I have been a fangirl for as long as I can remember. When I was little I used to have my hairdresser braid my hair and wrap it into buns like Princess Leia, when I was a teenager I read and drew manga, and as I left high school I got into reading fanfiction. It is because of this that I proudly call myself a nerd and geek.
Jenkin’s book, “Fans, bloggers, and gamers: exploring participatory culture,” fascinated me from the moment I saw the Storm Trooper buying an Obi-One Kenobi action figure. As I read through the first chapter of the book, I could relate to the points that Jenkins was making. Fanfiction is often poorly written, but it is for entertainment purposes and despite some poor grammar and spelling (sometimes due to English not being the author’s first language), it is still entertaining. I feel that fanfiction is a great way for academics and non-academics to delve into a fictional person/character’s inner workings. Instead of analyzing an artist or writer’s lifestyle’s influence on his or her work, one is looking at the back-story and other intricacies that we have been given, and analyzing their actions from there. It is similar to when one analyzes Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship in Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice,” except going one step further and writing down his or her imaginative stance on certain situations, or on how their life played out after the novel. It is for this reason that Jenkins’ point that fans can in fact be both academic and still live in the fan world was so interesting to me. Many of the authors that I follow are in their 40s with families and have Master’s degrees; they are in fact academics who take part in the entertainment of fanfiction. It is those authors that actually tend to have a more in-depth perspective in their writing. They employ psychology to describe characters reactions and reactions, and make one look deeper into the character’s fictional past as we know it. I believe it is for this reason fans are the best, in my opinion at least, to discuss the “going digita”l topic Jenkins discusses. I feel just as with our research and critical theory essays, we have the best ability to write them because we are passionate about our subject, thus fans such as myself are the people who know the inner workings of the characters and series better than the average non-fan academic.