Should Gaming's primary audience be children and young kids?

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So, I was watching some old Moviebob/Game Overthinker videoes

Yes, Yes. I know. Hear me out.

I remember an old video he did. He basically compared the video games industry to the comics industry, stating that because comics put too much emphasis on being adult products, when the 90's crash happened, children were not able to access the kinds of books they wanted to. His argument is that video games should be primarily for the young because they have the most time on their hands as well as the most disposable income. Appealing to "core gamers" (Adult males 18-35 who focus on graphics), he feels that the industry is setting itself up for another crash. That by not appealing to children, we will inevitably dig ourselves in a ditch and must appeal to outsiders who haven't played video games as much as we do. (As well as saying we need to appeal to an audience that's not White Males)

I bring this up because I watched the Nintendo Switch presentation and noticed a good portion of the content aimed at family members and "Casual" audiences (Such as 1 2 Switch and Arms). And while I, personally, wouldn't buy these games, I can see how family members or young kids might find that appealing.

I look at the Nintendo Switch, and see a less powerful gaming machine with features I don't need when I could have an expansive library on my gaming PC with my Steam Library (And subsequently play a lot of games on my iPhone, such as Hearthstone or Naruto Blazing). But, I can only speak for myself.

(He also did another video, discussing the Wii U's financial loss and how Nintendo finds itself in a tough position, where it's both competing with Higher End machines as well as mobile gaming in the form of Iphones and tablet devices).

Putting aside the fact that Moviebob, by his own admission, is an extremely biased person who favors Nintendo much more than the current gaming industry and its competitors, does he have a point?

Should gaming be aimed more at kids? Should children be the primary target? Are we the Niche and is the bubble about to burst?

Personally, I don't think it's a bad thing that video games reach an older audience. I think that video games can target kids AND adults. Some games can target kids. That's fine. Some games can target adults. That's fine, too. And I think we're going to lose a lot of potentially good stories if we forget games aimed at adults. I'm not just talking about games aimed at men, either. I think if the whole "kids should be the primary target" mindset comes up, we'll lose games that touch on mature themes, such as Life is Strange, That Dragon Cancer and even the schlocky, pandering stuff like God of War or Gears of War.

What do you think? (Please take it easy on the Ad Hominem)

It's about as solid an argument as I've come to expect of Mr. Chipman.

To begin with, the American comics industry has been reduced to creative stagnation by the exact same brand of moral panic-peddling opportunist quack he sees no problem whatsoever supporting, and then we have the fact that anyone at all familiar with it knows the 90's crash was due to out-of-control speculation leading to a bubble, not to "kids having no access to them".

If superhero comic books have fallen into a slump, with its audience consisting almost entirely of aging fans, I'd argue that probably has far more to do with their business model (the never-ending and thus ever-more-convoluted stories of characters by and large created in the 1930s, 40s and 50s to appeal to the 7-13 boys of those decades), which, frankly, has nothing to do with video games.

What exactly does "made for kids" mean though?

Cause I mean...Steven Universe is made for kids and..

You know, for kids!

Edgy 90s comics didn't ruin the industry because kids couldnt read them. They ruined the industry because they were UTTER SHIT. Entertainment needs to be better written. Period.

undeadsuitor:
Entertainment needs to be better written. Period.

Now that's a statement I can agree with.

I don't think gaming should have a primary audience. Do movies and tv shows pander solely to one demographic? There are kid shows, crime dramas, stoner animated shows, and overtly sexual shows (as well as many other genres and target audiences.) Individual shows and perhaps genres to some extent can have a primary audience but shows or movies have many types of audiences and differing offerings for them.
Invader Zim is my favorite example of a show that appealed to a nontarget demographic as much as its target demographic.
I think games should have the same (lack of) focus. Some games will have a drastically different target audience than others. I believe this is a good thing.

Video games have largely transcended being a thing only certain people like into being an entire medium of entertainment and art. As such, the kiddos have as much right to be gamings priority audience as the teenaged male or the adult woman or anything else.

And, like undeadsuitor pointed out, as long as it's not shit, any individual video game can find success. Biggest mistake I see a lot of companies make is the assumption that kids aren't clever. So bring on the "for kids" games. Make them quality instead of shit shovelware. There's an audience. Lord knows it wouldn't hurt most gamers to occasionally play a game with more than 5 colors in it.

And Arms looks great, but I'm a sucker for local multiplayer.

EDIT: Incidently, if "core gamers" is being truly defined as 18-35 year old males who're preoccupied by graphics, then I'd agree that game devs and publishers should stop using that as a demographic like, immediately. I mean, to start with, the average male gamer is 35. I don't know about you, but I'm significantly different now than I was 14 years ago. A single demographic 18-35 should not be. On top of that, by focusing on this "core demographic", companies are leaving at least 82% of all gamers out in the cold.[1]

And as we all know, excessive catering to a niche demographic by the entire industry doesn't tend to do good things for that industry. Gotta spread that focus around if you want to remain the fastest growing entertainment medium in the world.

[1] 29% of gamers are 18-35, only 59% of all gamers are male, and the quality of graphics was only a 12% factor in the purchase of games. http://essentialfacts.theesa.com/Essential-Facts-2016.pdf

No, but it wouldn't kill someone other than Nintendo to remember they're still a possible market and make some decent all ages platformers again.

Ogoid:
It's about as solid an argument as I've come to expect of Mr. Chipman.

To begin with, the American comics industry has been reduced to creative stagnation by the exact same brand of moral panic-peddling opportunist quack he sees no problem whatsoever supporting, and then we have the fact that anyone at all familiar with it knows the 90's crash was due to out-of-control speculation leading to a bubble, not to "kids having no access to them".

