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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Let the Nerds Go at It: How Media is Changing for the Better

The general rule of thumb for any new thing is that corporations and people who generally have no idea how to handle this new thing will pick it up and take it for a test drive. Fairly often this ends up being a bad thing. Either the product fails and now the market believes there isn't any interest in this thing anymore and drops it completely or it succeeds and they end up running it into the ground trying to replicate the formula they've found which then results in the previous point. Think of it kind of like the Michael Bay Transformer movies. While they are stupid and genuinely hated by a majority for very valid reasons they still make massive amounts of money when they're released so obviously there is a market for them.
My point being is that profitable isn't always good but its unfortunately what drives the market forward. Imagine a world where Star Wars tanked at the box office. We'd be left without Carrie Fischer, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford as brand name actors with their legendary status. It wouldn't have spawned a franchise of movies, games, books, comics, toys and etc to the point where there's still demand for an entire new trilogy of movies and even more of everything else. Star Wars is one of those few moments where a nerd, George Lucas, was successful.
The reason I bring this up is kind of about my last post about my feeling on the lackluster DC movies as well as a few other things. A lot has changed since the first video game ever and the industry is showing it in both good and bad ways. But the one thing I like most of all is how the nerds, or rather people who are extremely passionate about a particular subject to the point of fanaticism, are now being put in direct charge of products. This isn't something new but its become more of a thing in these past few years. If I had to categorize the 2010's in a market term it would be a burst of nerd culture actually run by the nerds. Time long ago nerd was actually kind of a bad term. It generally meant a person who wasn't physically capable or someone who was a loner. Now its the passionate director, designer, fan and pretty much everything else positive in society.
What I mean is the the higher ups are finally listening to the fans or their consumers. And I mean really listening. While money is certainly a deciding factor now its more about how it will be received. I think that's the power of hindsight. A lot of classic movies were bombs at the box office but found a devoted following later on. The opposite can also be inferred. From a gaming perspective, hindsight has allowed us to find a market for retro gaming and things like it. Remastered versions of cult classic titles now available on a massive scale. I think a good example of this is the cult classic Psychonauts. When I was a kid I heard about this really cool and inventive game... and never saw it on store shelves. I saw magazine ads and even a few trailers in those free game demo disks... but could never find it. Funny thing about that is the game didn't do great either from a money perspective. For whatever reason there wasn't any copies really anywhere for the consumer to pick up. And while it was considered a success from the stand point of a well made game it failed financially. While people can say that it was part of the still budding internet age it still was sort of an anomaly.
I'm not saying that I as a self proclaimed Star Wars fan should direct the movies or as a gamer I should make a game, rather that the market is open for someone like me to show how much I appreciate these things, either in money for fan creations. Let the nerds take over for a while. Its been working so far, why not see how far we can run with it?

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