Young men gather through 'Pony' fandom

July 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM   |   Comments

PITTSBURGH, July 2 (UPI) -- A Pittsburgh group comprised mostly of young men has been meeting weekly to discuss and debate their favorite TV show, "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic."

Organizers of the PittsBronies group, which includes 124 people who identify themselves as bronies -- a combination of "bro" and "pony" -- said their group is about 63 percent male and about 62 percent between the ages of 18 and 24, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.

John Drake, 24, a doctoral computer science student at University of Pennsylvania, said the group held its first meeting last December and members now meet on a nearly weekly basis to debate their favorite episodes and the best characters on the show.

Edward Garbade, 19, a friend of Drake who founded the CMU Bronies group at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, said bronies will admit the show was created for young girls, but it has a higher entertainment value than previous installments in the "My Little Pony" franchise.

"The show teaches lessons about friendship and being nice to others, a message from childhood that seems to be forgotten unfortunately often in today's culture," Garbade said. "The characters have distinct personalities, engaging back stories and remain consistent from episode to episode."

Both men said they will be in Secaucus, N.J., this weekend for BronyCon Summer 2012, which organizers said it expected to draw about 2,000 fans and will feature show creator Lauren Faust and voice actors as special guests.

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