If superhero comic books have fallen into a slump, with its audience consisting almost entirely of aging fans, I'd argue that probably has far more to do with their business model (the never-ending and thus ever-more-convoluted stories of characters by and large created in the 1930s, 40s and 50s to appeal to the 7-13 boys of those decades), which, frankly, has nothing to do with video games.

You can't really compare comics and games on that front. You're thinking of the moral panic of the early 1950s, the one that included book burnings and the founding of an organisation bent on deleting every immoral aspect from comics, regardless of context. That was very much a product of 50s America, a time and place where people were afraid of many things, ranging from nuclear weapon toting communists to women desiring basic human rights.

You can't compare that to the 2010s, where the moral panic boils down to people asking if the videogame medium is handling things like female characters, non-white characters, sexuality and so on as well as it could/should.

Plus, you're also dismissing 60+ years of development and change within the American comics industry. The obsession with grim & grittyness from the late 80s onwards was an indirect result of the moral backlash and its consequences decades prior. Not the other way around.

In any case, I do think many triple A developers and publishers are setting themselves up for failure by producing only increasingly expensive games for that one demographic. It leads to stagnation. Perhaps not across the whole medium, as games like Minecraft, Undertale and more have proven young gamers are a viable demographic, but it will hurt certain companies if they don't take into account these kids will one day be adults with money to spend.

Plus, it sucks to see kids beg their parents for M-rated games because they think bloody violence is all there is to medium, and that gaming as a whole is just one big pissing match to see who can be the most foul-mouthed, gore-loving 12-year-old virtual tough guy. Even worse is when it's a toy store and the kid is like 7 or 8 and really want to buy a Xbox 360 game with his allowance, but there isn't a single title suitable for his age other than Minecraft and the newest FIFA... Poor thing was nearly in tears. Not because he really wanted the newest Call of Duty, but because he was a kid with money in a toy store and there were no games for him to buy.

Comics in the 90's died because of the speculators boom affected nearly everything about how the comics were made, not because kids weren't targeted. The stories sucked, longtime favorite characters got trapped in convoluted nonsense, numbering schemes changed on a dime, events happened too frequently, number 1's and other collector gimmicks reined, release schedules were disjointed, and the price of comics increased, thus raising the bar of entry for a now poorer product. And all this in an industry with pretty much only 2-3 major players for content production.

Age targeted wasn't what mattered, and frankly it was probably the only reason the speculator boom lasted in the first place that they went after the demographic they did instead of just treating comics like children's stories. Furthermore, it is often cited that a big reason the anime boom happened in the west is because the stories weren't trying to appeal to children, further showcasing the foolishness of moviebob's view about comics and adult targeting.

That isn't to say that games shouldn't be aimed at kids, not at all, and nintendo has made a business model appealing to everyone, children especially. And that is good because not all people like the same same types and having a variety will likely appeal to someone more than selectively. However, having a niche you are good at among a variety of creators means not everyone has to have broad appeal. And lets face it, between flash games, tablet games, cell phone games, classic games, and the games on each system that do target younger audiences, we aren't hurting for easy, inexpensive points of entry like the speculators boom was.

Furthermore, targeting the 18-35 demographic has been very profitable for gaming for the last 2 decades. Reliable customers part of the largest, most profitable demographic are hard to ignore appealing to, especially when it can be done while still appealing to the niche you already have cornered in the market (nintendo does have the console family entertainment market well pinned down after all).

As for a crash, he is simply wrong. Gaming is too diverse and spread out to crash in that fashion anymore. Unlike the comic era, it is comparatively easy for self-made products to be published now and released to the audience. Hell, you have indie games that pop up as critical darlings on their own now, where in comics it took a massive risk on behalf of artists and talent to try to strike it up on their own with things like Dark Horse. Beyond the fact that any unfulfilled niche can be targeted easily by new creators, the entry bar for finding games is, literally, free. Sure they are often phone games, shallow experiences that try to milk your credit card every other hour, but even still they cost nothing to get hours of enjoyment out of. Compared to the collector's era where needing to protect them meant that rack reading was stripped down and such, it is just far easier for new audiences. Finally, gaming is treated like a children's passtime only by idiots. It has shifted in stories and content into adult territory long ago, even passing the "everything is edgy" phase that was the comic crash back when it was seen as nothing but halo, GTA, God of War, and CoD. Now it tackles mature themes and mature content a little more readily, and it is honestly only because the illusion of some that games are only for children that prevents gaming from exploring such content more mainstreamly. After all, when the gaming media is still howling "think of the children" level nonsense about violence or sexism, it does make a lot of content creators not want to push beyond accepted things for risk of individually losing money for it by puritanical jackasses like bob here being unable to accept that games aren't merely children toys.

With the digital storefront, the variety of entry points, the low entry cost, and the diversity of product available, crash for games in general isn't going to happen. At best consoles could become less reliably moneymakers as we push into the mobile digital era further, but even that is a bit of a stretch as the blockbuster movie experience in games seems to still make decent money there. And because it isn't like games that appeal to children will simply stop being made, the switch targeting the mainstream audience specifically doesn't seem like a market of the end, so much as nintendo hoping to stop being seen as the "kid's console". While in my mind it is probably a dumb move for them, it isn't prophesying something larger within the gaming industry. The only thing I can see in bob's perspective about all this is his own inability to accept that gaming has moved on from the 16-bit days and he needs to grow up and understand he needs to share his hobby with people he just personally dislikes.

runic knight:

Age targeted wasn't what mattered, and frankly it was probably the only reason the speculator boom lasted in the first place that they went after the demographic they did instead of just treating comics like children's stories. Furthermore, it is often cited that a big reason the anime boom happened in the west is because the stories weren't trying to appeal to children, further showcasing the foolishness of moviebob's view about comics and adult targeting.

