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Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: 09/24/11

cover art

Last semester I worked on a Web 2.0 research paper where the emphasis was on library blogging and its use by and benefit to patrons (or Patron 2.0). One of the books I came across in the process was Fans, Bloggers and Gamers by Henry Jenkins. As an ex-film theory student, I had to read the book.

This book is an update to Textual Poachers, his book about fandom and fan fiction. His contention is that the fans of yore are the bloggers and gamers of today.

The book is organized chronologically into three sections: "Inside Fandom", "Going Digital" and "Columbine and Beyond." The fandom section is a rehashing of his studies of Star Trek fans and especially Star Trek slash. It was my least favorite part of the book.

The middle section was of the most interest to me as it covers blogging. The blogging though is specifically the subset of fans who post their theories, fan fiction and fan art and that sort. As I was researching the interaction between library, blog and library patron the blogging covered in this book wasn't on topic for my project. It was however an interesting slice of life, something I sometimes run across through book blogging. I did, once upon a time, use my site for posting fan art when I had nothing else to post.

The last section is Jenkin's turn to weigh in on the on-going debate about media violence and its effects (if any). They are worth reading. The basic gist is: media violence doesn't automatically make anyone violent. Those who are already predisposed towards violence might be pushed over the edge but that's a very small percentage of any given population.

Four stars.

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