June242013

Fandom in the Class Room— Memory Device

Currently, in my psychology class, we are studying the states of consciousness, sleep, dreaming, the affects of drugs, and hypnosis and meditation.  So far, I am on the part of the chapter that talks about drugs and they are discussing the four major types of drugs that affect the nervous system and body.

Depressants were easy enough to remember— alcohol is a form of depressant and I know what it’s like to be drunk.

Stimulants are also easy— they include nicotine and caffeine. I think of Dr. Pepper and Sherlock’s three patch problem…

When I got to opiates, however, I was struck by the sudden idea to write an analogy for it. It was hard at first because I was ready to compare it to a kid getting in allowance or people who receive welfare money.

Keep in mind, opiates are made from opium poppy flowers— their purpose is to mimic the affects of the natural endorphins our bodies create to numb pain and elevate mood. If administered medically, oddly enough, people are seldom addicted to an opiate. If abused, they are strongly addictive and the pain of withdrawal is excruciating. Think of the first like a vitamin supplement— it is aiding the body by giving it something that it may not be getting/creating enough of. The second can literally halt production because the brain has gotten so used to it being in the system, it will no longer produce those endorphins naturally.

For my little analogy, I thought of this:

Opiates are like how particular mediums affect fandoms.

The more stories, episodes, games, and such you give a fandom, the more functional and normal their lives will be and the less likely they make hideout on the internet.

Take those away either by ending those stories (abruptly or otherwise) or creating a long wait for that medium to return and much of the fandom will hideout on the internet until they get it back— seeking refuge in reruns and rereads to try and dull the pain, possibly looking at fan work and spazzing out about cast members being interviewed on their personal lives.

….. I am a horrible, horrible person.

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