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Play moods across the life course in SKAM fandom

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This article considers fans’ playful digital practices and focuses on the play moods that are co-constructed in online fan communities. We analyse how these play moods are negotiated across the life course for participating fans. Play moods are closely tied to the playful modes of fan practices, and by gaining a greater understanding of the moods that fans engage in at different stages of their life course we gain new insights into fan play as it relates to issues of age-related norms in fan communities. Specifically, this article analyses the Norwegian teenage streaming drama SKAM (Shame) (NRK, 2015‐17), which was produced for a target audience of 16-year-old Norwegian girls but ended up capturing the hearts of people of all ages across Scandinavia and internationally. This study is based on interviews with 43 Scandinavian fans aged between 13 and 70. The participants were all active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, the show’s blog, etc.) while the show was on the air and the interviews offers insights into issues of age-appropriateness as it relates to fan practices. As such, fans ‘police’ both themselves and each other based on perceptions of age, while also engaging in practices that are by nature playful and may be considered subjectively and culturally ‘youthful’ or ‘childish’. The article combines theory of play and fan studies with a focus on the life course and cultural gerontology in order to highlight these tendencies in the SKAM fandom.
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Keywords: SKAM; affective play; fan communities; fan play; life course; play moods; play theory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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  • The multi – disciplinary nature of fan studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. The Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship into the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. It focuses on the critical exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film, music, television, sports and gaming), The journal aims to address key issues in fans studies itself, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us beyond the bounds of current scholarship.
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