Talk:Alpha/Beta/Omega

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Is this trope really as recent as SPN fandom? For instance I remember a Sentinel fusion with Andromeda - which, don't the Nietzscheans have some kind of canon Alpha/Beta bullshit going or was that fanon? - where Jim was an Alpha and Blair was a really cranky Beta who refused to be submissive (wait, I think I found it?). Plus umpteen Anita Blake crossovers and fusions, and billions of werewolf AUs which are all about pack hierarchies, and I don't really get how this is any different? --MegR 10:38, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it may be the combination with knotting, which the SPN and SPN RPF A/O/B fics (all?) have. I've seen (older) pack-structure fics in other fandoms, but the differentation seems to be when they don't also have the whole knotting kink going on they're not considered part of the shared Alpha/Beta/Omega verse (that spawned a thousand ships, er, well, two or three ships riding each other's knots) from SPN RPF fandom? --Sk 10:56, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
But they still use the Alpha/Beta terminology, is what I'm saying. Maybe the page could be broader in scope, with a section on the particular usage in SPN RPF fandom? Or if this page is meant to be about a particular shared verse or the like in SPN RPF fandom - I'm not clear on how widespread it is - then it should just be about that. But then where does the broader trope go? --MegR 11:07, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we could keep this page as the A/O/B shared universe/trope that came out of SPN RPF fandom, and make another, new page about pack structures, dominance indicators, (genetic?) hierarchies, and Alpha males (I saw that redlinked on another page somewhere while I was wikilinking to this one) in (kink?) fic of various kinds, and have that new page link to the BDSM AU page and this A/O/B one and the Sentinel and Guide page ("alpha Sentinel" and pack-like structures have been used in several S&G fusionfics I've read), as indeed the broader, over-arching trope page for (now in multiple tasty id flavors!) that kind of fic element or setting. ? --Sk 11:19, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. I've no idea what to call the other page though! --MegR 11:36, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the broader tropes should be something like Pack Structure AU and this one be renamed Alpha/Beta/Omega Shared Universe. This page should link to that future page also. -- Awils1
There are not-AU fics that use pack structures. Maybe just Pack Structure as a trope? Or maybe something that includes genetic/social hierarchies like the hemospectrum in Homestuck, but that might be too broad. --Tiyire 12:33, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we call new broad-trope page something like Dominance Hierarchy or Dominance Hierarchies in Fanworks so it can include a subsection on Pack Structures in AU and non-AU fanworks, and include shared universes that include dominance indicators without explicit pack structure-like focus (e.g. Xanthe's BDSM AU and works derived from it). ?
Sidenote: I'd vote for renaming this A/O/B page Alpha/Beta/Omega AU, just as a nod to being more consistent with the BDSM AU concept page. --Sk 22:13, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I prefer Dominance Hierarchy to Pack Structure, which feels a bit werewolf-au specific (I love that I can write sentences like this), though all are better than the only suggestion I could come up with (Hierarchy Porn!) MegR 23:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Dominance Hierarchy and Alpha/Beta/Omega AU both sound good to me! I was going off the knotting page for the origins of the trope but it doesn't surprise me there are earlier incarnations - really cool to learn about them. For this most recent variant that started in SPN and spread to Inception, XMFC and probably others, knotting and mpreg generally seem to be markers of the trope, and it's mostly slash also. (By the way, it's really awesome to start a page & see others edit & spark off a discussion like this - <3 Fanlore! Tai 19:52, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
For the name of this page, perhaps Omegaverse? That's the term used around the BBC Sherlock kink meme, and it's used on the X-Men: First Class kink meme as well (although I don't frequent there as much). Those are the only fandoms I'm in that make use of this 'verse, and that's just what I know it as. -- Kylara 06:21, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd say "Omegaverse" is more a subset of the concept of the "Alpha/Beta/Omega AU." Just like the "Directedverse" is a specific subgenre of BDSM AUs that are set in a world more like Helen's less-rosy Take Clothes Off As Directed version than Xanthe's romantic-fantasy version, Omegaverse fics are set in a version that definitely has Omegas. While in Supernatural fandom, where the current version of the Alpha/Beta/Omega trope originated, it seems like the superset is Alpha/Beta/Omega AU or 'verse, which can include all of the several kinds of fics: ones that have Alphas and Betas and Omegas; just Alphas and Omegas; and just Alphas and Betas (where Betas sometimes fulfill the functions of Omegas), whereas "Omegaverse" would seem to indicate the subset of fics that always has Omegas? And naming it "Omegaverse" might not make immediate sense to a SPN fan used to reading more Alpha-Beta fics than Alpha-Omega ones (just like in a rec or in the headers saying a story is a "Directedverse" fic without also saying it's a BDSM AU could be confusing to potential readers. Why yes, I have seen that example several times now, and sighed over it). --Sk 07:48, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
OT: For what it's worth, Take Clothes Off As Directed may be many things but it's not BDSM. Sadly, it started a trend of so called "BDSM Universes" that don't have any BDSM in them! They just talk about it and there is some vague idea that the society is based on it, but all the characters are doing is giving someone a backrub and the dominant character making breakfast for the submissive character to take care of them. Kink and kinky desire has completely disappeared from these stories. Just yesterday I saw someone explicitly searching for BDSM AUs without any D/s. The mind boggles. --Doro 08:49, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Doro, that's kind of hilarious. I think we should quote this on the BDSM AU page. (MegR) 09:36, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that using it for something about fannish drift in BDSM AUs would be fun!
I can also see how it would happen: as BDSM AUs become/became common across fandoms, more variants (and fusions with other genres) start cropping up, and the drift away from the original first concept and its responsefic becomes noticeable. "Take Clothes Off As Directed" for example doesn't feature a lot of bondage and discipline or straight-up sadism/masochism as a sexual kink between John and Rodney, but the Dominant/submissive aspect is there, though both of them are/consider themselves unusual versions of a Dom (likes to tell John to fuck him, not really much for orders otherwise, or for aftercare) and a sub (resistant to traditional authority) compared to the, in their universe, usual and seemingly more kinky-trappings-focused people.
Xanthe's version and works based more directly on that tend to have more bondage and discipline sexual kink-aspects, but even in BDSM AUs that seem to derive from Xanthe's rather than Helen's version, more versions that basically use the idea of D/s without the desire for bondage or discipline or inflicting or receiving pain are cropping up as (even more?) straight(forward) romances with more nominal-than-not kink or D/s trappings. And thinking back on some of the discussion about Xanthe and Helen's fics when they came out, possibly extrapolating the concept of caretaker/nurtured (Manly yet caring man who knows best/sweet little woman?) romance ever further along that axis... So using the idea of caring for/being cared for with fantasy aspects of societal D/s as a narrative kink for romance rather than (also) including more obvious sexual kinks.
I assume that, if it isn't happening already, there will also end up being lots of fics that call themselves Alpha/Beta/Omega or Omegaverse fics but that do not include alphas having knots! And instead they become more of a soulbonding romance with very light dominance hierarchy themes rather than largely knotting-, mating-, and mpreg-focused kinkfic-with-some-worldbuilding the way us (by-then) oldies remember it starting. ;> --Sk 10:50, 9 February 2012 (UTC)


