Megan over at A Geeky Gal likes to come up with these awesome month-long blogging challenges that revolve around geek culture. So far, she has question sets dedicated to both anime and video games, both of which I hope to get to in the future. Yesterday, she announced a new extravaganza related to general geek culture, hoping to help us discuss why we enjoy the things we enjoy, and I knew that I had to participate this month. I definitely wanted to start finding some new topics to dive into and discuss on my blog, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to explore and find some inspiration! For now, the plan is to respond to each of the thirty questions this month, but if a specific day’s topic prompts me to want to go off on a tangent and write some other posts, then I will pause the Geek Out Challenge for a few days. I’m excited to see what happens. For now, it’s time to share what I will be discussing today:
What Was Your First Fandom?
I’ve been a geek for basically my whole life. When other children wanted to play house on the playground equipment, I wanted to use recess to reenact whatever video game I had played during the previous evening. Therefore, there are plenty of fandoms that I initially found at a young age. When I think back on it, however, there is one geeky interest that defined my childhood so completely that, to this day, I’m not sure I have ever been so involved in fandom culture. Like many other twenty-somethings, I was unabashedly in love with the Harry Potter franchise.
My journey with Harry Potter started with the first movie. I was young and knew nothing about this series, but it involved magic and my parents thought I would enjoy it. Unsurprisingly, it was love at first sight, leading me to want to know as much as I could about Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures. Since the next movie wouldn’t be out for at least a year, I turned to the books to learn more about the mysteries of Hogwarts. I was young and had trouble retaining the information in such large novels, so I had my mom read all four available books to me. While I enjoyed the series a lot and had many discussions with my mom over what I thought was going to happen in the next chapter, it was when I ran out of new content to consume that my true integration into fandom culture began.
The wait for the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, was absolute torture. While I won’t spoil it, the fourth book ends with what was, at the time, the biggest plot twist that I had ever encountered in literature. I needed to know what the rest of the series had in store for me, which led me to search out fansites and entire books dedicated to putting together a compendium of predictions about what would happen next. When I had thoroughly exhausted every resource I could find about the future of the series, I focused on maintaining my knowledge of what had already happened, like rereading the books repeatedly, taking endless quizzes that tested my Harry Potter knowledge until I knew even the smallest detail about J.K. Rowling’s universe, and also playing the video games based on the movies with my mom for hours at a time.
When new books and movies did come out, it was like a holiday for me. I went to several midnight premieres for both the movies and books, often dressing up in a long black robe and dragging along a tree branch from my yard and a stuffed cat, pretending to be Hermione for an evening. After getting my hands on the later books in the series, I was at an age where I could read them on my own (which probably broke my mom’s heart, honestly), so my mom and I would pass our copy back and forth over a few days of rapid reading, trying to stay ahead of the spoilers that were likely to leak all over the internet.
Harry Potter was not my only interest as a child. I owned dozens of video games on my PlayStation 2 and I wanted to read just about any book I could find. Even still, it’s hard to deny that the boy wizard was incredibly influential on the sorts of stories that held my interest. In the reading world, I love fantasy, and with gaming, I almost exclusively play as magic-based classes in RPGs. Regardless, probably due to the franchise taking over my life at exactly the right age, I can’t recall any other series that had me so attached to learning everything I possibly could. My first true fandom was also my biggest fandom, and I have no regrets.
Well, that about sums up my first question of the Geek Out Challenge! Go check out A Geeky Gal’s response to this challenge and consider joining in on your own blog, as well! What was your first fandom? Let me know in the comments below!
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