The word “fan” is used to describe someone who is passionate or an enthusiast of a certain interest like sports, celebrities, music, or gaming. Meanwhile “stan” is used to describe fans who are obsessive over their favorites. This obsession can manifest itself from extremely positive to extremely negative reactions, especially online. A research study conducted by WordTips sheds light on the online behaviors of the fanbase or stan-base of various communities through their language use.
The research was divided into eight categories such as video games, sports cryptocurrency, anime, music, and movie franchises. One of the major key findings of the research was that the online fanbase of video games uses 100 more positive words per thousand words than other fanbases under study. The video game Diablo‘s community was found to receive more positive words than Call of Duty. Despite earning the reputation of being a toxic space, it is surprising to see the online gaming community doing well in the study.
With a ton of predatory monetization systems piled on top: "Evil Mobile Garbage". pic.twitter.com/fAR31lCbUb
— Zaric Zhakaron (@zaric) June 3, 2022
Online gaming community
Based on the comments and tweets of the fanbase, the online gaming community was found to have the most positive language use. This is is an average calculated in the quest to find the most positive and the most negative language use in communities on social media.
According to the study, the physical sporting online communities, for example, the NBA and the English Premier League (EPL), also fall in the positive language use category. But the video gaming community ranks number one on the positivity list. Just like other fanbases, online gaming fans also have a tendency to get nasty and can make the fun gaming environment grim. Out of the top five games that have toxic fanbases, Sonic the Hedgehog comes as a surprise. The others on the list are GTA, Need for Speed, and World of Warcraft, to name a few.
In my opinion, the fall in reputation of some communities and the growing online aggression are synonymous with our society’s current situation. Games with multiple installments like Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog cannot be compared due to the differences in when they first got introduced, but they’re both in the top three in the video game category for entirely different reasons.
Pokémon, which debuted as a game in 1996, has fans that use around 100 more positive words than the fanbase of Sonic the Hedgehog. The latter, released in 1991, ranks third in the infamous video games category. Unfortunately, the data shows that Sonic fans seem to be crasser in their use of language. Poor Sonic had no idea that his infamous speed and free-spirited character created a community that has become stifling, to say the least.
Just a few examples of responses I get when I speak out about in-game sexism and toxicity towards women.
I’m not going to stop speaking about it and I’m not going to stop calling people out. If you’re someone who thinks & behaves this way, just know that it’s NOT right 🤷🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/I5KiWyd18X
— Yinsu (@YinsuCollins) September 28, 2021
Importance of a good community language
It is not only important to bring more positive stimuli in the gaming world but also in the real world. This process is ongoing, at least in the gaming community, by means of gamification and metaverse technologies, among others. The idea is to restore the fun back into the world without a touch of toxicity. The themes of toxicity already run deep within the story structures of games, for example, GTA, Need for Speed, WWE 2K, and Borderlands. This is probably why people get an overdose of adrenaline and aggression that they have to channel out somewhere.