Regarding The Fanboyism Panel

This has been bothering me since I saw the fanboyism video online. It was definitely enlightening, and I'm glad I watched it, but there's something that was not talked about, and in fact was treated with such disdain that I wanted to say something.

First off, look at my avatar. So, you know which fandom I'm part of right? Right. Good. Moving on.

I completely agree with everything that was said during that panel regarding fanboys and why they have such a negative connotation. God knows the brony fandom has their share of fanboys. You know the ones. They try to convert those who don't have any interest in watching the show, and make complete asses out of themselves whenever someone says something bad about it? Yeah, we have them. But every fandom has fanboys. People who will defend what they love even when someone offers constructive criticism about it, and will usually defend it with a "fuck you".

What pissed me off about this panel though, was not the fact that they said "bronies suck". In fact, I would've been very interested in seeing what Yahtzee, Jim, and Bob had to say about the fandom (Bob in particular, since he deals with TV fandoms and movie fandoms more than the other two). Whether they said "I think bronies are okay" or "I think bronies are manchildren", I really wouldn't have minded. I'm serious. Just the fact that they let us know what their opinion about it was would have been good enough for me. You have to understand, we have been subjected to really hateful comments about us... stuff that no self-respecting human would EVER say about another face to face. I'm pretty numb to it by now, because I know none of it is true (at least for me, I don't know about anyone else in the fandom). So having Bob or Yahtzee or Jim say something negative would have been a "same shit different day" situation to me. And again, at least I would have known where they stood.

But, instead of doing that, and having a mature conversation about it like they did with all the other fandoms, the editor-in-chief of the Escapist (first name is Susan, I don't know her last name, she ran each panel) decided to shoot down any questions about it, going so far as to say "no questions about My Little Pony", and lumping it in with other topics that couldn't be discussed, like "pedophilia". She essentially turned the phrase into almost a curse word.

So, I think there are two possible reasons why she did that. One, she hates My Little Pony, bronies, and everything we represent, and doesn't want to even talk about us. Although I seriously doubt that's the case.

The other more plausible reason is that she knew that the topic of bronies was very charged and heated on both sides, and she didn't want to have the panel explode in anger.

My problem with that, is that they literally talked about EVERY other fandom. Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Sonic... they were all mentioned. And then Yahtzee starts to mention it by saying "if I were to say three letters: MLP..." and was immediately shot down, and the topic was not brought up for the rest of the panel.

Susan, your job as the editor-in-chief is probably very difficult, and you probably have to make tough decisions. But you were wrong to shoot down questions about the brony fandom. In a discussion about fanboyism, and fandoms in general, to have an entire fandom treated like an infectious disease that shouldn't even be mentioned, is wrong.

Your job (and everyone's job) at the Escapist is to bring us news about the stuff we care about, mainly video games, but other stuff too. I would have been completely fine with the fanboyism panel if they just stuck to video games. That would have been fine, and at least you would be setting what was appropriate to talk about. But the panel was the one who brought TV, movie, and comic fandoms into it.

To essentially stand there and go "lalalalala no questions about My Little Pony lalalalalala bronies don't exist lalalalala", is immature and unprofessional. And I KNOW the people who work at the Escapist are better than that.

I hate to break it to you guys, but we are gonna be here for a while. We aren't going anywhere. So, instead of being immature about the topic, let's talk about it and have a mature conversation about it. Whether it be positive or negative, we should have at least had that at the panel, and not a downright dismissal like we don't exist.

Thank you for your time.

snowfi6916:
The other more plausible reason is that she knew that the topic of bronies was very charged and heated on both sides, and she didn't want to have the panel explode in anger.

I was at that panel, so I didn't watch it online, but the reason they didn't discuss it was partially this, but also because the panel was about fanboyism in general and not certain groups. If I recall the question was essentially what do you think of MLP. I think Susan (Arendt) was dismissing that question as not being particularly useful to the discussion and as well making a joke. Also Bronies tend to be very defensive and vocal about their show (understandably so, since they have to deal with ALOT of shit) so I think she was just trying to prevent derailing. Maybe it wasn't the best way to go about it, but I understand why she did it.

just wanted to do this:

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coolerdude:
just wanted to do this:

/)

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Like I said, I don't really care if what they said was positive or negative, as long as they at least talked about it.