Having spend nearly 20 years surrounded by anime and manga fans, I think you're looking at it the wrong way.

During the first waves of the 80s and 90s (in the US and various other countries), many manga and anime brought over did fit the 'mature' grim and gritty look. Some titles, like Akira and Ghost in the Shell certainly did have more to it, but a lot of titles were OVAs that were filled to the brim with blood and/or sex. There's a reason stuff like Legend of the Overfiend is notorious among older fans.

The real game changers were the lighter shows that were available on TV, like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon. Depending on were you're from, these may be considered the second wave. As silly as these could be, they did offer something most comics and cartoons didn't: longer stories with an obvious starting point that did not talk down to younger viewers. Titles like these led the way for the manga versions and other series.

Important within the comic industry were the romcom manga that attracted readers that didn't usually read comics, including girls who would later on be numerous enough to support countless shojo series.

For many young people, anime and manga were (and still are) exotic and appealing alternatives to aging local comic industries.

NPC009:

You can't really compare comics and games on that front. You're thinking of the moral panic of the early 1950s, the one that included book burnings and the founding of an organisation bent on deleting every moral aspect from comics, regardless of context. That was very much a product of 50s America, a time and place where people were afraid of many things, ranging from nuclear weapon toting communists to women desiring basic human rights.

You can't compare that to the 2010s, where the moral panic boils down to people asking if the videogame medium is handling things like female characters, non-white characters, sexuality and so on as well as it could/should.

I don't know, the unsubstantiated claims of societal harm and "think of the [demographic]!" appeals to emotion seem pretty damn familiar to me.

Plus, you're also dismissing 60+ years of development and change within the American comics industry. The obsession with grim & grittyness from the late 80s onwards was an indirect result of the moral backlash and its consequences decades prior. Not the other way around.

The 80's and 90's grim & grittiness came from people in the industry learning all the wrong lessons from works like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, and instead of copying their narrative and structural complexity simply adding sex and violence to make things "adult". But the thing is, we're still talking about superhero comics here like they were synonymous with the entire American comics industry, and that's no happenstance because in all those decades, they mostly were.

Before the Comics Code, genres like crime, war and horror were just as big as superheroes. It was the "think of the children!", "ban this sick filth!" mentality that led to its creation that made them all but unfeasible and reduced the industry's output, in almost its entirety, to sanitized superhero stories, which makes this argument particularly ironic coming from one Mr. Robert Chipman.

We are, however, in complete agreement that it's an absurd comparison.

Ogoid:

NPC009:

You can't really compare comics and games on that front. You're thinking of the moral panic of the early 1950s, the one that included book burnings and the founding of an organisation bent on deleting every immoral aspect from comics, regardless of context. That was very much a product of 50s America, a time and place where people were afraid of many things, ranging from nuclear weapon toting communists to women desiring basic human rights.

You can't compare that to the 2010s, where the moral panic boils down to people asking if the videogame medium is handling things like female characters, non-white characters, sexuality and so on as well as it could/should.

I don't know, the unsubstantiated claims of societal harm and "think of the [demographic]!" appeals to emotion seem pretty damn familiar to me.

Even if it were the same thing, there would still be a huge difference in scale. We're talking an inch of snow versus 'oh, shit, I don't think I'll see my car again anytime soon...'

(And, personally, I think some snow once in a while is not a bad thing.)

Plus, you're also dismissing 60+ years of development and change within the American comics industry. The obsession with grim & grittyness from the late 80s onwards was an indirect result of the moral backlash and its consequences decades prior. Not the other way around.

The 80's and 90's grim & grittiness came from people in the industry learning all the wrong lessons from works like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, and instead of copying their narrative and structural complexity simply adding sex and violence to make things "adult". But the thing is, we're still talking about superhero comics here like they were synonymous with the entire American comics industry, and that's no happenstance because in all those decades, they mostly were.

Yeah, I know. You don't have to tell me that. As much as I would have liked for series like Sandman to have a bigger impact, they didn't.

Before the Comics Code, genres like crime, war and horror were just as big as superheroes. It was the "think of the children!", "ban this sick filth!" mentality that led to its creation that made them all but unfeasible and reduced the industry's output, in almost its entirety, to sanitized superhero stories, which makes this argument particularly ironic coming from one Mr. Robert Chipman.

We are, however, in complete agreement that it's an absurd comparison.

Again, while I do agree the comparison isn't all that great, I really think you are not seeing the differences between two "moral panics" (or as I would call them: one moral panic with farreaching consequences for a young industry and one 'people having different but mild opinions on the internet'). You would have had a point if Sarkeesian was preaching to destroy all copies of GTA with a sledgehammer or something, but since she isn't...

NPC009:

runic knight:

Age targeted wasn't what mattered, and frankly it was probably the only reason the speculator boom lasted in the first place that they went after the demographic they did instead of just treating comics like children's stories. Furthermore, it is often cited that a big reason the anime boom happened in the west is because the stories weren't trying to appeal to children, further showcasing the foolishness of moviebob's view about comics and adult targeting.

Having spend nearly 20 years surrounded by anime and manga fans, I think you're looking at it the wrong way.

During the first waves of the 80s and 90s (in the US and various other countries), many manga and anime brought over did fit the 'mature' grim and gritty look. Some titles, like Akira and Ghost in the Shell certainly did have more to it, but a lot of titles were OVAs that were filled to the brim with blood and/or sex. There's a reason stuff like Legend of the Overfiend is notorious among older fans.

The real game changers were the lighter shows that were available on TV, like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon. Depending on were you're from, these may be considered the second wave. As silly as these could be, they did offer something most comics and cartoons didn't: longer stories with an obvious starting point that did not talk down to younger viewers. Titles like these led the way for the manga versions and other series.

