media saturation

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Saladin
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media saturation

Post by Saladin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 05:29

Random topic to bring up, I know, but am I getting old, or is there just way too much shit out there?

I was thinking about what the defining characteristic of this decade has been, and I've been starting to feel like, across all mediums, from news to music to books to games to movies to food to whatever, there's been this massive carpet bombing of choices that have shattered us all into a million tiny fragments.

I understand that, to a limited extent, this has always been true. But I feel like, especially with the way the internet has developed, common cultural experiences are now few and far between, because there's literally just not enough time for anyone to really care.

I feel this makes media ephemeral now. It can only matter for a specific moment in time, and then it might as well be garbage. Your favorite game or book from three or four years ago, what are the chances that someone will pick it up now and still give a shit about it? Hell, did anyone else even really experience it? Could you convince them to now? How? There's so much shit out there, what makes it different from anything else?

I know this is like a super entitled ass thing to talk about, how there's so much stuff, it's beginning to literally reduce the value of good media. But it never really occurred to me until now that something's importance is in direct competition with how many other things are around it.

If someone re-released a Godfather style masterpiece of a movie today, would anyone really give a shit? Would it still be as culturally important as that film is now in 2050?

It sure as shit doesn't feel like it.

Hell, back in 2004, a game as inconsequential as Doom 3 spawned this forum and got all of us here together. How could that ever happen today?

I dunno, maybe I'm rambling, or stating the obvious. But this has been bothering me a lot recently, and it's directly contributed to me posting here less. I feel like, as things more and more noisy and fractured, I have fewer notable things to say, about anything. Because even people with interests in the same things, like gaming, can live in totally different universes these days.

What do you guys think?
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Re: media saturation

Post by kob » Thu Jan 05, 2017 07:25

there's definitely saturation, but I only think it's a problem with gaming. with tv, movies and books you generally relate well. there are only so many big name shows and movies each year and if you're an avid fan you've probably seen them. like tons of fucking people have seen GoT and Breaking Bad, tons of people have seen the big movies that year and so forth. books it's a little different, but if you're a dedicated reader to a specific genre you can relate very well to large groups of people. but the difference is those mediums aren't about retention. you watch that show or read that book and you're on to the next one. those hobbies are about experiencing as many stories as possible. with gaming the developer is usually expected to provide a service and people want to stick with it long term. people play games like Dota or CSGO for thousands of hours and it becomes their hobby. you become a CSGO player, you become a Dota guy in the same way you're a reader and a writer. in part I think this is because games are expensive, but also that games are the most reusable. you can't be entertained watching the same movie over and over like you could playing LoL frequently. this, along with saturation, is what I think creates those bubbles. you have your select few games and if someone isn't into them then you can't relate.
How could that ever happen today?
it does happen. I'm sure you can type in a game and find an active, non-reddit community where things are more personal. but when communities start to get too big it becomes less about the individual. like when I posted here it's because I'm interested in what you guys have to say as people. when I post on reddit I just wanna talk about my interest(s) irrespective of who actually replies. they're just some dude for all I care. before I became a full-blown PF user I used to visit a big forum and there was never any actual individuality, where as here I'd consider all you guys friends. maybe not best friends, but cool dudes I like to talk to and keep in touch with.

in general I think society is very ephemeral these days. our life is basically one big news feed now. we keep in touch with our family/friends and interests on a day-to-day basis and once it's a few days old it's effectively irrelevant. no one gives a shit unless it's current. try replying to something older than a few days in a community. the discussion is basically dead; everyone moved on to the next thing. I sound like an old man but whatever it feels that way

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Re: media saturation

Post by youdiedtooeasily » Fri Jan 06, 2017 03:16

Interesting topic. I don’t think it has to do with you getting old, there is way too much shit out there in every aspect of the media.