You've been on these forums a while, right? You know what happens whenever ponies are brought up. Susan was just doing damage control. There wouldn't be much gained from the question (like you said, same shit, different day), but there would be lots of flame. They couldn't say anything about ponies that we didn't know or hadn't already heard, so its best for them to stick to fanyboyism in general, rather than delving into what do you think of x y and z fandoms.

And /)

snowfi6916:

coolerdude:
just wanted to do this:

/)

/)

Like I said, I don't really care if what they said was positive or negative, as long as they at least talked about it.

Hey, what does that "/)" mean/signify?

Well if this is the bronie reaction when nothing is said, I shutter to think of the fallout befitting a negative comment :P

Quicksilver_Phoenix:

Hey, what does that "/)" mean/signify?

Bro-hoof-fist: /)(\

Quicksilver_Phoenix:

snowfi6916:

coolerdude:
just wanted to do this:

/)

/)

Like I said, I don't really care if what they said was positive or negative, as long as they at least talked about it.

Hey, what does that "/)" mean/signify?

'Brohoof', like a brofist.

It's like offering a high-five I think.

... So, do I get this right, you first state how the actual vocal fanboys trying to convert everyone and acting all weird when their fandom gets criticized are a pain in the ass and ... then get pissed because Susan shot down a question about the fandom in question?

I mean, I can't argue the fact that the MLP fandom is ... weird, and certainly should be discussed by people the fandom might listen to, but ... this seems kinda ... odd.

Overusedname:

Quicksilver_Phoenix:

snowfi6916:

/)

Like I said, I don't really care if what they said was positive or negative, as long as they at least talked about it.

Hey, what does that "/)" mean/signify?

'Brohoof', like a brofist.

It's like offering a high-five I think.

Thankyou. :)

I was there and I'll just say that they would have been torn apart. :P

Srsly, tension in that room was so thick you could cut it with a knife!

Chrono212:
I was there and I'll just say that they would have been torn apart. :P

Srsly, tension in that room was so thick you could cut it with a knife!

Pffft. Nobody has a knife sharp enough to cut through Jim Sterling, portly demi-god that he is.

OT: I don't really get the thread. A topic which is known to lead to epic flamewars is shot down - so what?

FEichinger:
... So, do I get this right, you first state how the actual vocal fanboys trying to convert everyone and acting all weird when their fandom gets criticized are a pain in the ass and ... then get pissed because Susan shot down a question about the fandom in question?

I mean, I can't argue the fact that the MLP fandom is ... weird, and certainly should be discussed by people the fandom might listen to, but ... this seems kinda ... odd.

The fanboys who get pissed when someone says something negative about the fandom. What I was mad about is that they dismissed the entire fandom like we were an infectious disease and would cause chaos and destruction if it were even mentioned. Obviously that's exaggerating, but still.

Like I said, I really wouldn't care if what they said was positive or negative, but the way they treated the subject (pretty much banning all questions about it) was unprofessional in my opinion, and could have been handled a lot better.

The fanboy bronies piss me off, because they give the normal ones like myself a bad name. I really could care less what people think of us, but what I was mad about, like I said, was the banning of the topic itself, which I think is worse than just saying something negative about it.

SonicWaffle:

Chrono212:
I was there and I'll just say that they would have been torn apart. :P

Srsly, tension in that room was so thick you could cut it with a knife!

Pffft. Nobody has a knife sharp enough to cut through Jim Sterling, portly demi-god that he is.

OT: I don't really get the thread. A topic which is known to lead to epic flamewars is shot down - so what?

Jim used jiggle physics!

It's super effective!

snowfi6916:

FEichinger:
... So, do I get this right, you first state how the actual vocal fanboys trying to convert everyone and acting all weird when their fandom gets criticized are a pain in the ass and ... then get pissed because Susan shot down a question about the fandom in question?

I mean, I can't argue the fact that the MLP fandom is ... weird, and certainly should be discussed by people the fandom might listen to, but ... this seems kinda ... odd.

