While I was at LeakyCon, I spent a lot of time thinking about fandoms. I’m a major Star Trek fan. More specifically, I a major Star Trek: The Next Generation fan. I’ve seen every episode and movie many times. If I came across a rerun, I used to be able to recognize an episode and tell you the title and season within seconds. I haven’t put that to the test in a while since you don’t see reruns on TV anymore. I know there are people who are more obsessed with it than me, but I’m pretty obsessed. Star Trek: TNG is definitely the series I’m the most obsessed with, even more than LOST.
I thought that I was fairly knowledgeable about Doctor Who. I’ve seen every episode since the relaunch at least once. I spend a decent amount of time chatting with people about it. At the Doctor Who meetup at LeakyCon, we sat around in the circle and discussed the show. I knew there would be people who knew a lot more than me. I was just hoping to be able to contribute to the conversation. As the discussion went around the circle on different topics, I was just happy that I knew what people were talking about. At one point, I was having trouble hearing what was going on when all of a sudden pretty much the entire circle of 50 or so people burst into some Doctor Who-related song. Later, I remembered hearing “Pandorica” and “Amy” and “River”. When they finished, I had no idea what had just happened. It blew my mind. They all knew the song word for word, but I had never heard of it before. Earlier they had all sung a Harry Potter song, but I figured that was from the Harry Potter musical that I have refused to watch.
Later on, with the help of Google, I discovered that the Doctor Who song is by a UK band that writes songs inspired by Doctor Who. They write songs INSPIRED BY DOCTOR WHO. I had no idea this kind of thing existed, but I shouldn’t be surprised. These guys are big on YouTube apparently. The Internet wasn’t around when Star Trek: TNG was on, much less YouTube. I wonder how it would have been different for me if I had the Internet when that show was on. I don’t do a lot of general web surfing these days, but I did when I was in college and had more free time (I didn’t get Internet access until my freshman year of college in 1997). I’m hardly ever on YouTube, but if I had it in 1990, I probably would have spent hours watching Star Trek videos. Most of the people in the Doctor Who discussion were at least 10 years younger than me.
I already knew that the Internet has changed fandoms. I’m already a part of several online communities. This Doctor Who discussion made me realize that I’m not utilizing everything that I could. I have to step up my geek game if I want to keep up with these young people. Or maybe I don’t need to. I’m doing fine the way I am now.