|See also:||online convention, Binge watching|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
A Viewing Party is a gathering of people with similar interests (a fandom or a specific pairing), watching various fannish sources (films, episodes) or fannish creations (fanvids) together and interacting with each other and discussing the source while doing so. Both watching and interacting can take place in a direct, face-to-face setting (for example, at a convention, a fanclub's meeting or a fannish houseparty) or by means of synchronised watching and chatting. The synchronisation can be achieved by members' starting their individual DVD players at the same time or - more easily - by one member's assuming the role of the party host and broadcasting the source via a streaming device or service, e.g. Livestream. The interaction at such a virtual viewing party takes place by written communication via chat or social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Livejournal).
A viewing party, especially in its virtual and thus very accessible form, is a fanac with strong focus on the community experience, uniting fans from around the world and from various timezones in one fannish online event. Its success depends not only on a well-functioning technical infrastructure both on the side of the host and the individual participants (e.g. bandwidth is a vital factor), but also on the quality of the interaction. The chat offers both a running commentary on the source, in the style of a light-hearted real-time meta discussion, and immediate sharing of emotional reactions, e.g. squee. The conversation is often accompanied by drinking games with more or less flexible rules; it often spawns plotbunnies which inspire participants to create fanworks in reply to a certain interpretation or a plothole.
Examples for online viewing parties