The fanboys who get pissed when someone says something negative about the fandom. What I was mad about is that they dismissed the entire fandom like we were an infectious disease and would cause chaos and destruction if it were even mentioned. Obviously that's exaggerating, but still.

Like I said, I really wouldn't care if what they said was positive or negative, but the way they treated the subject (pretty much banning all questions about it) was unprofessional in my opinion, and could have been handled a lot better.

The fanboy bronies piss me off, because they give the normal ones like myself a bad name. I really could care less what people think of us, but what I was mad about, like I said, was the banning of the topic itself, which I think is worse than just saying something negative about it.

Marked passage is my main point: You interpret the dismissal as an implication of something negative. The way you post this, you pretty much react to a negative statement regarding the fandom, even though there was none.

Maybe she didn't want a drawn out argument in a panel discussion limited by time constraints?

And I really don't think avoiding what could potentially lead to heated discussions is unprofessional, if anything it's very professional, and I think she did a good job.

I imagine she would have tried to keep the ball rolling if she thought any other fanboy group that came up would have destroyed the panels structure.

You are being awfully presumptuous about the reason for why they dismissed it. I imagine the reason was probably because such a discussion is:

A) Not in their area of expertise or interest.

and

B) Not the kind of conversation one can normally have maturely.

They mentioned other fan bases most likely because they are familiar with them, being fans of such series themselves.

Legion:
You are being awfully presumptuous about the reason for why they dismissed it. I imagine the reason was probably because such a discussion is:

A) Not in their area of expertise or interest.

and

B) Not the kind of conversation one can normally have maturely.

They mentioned other fan bases most likely because they are familiar with them, being fans of such series themselves.

So every other fandom can be mentioned, but no one is mature enough to talk about ours without a flame war?

Nice to know...

FEichinger:

snowfi6916:

FEichinger:
... So, do I get this right, you first state how the actual vocal fanboys trying to convert everyone and acting all weird when their fandom gets criticized are a pain in the ass and ... then get pissed because Susan shot down a question about the fandom in question?

I mean, I can't argue the fact that the MLP fandom is ... weird, and certainly should be discussed by people the fandom might listen to, but ... this seems kinda ... odd.

The fanboys who get pissed when someone says something negative about the fandom. What I was mad about is that they dismissed the entire fandom like we were an infectious disease and would cause chaos and destruction if it were even mentioned. Obviously that's exaggerating, but still.

Like I said, I really wouldn't care if what they said was positive or negative, but the way they treated the subject (pretty much banning all questions about it) was unprofessional in my opinion, and could have been handled a lot better.

The fanboy bronies piss me off, because they give the normal ones like myself a bad name. I really could care less what people think of us, but what I was mad about, like I said, was the banning of the topic itself, which I think is worse than just saying something negative about it.

Marked passage is my main point: You interpret the dismissal as an implication of something negative. The way you post this, you pretty much react to a negative statement regarding the fandom, even though there was none.

There's a difference between having a negative reaction to someone saying something negative about what you enjoy, and offering constructive criticism. For example, if I had said "they were a bunch of fucking assholes", that would have been negative and inappropiate on my part.

What I was trying to do was say what my view of the situation was, by saying that I thought they could have handled it better. One is negative, the other is constructive criticism.

To use an example regarding the show:

If someone said "I don't get why bronies like this show. The characters are bland, the stories are dumb, and I really didn't enjoy it", that is constructive criticism. Which should NOT receive a negative reaction from us. Ideally...

However, if someone said "you guys are a bunch of pedophile, manchildren, horse fuckers", which I have actually heard people say, then you are a person who is just trying to start shit, and should be put in your place by us. In a mature manner of course. Meeting negative with negative never solves anything.

And it's my opinion. Feel free to disagree if you like, I really don't mind.

snowfi6916:
However, if someone said "you guys are a bunch of pedophile, manchildren, horse fuckers", which I have actually heard people say, then you are a person who is just trying to start shit, and should be put in your place by us. In a mature manner of course. Meeting negative with negative never solves anything.