I can only really comment on the movies aspect I suppose since I don’t really read books or play games anymore but I’ll try to explain trends I’ve noticed if that helps? I think the internet is the defining catalyst to how our culture works now and I don’t exactly embrace it per se but without it we wouldn’t be having this conversation so it has its ups and downs. As far as media goes, everything is instant. You don’t have to wait to read a review, look at an analysis of something you’re interested in, have to go outside to get what you want (more or less shopping standpoint), etc. Instant gratification, so in hindsight, why wait for anything when you can just consume it immediately for whatever purpose. This is why people don’t care anymore about traditional social customs we had like 20 years ago. It wasn’t like this when we had dial up 56k is all I’m saying.

The value/time comparison is an interesting angle to look at the topic from. I would say I agree that’s how it works in most cases but I’m still kind of old school about it, especially with film. I more or less go backwards looking for the gems instead of watching something new but I’m sure you can figure out why for obvious reasons from the movie thread here. I agree that there is a lot of shit out there, and it fits into this binge mentality people seem to have. Again, all about instant gratification. "I have to wait a week for a new episode! Fuck that, give me the whole season!" Everything has to be “on demand” or it will be overlooked and there won’t be an audience that will go back and see it. (aka The Wire)

As for The Godfather reference, it’s a mixed bag but severely on the decline as far as something like that being relevant in modern culture. People like me would give a shit but on a wide-scale basis, no, not really. I would say it’s because of revolutionary ways to experience movies in a theater, but at the same time, I think theaters are going to be extinct and everything will be on demand at your own home, just pay for it, stream it, all from the comfort of your couch. I think this is what gaming will be like as well, no more going to the store just download it. The iconic and classics of the generation are going to be odd in most mediums, idk how to explain it at this point. maybe not for books but then again I'm not an avid reader so I can't really comment fairly. Basically for me, I’m gonna look at last year as an example. I saw 89 films. 10 I thought were pretty good and 4 of those 10 I thought will be either cult classics or worthy of remembrance from my opinion. Now extend those numbers to an average person and I’m sure the main answer will be “yeah that was good/bad, when are next?” reaction instead of wow this really captured the spirit of humanity in a timeless tale of what it means to be alive. Okay, sounds silly, but idk, think about it.

I hear ya though, I feel like I live on a lonely island with my interests at times but luckily there are a few small communities out there to share the passion. I still, for whatever goddamn reason, post in /tv/ on a daily basis but it’s sort of like a release just to banepost or talk shit and laugh at the latest meme. So I have that weird box checked, I also post on Letterboxd frequently and that’s mostly where I get my film info from reading other peoples reviews of things I’d never otherwise hear about. And, I have this place, which is like a secret clubhouse and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well over a decent chunk of our lives so it’ll always feel like home in a weird way, so there’s that.

As far as what KoB said about gaming, I can agree in a sense. My brother plays the latest “big thing” with his friends and then immediately sells it and buys the next one when it comes out and I know a lot of people that do that. As for me, I kinda do the same thing from time to time. I sell/trade/buy blu rays every other month so my collection constantly changes. Sure, I have the ones I’ll hold onto for dear life, but there are others I just either simply wont watch again or they just collect dust so I trade them out frequently and the same thing happens. I consider rewatchability a major factor in what makes a film great so maybe that has something to do with it. I watch something twice before I make a final verdict for the most part. So, in that sense, I can see what you mean KoB, but I just seem to go backwards and look in the past rather than the newest big thing from a personal standpoint. Like from the film standpoint, I really have nothing to look forward to yet this year but I can think of like 10 from the 2000-2009 era I can’t wait to check out. Nah, we’re not old men lol, that’s just how society has evolved and its clearly here to stay. I don’t see myself being like that in regards to media saturation so it’ll always feel weird but what can you do.

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Re: media saturation

Post by Jon0101 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 19:09

Saladin wrote:Random topic to bring up, I know, but am I getting old, or is there just way too much shit out there?
Yeah there is just too much. It's been that way for some types of media.

Look at books in a library. Even in the smallest library, there is no way in hell I could read them all, but also like there is probably a lot in there I wouldn't want to read. Like unless an author has really good arguments, a good style, or goes over more obscure events, I don't need to read every World War II book.

