Fanthropological

Exploring the weird and wonderful world of fandoms! Every week, we deliver fandom-related "fanalysis" complete with hard data, guests, and, of course, rampant speculation!

Latest Episodes

7

September 22, 2017 01:01:21
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#43 - Cricket Fans

This week, we're batting our best and bowling for the fences as we talk about fans of that popular English sport, Cricket! Why is it so popular? Is it really as slow as they say? Stay tuned! Next week, there'll be less qq and more pew-pew when we dive into fans of StarCraft! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Origins:** Cricket is in some ways, not dissimilar from more familiar (to North Americans) sports such as baseball: > Cricket is a ... played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard-long pitch with a target called the wicket (a set of three wooden stumps topped by two bails) at each end. Each phase of play is called an innings during which one team bats, attempting to score as many runs as possible, whilst their opponents field. Depending on the type of match, the teams have one or two innings apiece and, when the first innings ends, the teams swap roles for the next innings. > > — [Wikipedia - Cricket](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket) It is unclear when the sport began, but it is likely to have started around the middle of the 16th century and the first international matches took place in the second half of the 19th century (with the sport having grown globally as part of the expansion of the British Empire). Interestingly enough, the first international match took place between the United States and Canada (of all places) in 1844. **Most Active:** Unlike many recent fandoms we're explored, interest in cricket seems to be increasing! [Google Trends](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F09xp_,%2Fm%2F018jz) indicates a slow increase in interest in the sport since 2004, with a few spikes recently corresponding to the Cricket ...

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6

September 15, 2017 01:06:06
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#42 - World of Warcraft Fans

Oh no! We've been transported into a world _inside the computer_ where we need to defeat big bads with the help of our monster pals! That's right, we're in China talking about the world's most popular massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), World of Warcraft! Why _is_ it so popular after more than a decade? Next week, we're gonna get _wicket_ on you as we travel to India to talk about fans of the oft misunderstood sport, _cricket_! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Origins:** World of Warcraft is a popular MMORPG created by Blizzard Entertainment and set in the already existing _Warcraft_ universe. It was released in 2004, and the player takes on the role of a member of either the Horde, or the Alliance as one of the many multitudes of races and classes. In China, it is known as "World of Magic Beasts". **Most Active:** Interest in [World of Warcraft has been on the decline](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=%2Fm%2F021dvx,Aion), with the most interest taking place between November 2004 and September 2011 with a peak between January 2007 and January 2009. **Size of Fandom:** As of 2014, according [to an article in Engadget](https://www.engadget.com/2014/01/28/100-000-000-world-of-warcraft-accounts-infographic/), there were over 100 million World of Warcraft accounts. However, a more accurate number might the number of active subscriptions: [a peak of 12 million in October of 2010, and 5.5 million in October 2015](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_of_Warcraft). The subreddit, [r/wow](https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/) has over 400 000 subscribers. **Around the world:** World of Warcraft is popular in many different parts of the world. Below are some rough estimates of number of players from different parts of the world: > 1. China, Asian Realms: 3.2 million players > 2. United States and Canada, North American Realms: 3.0 million players > 3. United Kingdom, European Realms: 1.0 million players > 4. ...

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5

September 08, 2017 01:03:55
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#41 - Figure Skating Fans

This week, we do our best to keep up with our Russian rivals as we skate (or die) to defend Canada's honour as we talk about fans of that _hot_ sport, figure skating! The _burning_ question we have is... how important is Yuri!!! on Ice to the fandom? And how popular is it anyway? Next week, we'll be travelling to China to talk about everyone's favourite MMORPG, ~~World of Magic Beasts~~ World of Warcraft! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Origins:** Figure skating, also known as _artistic skating_ in many other countries, is a sport where individuals or groups of people perform on a special type of ice skate (i.e. figure skates). It was the first winter sport included in the Olympics (in 1908) and, depending on the discipline, may include spins, jumps, lifts, throw jumps, death spirals or other elements. **Size of Fandom:** Let's take a look at the fandom funnel! By that I mean, more dedicated fans tend to put more into their expression of fandom, so we can use rough numbers to extrapolate how many fans there are. From what I was able to gather... > - 184, 213: U.S. Figure Skating members during the 2015-16 season > - 130, 000: Approximate readership of SKATING (a US figure skating magazine) > - 108, 264: 2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships attendance across all sessions > > — [U.S. Figure Skating Factsheet](http://www.usfsa.org/content/FactSheet.pdf) Comparatively, the largest [figure skating subreddit](https://www.reddit.com/r/FigureSkating/) has about 1600 subscribers. Given that data is only from the United States, its hard to estimate, but I don't think it's unreasonable to estimate millions of fans of figure skating (in different levels of engagement). **Fan Demographics:** Using data from [U.S. Figure Skating](http://www.usfsa.org/content/FactSheet.pdf), it's possible to get some approximation of the age ...