Important within the comic industry were the romcom manga that attracted readers that didn't usually read comics, including girls who would later on be numerous enough to support countless shojo series.

For many young people, anime and manga were (and still are) exotic and appealing alternatives to aging local comic industries.

Lets not forget that the game changers like DBZ and Sailor Moon were still a lot more adult than the average animated show at the time. DBZ was still a hyper-violent one that had to be censored just to run, and localization of sailor moon has long been a hilarious mark of the era (sailor moon says psa's reminiscent of Saved by the Bell at the end of shows for instance).

The first wave was mature content and subject matter, the second was mature themes, story arcs, and in-universe growth. Both were quite different than their western counterparts at the time and that was a driving factor in why they were popular, as well as how they influenced western animations, especially tv based.

But the lack of treating animation as a children's medium, be it content or story structure, was still the difference from traditional western animation that made it noteworthy, and thus grew its popularity.

Moviebob's view would be like saying that a western publisher was going to make some shows catering to the same group of people as anime was, is going to cause a crash in the industry.

I don't see appealing mainly to children as a magic bullet. Most children don't own the credit cards needed for the microtransactions that AAA games are becoming dependent on. Besides, kids can be as much graphic-whores as any adult gamer. And lastly, there is a fundamental problem with that plan: developers suck at making kids games.

As an extra note, the first moviebob video is pretty outdated (almost 10 years old, there was no Minecraft or other indie games to cover that void). We are already surpassing the equivalent of comic's dark age when the serious gritty brown FPS (and other action games imitating CoD aesthetics) and linear highly scripted cinematic experiences stopped being the dominant genres, and games re-learned to have some freaking sense of humor.

runic knight:

Lets not forget that the game changers like DBZ and Sailor Moon were still a lot more adult than the average animated show at the time. DBZ was still a hyper-violent one that had to be censored just to run, and localization of sailor moon has long been a hilarious mark of the era (sailor moon says psa's reminiscent of Saved by the Bell at the end of shows for instance).

Somewhat depends on where you're from. Some European kids' shows were kinda... yeah. My childhood featured a lot of animated forest critters die horrible deaths. Als some nazi crows cuz Europe.

I also don't think Dragon Ball Z was hyper violent. Yes, there was some blood and people died (temporarily), but in the end it was mostly good guys fighting bad guys with energy blasts and punches too fast to bother animating. I do understand that this must have seemed like a huge step up for all those young teenagers that were introduced to anime through series like Dragon Ball Z.

Though, I must say, the mid and late 90s were a pretty good time for American cartoons as well. There's no lack of classics from that era. But, Japanese cartoons were very exotic and exotic things are perfect when you're a teen rebelling against the mainstream :)

Moviebob's view would be like saying that a western publisher was going to make some shows catering to the same group of people as anime was, is going to cause a crash in the industry.

Wait, wouldn't anime be the thing to create in order to appeal to young, alienated audiences?

No more than it should be 18-29-year-old white men. Gaming is for everyone.

Gordon_4:
No, but it wouldn't kill someone other than Nintendo to remember they're still a possible market and make some decent all ages platformers again.

Not to mention that when companies aim for that market, they can actually turn out stuff that everyone likes.

The first good Sonic game in forever was Colors, which was explicitly stated to be "More for kids", and it ended up being great and finally ditching the "super serious" vibe that had been making Sonic stories so awful for the past few games.

Video games already appeal to kids. Even the rated M ones. And their parents buy them. That's a whole problem in and of itself, but it's not a problem wherein the video game industry is at risk of closing up shop due to lack of new customers.

NPC009:

runic knight:

Lets not forget that the game changers like DBZ and Sailor Moon were still a lot more adult than the average animated show at the time. DBZ was still a hyper-violent one that had to be censored just to run, and localization of sailor moon has long been a hilarious mark of the era (sailor moon says psa's reminiscent of Saved by the Bell at the end of shows for instance).

Somewhat depends on where you're from. Some European kids' shows were kinda... yeah. My childhood featured a lot of animated forest critters die horrible deaths. Als some nazi crows cuz Europe.

I also don't think Dragon Ball Z was hyper violent. Yes, there was some blood and people died (temporarily), but in the end it was mostly good guys fighting bad guys with energy blasts and punches too fast to bother animating. I do understand that this must have seemed like a huge step up for all those young teenagers that were introduced to anime through series like Dragon Ball Z.

Though, I must say, the mid and late 90s were a pretty good time for American cartoons as well. There's no lack of classics from that era. But, Japanese cartoons were very exotic and exotic things are perfect when you're a teen rebelling against the mainstream :)

Dragonball has a lot of death, holes through people's chests, dismemberment, exploding mime children, body-draining nightmare fuel, and lots of slaughtered slug people. Coming from the likes of cartoons in the 80's, that is a step up in violence.

The rebelling aspect is possible, but that can't explain it alone else we would have had russian, african or middle eastern animations boom as well, and those certainly didn't catch on. Furthermore, you can see how western animation took aspects that really worked with anime such overarching plots and stories (as opposed to the usual episodic nature of western animation at the time where everything "resets" at the end), or copying the big expressive eyes look.

Moviebob's view would be like saying that a western publisher was going to make some shows catering to the same group of people as anime was, is going to cause a crash in the industry.

Wait, wouldn't anime be the thing to create in order to appeal to young, alienated audiences?

Of today? Probably not given how it has become mainstream and influences mainstream, though entertainment can be enjoyed without having to appeal to alienated people specifically.

