Vaporwar and military contents fandom

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This article investigates vaporwar – a kind of military fanvid where military footage is remixed, set to music and given a ‘vaporwave’ makeover through filters and editing. While a niche group, it is a growing one and loved by its fans. Why? Drawing on Turk and Johnson’s idea of looking at vidding as an ecology, this article suggests that these videos should be seen as part of a ‘contents fandom’ of the military. This term is adapted from ‘contents tourism’, where people travel to a location due to its association with different media depictions of the same subject, and here means that the fans who make and view these videos do so out of a fannish interest in all things military. These videos are thus part of a turn towards ‘participatory militainment’, media made by military fans for military fans, drawing on the internet vernacular of vaporwave to prove the genre’s coolness and validity. At the same time, they point to a sense of nostalgia and dissatisfaction in this fandom with current military trends, and an aestheticization of the military as a reason for its existence. What does it mean for the military to have fans?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-37
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Fandom Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • fanvid
  • militainment
  • military fandom
  • participatory culture
  • remix
  • YouTube


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