Author Topic: Is it a fanfic?  (Read 764 times)

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Online dbsommer

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Is it a fanfic?
« on: October 20, 2018, 08:10:33 PM »
The more I think about it, the more closely it feels like a self-insert fanfic. Now don't get me wrong. I've written fanfics before and it was a super fun hobby. And technically the setting is original as are the main characters. But it's reliance on so much and so many pop culture icons to carry any interest in the movie just makes it feel like it's something I've read on, and then felt annoyed that I bothered reading it. But the only reason I read it in the first place was because it was using stuff from something else that I actually liked, rather than enjoying the new stuff the author put in there.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 08:13:55 PM by dbsommer »

Offline Nobody

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Re: Is it a fanfic?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2018, 08:25:17 PM »
I would tend to agree that the story relies on the audience's recognition of popular cultural icons, and can understand a criticism of it based on that. 

However, the author did create new characters and a new world, of which we only see a little bit.  The characters that are central to the story are "Gunters", egg hunters who want the promised billions of dollars' reward for finding "That Weird Guy's" hidden Easter egg.  To improve their chances of finding the egg (or keys to it) they have immersed themselves in the life of this guy who was very interested in pop culture of his youth.  They embrace that culture so much, they pretty much live in it in the virtual world.

Anyway, blah blah blah on my part...

Fan fiction is unsolicited material about an existing fictional universe written by fans.  This story exists in it's own universe.  There are plenty of movies, TV shows and video games that have embedded references to other movies, TV shows and video games.  This story just makes those references central to the narrative.

So, I'd say it's not a fanfic in the traditional sense.  Just my opinion.

Offline wihogfan

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Re: Is it a fanfic?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 08:59:40 AM »
Not exactly fanfic because I think most fanfic would use the cultural references as part of the plot instead of just throwing a bunch of them out there for no real reason. 
And a big part of what I thought made it so terrible was that almost all of the references were so obvious, unnecessary, and un-geeky.
Example: Liking and quoting John Hughes' movies is not really geeky. Referencing that most of his movies were based on stories he wrote for National Lampoon and were similar in plot but much darker and made fun of the type of nostalgia that people now have for John Hughes movies would have been geeky.

Online Pak-Man

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Re: Is it a fanfic?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 07:13:46 PM »
I've always bristled at the "Ready Player One is a Bad Fanfic" thing. A fanfic is something written by a fan that takes place in an existing universe. Ready Player One takes place in its own universe, in which the things they are fans of actually exist. Hence, I've always thought we needed to coin the term "Fanboyfic."

Offline kunedog

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Re: Is it a fanfic?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 09:53:30 PM »
A good question to ask yourself is: A fanfic of what?  Into what world is Cline inserting himself?  I don't have an answer.

With commonly fanfic'ed franchises (like Harry Potter or Star Trek or Twilight, etc) it's pretty obvious, because so much that's borrowed is foundational.  Even if you changed every name, you instantly know the inspiration of almost any fanfic where rare kids with magic talent attend a wizard school, mostly away from parental influence.

Like others said, what's borrowed in RP1 remains a reference and isn't integral to the plot.  In fact, the majority of it is completely comsmetic (e.g. the Delorean doesn't let you fly or time travel).  The only popular (film) fanfic-plot-inspirations I can think of are The Matrix and Tron, and RP1 is too original for either of them.