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4

September 01, 2017 01:05:59
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Time and Space Adventures: SuperWhoLock

This week, we interrupt our global fandom safari for a matter of dire urgency! ~~People are wrong on the internet!~~ There is a crisis that only the Doctor, the Winchester brothers, Holmes and Watson can solve (and possibly the Avengers if they aren't busy?)! That's right, this week, we're getting meta and bending the laws of time and space to talk about fans of SuperWhoLock! Next week, we bend the laws of space and time back into place as we travel to Russia to talk about fans of that magical sport (and its fans): Figure skating! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Fandom Origins:** SuperWhoLock is, unsurprisingly, the crossover between the fandoms of Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock (with the Avengers sometimes making an appearance). The first tagged SuperWhoLock post (on Tumblr) appeared in August 2011, and the first SuperWhoLock fanfic was tagged on Archive of our own in August 2012 (though it is possible that stories first appeared as early as January 2012 elsewhere). > In SuperWhoLock’s case, this usually involves saving the world from impending apocalypse, something so serious that it only makes sense to enlist as many superheroes as possible to stop it—in this case, the Doctor and his assistants, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Sam and Dean Winchester, and the angel Castiel. > > — [The Daily Dot - WTF is SuperWhoLock?](https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/superwholock-fandom-supernatural-sherlock/) **Names:** SuperWhoLockian??? **Most Active:** Based on [Google Trends data](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=superwholock) and [Fanlore](https://fanlore.org/wiki/SuperWhoLock), it appears that the fandom was most popular in the summer of 2014 (in particular, mid July 2014 - The month of [DashCon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DashCon)). Interest was maintained from June 2013 to about January 2015 before starting its downward decline again. **Where does fandom live:** Almost entirely on Tumblr **Related fandoms:** Obviously, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Supernatural are most related ...

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4

August 25, 2017 01:17:09
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#40 - Coffee Fans

What is it about that bitter (or sometimes sweet) morning delight that makes people such a fan? This week, we're talking about fans of coffee, and if there is more to it than its magical (and addictive) effects. What is it that has folks questing for the perfect brew? Next week, we seal the rift in wibbly-wobbly-summer-timey-wimey as we put on some classic rock (and our deerstalker hat) as we interrupt our world travelling with time travelling as we talk about fans of that fascinating meta-fandom: _SuperWhoLock_! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Origins:** There are historical accounts and there are accounts of legend of how coffee was discovered (and in a loose way, the fandom). One legend tells the story of a 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd, Kaldi, who discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating beans from a coffee plant. That story did not appear in writing until 1671 and is likely apocryphal. Another legend tells of a Sheikh Omar (known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer) who was exiled to a cave, and found the berries from a shrubbery and tried a variety of ways to prepare them. Starving, he found that boiling them worked best and he was 'revitalized', and stories of this 'miracle drug' caught on (and when he returned he was made a saint). The first historical record of the plant comes from accounts of 15th century Yemen, where the seeds were roasted and brewed in a way similar to how we prepare coffee today. It was then used by Sufi circles to stay awake for religious rituals. By the 16th century it had reached the rest of the middle east, Persia, Turkey, and ...

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3

August 18, 2017 01:00:16
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Live at ConBravo: Chrono Trigger

We interrupt our world-wide trip with a trip through TIME. This week, we travel back to ConBravo! 2017, to our panel where we talked about the greatest game of all time (and greatest fandom?), Chrono Trigger! Why has this game remained popular over the years? Timing? Team? Time Travel? Let's find out! Next week, we're back to our regularly scheduled trip, and off to Turkey to talk about fans of Coffee! ## Episode outline ### Fandom Facts **Origins:** Chrono Trigger is a Super Nintendo JRPG released in 1995. It was developed by Square (notable for such other games as Final Fantasy) and its so-called "Dream Team": Hironobu Sakaguchi (the creator of the Final Fantasy Series), Yuji Horii (creator of Enix's popular Dragon Quest series), and Akira Toriyama (an artist well known for his work with Dragon Quest and his ongoing manga / anime series: Dragonball, among other things). It also featured music composed by Yasunori Mitsuda (the _Chrono_ series, Mario Party, Xenosaga) and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy). To put it succinctly: The game follows a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe... that they will never personally encounter. It has since been released and re-released multiple times with the SNES and Playstation versions shipping over 2.65 million copies, and the Nintendo DS version having sold over 790 000 copies more than a decade later. **Size of Fandom:** Towards the high-end (and based on sales), somewhere between 2.65 million and 800 000. The [Chrono Trigger subreddit](https://www.reddit.com/r/chronotrigger/) has about 5000 subscribers **Changes in Fandom:** Interest in Chrono Trigger, by [Google Trends data](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=chrono%20trigger), is on the decline, but there was a large amount of interest in the early 2000s, and a spike in December of 2008 (the ...

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