Author Topic: Is the Fandom Getting Younger  (Read 3965 times)

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Offline Acton

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Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« on: January 03, 2013, 04:44:18 pm »
I been noticing on this board and other places the fandom is getting younger noting a lot more 14-16 year old joining. I suspect younger fans exist but not online; I ran into a 10 year old fursuitter at  Rainfurrest.  I am not the first who is noticing this.  Wild bill TX came of the term Bieber  Furs to describe  them as in the age of  the  average Justin Beiber fan. What he noticed is they found out about the fandom via the internet, and interested in fursuiting and art but not interested in the fetish or sexual aspect.
The question is what ramifications this has for the fandom and for furtopia. There has some pushback sadly ether I see ether immaturity (whining like the old sibling force to take the younger sibling) to some in the fetish community. The influx may force the fandom to clean up its image, (wishful think on my part). A bigger concern is how we the older fans will fit in or feel like we will be pushed or push ourselves to the sidelines like the anime fandom. 
ON furtopia , I find myself being 52 in a more awkward situation, for example I rarely   comment tin the problem section especially if the person is a minor. I am very aware not to send the wrong signals to a minor; I am nice and harmless but not the next guy. When encountering a youth furry online; I try to steer them to Furtopia rather than Fur Affinity, I find Furtopia a safer and appropriate place for young furries. . In addition we older members will have show patience when dealing with adolescent and teen angst in some of the post here. (i.e. I leaving, Iím back etc.. or question about belonging that seem to pop up at that age)

Offline Alsek

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 06:40:03 pm »
Wild bill TX came of the term Bieber  Furs

That term is likely to cause quite a bit of offense,  just FYI.  I know it would have aggravated me at the time.


I joined the fandom and this forum when i was 15.  I'm 20 now,  and don't plan to leave any time soon.  My guess is that furry has just become well known enough on the web,  and that enough younger people are getting introduced that there's just more exposure to the fandom and more opportunity for them to get recruited.  But that doesn't mean it's going to cause a permanent shift in that direction.  As the younger generation starts to get older (like in the case of myself) I think we should expect to reach some equilibrium.  They may join at 15 but they only stay 15 for so long.  The average age of furries has been hovering in the low 20s for quite a while now.


As for furtopia...  I think furtopia will always attract more of the younger members than another place would because it's family friendly nature.  However,  there's always going to be quite a few mature adults who come here for the same reasons,   or who stay after their teens.  Hopeful it lends itself as a steady supply of new members and the community will continue to grow.  One can have, "mature," or serious conversation without them being adult in nature.  Places like FurAffinity,  while they allow more adult conversation,  almost entirely lack maturity.  The level of conversation there is never much more than superficial.

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 06:53:25 pm »
I'm in a similar place. I'm 18. I joined the forum when I was 15. One thing that's interesting is how people are trying to get the fandom to become more..mainstream, which is..interesting.

For reference: Watch Furreality or Yiff: A Furry Musical (same thing, different name). That only came out four years ago but it shows just how much the fandom has changed. (Sorta..very NSFW)
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 08:07:19 pm »
I been noticing on this board and other places the fandom is getting younger noting a lot more 14-16 year old joining. I suspect younger fans exist but not online; I ran into a 10 year old fursuitter at  Rainfurrest.  I am not the first who is noticing this.  Wild bill TX came of the term Bieber  Furs to describe  them as in the age of  the  average Justin Beiber fan. What he noticed is they found out about the fandom via the internet, and interested in fursuiting and art but not interested in the fetish or sexual aspect.
The question is what ramifications this has for the fandom and for furtopia. There has some pushback sadly ether I see ether immaturity (whining like the old sibling force to take the younger sibling) to some in the fetish community. The influx may force the fandom to clean up its image, (wishful think on my part). A bigger concern is how we the older fans will fit in or feel like we will be pushed or push ourselves to the sidelines like the anime fandom. 
ON furtopia , I find myself being 52 in a more awkward situation, for example I rarely   comment tin the problem section especially if the person is a minor. I am very aware not to send the wrong signals to a minor; I am nice and harmless but not the next guy. When encountering a youth furry online; I try to steer them to Furtopia rather than Fur Affinity, I find Furtopia a safer and appropriate place for young furries. . In addition we older members will have show patience when dealing with adolescent and teen angst in some of the post here. (i.e. I leaving, Iím back etc.. or question about belonging that seem to pop up at that age)


