Sometimes, I have to ponder on all the fanworks which were born or killed over Legacy and RPGs. Being a niche fandom, both significantly changed the body of Wraith fanworks as a whole.
Legacy Gains: Writing Wraith was made fashionable, drawing in more fans who previously misunderstood the Wraith, resulting in less racism. There were fun, new games and clothes and a naming convention perfect for creating OCs (this was not a Legacy invention, but Legacy popularized and standardized it). RPGs and fanfics were created. Having examples of writing in print made it easier for newer writers to get started as they copied the voices of Legacy authors.
Legacy Losses: A lot of fan theories and stories were lost. Some writers and artists deleted their entire catalogue of fanfics and fanart, some changed voice mid-writing to match Legacy so that one will never know how the stories were supposed to go, and others never bothered to write for fear of being told their fanon wasn’t canon (even though other and prior Fandy books contradict each other anyhow.)
RPG Gains: RPGs further endeared fans to their favorite character/s. Fanfics and fanart sprang up as people put themselves in the places of their characters and wanted to tell more about scenes or illustrate them. When well-functioning, people who are into fandoms for the social aspects have a place to chat and share.
RPG Losses: Games which focus on adopting out on-screen Wraith shut out new people whose favorites were already adopted and shut out people who move on from RPing and who are expected to “give up” “their” characters. Some on-screen characters who are NPCs get turned into laughing stocks, further shutting out newer people. There becomes an almost taboo against creating fanworks involving Wraith who are seen as “other peoples’ characters,” to a degree even affecting people who do not RP but who simply view the fanworks. Thankfully, this has been mitigated somewhat since multiple RPGs now exist, in multiple languages, and each with their own list of who is who in the television series.
I was worshipping my favorite Wraith before Legacy was written and before hearing about any RPGs. I take what inspires me from various sources, but won’t let myself be boxed in or my work be altered if I don’t want it to be and state this clearly up front on my works. Maximizing wonder and joy is the goal.
I wish for other people out there the same: to create fanworks, both fanart and fanfics, regardless of how many other RPG people have the same favorite characters and regardless of what any of the books say or do. I wish for the people who deleted, altered, or never posted their stuff to post or re-post their works, maybe even upload 2 versions of their stories: a Legacy-oriented one and what they were going to write before Legacy came out. The world needs more fanworks supporting syncretismn, equality, and understanding which naturally comes with writing positively about another race. Because so many sites have changed and come and gone other the years, there has never been a better time to come out of hibernation, reclaim, and re-post! 🙂