And it's my opinion. Feel free to disagree if you like, I really don't mind.

MLP fandom as a topic is far too sensitive for the average crowd, no matter how "mature" they may come across at first glance.
As you said, even the slightest mention of the topic was immediately shot down so that simply means that the crowd (and the panel) just aren't ready to discuss MLP fandom - they could justify it saying "oh we were just doing damage control", but nobody asked them to do that, it was simply assumed that MLP was a banned topic. On a hunch, the general crowd would've probably would've shot it down as well.

And being a fellow brony, I can simply let that slide. Ultimately we don't care what others think about us (not even if it was the fucking US president), the foundations of the community revolve around love for each other and tolerance for the non-fans/haters/extreme haters.

Lastly, let me just say that any "fanboy" who claims to be a brony, and then meets criticism/mockery of the show/community with hostility....well, I feel sorry for them because they fail to grasp what makes a brony.

This applies especially to the people who "try to start shit" by calling us things we are not - we DON'T need to put them in their place, it's like shouting back at a brick wall that has a trollface painted on it. Simply pity them, shake your head at them and carry on.
We are fans of the show, our community is vast, what we love doesn't really need defending at this point. It doesn't even need constructive critisism lol. Nearly every major forum has it's own MLP community group, the Escapist included. Isn't that mind-boggling?

I love the show and I love the people who love the show, it is quite possibly the most friendly community that exists on the internet overall.
Now lets just forget about this minor little thing and eagerly wait for Season 3, alright? *Dash fangirl squeal*

/)

snowfi6916:

Legion:
You are being awfully presumptuous about the reason for why they dismissed it. I imagine the reason was probably because such a discussion is:

A) Not in their area of expertise or interest.

and

B) Not the kind of conversation one can normally have maturely.

They mentioned other fan bases most likely because they are familiar with them, being fans of such series themselves.

So every other fandom can be mentioned, but no one is mature enough to talk about ours without a flame war?

Nice to know...

Point A was the one to focus on, the one where I said they wanted to discuss fandoms that they are actually experts on, as opposed to discussing one that probably has no interest to any of them. That was the important point to make, and yet you completely ignored that point to latch on to the second one, as in your mind it helped validate your complaint.

You are getting annoyed because a group of gamers and gaming related artists did not want to discuss ponies at a gaming expo.

You are then making up your own reasons for why it was not mentioned and twisting it around and exaggerating it to make it sound worse than what it is:

snowfi6916:
What I was mad about is that they dismissed the entire fandom like we were an infectious disease and would cause chaos and destruction if it were even mentioned. Obviously that's exaggerating, but still.

You are deliberately looking to get offended by something that was not meant to cause offence.

If you want people to take such topics seriously, and accept that people are able to discuss it maturely, then try listening to the person who posted above me. They know how to make a point far more maturely, and are doing the fandom a much better favour to it's image in regards to maturity than you are.

I agree with you actually, I was annoyed that it seemed as if Susan was making a big deal about it all. I'm no fan of MLP myself but I don't see any reason why it couldn't be discussed in the same manner as all the other fandoms. Learn to lean back and laugh at a joke.

When MLP came up, I am not joking, the room's atmosphere dropped to Silent Hill levels of awkward and not-quite-right. Even an attempt to joke about it, when I said, "Careful", was not met with laughter, but with people actually agreeing that Yahtzee better be careful. Faces in the audience were twisted with concern and fear.

I actually was going to talk further about MLP, because even though I don't watch the show, I totally agree the fanbase gets shat on a disproportionate degree, but by the time Yahtzee had done, the tension was such that it was just better for the panel overall that we move on. Is that silly? I totally think it is. However, that's what happens with this subject at the moment. I am certainly not afraid to talk MLP, but our job at the Expo was to provide fun, and people didn't seem to be having that during the MLP talk.

Susan's joke (and it was intended primarily for humor) that we skirt the MLP discussion was a perfectly timed and witty enough bookend to the discussion. It let some steam out of the valve and we could move on.

snowfi6916:
So every other fandom can be mentioned, but no one is mature enough to talk about ours without a flame war?