I think that most people tend to discover their hobbies toward adulthood, during the teen years, so I don't think that the furry fandom as a whole is really getting younger. Perhaps the trend is more noticeable here, because as you said, Furtopia is more of a PG to PG13 forum (vs the NC 17 forums of FA and similar places). Whether or not the furry fandom is becoming more mainstream is a matter of debate...consider most anime fans, whose ages typically range from 12-100, most falling somewhere in between, and the people interested in anime typically 'discover' it around the teen years, just as in the furry fandom. Anime is nowhere near as popular or mainstream in the US as it is in Japan, yet every year their conventions grow. A similar trend is taking place in the furry fandom, yet I think most people consider furries, as they consider anime, 'taboo,' so I don't think either will ever be mainstream, at least in the Western world.
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Offline Ziel

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 08:52:09 pm »
I'd be curious to see if the rate of joining the fandom has just increased in general in the last several years. You'd have to look at the joining rate by age group, though, since I do feel like most people do join in the mid-late teens.

Anyhow, the point I'm trying to get at, is that the internet in general is much larger now than it was just a few years ago. So many people are so much more connected now, that I could just see the fandom getting a bit more exposure just due to the overall quantity of people online now. I mean, furry is kinda famous/infamous on the internet (depends on how you look at it, or where you look). I feel like given enough time just browsing around the internet, most people will probably run into the fandom in some form or another soon enough.

So if the overall rate of people joining has gone up a bit, and many people already tend to join the fandom when they are minors, and this place is known to be family-friendly for those in that age group, then it would only stand to reason that we'd notice a bit of an influx of younger people joining here.

I think it's good, though. Definitely better than not having new people joining at all.

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 09:04:02 pm »
However,  there's always going to be quite a few mature adults who come here for the same reasons,

So True as a devote Christan I can get touchy by sites that allow  adult material.  I prefer not to be part of them and and limit my visits to  FA. The family friendly aspect is why I stay here

Offline Ryffnah

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 03:15:38 am »
I think that most people tend to discover their hobbies toward adulthood, during the teen years, so I don't think that the furry fandom as a whole is really getting younger. Perhaps the trend is more noticeable here, because as you said, Furtopia is more of a PG to PG13 forum (vs the NC 17 forums of FA and similar places). Whether or not the furry fandom is becoming more mainstream is a matter of debate...consider most anime fans, whose ages typically range from 12-100, most falling somewhere in between, and the people interested in anime typically 'discover' it around the teen years, just as in the furry fandom. Anime is nowhere near as popular or mainstream in the US as it is in Japan, yet every year their conventions grow. A similar trend is taking place in the furry fandom, yet I think most people consider furries, as they consider anime, 'taboo,' so I don't think either will ever be mainstream, at least in the Western world.

Anime is considered taboo and will never be mainstream?  Huh?  Is this some restrictive definition of anime that I haven't heard before by which Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films don't count?  'Cause, those went pretty mainstream when Disney started distributing them.

As for the age of the furry fandom overall and whether it's shifting, I don't know -- but I do know that there are a lot of gateway book series aimed at approximately twelve-year-olds.  After reading Redwall or Warriors is a pretty natural time to become a furry.  I know that I would have become a furry at that age if the fandom had been as big and easy to find back then.
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Offline Cirocco the Silver Fox

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 09:59:35 am »
I am an openly furry adult - not a fursuiter though - who has been a furry in one form or another since around 14-16 years of age. Honestly I have noticed the influx of younger members, and on occasion have felt the possibility that I might be a tad to old to be about anymore.

However age is largely a superficial number if you ask me, so I spend a great deal of time ignoring it and just wandering Furtopia. I am the sort who believes that a community benefits from both younger and older generations mingling and sharing ideas, insight, wisdom as well as all the joys and hardship. Together we are strong and all that.

Though one just has to find a place, a feeling of belonging and/or commitment to something, which can be increasingly difficult in the face of new blood so readily being pumped into Furtopia. Sad to say that sometimes one must leave the places they come to love. For now though I see the younger members and the older ones here as a sign of strong community.