With all the tech stuff it makes it easier for people to make stuff. Like on youtube there are 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. I don't need to watch some kid's five hour counter strike stream.


With video games, like you guys are saying, there are these games are like sports events, dota, League of legends, Smite, counter strike, overwatch, Team Fortress, etc etc.

There there are those other types of endless games that are single player, like the witcher, skyrim, or GTA V and other stuff that just takes forever to do everything, and then people mod those to hell and back.

Then there are single player games where a player works toward having a lot of skill, like the touhou games, mario games, monster hunter, or like EA's Skate video game series.

Although everything has a limit where just making more is no long an option and then people have to work on quality than quantity. Like check out this list. It's a bit distorted because a lot of those games have a lot of extra stuff that side track player from the main story, so ignore everything till you have the longest video game story which is persona 3 FES at rank number 52 at 95 hours. Then notice that person 4 golden, the re-release with extra story stuff is at rank 67 at 83 hours. So, yeah we have hit this sort of limit. Persona 5 might be longer, it might be shorter. Things are set here.

https://howlongtobeat.com/stats_more.ph ... gest_Games
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Re: media saturation

Post by Jon0101 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 19:30

Actually I have been sort of thinking and calculating when this massive change in the increase rate in amount of media will flatline. What I mean by flatline is that, if three millions albums are released each year for say 10 years, then that is when things are stable.

And to be honest. It's not going to come for another couple of decades. We are going to be dealing with even more change and even more stuff coming out in the short term. I say this because only 40 percent of the world uses the internet right now. The rest of the world at 60 percent will also still be on the internet soon. Although we as English speakers will not feel the hit so hard. Chinese, Indian, south Americans, and Africans are the growing markets.

When those people get cheaper computers they will get cheaper music making software, and they will make albums.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Internet_usage

https://www.discogs.com/
If you look to the right and scroll down you will see that in the in the 1940's there are 16,000 albums made, while in the 2000's there were over a 2 million, and that is what is being recorded.


https://www.discogs.com/search/?decade=2010
IN the 2010's there has a kind of slow down, but I think that is because that is because discogs is not going to include Goku666's remix of fart sounds, that is only available on soundcloud.
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Re: media saturation

Post by Saladin » Fri Jan 06, 2017 23:30

Thanks for the replies, I know the topic is kinda vague. Couldn't read them until today, the forum has kinda been on the fritz.

I think you're right kob that it's mainly with games that's it's saturated. But with the rest, I guess I'm not trying to say that there's no popular culture, just nothing that's seemingly iconic. No meaningful cultural touchstones.

Like what defines this era of the 00's and the 10's? It just sort of feels like a lot of unorganized noise.

Ydte has it down that the internet is the dominant organizing force of our society today, for better or for worse. And Jon's definitely right that it's both expanded our capacity to create and distribute more content.

But I always thought the fear with the internet was that it was hiveminding us, becoming a giant circlejerk of the same nonsense, with no original opinions.

Now, it honestly kinda feels like the opposite is true, like with what ydte said about lonely islands of interests.

Everything seems fractured, more disconnected than ever. We live in these private bubbles, sharing tiny pieces of content no one cares about to an audience that isn't listening.

We're going from vague to angsty there. But I feel like that's what's happening to a lot of media.

There's more of it than ever, but less of it that actually matters to anyone.

This kind of extends beyond media too. I guess what's really bugging me is that, more than ever, society feels post-modern. Everyone has this private reality with their own truths and touchstones and context, and they can't communicate with other spheres, or won't.

Maybe it was always like that, I dunno. But for the first time, it may honestly be impossible to truly experience, or maybe even have, cultural or national eras.

I know it was always sort of a fiction to look back at, say, the American 50's, and try to define all its cultural touchstones as emblematic of that era. It was reductionist.

But if you tried that exercise today, it straight up wouldn't work. It's not even possible to compress all the weird shit we do. You can only describe it without capturing its essence, and it definitely doesn't have any meaning.

