Daniel Fandino

TR-8R: Transmedia and the Internet’s Star Wars Hero

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has given the internet a new hero. It’s not Finn, the former stormtrooper turned resistance fighter or Rey, the highly capable desert scavenger with a mysterious past.  It a First Order stormtrooper who only appears in a single scene. The seemingly nameless riot control stormtrooper…

Pixels and Pens: Delving the Dungeons of the Digital Age

Gaming in the 20th century conjures up images of solitary figures hunched over keyboards, eyes locked on the soft blue glow of a monitor screen. Massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft count millions of subscribers while single players games like Fallout 4 have eager fans taking days off…

Fan Theories and Media Mythologies

Fan theories have become the new Buzzfeed plague as of late, no doubt appearing on your social media feeds accompanied by a few choice phrases such as, “mind blowing”, “insane”, and “life changing.” They cover everything from postulating James Bond is a code name assigned to different agents to the…

Inventing a Modern Holiday: May the 4th Be With You

May 4th was Star Wars Day, a day of commemoration for one of the most popular science fiction franchises in the world. How and why Star Wars Day came about is as intriguing as the fictional universe it celebrates. Until recently, holidays seemed to be immutable, days steeped in tradition…

Digital Commemoration and an Online Afterlife, Part II

As the depth and complexities of living life online grow in magnitude, so does the urgency of developing ways to deal with death in a digital world. The need to manage death online has become more apparent with the rise of social media. Even before the social media age, email…

Digital Commemoration and an Online Afterlife

When Leonard Nimoy died on February 27th, response to his passing was swift as the news sent shockwaves through many online communities. A thousand players of the game Star Trek Online congregated at the planet Vulcan, homeworld of Nimoy’s character Spock, as a means to pay respect to the actor….

Inventing North Korea: Internet Culture and the Hermit Kingdom

Source: quickmeme.com The hacking of Sony Pictures’ The Interview generated a wave of amusement and derision towards the suspected North Korean culprits that came as no surprise to internet surfers. Try a Google search on Kim Jong Un and you will quickly find some of the many, many memes the…

Digital Life, the Eternal Now, and the End of Linear Time

You’ve seen it happen. A photo from years ago suddenly appears on social media with a new comment, and the original poster wonders why anyone would drag up such an old picture. To them, the photo is firmly rooted in the past as they are able to place the moment…