Also you might consider giving some advice to the younger generation - you have the experience of having survived what they are going through.
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 09:42:23 pm »
I think that most people tend to discover their hobbies toward adulthood, during the teen years, so I don't think that the furry fandom as a whole is really getting younger. Perhaps the trend is more noticeable here, because as you said, Furtopia is more of a PG to PG13 forum (vs the NC 17 forums of FA and similar places). Whether or not the furry fandom is becoming more mainstream is a matter of debate...consider most anime fans, whose ages typically range from 12-100, most falling somewhere in between, and the people interested in anime typically 'discover' it around the teen years, just as in the furry fandom. Anime is nowhere near as popular or mainstream in the US as it is in Japan, yet every year their conventions grow. A similar trend is taking place in the furry fandom, yet I think most people consider furries, as they consider anime, 'taboo,' so I don't think either will ever be mainstream, at least in the Western world.

Anime is considered taboo and will never be mainstream?  Huh?  Is this some restrictive definition of anime that I haven't heard before by which Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films don't count?  'Cause, those went pretty mainstream when Disney started distributing them.

As for the age of the furry fandom overall and whether it's shifting, I don't know -- but I do know that there are a lot of gateway book series aimed at approximately twelve-year-olds.  After reading Redwall or Warriors is a pretty natural time to become a furry.  I know that I would have become a furry at that age if the fandom had been as big and easy to find back then.

Any Disney distributed anime will be popular in the US, simply because it falls under the safe umbrella of Disney. Let's face it, most anime shows, like Samurai Champloo, Dragonball, and Ranma 1/2 are not exactly family friendly fare, even Sailor Moon was brought under scrutiny for the dresses the schoolgirls wore (I think in the US a lesbian couple on the show were referred to as cousins or something). So to my mind, yes, I would think that most Westerners unfamiliar with the anime storylines or format would consider it strange, perhaps even taboo. However, I did acknowledge in my previous post that anime cons are becoming more popular in the US, and there is a growing number of people in the US that enjoy watching anime, despite its taboo subject matter. Does that mean anime is mainstream? I think mainstream is something that is universally watched/used, accepted and approved, like the use of iPods. Perhaps we need a better definition of the term?  :o
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Offline Baylyn

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 10:17:43 pm »
I have notices a lot more youngins joining but I only see them join and ask for help in the life problems section very rarley do I see them post in most forums or interact on the irc maybe its just me

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 10:45:58 am »
There are more younger members than there were a few years ago. Not
to say there weren't any kids here at the beginning. Just fewer.

Before I got on furtopia I spent quite a bit of time on the furry MUCKs.. There
were a lot of kids on those. I always asked their age before any rp'ing.

So even though much of the early traffic on the net was by college age
or older people. The young kids were close behind.
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Offline WhiteStorm

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2013, 02:32:43 am »
Communication is improving and becoming available at younger ages. I imagine on the whole the trend is actually something of the opposite nature, along with a lot of first world populations.
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Offline Iara Warriorfeather

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2013, 11:04:18 am »
There are more younger members than there were a few years ago. Not
to say there weren't any kids here at the beginning. Just fewer.

Before I got on furtopia I spent quite a bit of time on the furry MUCKs.. There
were a lot of kids on those. I always asked their age before any rp'ing.

So even though much of the early traffic on the net was by college age
or older people. The young kids were close behind.

This is the best explanation, I think.  (:
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Offline Aliikaiokai

