What does the future hold for fandom?
Honestly, I have no idea. Fandom constantly ebbs and flows, and at the moment, it's going through a bit of a purple patch. It seems to be about as mainstream as it ever has been. I don't think there's any one reason for this, but a combination of factors such as an increasing range of platforms in social media, top drawer genre shows such as Game of Thrones that appeal to all sections of society, a succession of blockbuster fantasy/sci fi franchises over recent years such as LoTR, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Star Wars prequels and sequels, Star Trek Reboots, the Marvel and DC universes etc, and popular shows such as The Big Bang Theory that make geekiness 'cool'.
This acceptance is a great thing. For too long, 'fans' have been tarred with the nerd brush, and have often been regarded with anything ranging from amusement to pity by the 'normals' in society. Now, fans can step out and wear their fandom with pride. Fandom no longer feels like an underground movement, but what it mustn't do is become too normal.
The whole joy of fandom is that it's quirky. It's a place of individuality, creativity and whimsy, and it needs to keep that essence to appeal to the people - the fans - that make it. It needs to keep that edge of geekiness to exist.
So, my hope for fandom's future is a balance. That it continues to find the acceptance that it has been receiving, and in so doing, it continues to grow and flourish. Conversely, I also hope that it remains the haven of eccentricity and unconventionality that we all love and value so dearly.
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