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Digest - 5 Mar 2011 to 8 Mar 2011 (#2011-29)

Tue, 8 Mar 2011

There are 2 messages totalling 142 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Other Factions (WAS: Re: Joke factions)
  2. More musing about factions - multiplication through division


Date:    Tue, 8 Mar 2011 11:22:05 -0500
From:    Brenda Bell <webwarren@e.......>
Subject: Other Factions (WAS: Re: Joke factions)

At 12:03 PM 3/5/2011, you wrote:

>In the heyday of FK fandom, there were a lot of factions--I mean a *lot* of
>factions!.  On the Forever Knight Wiki, we try to be comprehensive. <g>
>That means that I originally listed every name I could find.  You can find a
>sort of master list of them here:

One I'm seeing missing, just about as short-lived in activity as the
Unholy Alliance, is the abortive Pit of Condemned Bimbos
Survivalists. The concept of the group was never very cohesive, but
it was based on the idea that its members *would have* survived
living in the "Pit of Condemned Bimbos" that we see in the episode
"Fallen Idol". The faction page included links to survivalist vendors
such as Sportsman's Guide...

The faction was founded by Rainey in August 1997; the original Web
page was http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/academy/8234. The last
e-mail I received from the group was August 20, 1997; the last e-mail
I sent regarding the group was August 13, 1998.

Other members of the group included KiloNyte, Heather J. Williams,
Cousin Mel, Cousin Helene, Anna (annachamp@aol.com), Raven, and a
couple of others whose names I can't figure out from the e-mail
addresses (willow@dowco.com, jewelnotes@aol.com, winters_moon@juno.com).

Brenda F. Bell   webwarren@e.......   /nick TMana     IM: n2kye
         UA, PoCBS, FKPagan; Neon-Green GlowWorm
HugMistress of the Ger Bear Project http://members.Tripod.com/~TMana/
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Visit the Fiendish Glow at http://home.earthlink.net/~webwarren/glow/
         Support me in riding the 2011 Tour de Cure to Stop Diabetes!


Date:    Tue, 8 Mar 2011 16:46:43 -0500
From:    Greer Watson <gwatson2@r.......>
Subject: More musing about factions - multiplication through division

As we all know, factions were born in and around War.  However, I was
thinking about the *function* of factions, and the influence this has had on
their evolution.

The Forever Knight species of war has been described as a sort of giant
round-robin fan fiction.  Which it is, I guess; except that I'm not sure
that the resultant story is the point of the activity, even less so than
with other round robins.  (After all, most wars are practically impossible
to read unless you were a participant.)  That means that it is the *playing*
of the war that is the point:  it is a group activity, and thus has
community-building properties that help to bind the fandom together.  In
that sense, war is a game.  In fact, our wars *have* been described as
self-insertion RPGs; and there's a lot of truth in that.  As in other RPGs,
the people involved are playing characters.  It's just that the characters
we play in *our* games are ourselves, more or less.

Looking at war as a game, then, the factions are teams.  Players sign up to
a team; and the teams compete by counting coup on each other through trick
fic.  However, unlike other competitions, you don't exactly get a "winner":
the true winner is FK fandom.

If factions are teams, then there's a practical upper limit on the size of
factions, simply because there's a limit to the size of team that the
writers can handle.  One can interpret the plethora of fractions in the late
'90s as a direct result of this:  i.e., factions tended to multiply in order
that there will be a sufficient number of teams of suitable size.  So you
have a number of rather similar factions, such as the Cousins and the NA, or
the Natpack and the NNPack.  You also get war-related factions, such as the
General's Secret Service and the Mercenaries.

However, factions didn't remain limited to a war function.  Mailing loops
evolved into e-groups, which became Yahoo! groups; and each of these
provided fans with a forum in which they could discuss some particular
aspect of Forever Knight--some character, or couple, or theme--without
getting bogged down in the *huge* disorganized mailing list that FORNI-L was
back in those days.  (I've been reading posts from 1996, thanks to
KnightWind's Nook.  Boy, this list was *busy* back then!)  In the context of
the Yahoo! groups, the motivation for the creation of fraction factions
becomes obvious:  the creation of a new faction makes it possible for people
whose interest in a character or couple differs from the majority to get
together with the like-minded without their voice getting drowned out or
shouted down.  So you get the creation of complementary fraction factions
(such as the UF and CotK, or the Light Cousins and Dark Knighties), which
could be considered *motivated* splits.  In War, of course, these add to the
number of teams--which also helps to keep the individual teams down to a
manageable size for playing.

Naturally, the Yahoo groups also became a place to post fiction.  So then
the factions created websites, both as their public face and as a place to
archive their stories (and art, and quizzes, and jokes, and all sort of
other things, too).  Some of these faction sites still exist, though I don't
know just how "active" they really are nowadays.

Of course, people can have a lot of different interests.  So it's only
natural that they might want to belong to multiple Yahoo! groups.  There has
*always* been a tendency for people to belong to multiple factions (outside
War).  In fact, many factions are naturally related to one another.  Someone
who took part in the early wars with the Natpack would be very likely to
join the NNPack when that was formed; a Ravenette might well also be an
Immortal Beloved, and so on.

Now, in the last two wars, the number of factions playing has
reduced--inevitably, since the number of players has declined.  One way this
has happened is for fractions to recombine.  If I recall, in the last war,
Cerberus consisted of a Cousin, a Light Cousin, and an NA member (or some
such combination).  It's interesting, though, to see just *how* the
recombination has taken place.  My impression is that the Dark Perks have
largely absorbed the original Perks; and there is no doubt that the NNPack
has taken over from the original Natpack.

The question is why.  Why, over time, have some fractions proven more stable
than the original?




End of FORKNI-L Digest - 5 Mar 2011 to 8 Mar 2011 (#2011-29)

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