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 09:01:55 pm »
I prefer the older crowd more to the younger ones, I've always enjoyed "adults" more. And in the end, is it really a bad thing, the continuation of the fandom. Also, majority of the younger people will eventually drop this just like any other fad that has existed.
I certainly hope that my generation doesn't transform this fandom into something its not.
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 06:24:52 pm »
As a greymuzzle, I came to the fandom just over 5 years ago, and only began going online a year or two before. Then discovered furry while researching mascot suits, having worn one professionally.  I had leaned furry since my years numbered single digits and recall thinking how neat it would be to have a full-body costume of a beloved cartoon character. I suspect many greymuzzles were influenced by the classic cartoon cavalcades they viewed in childhood.
  As for the younger members: I would opine that their influence may originate in anime and video games.
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2013, 10:44:02 am »
I prefer the older crowd more to the younger ones, I've always enjoyed "adults" more. And in the end, is it really a bad thing, the continuation of the fandom. Also, majority of the younger people will eventually drop this just like any other fad that has existed.
I certainly hope that my generation doesn't transform this fandom into something its not.
The reason I'm here is that for once I feel right, like I belong. And I certainly hope I am not considered a "whiner". I feel it necessary to say sorry. Sorry.
i am 16 and i shall never drop this fandom! but yeah you are right, many of the really young ones, 10 to 14 and so on, tend to give up on the fandom. :( kinda sad in a way, if more stayed maybe we would be accepted for once, i beleive and hope we will one day be accepted for who we are though, i mean look at gay marriage and such things, a couple of years ago, these people would have been lynched if they asked for marriage rights, and now 60 or so years later, gay marriage is almost as accepted as straight marriage.
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 10:17:37 pm »
I'm only 14 and I would never give up being a furry! It doesn't matter how old you are but how you act. Maturity is measured by your actions not your age.
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2013, 12:01:17 pm »
it's really cool that you found a 10 year old furry. I'm currently 16, going on 17, and I've been a fur for abput two and a half years. It's really disappointing for me to log onto places like FA or Inkbunny and not being able to see anything too "fun". but oh well. to answer your question, i think it's just more that more of the younger generation fianlly know what to CALL it, not that they are just now finding the fandom.
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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2013, 10:15:12 pm »
Well, children are getting exposed to technology a lot faster, and due to this, they learn about furries online much more quickly.
This allows for them to quickly discover and decide to join the fandom. Children may also be getting smarter (though I would also say that the not so smart ones are getting far worse and worse as time goes on) due to technology and schooling. I mean, I think most of the people at my current school (a school for the mathematically and scientifically gifted) probably know what furries are, even if few, if any of them, are furries. On the other hand, at my old school, few would have likely known what furries were. I also think that with all the people of the modern era being accepting of new things due to technology also helps.
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Offline bkatt500

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 05:51:56 pm »
I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing if the fandom gets more members, and by that I mean people who know what it is in the first place.  And it makes sense that younger people would be attracted to furry, since most mainstream media containing anthropomorphic animals is targeted at children and teens.  It might make furry in general be a little more moderated than it used to be, but I dunno, I think a little clean-up, at least of the visible fandom, is kind of a good thing.
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Offline dodbringr

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 08:43:40 pm »
We posted about this topic in a poll a while back, but we can restate it now.
We agree that the fandom is getting younger. There is no denying that. We personally think it's a good thing when you think about it. We are 15, and probably began identifying as furry for the same reasons that younger members do. We joined because it was something we could identify with. As a child, we always loved cartoons, cartoon animals, and we loved the idea of pretending animals could talk just like humans can. On that same note, we joined for much deeper reasons as well. We have been generally tormented and ostracized by most of our peers for all of our life because we were seen as different. When we found the fandom, we realized that we could relate to these people. They had similar interests as us, but more importantly, they were accepting of all kinds of differences. It didn't matter if you were gay, straight, bi, tall, short, thin, fat, etc., they accepted people for who they are and their interests. We joined because we were in need of acceptance, to have that one group of people who wouldn't judge you based on what you looked like or how you spoke. We were welcomed into this fandom with open arms, and no one cared if we had MPD or anything like that. We think that is why younger people are joining. So much of society revolves around what you look like and how you act, and those people who are deemed "different" were left out. So instead of moping and wishing things could be different, they find a group that will accept them: the furry fandom. It gives young people hope to know that they can say they "belong", and that they are free to express themselves however try want without being judged by the standards of society. They join because they are allowed to be different. We have gained so much confidence and self-esteem simply from being a part of this fandom, and others realize the same thing about themselves, and they join. Some may leave because of reasons only they know, but we personally will never leave. This has become part of our life, and we are all the better for it. Just interacting with amazing and talented people such as yourselves makes our day so much better, and we don't want to lose that. In the most basic terms, furry is a positive thing, and everyone needs positivity in their lives, otherwise what's the point? We know we have been rambling, but this is the only way we can really describe what furry is to us, and why so many younger people have joined. You can be yourself here, and isn't that what everyone just wants to do? You shouldn't have to change to please other people, and furry takes away that stress, and all that is left is you. Just you, doing what you do because it makes you happy. That is why the fandom is younger.   :D

