Monday, 4 April 2016

Geekery of the Weekery: Fandom Shipping

A big part of geeking out over various media for me is shipping.  I've been shipping since long before I knew what shipping was. So before I go much further, for those who don't know, no I don't mean shipping as in sending goods overseas, I mean shipping as in imagining two (or more) characters in a relationship of some variety.  So join me down this rabbithole of fandom culture...

Ships come in all kinds of forms.  Platonic ships, romantic ships, hate ships, crack ships, etc.  Pretty much just in the same way (apart from crack ships of course) that many forms of relationships exist in real life.  For the uninitiated, here's what you need to know:

Types of Canon

canon:  confirmed in text/show/film/game.
fanon: a shared understanding in fandom that's not explicitly stated in text/show/film/game.
headcanon: something you imagine/want to be part of the text/film/show/game.

True Pairs

[Animated Image: Zoe Washburne from the TV show Firefly kissing her husband
Hoban 'Wash' Washburne on the cheek as she tucks his napkin in the neckband
of his shirt.]
OTP: one true pair.  Basically the two characters that you believe belong together.  May or may not be canon.  Some people have a single OTP, others have one per fandom/piece of media, others again really kind of disregard the 'one true' aspect and have the OTP depth of feelings for multiple character pairings within a single piece of media. I've never been good at limiting myself to single favourites so I'm more of the one OTP per fandom.  My OTPs are sadly generally pretty heteronormative, though to be honest, I'm not altogether sure if that's a personal fault, a result of heteronormativity in media, or a combination of both.  Some examples of OTPs I have include My Female Shepard character and Jeff 'Joker' Moreau in the Mass Effect series, Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher in the Uncharted series, Laura Roslin and Bill Adama in Battlestar Galactica, Cullen and Dorian in Dragon Age Inquisition, Zoe and Wash in Firefly, Leia and Han in Star Wars, Isabela and FemHawke in Dragon Age 2 and Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye in Fullmetal Alchemist... to name but a few.
[Image: JD and Turk from Scrubs looking
at each other and smiling lovingly.]

OT3+: like OTPs but with more than two people in the relationship.  For example, I kind of ship Isabela, FemHawke and Varric.

BrOTP: Platonic friendship between guys to the point that they're as close as brothers, or perhaps even closer without being a romantic or sexual relationship.  Think Turk and JD in Scrubs.

Other Ships

Ship: A catch-all term that includes any and all ships including true pairs and OT3+s but it can also be used as a verb.  For example, I ship Han Solo and Leia Organa.
Platonic Ship: self explanatory.  A pairing where they're just the closest of close friends.
Hate Ship: They hate each other but have that shippable chemistry.
Crackship: A pairing where the characters are unlikely to ever get together because they are unlikely to meet.  Can include characters from completely separate fandoms.  Purely headcanon based.

A lot of readers of my blog would already be familiar with all of this but for those that aren't, you might find as I did that you've been shipping for a long time.  It's a fun way to look at media and to engage more in fandoms with their fan art, fan fiction (which honestly is sometimes better written than published fiction), and other fan works.

Comment below with some of your favourite ships! 

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