You Can’t Just "Fix-It": Reclaiming Game Narratives in Fan Fiction

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Academic Commentary
Title: You Can’t Just "Fix-It": Reclaiming Game Narratives in Fan Fiction
Commentator: Brianna Dym
Date(s): September 2018
Medium: Live presentation
Fandom: Video games
External Links:
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You Can’t Just "Fix-It": Reclaiming Game Narratives in Fan Fiction was a presentation by PhD student Brianna Dym at the 2018 Queerness and Games Conference in Montreal, Canada. The talk grew from Dym's exploration of the "Fix-It" tag on Archive Of Our Own.

Topics discussed

  • Romance options and narratives in the canon of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect series, Life is Strange, and Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Tag usage on Archive Of Our Own
  • Findings from the upcoming paper "theyre all trans sharon": Authoring Gender in Video Game Fan Fiction
  • Varying motivations for reading and writing fanfiction
  • How fanfiction is "the written version of modding a game"
  • Different aspects of canon that are fixed in fix-it fics. From a displayed list of top ten video game fandoms found in the "Fix-It" tag, an audience member guessed that most authors were changing romantic pairings from the source material, but Dym revealed that most fix-it fics are fixing character death and betrayal. "Fix-it almost has nothing to do with romance, which I think is so interesting."
  • Graphing over time the number of Star Wars: The Old Republic fics posted on AO3 with non-M/F pairings, in relation to the dates when new game expansion content was released.
  • "Do people write more queer fanfic if there is already a queer narrative in the game? I can't answer that yet, but that would be a cool question to look at. [...] All I really do have is questions, because there's so much that should be done with this community and with this data."
  • "My [research] participants [...] they can't necessarily go into Barnes & Noble and buy romance novels about transgender men, but they can find it on AO3 really easily, and their parents can't really stop them from doing it."