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Thread: When does fan fixation verge into actual obsession?

  1. #21
    Right Guy AthenAltena's Avatar
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    Re: When does fan fixation verge into actual obsession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreg View Post
    Is there actual obsessive-compulsive behavior among comic book fans? Undoubtedly. But I would imagine diagnosing it is slightly more complicated than we're making it. I don't think a family member would have an intervention to say "Your life a goddamn mess! You've totally disrupted that pleasant discussion people were having about Vibe in the Gail Simone boards!" I would also hope those people find slightly more tolerance for their behavior IRL than they would on the internet.
    I have no doubt about that, accounting for the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. That said that sort of behavior can be a signal when it's put into context with other aspects of that person's actions, though as you said it's only rarely that we know enough about someone to put it into that full context.

    That said if we're going to look at this from a psych perspective things are generally only seen as problematic behaviors when they begin to interfere with everyday functioning, and again that's a bit beyond the breadth of knowing someone online.

  2. #22
    Hard Boiled Dreg's Avatar
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    Re: When does fan fixation verge into actual obsession?

    And if it's anything less than mental illness that we're talking about, and we're trying to frame this into a discussion of "fan fixation" vs. "ACTUAL obsession," let's be honest. When we say "fan fixation," what we're really saying is "all the awesome bitching and ranting I DO, with a twinkle in my eye and a pop in my collar" and when we say "actual obsession" we mean "all the bitching that THOSE OTHER PEOPLE do. You know the kind."

  3. #23
    Right Guy AthenAltena's Avatar
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    Re: When does fan fixation verge into actual obsession?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreg View Post
    And if it's anything less than mental illness that we're talking about, and we're trying to frame this into a discussion of "fan fixation" vs. "ACTUAL obsession," let's be honest. When we say "fan fixation," what we're really saying is "all the awesome bitching and ranting I DO, with a twinkle in my eye and a pop in my collar" and when we say "actual obsession" we mean "all the bitching that THOSE OTHER PEOPLE do. You know the kind."
    That too.

    That said I think most people would agree that stuff on the level of "making death threats against someone for killing off your favorite character" definitely crosses into the level of being unacceptable behavior. I think it mainly has to do with proportionality, since when you think about what we categorize as a lot of "crazy" behavior it involves a response that is not proportional to the instigating event. At my job pretty much every day we get people who seem disproportionately upset about an issue that really doesn't warrant that level of reaction (most often it's "my coffee was made wrong!" and no I'm not kidding), and while it's not saying that they should not be upset about it entirely I think most people do have an intuitive sense about when something has gone over that threshold, and I think JB recognized himself approaching that and luckily was able to check himself before he wrecked himself, which is a very good thing to have.
    Last edited by AthenAltena; 03-05-2013 at 11:42 AM.

  4. #24
    Hard Boiled Dreg's Avatar
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    Re: When does fan fixation verge into actual obsession?

    Quote Originally Posted by AthenAltena View Post
    That too.

    That said I think most people would agree that stuff on the level of "making death threats against someone for killing off your favorite character" definitely crosses into the level of being unacceptable behavior. I think it mainly has to do with proportionality, since when you think about what we categorize as a lot of "crazy" behavior it involves a response that is not proportional to the instigating event. At my job pretty much every day we get people who seem disproportionately upset about an issue that really doesn't warrant that level of reaction (most often it's "my coffee was made wrong!" and no I'm not kidding), and while it's not saying that they should not be upset about it entirely I think most people do have an intuitive sense about when something has gone over that threshold, and I think JB recognized himself approaching that and luckily was able to check himself before he wrecked himself, which is a very good thing to have.
    True, but if what we're talking about is disproportionate reactions, even had he made the Steph Brown reference, that in itself would not warrant the reaction of "this is an actual obsession." It might have been annoying, petty, or inappropriate, depending on the person and their feelings on Stephanie Brown, but to me it falls within the realm of normal internet fan behavior, for better or for worse. I would not see that comment on a board and immediately think "this person needs professional help." Death threats are in a whole other world, and objectively speaking, that is beyond the pale no matter what the instigating incident is.

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