things we learned (about) from fanlore

On the subject of loving fanlore and collaborating on pages, thanks to this AOB page I learned about Life from the Ashes and am somewhat incredulously reading the prequel (despite knowing little about the canon; I know who Mulder and Scully are, and Skinner was Caldwell, and I guess the series was like Fringe but with aliens instead of a parallel world). So thank you whoever added it to the AOB page -- it is very special! :D --Sk 23:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Relevancy

Helenish's Stargate Atlantis BDSM AU Take Clothes Off As Directed offers a dissection of this trope[3] -- as a Sub in the military, John is subjected to harassment and insubordination. Parallels can be drawn between the role of Subs in society and that of women, LGBT/queer people or minorities to examine prejudice and discrimination caused by "designationism."

Is this really relevant to the A/B/O article? Would it not be better applied to the (already linked) BDSM AU article? Epilogistic (talk) 07:01, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree that it isn't, and currently it also doesn't really fit in the history section. More details about A/B/O and BDSM AU tropes would be interesting. --Tiyire (talk) 20:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Update?

Seeing how it appears that this page comes up A LOT on Twitter, it might not be a bad idea if someone were to tackle checking over this page and updating it if needed. --MPH (talk) 21:29, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

I found a detailed recommendation on FFA of how to improve this page and took a stab at it.[1] I think they were right to be grumpy about the origins in SPN being obscured, but if someone wants to expand on similarities to tropes that came before the SPN kink meme prompts, I moved some miscellaneous paragraphs into a new section that still needs work: "Similarities with Other Tropes"--aethel (talk) 01:06, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
I added a summary of LFTA in an attempt to distinguish it from A/B/O. Know nothing about the NCIS story so I'll leave that for others to differentiate.MeeDee (talk) 04:14, 3 March 2016 (UTC)
Thank you to the Fanlore editors, and the fans at the FFA conversation for helping make this page better. --MPH (talk) 16:15, 3 March 2016 (UTC)