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Shippers (from English relation ship , 'relationship') are members of the fan scene ( fandom ) of television series, films, novels or comics, which deal particularly with the development of possible love relationships between the characters. Shipping accordingly describes speculating about an impending romantic relationship or sexual attraction between certain characters or the desire for such a relationship, even if the corresponding pairing is often not intended by the authors of the respective work and not in the "official" plot (" Canon ") is discussed. In a figurative sense, shipping can also be used to describe speculating about or inventing supposed love relationships between real people, such as prominent actors or musicians.

The term is mainly used in the context of Internet forums for fans, in which shippers who deal with the same work exchange their ideas and discuss the possible further course of the selected love relationships. Some shippers write their own literary texts ( fan fictions ) about an alternative course of action, in which the favored couple comes together and develops a love relationship. Sometimes videos are created (if it is a film or a series) in which so-called "Shippy scenes" (ie scenes that suggest a special affection and attraction of the characters in the mind of the shipper) are cut together and accompanied by music . It is also very popular to draw fan arts on which the respective favorite couple is depicted. The motifs can range from everyday situations to explicit erotic depictions. In the manga scene, corresponding drawings are referred to as dōjinshi . In the meantime there are even many websites that are only dedicated to a certain fictional couple.

The makers of individual television series consciously promote shipping or even include the ideas of the fans in the “official” course of action (canon). In How I Met Your Mother, for example, different pairings between the main characters were played out. The South Park -creator called for follow Tweek x Craig on the fans, their pair of drawings of the characters Tweek and Craig Tucker to send in. At the end of the 22nd season of the Simpsons , fans were allowed to vote on a new partner for Ned Flanders .

Origin of the term

It is believed that the term "shipper" has its origin in the fan scene of the television series X-Files . In the context of this series, some fans speculated intensely about a romantic connection between the main characters Fox Mulder and Dana Scully . The first nor demonstrable mention of the term is a conversation in a Usenet - newsgroup Since the archive Google Groups but not going back in May 1996. far enough and the expression X fans file-already seems so common at that time among the goes it is believed that it first appeared around 1994.

The corresponding phenomenon had already existed in the Star Trek fan scene since the 1970s - although not yet under the name shipping - in which some fans imagined a homoerotic connection between Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock . This fan culture niche was simply called Kirk / Spock or slash for short .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Netlingo: Shipper - definition of the lexicon for Internet language (online jargon) for the term shipper .
  2. a b c Chris Weigel: Shipping: The dark side of the fandoms. In: Elbenwald , February 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Aja Romano: Canon, fanon, shipping and more: a glossary of the tricky terminology that makes up fan culture. In: Vox , June 7, 2016.
  4. X-Phile., August 13, 2006, accessed January 26, 2008 .
  5. PUSHER was a 'Shipper !! * gak *! Google Groups, accessed January 26, 2008 .
  6. Explanation of the term "Shipper" in the German X-Files Wiki