ABOUT THE PROJECT
From a young age, I have been hugely interested in participatory culture and fan culture (you can read a little bit more about this here). Thanks to the accessibility of social media and the internet, I have been able to engage in the fandom world since I was a teen, learning more about online communities and fan-produced media (i.e. fanfiction, fan-art, etc.).
I've had the opportunity to attend a couple of sci-fi/fantasy conventions, allowing me to connect with fans in a deep and meaningful way, and to gain some understanding of the convention industry.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the convention industry has never faced a challenge as difficult as this one. Before COVID, there was (at least) one convention being held somewhere in the world. It's a multi-billion dollar industry that is having to adapt in a way that can go hand-in-hand with social distancing guidelines and new government procedures.
Observing how different convention companies are trying to find alternative ways to run their events, I saw some of the backlash and concern about the transition and movement towards virtual cons. It's yet to be seen if this change will work positively or negatively for both fans and the companies that run these events.
My multimedia project, At Face Value, looks at how Coronavirus has changed how the convention industry works, focusing on the question if virtual commercial cons are the best option. I spoke to fans, people who work in the industry and fan culture experts to get their insights and opinions, as well as to share some amazing stories.
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