on, just come up with your own name for the characters and monsters which never got an English name. (Protip: They never will, so quit pestering Nintendo themselves about it already) After all, your audience is mostly English speakers, who are probably scratching their head and wondering what the hell a Utsuboanko or Men'ono is. It's freaking ridiculous.
#8jtr219Posted 4/25/2013 12:03:50 PM
You might enjoy Zelda Dungeon. They have a regular amount of game analysis by fans and don't have any of the negativity that defines Gamefaqs.
NNID: jtr219
#9splodeymissilePosted 4/25/2013 12:12:11 PM
From: Boo Destroyer | #007
I don't think you see what I was getting at.

I was just addressing your point about the odyssey of Hyrule. Wikis are meant to be neutral (actually so are news sites), as they're a source of information, although I do think they should be more friendly in tone. Fanon still exists, just look at Zelda both before and after the Hystoria: people still have their own timeline theories. I do think the internet has killed of gaming's soul.
I've seen the colour of my soul and it's black.
Nintendo network ID: missile
#10Boo Destroyer(Topic Creator)Posted 4/25/2013 12:13:38 PM(edited)
EDIT: I quoted the wrong post.

Zelda Dungeon, huh? I've been there a few times. They have a few interesting sections here and there.