My poitn was more about bob's general "nintendo stops targeting kids, the market crashes" mindset by pointing out that it would be like saying a western animation branch -like, say, nickelodeon- was going to make shows catering to the same people as anime does -like, say, say the same long-form story telling, overarching plotline, and animation style- and because of that, it was going to crash the animation industry as a whole. Near as I can tell, Avatar didn't do that, after all.

runic knight:

Dragonball has a lot of death, holes through people's chests, dismemberment, exploding mime children, body-draining nightmare fuel, and lots of slaughtered slug people. Coming from the likes of cartoons in the 80's, that is a step up in violence.

For Americans, certainly. Though I think you're exaggerating the violence. Could just be a cultural difference, though. (After all, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon aimed at children in Japan.)

The rebelling aspect is possible, but that can't explain it alone else we would have had russian, african or middle eastern animations boom as well, and those certainly didn't catch on. Furthermore, you can see how western animation took aspects that really worked with anime such overarching plots and stories (as opposed to the usual episodic nature of western animation at the time where everything "resets" at the end), or copying the big expressive eyes look.

Perhaps because those areas didn't (and often still don't) fully developed and very productive animation industries at the time? One of the reasons anime was able to break through, is because a lot of series in the 70s and 80s were incredibly cheap to license. And later on, when the bigger hits arrived, there were all sorts of possible merchandise tie-ins.

(Russia did have atleast one minor hit though. I had a Cheburashka plush when I was young, and the character is still well liked in Japan.)

Of today? Probably not given how it has become mainstream and influences mainstream, though entertainment can be enjoyed without having to appeal to alienated people specifically.

My poitn was more about bob's general "nintendo stops targeting kids, the market crashes" mindset by pointing out that it would be like saying a western animation branch -like, say, nickelodeon- was going to make shows catering to the same people as anime does -like, say, say the same long-form story telling, overarching plotline, and animation style- and because of that, it was going to crash the animation industry as a whole. Near as I can tell, Avatar didn't do that, after all.

But Avatar was aimed at kids. If anything, it's a lot like a good Nintendo product. It doesn't talk down to younger viewers and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

NPC009:

Somewhat depends on where you're from. Some European kids' shows were kinda... yeah. My childhood featured a lot of animated forest critters die horrible deaths. Als some nazi crows cuz Europe.

I think i know which one you mean with the Nazi crows(i always found it overly anvillicious), but the forrest critter thing seems a bit unspecific.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z was very violent imho. But otherwise not exactly very smart or complicated plotwise. Or with any deeper insights. Or good characters.

Even American Cartoons from the nineties like Gargoyles seemed far more mature in anything but the anount of violence (which it still had a lot of).

Satinavian:

NPC009:

Somewhat depends on where you're from. Some European kids' shows were kinda... yeah. My childhood featured a lot of animated forest critters die horrible deaths. Als some nazi crows cuz Europe.

I think i know which one you mean with the Nazi crows(i always found it overly anvillicious), but the forrest critter thing seems a bit unspecific.

Possibly because there were multiple. Like, the one were a large group of animals leaves their woods to look for a new home and about half of them die along the way? Shot, ran over by cars, eaten by other animals... And while technically not really a kids' movie, I can't be the only one who watched Watership Down at a young age...

Overall, Dragon Ball Z was very violent imho. But otherwise not exactly very smart or complicated plotwise. Or with any deeper insights. Or good characters.

Even American Cartoons from the nineties like Gargoyles seemed far more mature in anything but the anount of violence (which it still had a lot of).

Yeah, I totally get that DBZ was a ton of fun to watch and felt probably a bit edgy thanks to the violence, but series like Gargoyles and Batman: The Animated Series were a lot smarter and much better written. That stuff had an emotional impact. DBZ... not so much.

NPC009:

runic knight:

Dragonball has a lot of death, holes through people's chests, dismemberment, exploding mime children, body-draining nightmare fuel, and lots of slaughtered slug people. Coming from the likes of cartoons in the 80's, that is a step up in violence.

For Americans, certainly. Though I think you're exaggerating the violence. Could just be a cultural difference, though. (After all, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon aimed at children in Japan.)

Not exaggerating it though, all mentioned are referencing specific instances.

The rebelling aspect is possible, but that can't explain it alone else we would have had russian, african or middle eastern animations boom as well, and those certainly didn't catch on. Furthermore, you can see how western animation took aspects that really worked with anime such overarching plots and stories (as opposed to the usual episodic nature of western animation at the time where everything "resets" at the end), or copying the big expressive eyes look.

Perhaps because those areas didn't (and often still don't) fully developed and very productive animation industries at the time? One of the reasons anime was able to break through, is because a lot of series in the 70s and 80s were incredibly cheap to license. And later on, when the bigger hits arrived, there were all sorts of possible merchandise tie-ins.

(Russia did have atleast one minor hit though. I had a Cheburashka plush when I was young, and the character is still well liked in Japan.)

So sheer sheer volume of Japanese animation meant more likely they would be picked up? I don't know. Also, I don't think animation licensing was that expensive from other nations. Price would have been a factor, sure, but it likely would have sided with other nations rather than japanese, as translation and licensing is far, far cheaper than making the entire product itself. Going off just existing animations and not animations made for wider audiences at any rate.

Remember western shows like power rangers were possible at all because of how cheap it was to license parts or whole of them from other countries.

Of today? Probably not given how it has become mainstream and influences mainstream, though entertainment can be enjoyed without having to appeal to alienated people specifically.

My poitn was more about bob's general "nintendo stops targeting kids, the market crashes" mindset by pointing out that it would be like saying a western animation branch -like, say, nickelodeon- was going to make shows catering to the same people as anime does -like, say, say the same long-form story telling, overarching plotline, and animation style- and because of that, it was going to crash the animation industry as a whole. Near as I can tell, Avatar didn't do that, after all.

