In a world with a few thousand channels, three primary home video game consoles, more comic books than you can count, and the internet you would think every audience has a show, network, comic, or game that targets them. You would be wrong. Niche channels are dead, finding kids programming on YouTube or Blip is a challenge (especially with kid show parodies clogging the view), and only a few publishers have any kids content, usually an independent or self-published. In the latest installment of The Jimquisition, Jim Sterling looks at the video game side, but what he says can be applied to other entertainment as well. Except music. Music seems to remember there’s more than one age group and genre, although older audience seldom see anything new.
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Like I said, it’s not just video games. While comics are finding stories outside of superheroes (as much as I love superhero comics I support this) certain age groups are being tossed aside. Television and movies still have multiple genres thanks to being around when producers had the guts to innovate..which they had to do because there was nothing to ape without realizing what made whatever they’re copying work. Music still finds something for everybody. However, the “everything for meeeeeeeee” crowd still fights anything not marketed towards their interests, especially music.
I have never tried, nor will I ever demand, that every piece of entertainment be marketed towards my interests. I don’t like seeing things I enjoy changed into something else, which is where a number of my rants come from in commentaries, but I don’t come down on things because I think everything should be marketed only towards one group. I just don’t want things that are ripped from me to serve the “cool kids” or the “everything for meeeeeeeee” crowd. I and others who enjoy that stuff should get what I want, as should people who have their own interests. I don’t watch most of the stuff my parents do, I don’t watch stuff a lot of my followers do. For example I have never watched Game of Thrones because it’s not my kind of show, even though everyone I know seems to watch and love it. It’s just not my taste. I’m not saying throw out the show and bring back Adventures of Superman or that every show should be Street Hawk. But Hollywood doesn’t want my money, DC & Marvel don’t want my money, and most video game companies don’t want my money because they produce nothing that interests me.
But as someone I was talking to on Twitter noted, if nobody buys or watches this stuff it will go away. When something different comes along give it a shot. I hear nothing but praise for Psychonauts but not many people bought it. Yes, entertainment producers need to advertise better when it comes to new things, and they need to, as Sterling remarked in another video, not demand a higher return and be disappointed when they only make say $20,000 if it still counts as profit. Everybody needs to take chances on something new and people need to ask harder not that other things be taken away but that they get more of–or at least something–that they want as well. Nobody likes to be left out and nobody really should.