Fandom is a camaraderie of individuals who share a similar interest. Fan culture is not as cool as sub-culture. It is often associated with young teenage girls. Fans can explore culture or engage in culture in a weird way. With the onset of the internet, fans could find others who like the same thing, share images and generate content. Sharing and creating culture. The increasing access to the Internet has come to play an integral part in the expansion of participatory culture because it increasingly enables people to work collaboratively; generate and disseminate news, ideas, and creative works; and connect with people who share similar goals and interests. Henry Jenkins describes a participatory culture as one:
- With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
- With strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others
- With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices
- Where members believe that their contributions matter
- Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).
As regards ‘Bronies”.. What are they getting out of it? and how are they represented?
Firstly, they are enjoying the experience. It is childlike , so maybe it a form of escape. The visuals are psychedelic and uplifting. Fans get to dress up too, something that as children we all enjoy. Wome can continue to dress up throughout their lives, but is not socially acceptable for men. Bronies challenge the hetro-normative way. However, challenging social norms are a moving towards growth and often outsiders are the ones who forge new paths and acceptence of differences. ‘My little Pony’ is quite feminine, maybe boys/men are enjoying the femininity too and want to participate in it: thereby bronies are participating in a safe way/place.
The characters in the show have well developed character traits. The animation is really great. There is music. So, there are understandable elements for the bronie phenomena.
What are they getting out of it? Possibly life lessons from the story lines, and discussions on these with friends, on forums or in communities. Some bronies may identify with certain characters