A couple of days ago, I changed my avatar to a picture of myself, for no reason other than to put a face to the screen name. I was really just following the example of two other members. It seemed to sort of gather steam. Rather quickly in fact. It soon became apparent that we have a very diversified age demographic here. Not that we didn't all already know that, but the pictures sort of drove the point home.
We've had a thread or three over the years chronicling peoples' histories with the franchise, how they were introduced to it, as well as when, what their hopes for certain releases are, their personal collections, etc. However, seeing the ages demonstrated so clearly (as opposed to someone just saying "I'm 18, I'm 30"...) made we wonder - why it is we come here?
I've mentioned before that I'm a life-long, daily motorcycle rider. For 39 years, motorcycles have been a major focus of my existence. I honestly cannot imagine not riding. I have accounts on three motorcycle boards, yet on all three combined, I probably post one quarter as often as I do here.
Baseball is another big deal in my life, but I still post maybe twice a week on the baseball board I'm on. Indiana Jones board, the same. James Bond board, even less. M*A*S*H board, about the same. I was on a Genesis board for 8 years and posted daily before it was shuttered.
My own Star Wars history is well known around here, as is my very narrow focus. In a franchise spanning 34 years, with 6 films, a TV special, a cartoon series, some animated kids' films, several radio dramas, tons of video games, more novels than I can count, an interactive official online community with ongoing projects, and I'm sure a few more things I don't even know about - I have what may be the smallest Star Wars footprint of any fan. One radio drama, four novels, and one film. Plus, the most recent of those six entities is 30 years old.
The other boards I'm on represent things which each have a larger presence in my world, as well as an ongoing presence. The one exception is M*A*S*H, but I watch it with some regularity and have 11 years worth of episodes on DVD.
I sometimes ponder why I come here more than all the others. My Star Wars world is a finished entity. At least with M*A*S*H I have 251 episodes to discuss - yet I don't.
My answer seems to always be the same. It must be the people. The intelligence, the humor, the acceptance, the knowledge base - all of it. I would have been run off the TFN board after only a few days (if that long). Not to mention, I wouldn't want to spend time with those folks anyway. I've perused it. It's cliquish and the members are by and large very intolerant of differing opinions. They aren't even open to the truth, which is another discussion entirely.
We are a very diverse group of regulars here. My question (yes, I'm finally getting around to it); Why is this place so different? Other than the obvious (desire for OT), why is this the place of choice for open, intelligent Star Wars discussions?
So shines a good deed in a weary world.