Screen Subjects and Cyber-Subjects: The Case of Futurama
Unlike the previous case studies, which began with a brief vignette describing a characteristic event to introduce the focus of the subsequent analysis, I instead begin this final case study with a description of an ongoing ritual rather than a singular occasion. Each week, particularly during the television season when new episodes of a program were shown, fans of the Fox television series Futurama could participate in a vigorous, wide-ranging discussion of the latest episode — and the show in general — taking place on the Internet. The venues for this discussion included chat rooms (e.g., the chat area of the Can’t Get Enough Futurama site), newsgroups (e.g., alt.tv.futurama), web-based fan clubs (e.g., the Yahoo! Futurama clubs) and the message boards and fan forums provided by various Futurama-based websites (e.g., The Futurama Chronicles). Within these forums, audience members offered evaluations, critical exegesis, historical analysis and a broad spectrum of other genres of discourse; the diversity of this discussion was quite impressive, and the overall volume grew rapidly in the time that Futurama was on the air.
KeywordsVirtual World Media Audience Audience Member Computer Mediate Communication Youth Culture
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