Postdigital Information Behaviour and GOT Fandom
Fan Studies Network Australasia Conference
11-13 December 2019
Swinburne University of Technology
Eric Forcier, PhD Candidate, Swinburne University of Technology, email@example.com
In the field of library and information studies, the study of how individuals access, use, share, interact and engage with information is referred to as information behaviour. Information behaviour models and approaches dovetail research in audience and fan studies, and yet few studies have deliberately incorporated elements from both domains in the study of fans (Price & Robinson, 2016). This presentation explores how the study of fans can be framed through the lens of information behaviour, using examples from ongoing research into transmedia fans and fan communities, specifically within the Game of Thrones fandom.
Sandvoss, Lee and Harrington (2017) point out that the more “being a fan” is commonplace, the more it shapes the identities and communities in our mediated world (p. 23). By extension, the practices of fans also influence the ever-evolving ways in which people access, use and share information and how information itself is represented (Floridi, 2014). As such, fans can offer profound insights for researchers. For example, Archive of Our Own’s “tag wranglers” have developed a successful model for fan-based information organization that could be applied to similar digital corpora (McCullough, 2019).
The information behaviours of fans also provide answers around how technology is transforming everyday life (Forcier, 2017). The presentation will examine the Game of Thrones fandom in the context of information behaviour. The Twitter community #FakeWesteros, as a case study, demonstrates how narrative information shapes fan identity through parody and pastiche in the digital space. More broadly, ongoing research explores how fans of storyworlds told across multiple platforms and experienced via multiple media negotiate complex narrative information. The presentation will include specific information behaviours and practices these “transmedia fans” have described in interviews for engaging with and managing their fandoms.
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