Nice to know...

Oh come on. You're part of the fandom, you've seen how severely out of hand discussion can get. I think it was a very smart move to not mention MLP as things would most likely have got VERY heated. It's not that NO ONE is mature enough, it's that of all fandoms to discuss, the MLP fandom tends to be the subject that brings the most flaming and arguments. Yes it is unfair, but once people have come to accept that this fad will eventually move along and there's no point getting angry about it proper discussions can be had.

Discussing the MLP fandom at the moment is kind of like kicking a nuclear bomb. Could be, nothing will happen. However, it's more likely that it's going to explode.

Jimothy Sterling:
When MLP came up, I am not joking, the room's atmosphere dropped to Silent Hill levels of awkward and not-quite-right. Even an attempt to joke about it, when I said, "Careful", was not met with laughter, but with people actually agreeing that Yahtzee better be careful. Faces in the audience were twisted with concern and fear.

I actually was going to talk further about MLP, because even though I don't watch the show, I totally agree the fanbase gets shat on a disproportionate degree, but by the time Yahtzee had done, the tension was such that it was just better for the panel overall that we move on. Is that silly? I totally think it is. However, that's what happens with this subject at the moment. I am certainly not afraid to talk MLP, but our job at the Expo was to provide fun, and people didn't seem to be having that during the MLP talk.

Susan's joke (and it was intended primarily for humor) that we skirt the MLP discussion was a perfectly timed and witty enough bookend to the discussion. It let some steam out of the valve and we could move on.

Holy crap, Jim responded to my post. Hi Jim.

I know Susan probably was just trying to not have the panel become a flame war. It was just the way it sounded that bothered me.

It makes me sad that the topic of our fandom is so heated that it has to be avoided. I hope that will change at some point.

Also, I didn't mean any disrespect to Susan, or you, or anyone else. Like I said, I know your jobs are tough. It just is sad that it had to be that way.

Thanks for responding, and thank God for you.

snowfi6916:

Jimothy Sterling:
When MLP came up, I am not joking, the room's atmosphere dropped to Silent Hill levels of awkward and not-quite-right. Even an attempt to joke about it, when I said, "Careful", was not met with laughter, but with people actually agreeing that Yahtzee better be careful. Faces in the audience were twisted with concern and fear.

I actually was going to talk further about MLP, because even though I don't watch the show, I totally agree the fanbase gets shat on a disproportionate degree, but by the time Yahtzee had done, the tension was such that it was just better for the panel overall that we move on. Is that silly? I totally think it is. However, that's what happens with this subject at the moment. I am certainly not afraid to talk MLP, but our job at the Expo was to provide fun, and people didn't seem to be having that during the MLP talk.

Susan's joke (and it was intended primarily for humor) that we skirt the MLP discussion was a perfectly timed and witty enough bookend to the discussion. It let some steam out of the valve and we could move on.

Holy crap, Jim responded to my post. Hi Jim.

I know Susan probably was just trying to not have the panel become a flame war. It was just the way it sounded that bothered me.

It makes me sad that the topic of our fandom is so heated that it has to be avoided. I hope that will change at some point.

Also, I didn't mean any disrespect to Susan, or you, or anyone else. Like I said, I know your jobs are tough. It just is sad that it had to be that way.

Thanks for responding, and thank God for you.

At the moment MLP is such a heated topic because like feminism, the vocal minority really ruin your outward image, I'm not going to lie, I am horribly biased against MLP. I like the love and tolerance message but I don't like the way some members of the community used to try and cram it down everyone's throat, and I still can't quite shake that irritation and frustration. So I apologise for my behaviour.

snowfi6916:
It just is sad that it had to be that way.

Just an aside here to repeat a phrase I talk a lot about in moderation, which is the number one rubric I think people seem to misplace, and that is "context is key." Admittedly, I wasn't actually attending that panel, but having watched the video, I cringed a little when the context of MLP came up.

