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“Netflix’s The Witcher is more than just a hit for the streaming service, it has ignited interest in the franchise in general in a way that it has never seen in its almost 30 year lifespan. Concurrent players of the CDPR video game, The Witcher 3, are higher than they have been since that game launched almost four years ago. And past that, the books on which the first season of The Witcher were directly based have landed on the NYT Best-Seller list, not just for the niche fantasy genre, for all print and e-book combined fiction.”
“In the past 20 years, over 60 billion words of fan fiction have been written and posted on Fanfiction.net, the world’s largest repository. The site’s 10 million members have collectively authored a corpus about three-quarters the size of the entirety of published English-language fiction. This outpouring of creativity has been generated primarily by young people, with a median age of 15 ½.
Katie and I have been studying these sites since 2013, when we first met and chatted about a recent news story claiming that young people today can’t write—all they can do is produce broken, misspelled short texts. Both of us had teenage relatives who defied this stereotype. The young people we knew were skilled writers and thoughtful readers. They were also heavily involved in online communities and fan fiction. This apparent contradiction, backed up by my childhood experience, struck us as fertile grounds for research.”
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— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) January 3, 2020