Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hardcore vs. Casual: Is there a middle way?

JD Cowan talks about anime, hardcores, and casualization in the arts:
The modern entertainment industry is constantly caught in two extremes. They either go for the 1% of the 1% and cater their products to uber niche tastes for people who consume and dispose of the product as soon as they’re finished digesting, or they aim for Normie Joe, an imaginary human being that would enjoy their product immensely if only it talked down to him a bit more and the wild elements were tamed. The 1% of 1% will never be satiated and Normie Joe the reluctant fan doesn’t actually exist. The group that loses in both cases is the one the should have been targeted in the first place.
I've personally seen what happens when the 1% of the 1% are catered to, not just in anime, but in MMOs, comics, and even right now in sports and wrestling. More important to those reading a writing blog, this same phenomenon killed off Doc Savage and the Shadow, and it describes science fiction since Campbell, a genre in absolute thrall to the 1% of the 1% at a time when it should be printing money. It's the same old story played out on forums after forum: Hardcore Fundamentalist Fanatics vs. Filthy Casuals, except JD tries to find a middle way. I'm not sure that he's found a course that safely charts between the two reefs of hardcore capture and casualization, but at least he's thinking outside the box.

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