But Avatar was aimed at kids. If anything, it's a lot like a good Nintendo product. It doesn't talk down to younger viewers and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The themes and maturity suggests the show was more young adult/teenage targeted audience rather than just kids. Korra even more so. Also the lack of not talking down to kids compared to the likes of shows in the 80's demonstrate that animation has grown and changed as a field (probably as japanese animation influenced it, as you mentioned there are cultural differences in not babying children). Gaming has grown and changed as well. Bob's saying nintendo not specifically targeting kids will lead to a crash is the same sort of mindset as saying making a show catering to anime fans would cause a crash. This is for two reasons. First, is exactly as you said, products created can still be enjoyed by people of all ages, so specifically targeting older audiences than just kids doesn't mean they are excluded any more than Avatar did, nor does it mean they will cease to make games for kids (which most of his argument is built around that assumption). Second is he is ignoring that nintendo is not the sole creator of games for kids in the first place, and he is saying one company changing strategy will doom the industry in the same way saying one animation company doing so will doom theirs. Even being the only core console targeting kids first doesn't mean much in the way of a great crash, despite bob's desires for one.

runic knight:
. First, is exactly as you said, products created can still be enjoyed by people of all ages, so specifically targeting older audiences than just kids doesn't mean they are excluded any more than Avatar did,

Ah yes, I forgot how kid friendly Narcos is. Or maybe House of Cards?

Game of Thrones is a game for all ages as well.

runic knight:

NPC009:

runic knight:

Dragonball has a lot of death, holes through people's chests, dismemberment, exploding mime children, body-draining nightmare fuel, and lots of slaughtered slug people. Coming from the likes of cartoons in the 80's, that is a step up in violence.

For Americans, certainly. Though I think you're exaggerating the violence. Could just be a cultural difference, though. (After all, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon aimed at children in Japan.)

Not exaggerating it though, all mentioned are referencing specific instances.

When I think of violent anime, I think of those movies and OVAs available on VHS. The violence in DBZ, even uncensored, always struck me as rather cartoony.

So sheer sheer volume of Japanese animation meant more likely they would be picked up? I don't know. Also, I don't think animation licensing was that expensive from other nations. Price would have been a factor, sure, but it likely would have sided with other nations rather than japanese, as translation and licensing is far, far cheaper than making the entire product itself. Going off just existing animations and not animations made for wider audiences at any rate.

Remember western shows like power rangers were possible at all because of how cheap it was to license parts or whole of them from other countries.

Sheer volume certainly was a factor. Don't forget that during the 70s and 80s, the Japanese cartoon industry was one of the most prominent ones in the world, producing not only massive amounts of cartoons for the local market but also animating foreign projects. Companies like Rankin/Bass has a lot of their work done in Japan. (Rankin/Bass worked with, among others, Toei Animation,

The infrastructure was well established. Of course, things started to change in the late 80s and 90s, as the yen grew stronger and Japanese living standards increased, but even then licensing a Japanese show could be far cheaper than producing something themselves.

I bet that, as a kid, you watched a lot of cartoons animated in Japan (and some even produced primarily for the Japanese market) without even knowing it.

The themes and maturity suggests the show was more young adult/teenage targeted audience rather than just kids. Korra even more so. Also the lack of not talking down to kids compared to the likes of shows in the 80's demonstrate that animation has grown and changed as a field (probably as japanese animation influenced it, as you mentioned there are cultural differences in not babying children). Gaming has grown and changed as well. Bob's saying nintendo not specifically targeting kids will lead to a crash is the same sort of mindset as saying making a show catering to anime fans would cause a crash. This is for two reasons. First, is exactly as you said, products created can still be enjoyed by people of all ages, so specifically targeting older audiences than just kids doesn't mean they are excluded any more than Avatar did, nor does it mean they will cease to make games for kids (which most of his argument is built around that assumption). Second is he is ignoring that nintendo is not the sole creator of games for kids in the first place, and he is saying one company changing strategy will doom the industry in the same way saying one animation company doing so will doom theirs. Even being the only core console targeting kids first doesn't mean much in the way of a great crash, despite bob's desires for one.

Avatar was a kids' show. It was meant to be suitable for younger viewers. The fact that the show gathered a lot of teenaged (and older) fans doesn't change that. Korra, yeah, that was aimed at a somewhat older audience (which makes sense, as the original Avatar audience would be teenagers when that started airing).

As for Nintendo's games, I don't think he's saying Nintendo needs to make games just for kids. What I'm getting from it, is that Nintendo should keep doing what they're doing and keep making games that can easily be enjoyed by kids.

I also get why he puts the emphasis on Nintendo. Their platforms are the only places were you can easily find good games suitable for younger players. It was like that ten years ago, it's like that now. The PS3 wasn't too bad either (mostly thanks to sheer volume), but good luck finding a decent number of E(or 3+/7+) games on Xbox 360. It got worse with the PS4 and Xbox One. There just aren't that many big studios that still make games for audiences that broad. Most of the good stuff comes from smaller developers and is only available digitally (and as a result harder to obtain for the average kid/digiphobic parent). If Nintendo changed its ways and became yet another company that mostly focuses on T and M rated games, there'd be barely any good kid-friendly games left in toystores.

image

Considering how beloved Disney is, and how they inspired dozens if not hundreds of iconic works...I'm going to say no. Hell to the fucking no.

undeadsuitor:

runic knight:
. First, is exactly as you said, products created can still be enjoyed by people of all ages, so specifically targeting older audiences than just kids doesn't mean they are excluded any more than Avatar did,

Ah yes, I forgot how kid friendly Narcos is. Or maybe House of Cards?