It's like, the 2010's! The era of American history where people got mad at each other on the internet, where they wrote vapid comments and shared idiotic pictures with each other arguing over their criticism of books, movies and games they didn't care about in 5 years that most of the rest of them hadn't seen.

Maybe it's just the growing pains of our new future society. We've learned that we *can* do all this cool new stuff, now we just have to step back and realize how much actually *should* get made.
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Re: media saturation

Post by youdiedtooeasily » Sun Jan 08, 2017 03:07

Damn, man. I seldom go speechless but you kinda hit the nail on the head with your thesis here. And yeah, it’s a little depressing, but honest so I respect that.

What defines the first decade of the 2000’s… hmm. Yeah, idk man. I think we molded ourselves into how the next few decades will play out and I think minor changes will happen and become more of a permanence as I see this era as experimental in a way since we’ve never really lived like this before as a society, at least here in the states I’m assuming.

We’re more “connected” with an online presence but disconnected as human beings. How many times when you go out in public do you not see a person glued to their phone? I’m serious! I blame a severe case of narcissism that has been socially accepted but maybe that’s just me. Living in these bubbles, as you put it, makes us feel more important than we actually are on a larger scale. We’re all winging it in life the exact same way yet our bubbles make us think otherwise. I agree, I always condone less is more in a general context if done so correctly. Quality over quantity but then again, supply and demand, and with the previous examples of the various mediums of culture, the demand is insane.
Saladin wrote:Maybe it's just the growing pains of our new future society. We've learned that we *can* do all this cool new stuff, now we just have to step back and realize how much actually *should* get made.
I think this is 100% accurate, we're still testing the waters with all of this advancement. I think over time it will become more grounded and things will start using that ideology of "can" versus "should" in a cultural sense, it's at an obscene excess in its current state and I can't imagine it continuing like that for very long but who knows.

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Re: media saturation

Post by Quack » Sun Jan 08, 2017 13:28

I've thought about what generally defines the 2000's and 2010's as main recognizable themes of the decades. Let's review past decades in general.
60's: groovey, hippies, kitschy, oiled back men's hair, grey and brown suits, big women's hair, abstract wallpaper patterns
70's: bell bottom jeans, flower power, funk, big round glasses, shags for hair, jean jackets, psychedelic
80's: electronic, synth music, blocky women's suits, colourful, fashion forward, bright
90's: rap, baggy clothing, hats sideways, video games, an insane emergence of many different kids toys and electronics, and of course the metal pants chain.

Each decade is most recognizably defined by visual aesthetic. Clothing, hairstyle, etc. That being said, in my opinion,
2000's: more plain reserved clothing, not too bright, nothing fancy.
2010's: hipsters, long line shirts, undercuts, man buns.

When something new is invented or introduced, it seems to take over that decade. Such as rock music in the 70's, or electronic music in the 80's. And we dress like these musicians dress on stage, such as rap in the 90's influencing baggy pants. Now it's mostly pop which doesn't have unique style.

The thing is, so much is constantly introduced now with the wide use of internet that nothing is gaining popularity as severely as it used to. People would hear trends by word of mouth, or see people on the street. Everybody would watch the same thing on tv. Trends were streamlined to everyone.

I hear what you're saying Saladn, there is so much coming out constantly that nothing is really sticking like it used to. Maybe decade trends were only a thing of the 1900's, and now the 2000's will be all smartphones and internet and random everything to the point that every year is its own trend.

I believe the Information Age has killed the decade trend. How people learn about new things and what's cool is just so spread out now.
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Re: media saturation

Post by Saladin » Mon Jan 09, 2017 16:42

Yeah, and I think this has larger implications than it seems to at first glance.

A lot of where cohesion and unity comes from is shared experience.

Maybe part of the reason the internet is so tribal is because that largely isn't possible anymore.

You're expected to choose all your own forms of information, entertainment, etc., which necessarily means that as choice expands, we all get herded into these smaller and smaller interest groups.

I dunno what to say about that, or where it goes from here. But that's a huge change from how things used to work.
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