It seems that some Doctor Who and Star Wars fans were caught up in an altercation at a convention in Norwich in the UK, recently. I have read various articles about it and there are conflicting reports as to whether it actually came to blows, but I am surprised it happened at all. I guess I am being naive, but why are people who are probably geeks like myself fighting with each other? Why are the often bullied becoming the bullies? Has it always been this way? Do Sci Fi fans regularly break out with fights at Cons? I have only been to a few and they were small and really laidback affairs that fostered a sense of community and not a need to battle. For me, Sci Fi fandoms are an escape from my IRL troubles and failures. A place where I find like-minded friends to share a mutual love of something, and geek out to my heart’s content. But in the last year, in the Doctor Who Facebook groups and pages that I follow I am finding a lot of acrimony and whiny entitlement, and frankly a plethora of pissed off trolls. Not to mention some really disturbing admin bullying going on. What gives? This in-fighting within the communities is so counterintuitive and often involves Classic VS. New Who which just seems so petty and unnecessary. We all love the same thing, can’t we just respect differing opinions and share them in a non-threatening and non-dismissive way?
And now I hear of Who fans fighting Star Wars fans at a convention. Why? Does one have to align with only one fandom now? I am a life-long fan of Wars, Trek, and now Who. I don’t want to choose. I love them all. Not always equally at any given time, but I love them all. Have people’s lives become so narrow and rigid in this information age that now they are rigid in their fandoms, specifically? Have they become such Hikikomori (Japanese term for withdrawn recluses living mostly via the internet) that they have de-personalized real people and no longer have compassion for other geeks who are not so different from themselvesl? Are we all just lining up to develop factions in some kind of Sci Fi Fandom turf war? I don’t get it. I want less bitching and anger on line and more getting along. I want people at Cons to realize we are all geeks and have been persecuted enough by those who don’t get us, let’s not persecute ourselves over petty fandom factions. Embrace it all. This is not how Jedis and Timelords act. Well, maybe Timelords on Gallifrey, but not the Doctor.
- Star Wars and Doctor Who fans in bust-up: Police called to separate sci-fans (mirror.co.uk)
- Star wars: Sci-fi fans in fancy dress clash at convention (itv.com)
- Sci-fi convention descends into brawl between rival fans… (thetimes.co.uk)
- Police break up rival sci-fi fans’ feud (metro.co.uk)
- Police Intervene in Star Wars-Doctor Who Convention Altercation (escapistmagazine.com)