Game of Thrones is a game for all ages as well.

You are aware that some products designed for adults can still be fine for children, even if not ALL products designed for adults are that way, yes? Not an absolute by any stretch. So giving examples of adult shows (or, possibly, games based from those shows) does not actually hold any relevance to the conversation unless you give some point of reference that would make it so that it is impossible to be anything but an adult's only audiences. Otherwise, you haven't actually added anything to the conversation, save to show that you dislike what I said for some reason through use of sarcasm.

I mean, I hate to point out the flaw in your would-be snarking here, but all you've done is sarcastically point at some adult shows as your rebuttal without any explanation or argument behind it. That is the equivalent of pointing at porn or hentai and going "pfft, you forgot about this", and even as a dismissive display, that is just useless to the conversation overall. Actually, no, I take that back, as if you had pointed to animated porn I could at least see some actual contribution to the conversation as the connection to anime that I was discussing and possible avenue of the views on what is or isn't acceptable in it with regard to hentai and the like with regard to cultural differences there and that at least would have at least had a kernel of relevance.

As it is though, you don't even have that, so what are you even trying to contribute here? It really seems like you have nothing worthwhile to add and just wanted to be snide.

so if you could drop the sarcasm and explain what your point was, I'd love to get a better reply than a sarcastic two sentence blurb.

NPC009:

When I think of violent anime, I think of those movies and OVAs available on VHS. The violence in DBZ, even uncensored, always struck me as rather cartoony.

Yet it was still worlds more violent than what western anime was doing at the time. Character deaths alone were unheard of, save perhaps the rarest of event movies (like the death of Optimus), yet the show itself had violent fights resort in death time and again, with actual plot points being related to dealing with those deaths, or addressing the finality of them (even if they would often later backpedal on the lasting nature of those deaths). Looking back, it is certainly a bit cartoony, but in the era it was popular, that was a far less common thing. Hell, first arc involved the main hero getting a hole punched through him as he held his brother so the beam would kill him too.

While the VHS movies were often hilariously over the top violent (ironically, themselves often influenced heavily by western action films), most were still directed at adults. This use of animation as something other than a children's entertainment was anathema to the way the western world viewed cartoons.

Sheer volume certainly was a factor. Don't forget that during the 70s and 80s, the Japanese cartoon industry was one of the most prominent ones in the world, producing not only massive amounts of cartoons for the local market but also animating foreign projects. Companies like Rankin/Bass has a lot of their work done in Japan. (Rankin/Bass worked with, among others, Toei Animation,

The infrastructure was well established. Of course, things started to change in the late 80s and 90s, as the yen grew stronger and Japanese living standards increased, but even then licensing a Japanese show could be far cheaper than producing something themselves.

I bet that, as a kid, you watched a lot of cartoons animated in Japan (and some even produced primarily for the Japanese market) without even knowing it.

You are certainly right I watched a lot of animated shows as a kid. Even nowadays I stumble upon shows I watched back then that I learned were Japanese made such as Moomin.

Still, even with the flood of cartoons, there had to be something that viewers latched onto. Even setting the toy-advertisement vehicle element such as a lot of shows in the 80's aside, there had to be an appeal to the audience to hook them, especially when competing with traditional animation. Things like overarching storylines as opposed to episodic resetting and mature themes or even content as opposed to the talking-down nature seem very likely, as they were something that reflected the different cultural approaches towards the animations, and were something that were latched onto and replicated in western animation as time moved forward.

Avatar was a kids' show. It was meant to be suitable for younger viewers. The fact that the show gathered a lot of teenaged (and older) fans doesn't change that. Korra, yeah, that was aimed at a somewhat older audience (which makes sense, as the original Avatar audience would be teenagers when that started airing).

As for Nintendo's games, I don't think he's saying Nintendo needs to make games just for kids. What I'm getting from it, is that Nintendo should keep doing what they're doing and keep making games that can easily be enjoyed by kids.

I also get why he puts the emphasis on Nintendo. Their platforms are the only places were you can easily find good games suitable for younger players. It was like that ten years ago, it's like that now. The PS3 wasn't too bad either (mostly thanks to sheer volume), but good luck finding a decent number of E(or 3+/7+) games on Xbox 360. It got worse with the PS4 and Xbox One. There just aren't that many big studios that still make games for audiences that broad. Most of the good stuff comes from smaller developers and is only available digitally (and as a result harder to obtain for the average kid/digiphobic parent). If Nintendo changed its ways and became yet another company that mostly focuses on T and M rated games, there'd be barely any good kid-friendly games left in toystores.

There is reasons why the other two companies had pulled back on kid's games though, and why nintendo might be too. From obvious points of game budgets compared to risk compared to profitability (costs the same to make a game for the most profitable and reliable target demographic as any other, why not put the most profitable as the initial target?), to shifts in technology making more and more quality entry-level games in mobile and tablets nearly impossible to compete against as a console (console being a specialized device that costs far more than a multi-function tablet or phone, plus games that cost hell of a lot more too), to pc and indie developments giving even more options to make up the "loss" of Nintendo as the kid developer. Kids are growing up on technology and games without ever needing to buy a console. It seems nintendo has been feeling that trend harder being they were trying to target what they felt was a neglected market. It made sense 5 years ago, but now? I am not so sure, and I suppose them wanting to change it up suggests they don't either.

Nintendo isn't going to stop making their flagship titles. Mario, Zelda, Smash, Pokemon, these games are family friendly and are going to be made with that in mind. And they make more than enough money that they won't be radically changed. Well, save maybe metroid, they don't seem to know what they hell they are doing with that one.

