How to be a Good Periphery Fan

According to TV Tropes, a periphery demographic is:

a notable bunch of audience members outside of the intended (i.e., marketed) demographic.

An excellent example of a periphery demographic are the bronies of My Little Pony fame*, nearly all of whom are adult men, which is pretty much the exact opposite of MLP’s intended audience (young girls under the age of 12).

There’s nothing wrong with liking something that isn’t marketed toward you. I myself am a fan of several things not targeted at my age group, like the Pokémon video game franchise, for example. It’s nothing to be ashamed of as long as you remember that there is a good way and bad way of being a periphery fan (as I like to call them):

Good: Enjoying the franchise for what it is, not taking yourself or the franchise/product so seriously, and acknowledging that the franchise will and probably should always remain targeted toward its intended audience (even if the periphery fans get little nods every now and then)

Bad: Taking the franchise too seriously, snubbing the fans who are members of the intended audience for not enjoying it in the same way as you, and hating on the company/people who put it out whenever they dare to market it in a way that appeals to its intended demographic.

In my experience, the number one problem periphery fans have is that they often take themselves too seriously. They forget that the franchise they are so interested was not aimed toward them, that their interest in it was (usually) unintended, and that the company or people putting it out are in no way obligated to please you, even if you have invested more time and money into the franchise than most of its target audience.

This often leads to very respectable, very mature, fully-grown adults throwing huge temper tantrums on Internet forums when the company makes a decision they don’t like. While periphery fans do not need to like everything about their favorite franchise or the company or people who put it out, they need to keep things in perspective. Often what they’re angry about is rather trivial and usually quite silly from an outsider’s perspective (or even from a fan’s perspective). They just end up making themselves — and their fellow periphery fans — look like idiots, which is generally not a good thing to look like.

As long as you have a good sense of humor and remain mature and humble, you should be able to avoid the fan dumb that is often a sign of being a bad periphery fan.

What do you think about periphery demographics? Are you a member of a periphery demographic? Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

*Although it may not actually be the best example. If TV Tropes’s Periphery Demographic page is to be believed, then bronies actually outnumber the intended audience of the franchise immensely. I am unable to confirm that; but even if it’s true, that doesn’t change the fact that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is still a girl’s show, which still puts bronies on the periphery (unless Hasbro starts to market it primarily toward bronies, although that’s unlikely to happen, in my opinion).