Fans have been around since there have been people who could do things better than other people. Since there have been people who could do things that other people could not. With the advent of the internet they have grown to almost a supernatural level of obsession. What happens when there are millions of fans of the same thing is that they begin to compete for who is the 'bigger fan' or who can fan the hardest. These are called "Fandomes" and the fan of all fans is referred to as a "fan girl."
Fan girls: are not necessarily the president of the fan clubs.They are not necessarily the biggest fans either. They are a type of person that is a fan of being fans. They are like groupies for the sake of being groupies. They are not just super obsessed with one band but with the idea of being super-obsessive. That's one type of "Fan dome" and it has it's origins in hero worship and the group mentality. They are the type of people who will buy something because everyone else does or because it is popular. They are obsessed with fame.
Another type of fan-dome is the banner fans. They are the "sports fans" and they will like anything that has to do with "sports" - football, soccer, golf - whatever kinda sport it is they are a fan of. I can relate to this in that I am an "Automotive enthusiast" or a "Movie person" - I am interested in all kinds of movies and all kinds of automobiles. I don't really have a specific genera that I will only watch or a specific type of car, sports car, truck etc, that I am focused on. I am just as interested in reading about a super exotic sports car as I am an economy car. I just really like cars as a general idea - and all aspects of them from their design to their interiors to the engines to the technology. I am the same with movies in that I like all kinds of movies and will enjoy a documentary on youtube as much as a huge budget sci-fi adventure.
Specialized Fans: (The elitist, experts)
There are also 'banner fans' which are highly selective and seek a type of exclusivity. This type is probably most symbolized in a wine sommelier. They are interested in "wines" but more so the "best of the best" and are 'snobby' or selective. They only drink from a particular wine glass, holding it in a specific way, sniffing it with just the right amount of air, and they will judge you for not doing the same. There is a "correct" way of doing things. These types of fans are also epitomized by the "art snob" who you would imagine in the same way as a sommelier but with art. They are just as snobby and their definition of 'art' is just as specific as is a wine experts'. They are set in their ways (Or "the" ways) and in their opinions because that is how it is set up and how they exist. In the same way that there can't be dog breed competitions without a set standard and judging parameters there can not be art or wine experts with the same type of standards. These have to be enforced and specific - and yet govern mostly subjective things. These are the types of people who only respect people who go to a certain college, have a certain degree, and so on. The Michelin Star Chef. The Ivy-leaguer. These people may not actually be "fans" of their particular subject(s) but have their whole identities wrapped up in their respective titles. Professors, Dr. Ph.D's etc's
The Super Fan:
There is a another and much more specific type of fan and they are more specific - so specific that they can be easily demonstrated by imagining the wall of a Justin Bieber fan. Lined with posters, their computer and phone's wallpaper - Justin Bieber. They have tumblr pages dedicated to him, instagram pages, t-shirts, and so on. For everything you could possibly imagine they have Justin Bieberized it. In the same way sommeliers may compete for the 'best wine taster' these type of fans compete but they battle without rules and without standards. The more elaborate, the more creative, the more subversive, the more crazed and un-ruley - the better. The fan who tattoos Justin Bieber across their fore-head wins. What do they win? - Bragging rights. Another thing that goes along with this type of fan-dome is present in all the others - it's a type of snobbery. Who knows the most, who has the most books about them, the most posters hung, the most facts and figures memorized, the most articles published, the most pictures saved on their computer, and so on.
This fan-dome is super specific in that they obsess over one thing or one person or one idea - not necessarily a 'subject.' They are not "automotive enthusiasts" or "sports fans" but focused on a single car or a single sports team. They may not even care about any other car or any other sports or maybe not even about any other team in the same sport. These are usually called super fans.
The Ultimate Fan: ( The #1 Fan)
A unique type of fandome develops from the "super fandome." It's a very personal and specific dedication and level of attachment. This team, singer, artist - car, becomes the person's "lord and savior" and the level of worship approaches if not surpasses any level of religious devotion. It's almost exactly like religious devotion and essentially the same idea but that is a whole other discussion. The same thing happens that does for different sports teams - a level of competition and combating fan-domes - but it is within the same subject.
The fight to be the #1 fan can result in a lot of problems for the contenders and for the thing being fought over. People will go to any length - and sometimes this results in fabricating things along the way. To one up the other they will make up stories and experiences. This isn't just like Justin Bieber fans making up meeting him but going as far as saying he is the father of their babies (when they have never even met him and aren't even pregnant.) It can get to some pretty intense and insane behaviors and thoughts. People will have entirely imaginary lives and fantasy worlds based on these fan-domes. They literally convince themselves that Justin Bieber is their boyfriend and they are meant to be together. This also results in them hating Justin's real life girl friends and ultimatly his other fans - who are their competition. Some will band together and others will branch off into their own seclusion only letting others in who will whole heartily agree that their 'leader' is the #1 fan.
These fan-domes are are almost exactly cult- like with the only major different being the # of people participating (Sports comes to mind) or the benign and comical nature of their worship - music groupies and teen-aged fan -girls. These fan-domes can get out of control and it's not only common but inevitable that someone is going to take things too far and someone else is going to get hurt. The pictures form a lot of music and sport events look a lot like street riots. This would be another place to explore the religious implications and compare them to fan-domes. The point is easily inferred.
"Kill Your Heroes" - Awolnation