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Offline Arashi_Calunata

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2013, 01:38:59 pm »
Read Dodbringr's "Next-of-Post" for this reply.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 04:40:54 pm by Arashi_Calunata »
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Offline dodbringr

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2013, 02:46:46 pm »
If it becomes a fad in any way, it would be quite the atrocity...For the existing furry fandom-Most of it anyways, and from what I've observed at furcon (Videos) and at this site, we seem to be a fairly close-knit bunch. If it becomes mainstream, it would certainly flood the marketplace with rather stupid "furry" apparal- like the "Ear hat" thing. As well as mainly bull about why everyone else thinks being a furry is cool beyond our usual ways. The only benefit would be to say "We were furry before it was cool"... Given today's pseudo-cynical culture, no true furry would be actually believed.

Of course it would be. It would be taking what is special about the fandom away from it, or at least it would for us. As for the marketplace, whole stores would probably pop up selling various "furry" items that don't actually mean anything to the people buying them. Furry would become just another label people would give to themselves, and not something that signifies a part of who they are as an individual. It just goes to show that today's society only cares about the revenue something will pull in, and not about the sentimental value that lies in it. Take rap for example. It used to mean something to people, and it was another way of expressing yourself and your opinions. Now, it has become this abomination that is mostly just mindless rambling about topics that are better off kept private. (Sorry to anyone who might be offended by this, it's just how we feel about the whole thing.) Society ruined it for money, and society would do the same to the fandom if there was enough demand.

Offline Ryffnah

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2013, 10:43:31 pm »
If it becomes a fad in any way, it would be quite the atrocity...For the existing furry fandom-Most of it anyways, and from what I've observed at furcon (Videos) and at this site, we seem to be a fairly close-knit bunch. If it becomes mainstream, it would certainly flood the marketplace with rather stupid "furry" apparal- like the "Ear hat" thing. As well as mainly bull about why everyone else thinks being a furry is cool beyond our usual ways. The only benefit would be to say "We were furry before it was cool"... Given today's pseudo-cynical culture, no true furry would be actually believed.

Of course it would be. It would be taking what is special about the fandom away from it, or at least it would for us. As for the marketplace, whole stores would probably pop up selling various "furry" items that don't actually mean anything to the people buying them. Furry would become just another label people would give to themselves, and not something that signifies a part of who they are as an individual. It just goes to show that today's society only cares about the revenue something will pull in, and not about the sentimental value that lies in it. Take rap for example. It used to mean something to people, and it was another way of expressing yourself and your opinions. Now, it has become this abomination that is mostly just mindless rambling about topics that are better off kept private. (Sorry to anyone who might be offended by this, it's just how we feel about the whole thing.) Society ruined it for money, and society would do the same to the fandom if there was enough demand.


I can't agree with this.  If furry becomes popular, then there are benefits to it.  First, it could reduce the stigma that so many furries clearly still feel about being furry.  And, second, it could lead to more things that furries like being made for them.  For instance, movies like Puss In Boots, Kung Fu Panda, and Bolt.  I've seen this happen in my writing critique group -- as the other writers have learned about furry fiction from me, they've started writing furry fiction.  It's been really wonderful.  There are a lot of good writers in my critique group, and I've really enjoyed reading the furry stories that they've started writing in response to learning about the genre.
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Offline bkatt500

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Re: Is the Fandom Getting Younger
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2013, 02:13:14 pm »
Yeah, I'd really not mind some more mainstream 'grown-up' media centered around anthropomorphic animals, or even a little more acknowledgment.  In a lot of video games and comics we already have sort of 'token furry' characters and races, I wouldn't mind seeing this trend extended to television and movies.  I also don't really mind the things I like getting popular, since well, then in general that means there will be MORE of the things I like, which I can't really see as a bad thing.  And the things which are already considered influential and good aren't going to go away or be replaced.
And also, what's wrong with new members?  Who cares if they haven't seen/heard of an influential book or movie?  It's an issue easily fixed by suggesting things to read and watch.  Everyone was new at one point, and probably just as annoying. :P  If it's the issue of people joining and not staying around, people already come and go from the fandom all the time, and not all stay for very long.
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