Nerdy Fandom Gateway Theory
One of the key advantages the internet has given nerds (read: the socially disadvantaged/ostracized) is the ability to connect with other nerds without having to leave one's home or engage in any real form of social interaction of any kind. These organizations nerds form over specific nerd interests are better known as fandoms. While fandoms may appear to be innocent collectives of likeminded dorks, we at Encyclopedia Dramatica have identified many more psychologically sinister aspects of "fandom culture" as a whole. The Nerdy Fandom Gateway Theory (or NFGT), proposed by ED's resident deep thinker Meepsheep, suggests that the formation of online "fandoms" is often the result of developing mental health issues, which may later become latent disorders as a result of influence from the fandom.
Breaking it down
As we have seen time and time again, those heavily involved with online fandoms also tend to be those who are the most distant from society (read: losers). Seeing as acceptance and interpersonal interaction are existential needs for humans, the internet, as mentioned in the intro, has provided a means of (poorly) attaining these needs in such a way that does not trigger the various autism spectrum disorders that have prevented these individuals from connecting with other members of their species irl. Unsurprisingly, the interests that the socially inept connect over online tend to be very trivial things such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Homestuck, thus the development of "fandoms".
At this point, the nerds have found themselves in an online community of similar people with which they feel comfortable. That's fine and all, but it's also where matters tend to get a bit more complicated and ultimately self-destructive. It is another well-known need of all human beings to express themselves and their innermost thoughts and feelings. Since we tend to express the most of our selves around those we are closest and most comfortable with, it is understandable how nerds may develop mental illnesses when their social life is also exclusive to online Harry Potter forums. For instance, nerds who connect through something like Sonic the Hedgehog will eventually be comfortable enough with each other to discuss topics such as sexuality and thus, because of their preexisting misconceptions of society and reality in combination with the nature of the fandoms they are engaging through, can eventually lead to the development of mental illnesses such as furryism.
tl;dr: If all of your peers are only known to you as Sonic avatars on a forum, you're probably going to end up wanting to fuck animals.
Case study: Jane
Jane is an awkward girl with inattentive parents and a lack of friends. Jane is rather boring because of her lack of engagement with the world around her, but has found an interest in popular webcomic Homestuck. As Jane becomes more interested in Homestuck, she finds other Homestuck fans online and eventually assimilates into the fandom. Because the Homestuck fandom exists predominantly on Tumblr, Jane joins Tumblr initially as just a Homestuck fan looking to connect with similar people. While on Tumblr, Jane discovers pseudo-psychological concepts relating to "asexuality", "genderfluidness", etc. Because 1. such ideas give Jane a means of explaining the lack of interest men have in her for reasons that have nothing to do with her being ugly/boring/whatever and 2. most Homestuck fans happen to apply these labels to themselves, Jane begins attempting to identify with such bullshit for the sake of conformity. Jane is now a dyke.
Case study: Jeff
Jeff is a socially awkward male in high school. Never much to talk to anybody or show any interests in anything mainstream and popular, he spends much of his time on Deviantart. He discovers My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic one day while exploring YouTube. He watches a few episodes and then decides to join the fandom and becomes a brony. What went from simple curiosity and casually watching the show has now grown a tumor of it's own, Jeff starts spending large quantities of money on brony merchandise, wearing a T-shirt that has "BRONY" emblazoned across the front of the shirt, starts "ponifying" his school supplies, sets pony related backgrounds on school computers, and starts getting preachy to his few friends and random strangers to watch My Little Pony, which in addition to his missionary tier behavior he has taken, he has also lost the ability to accept people with conflicting opinions and has grown sexually immature, alarming to both his peers and parents as they notice Jeff making sexually infused comments towards everybody. Not too long after he made these comments, Jeff's computer is discovered to have almost 3 GBs of pony porn stashed on his Hard drive, which include younger characters in sexual situations. Fearing the worst, they come to discover Jeff has also developed other sick fetishes as well, such as diapers, scat, and guro fetishes. Eventually, Jeff grows tired of My Little Pony, but still retains interest in anthro-shit from his obsession with pony porn is devolves into an even worse entity, a furfag.
Nature or Nurture?
As with any issue relating to the human mind, the NFGT has no current means of explaining if people with certain mental instabilities are inherently attracted to certain fandoms or if the fandom itself has a greater influence. It appears as though some are dependent on which mental illness is in question and in what relation to the specific fandom it has; ie, Autists seem to be inherently attracted to Sonic whereas involvement in the Wikipedia fandom seems to create delusions of grandeur in certain individuals in which no previous indications of psychological trauma were present.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Autism spectrum, ADHD
- Harry Potter: Misinterpretation of gender, Antisocial Personality Disorder, social justice participation
- Homestuck: Same as above
- Disney: Borderline Personality Disorder (females), pedophilia (males)
- Anthro shit (My Little Pony, borderline furry crap like Ratchet and Clank, etc): Pedophilia, furryism, other forms of unhealthy sexual deviancy, Girl on the internet syndrome (for female members of any of the fandoms)
- Animal Crossing: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Wikipedia: Unwarranted self-importance
- Anime (One of the earliest outbreaks): Pedophilia, self-mutilation, erotomania, obsessive behavior, narcissistic personality disorder (in female cosplayers), sexual deviance, elitism (in most males who watch "obscure" and "abstract" animes)
- Tumblr: Schizophrenia
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