Reality in Unreal World: Defining Fandom

It’s actually gonna be my fangirling fandom. My favourite singer has just made his comeback last week, and it drove me crazy. Media reported that he will make his first comeback on TV music show, then without thinking twice, I jump to the bus, going to Seoul, without ticket. Everytime I think about it, I still don’t get it, how could I did that, it’s like I always been so rational about things, but ended up did silliest thing on earth because one person, that doesn’t even know you. Finally I know what is called fan. My roommate said that, we (us and public figure) are living in a different universe, which can never even be united. She said to keep that in mind, in case we are going to be hardcore fan. Just remember that they won’t ever remember us, so don’t waste our life on them.

Anyway !

I thought that I can line up to get the music show ticket, so I slept near studio building. Get up 3AM in a morning, and went at 4.30 AM, walked brightly to the studio, until … I found a lot of fans were sleeping (some already awake) in line in front of the studio, JAW DROPPER !! Ah, I should’ve took a picture as a proof. It was really long line, the manager of the fanclub said it’s around 400 people, and most of them are junior-highschool students. It was amazing, I just can’t stop saying 대박 (daebak: something awesome) they brought their tiny blanket to sleep in this chill night, I bumped to this girl who was just done brushed her teeth besides the road. If only their idol knew, how suffered they must be.

After seeing those 400 people lining, I was going to go home. See there’s no hope for me, right before the fan manager told me that all of fan that lined up here are an E** fans. Another JAW-DROPPER. So the rumours were true, this idol group really has a lot of 사생팬 and they’re scary, last night there was dream concert, I didn’t go but I ended up meet this kids fighting for subway, they even had police for that. They still young, and very wild, be aware.

I still hold my hope, until … I asked one of the staff, and he said that ‘he’ (refer to the singer that I want to watch) has already recorded the song, so he will come later in the afternoon, then he empashized if there’s no way to enter studio without ticket. BANG BANG, mental breakdown. Well, I was saying ‘nothing to loose’ all the time, but after you realized that you’ve been doing such a stupid thing, the most irational thing, spending your money, time, energy. I just feel so fooled, but yeah in the end, I got much things to learn though. One thing for sure, I will never ever again in my life doing such a thing.

Reality in Unreal World: Defining Fandom

Been a long time since I studied about media convergence and its concept, but what happened last week more less reminds me of this concept. Well, i don’t know if this concept will explaing this phenomena in a precise way, but this is my explanation: transmedia storytelling defined as the multiple way to telling a story, using multiple media and platforms too. Therefore for this case I chooses social media (fan cafe, twitter, website, youtube etc) as “another platform” which in the end makes fan has this ‘unreal-closeness’ with their idol. How ? fan cafe, website, youtube account of korean fans are really amazing. They could provide a detail schedule of idol’s activity, therefore its schedule has being used as a source of stalking. So, based on my observation it works this way:

schedule on website/cafe –> stalking –> picture/video –> uploaded –> watch –> curious –> seeking for schedule

well, sometimes people will only seek for a picture, but who knows if you gradually seeing a really close shoot to your idol, somehow you’ll becoming curious, and want to try stalking too, sometimes I do though. So this is how basically fandom works here in Korea, when in the other side, they’re agency let all this thing happened, well at least from my perspective. I pressume that they let it happen, just because of a simple reason: revenue. Top of that, idol is agency product, that has to make good revenue for the company that produced them. So, it might be sound terrible but this is how they do transmedia storytelling. Unciously, as a fan, they had create unpaid fan work for their idol, which is good for the company, and as for fan, they will feel closer to their idol. Then, it can be said as win-win for both sides. Unfortunately it’s just a reality in unreal world, like what I’ve said before, the fact that fan and idol are living in a different universe. Therefore, fan is passive object by becoming a market object of company, but at the same time also being active by producing fan works, which is sometimes also lead to the other problem, copyright, and it will talk about financial issue.

There are a lot of things that we can discovered from fandom. A little part of the complexity of entertainment industry, sometimes it also bring cultural and social issue on it. That’s also why somehow, this fandom not just happened everywhere to everyone.


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