Geek Wars: The Politics of Media Fandom and Geek Conventions

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Archaeology and Material Culture

This week a convention in Louisville, Kentucky served notice once more of the concrete and distinctive politicization of geek fandom while it also reminded geeks of the erosion of their insularity from mainstream society, casual fandom, and capitalism itself.  A weekend of breakdowns at the FandomFest convention—cancelled events, multiple conflicting schedules, photograph lines lasting for hours, and poor spatial management, among other things–resulted in mounting frustration, increasingly grumpy tweets, and the most feared of all nerd battle cries: “I am going to blog about this!”  The responses to FandomFest underscore the digital sociopolitical dimensions of contemporary geekdom; however, they simultaneously reveal the ways once-insular and well-defined geek fan communities have become a dynamic media fandom inseparable from the broader fabric of popular culture and ripe to be colonized by the mass marketplace.

The failures at FandomFest are perhaps symptomatic of the growth of convention culture in particular and geek…

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