On top of that, nintendo understand better than any of their competitors that games are mostly suppose to be fun. That is a large reason I simply can't view bob's worry with any sense of legitimacy. They aren't going to make Manhunt: Mario edition, and even properties that could make more mature such as a teen zelda, I think they would be hesitant to do. But what this does mean is a shift away from games for kids (what comes to my mind is the likes of brainless kid-targeted wii shovelware), and instead concentrating on catching up on aspects they have, frankly, been behind if not outright sucked at that are tied to the interests of the more mature audience. Console online play, competitive multiplayer, graphical and processing, and mature titles.

Now, for either of the other of the big 3 I would say they should concentrate a little more on stuff for younger gamers. Nintendo though, I think it has the opposite issue. They sell a family system, which his fine, but often is lacking on much of anything not kid-oriented. Yes, they have outliers, same as the other two do for kids games, but generally speaking, it has been the console company of the kid's games since the GC era. Shifting away from that into more of the mature demographic reminds me of the n64 era. Turok, goldeneye, perfect dark, shadows of the empire, killer instinct, rogue squadron, this on top of great kid classics like both zeldas, mario 64, yoshi's story, smash and so on.

I guess I just trust nintendo to not be completely stupid in how they go about switching their targeted audience. And bob's talk of crash comes off as horribly supported, if not just panicky about something he doesn't like.

undeadsuitor:

runic knight:
. First, is exactly as you said, products created can still be enjoyed by people of all ages, so specifically targeting older audiences than just kids doesn't mean they are excluded any more than Avatar did,

Ah yes, I forgot how kid friendly Narcos is. Or maybe House of Cards?

Game of Thrones is a game for all ages as well.

I think he was referring to things like the Flintstones. Sure, even the original is pretty much family friendly; but the original show wasn't tailored specifically for kids.

erttheking:
image

Considering how beloved Disney is, and how they inspired dozens if not hundreds of iconic works...I'm going to say no. Hell to the fucking no.

On the flip side, I don't think you can only aim for adults, either, because you'll lose one of the great things about certain games, being able to share an experience between kids and adults

It's why I think what Nintendo does is really important, and why I think Super Mario Maker is one of the greatest games of all time. I suspect we'll see a boom of game developers in the next decade or two as a result of Mario Maker getting the game development gears spinning in the minds of so many kids

DrownedAmmet:

erttheking:
image

Considering how beloved Disney is, and how they inspired dozens if not hundreds of iconic works...I'm going to say no. Hell to the fucking no.

On the flip side, I don't think you can only aim for adults, either, because you'll lose one of the great things about certain games, being able to share an experience between kids and adults

It's why I think what Nintendo does is really important, and why I think Super Mario Maker is one of the greatest games of all time. I suspect we'll see a boom of game developers in the next decade or two as a result of Mario Maker getting the game development gears spinning in the minds of so many kids

The Wii U version maybe. Us 3DS owners got a version that cut out the most marketable part of the game.

I agree with you on the rest though.

Under 18s have the most disposable income...wha????

Were my parents really stingy with giving me pocket money back in the day? I had 5 quid every week and it seemed to me quite decent, id get most of my games at birthdays and christmas. And i consider myself to have been a decently spoiled brat of the 1st world.

Compared that to nowadays whereas an adult with disposable income, i frequently buy games that i don't even finish before they get tossed into a massive backlog in an ever increasing steam collection, i just don't buy this part of the theory.

runic knight:
Comics in the 90's died because of the speculators boom affected nearly everything about how the comics were made, not because kids weren't targeted. The stories sucked, longtime favorite characters got trapped in convoluted nonsense, numbering schemes changed on a dime, events happened too frequently, number 1's and other collector gimmicks reined, release schedules were disjointed, and the price of comics increased, thus raising the bar of entry for a now poorer product. And all this in an industry with pretty much only 2-3 major players for content production.

Throw in the horrible artwork from over-glorified dipwads who were NEVER good artists, and I can safely say the comics industry is pretty much back in the 90's these days.

For crying out loud, Spider-Man is bringing back the clones! Not the alternate universe Spiders, the Clones!

NPC009:

For Americans, certainly. Though I think you're exaggerating the violence. Could just be a cultural difference, though. (After all, shows like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon aimed at children in Japan.)

Exaggerated...Right. Cell, give him a demo would ya?

Metalix Knightmare:

runic knight:
Comics in the 90's died because of the speculators boom affected nearly everything about how the comics were made, not because kids weren't targeted. The stories sucked, longtime favorite characters got trapped in convoluted nonsense, numbering schemes changed on a dime, events happened too frequently, number 1's and other collector gimmicks reined, release schedules were disjointed, and the price of comics increased, thus raising the bar of entry for a now poorer product. And all this in an industry with pretty much only 2-3 major players for content production.

Throw in the horrible artwork from over-glorified dipwads who were NEVER good artists, and I can safely say the comics industry is pretty much back in the 90's these days.

For crying out loud, Spider-Man is bringing back the clones! Not the alternate universe Spiders, the Clones!

I wouldn't say that, the inserted politics and toning down of the violence (and belt pouches) still has it being its own thing.

Still, clones again? Will they never learn? Wait... are they ret-conning one more day yet? Been a while since my spidy comic days, but I recall clone saga being related to events that ultimately led to MJ's deal with literal satan just so they could undo married peter and continue the longstanding theme of the universe hating peter parker (this time, it being the meta-universe taking peter's happiness. If they are going back to the clone well (I suppose scarlet spider wasn't that bad at first after all), then they need to do something about that.

Ah, who am I kidding, if they are going for clones, I suspect multiple new venom spawn in the future.

runic knight:

Ah, who am I kidding, if they are going for clones, I suspect multiple new venom spawn in the future.

I actually wouldn't mind that too much. I'm probably the only person who actually liked the Symbiotes.

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