Capital, dialogue, and community engagement: "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" understood as an alternate reality game
The experience of engaging with the television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is structurally and affectively analogous to the experience of an alternate reality game. The community presents multiple tiers of engagement in which individual contributions can be recognized; the creators of the show include material with the specific intent that it be taken up by the community but without any control of the way in which it is used, and material created by the community is folded into the text by the creators in a dialogue. The context of the cocreative dialogue that surrounds the show and its community is a good example of both what Paul Booth identifies as a digi-gratis economy and the forensic fandom used by Jason Mittell to understand community engagement and response to Lost.
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