It was introduced in a way that suggested that the majority of the fans / fandom was fueled in a sense that it was something to be ridiculed. I don't think that it was how the idea was meant to be taken, but it is how it resulted. That, plus how the panel had already gone, gave it the wrong context. As a mod, I'd've been uncomfortable had that chain progressed, because whomever disagrees would have already had the argumentative side to start with. That way instead of asking "What is the panel's opinion on MLP?", the context for the question likely would have been "What is the panel's problem with MLP?"

In fact, you can tell that context was there to begin with because it's the one you found in making this thread.

As for Susan's comment at the start of the Q&A, it was just a pretty common joke. There's even a trope for it. There was a bit of a built tension in the room that grew over the space of the panel, so the quick laugh is something to dispel that, and the setup had already been there for MLP.

Realistically, any intelligent discussion about MLP fandom, regardless of when or where, logically shouldn't start at a panel devoted to "fanboyism." The very idea of the fandom being something that starts with "This has a lot of elements of its too-devoted userbase" and expands from there sabotages its chances of yielding a fruitful discussion. It would be the same if an intelligent discussion on the fandom were to start on the Howard Stern radio show, for example.

In short, I don't think it's that there's anything wrong with the fandom for the panelists or the panel moderator, but instead the context in which it was introduced. Just my two cents.

snowfi6916:

But, instead of doing that, and having a mature conversation about it like they did with all the other fandoms, the editor-in-chief of the Escapist (first name is Susan, I don't know her last name, she ran each panel) decided to shoot down any questions about it, going so far as to say "no questions about My Little Pony", and lumping it in with other topics that couldn't be discussed, like "pedophilia". She essentially turned the phrase into almost a curse word.

There's a reason that it's being lumped together with pedophilia. Every pedophilia discussion ends the same way as every brony discussion on this site. If you believe that the result would have been anything else than rage go back and watch the video again. When someone asks what the worst fanbase is she told him to not bring up My Little Pony. He actually got angry at that joke. You weren't there so the tension didn't affect you. Discussing it could only end with disaster.

Take yourself. You felt upset enough about this to make a thread about it only being mentioned briefly. Imagine a room full of people with conflicting opinions where some of them feel like they are being gravely insulted.

snowfi6916:
But you were wrong to shoot down questions about the brony fandom.

She was making a joke.

I completely understand your sensitivity to the topic, as you seem to identify strongly with the culture. However, I must inform you as someone that knows Susan and is involved with a lot of the goings on at The Escapist HQ... we have no issue with bronies. We really, really don't. In fact, as Community Manager I can tell you that the My Little Pony user group is the most active one on our site.

You should also remember that there are TONS of other fandoms out there, and many of them are older and larger. Not specifically addressing yours isn't a slight, it just means that many of the things being discussed in the panel were obviously applicable to you as well.

Just to add a little context, about 20 staff members run The Escapist website and it was those same folks that were tasked with running the entire Escapist Expo. Not only did Susan have to run panels, she had to organize and coordinate huge portions of the event itself in addition to still running the website behind the scenes. We were all very, very tired, so I hope you can be a little bit understanding about things.

Nasrin:

snowfi6916:
But you were wrong to shoot down questions about the brony fandom.

She was making a joke.

I completely understand your sensitivity to the topic, as you seem to identify strongly with the culture. However, I must inform you as someone that knows Susan and is involved with a lot of the goings on at The Escapist HQ... we have no issue with bronies. We really, really don't. In fact, as Community Manager I can tell you that the My Little Pony user group is the most active one on our site.

You should also remember that there are TONS of other fandoms out there, and many of them are older and larger. Not specifically addressing yours isn't a slight, it just means that many of the things being discussed in the panel were obviously applicable to you as well.

Just to add a little context, about 20 staff members run The Escapist website and it was those same folks that were tasked with running the entire Escapist Expo. Not only did Susan have to run panels, she had to organize and coordinate huge portions of the event itself in addition to still running the website behind the scenes. We were all very, very tired, so I hope you can be a little bit understanding about things.

That's all I wanted really was just some clarification. And as I said to Jim, I meant no disrespect to anyone. I'm sure you guys busted your asses for the expo and just didn't want to deal with drama. But it's good to know it wasn't done out of hate or anything negative.

Thank you so much for getting back to me :).

 

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