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The Illusion of Objective Quality in Entertainment

Published by Oscar Leigh in the blog Oscar Leigh's blog. Views: 193

So, before anyone freaks out, I'm not saying there is no element of rational, practical review. Let's be clear.
However, something that really salts my apple (grinds my gears, get my goat) is when people forget no entertainment (books, movie, tv, theatre, games) is designed for them.
It's never designed for you. It's designed for whoever likes it. And if you simply don't like where it goes, and there's no indication they just screwed up the execution, then that's just not you.
To explain this concept further here is my favorite quote on the subject. "A design everyone likes but no-one loves will fail."-Mark Rosewater. Now this is the key thing. The idea of entertainment is not to appeal to everyone, and indeed this is a bad idea. It is far more important and useful to be very appealing to a large enough market. Because things that try to appeal to everyone few people will love. Because it's too broad-spate, it will come of as mediocre and probably non-committal.
But why does this happen? Let's connect the threads here. You have the fact that no entertainment is designed for you. Well why is that? Because of the illusory element of objective entertainment. Now there are certain general qualities, and key guidelines you can follow. And there is certainly an element of more-or-less objectively improving what you're doing. But it all relies on pre-set goal posts. What those goal posts are is not objective, it's not universal, and yet it makes a whole load of difference. Any guideline or normally sensible idea can be broken in a beneficial way as long as you know what your doing and your doing it for something that wants it. Something normally trash is the highest art done in the right way. Just look at abstract art.
So with that in mind what am I saying? I'm saying that you should take all opinions about entertainment as philosophical propositions and not a proven scientific theory, to use a weird analogy. It's only as good as it is convincing. And if enough people like your thing, whatever it is and whoever those people are, then it is good in some sense. Different strokes for different folks. Who are your folks?
Now of course you can believe strongly in element you know are personal. Not everyone has my character complexity obsession But that doesn't mean I don't consider other's opinions, because I accept we can't always agree. I believe in and love diversity. Humans are always going to have times where we just have a different mindset. Some people talk differently than others. And in the same way, some people like different things. We might argue about them because we like to convince others, and we might get passionate ("Why don't you just wank them while your at it?":bigoops:) But different writers write different things and different readers read different things. There is very little in entertainment that's objective. It depends on what you want out of it.
Thank you for your time. Hope you have a good day. :blowkiss::blowkiss:
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