Hello. I am here to talk about repetition. Repetition as a whole. As a whole meaning that I'm here to talk about repetition inside this world. Now, as some fancy little scholar said, "History repeats itself." And, it has come to my attention that this person is right. We are cursed to relive a loop of recurring events in our life. Don't believe me? Well, I'll prove it.
In Dec. 31, 1999, people went ballistic and chanted across the streets "THE END IS NEAR! THE END IS NEAR!". Jan. 1, 2000 came along and everyone was fine. What's gonna happen in Dec. 20-ish, 2012? People are going to do the same thing, even though we, as humans, really can't be that foolish to believe that...but there are weeaboos and Twilight fans lurking about, so that's practically proving my statement wrong. What else? James Cameron released a lame movie (Titanic) that got money gushing out of the theatres in seconds, later having people chant out that the movie is overrated while that man was too busy listening to the sound of highest-grossing records being smashed. Judaism got sucker-punched by their sister religion, Christianity. Some big figure becomes the threat to America, but once it's taken out, they find another enemy. A radical figure gets appointed into power and everyone wants to get him killed, which then slowly leads to a spiral downwards. So, yeah, the world does seem to be going in a loop. But is that really bad? Well, it depends...
The things Nostalgia Critic teaches me. Also, boobs.
If there is one medium that has managed to make repetition into a day-to-day hobby, it's the movie industry. Like any other industry, all it wants is cash. Sweet sweet cash. At times a director will look down at a crowd and ask himself/herself what they would enjoy. Afterwards, this director would sweat as much as possible to publish something for the crowd to enjoy. But then we have the case of the drunkard director that takes an already good idea and alters it to their pleasing to later create a disaster, that somehow gets them cash. This is as basic as getting an already established story, ripping it out of the movie you wish to copy, and transplanting it onto your movie. Take for example James Cameron's OTHER critic-dissapointing box-office hit, Avatar. Gee, I wonder what he did? James Cameron simply grabbed Ferngully's (or Pocahontas's, whatever) story and added blue aliens, a lame name for an element and graphics that make you forget how much of a mediocre movie you're seeing.
Now, I can understand that at times, a really really original story is going to feel like you have to take a damaged box of bear traps to the other side of a town that is known for its multiple cracks and bumps...while riding a unicycle. But, truth be told...you don't have to go so crackpot-theorist on the idea. Just take a conventional idea and spin it around as much as possible until you get something that will get your viewer to enjoy your movie, even if your story basically has the main character swearing revenge on an evil place for some past event. It's all a matter of slightly emulating an idea instead of slightly imitating it.
The second repetitive thing from a movie industry is "fan frenzy". Fan frenzy happens when a movie becomes the best thing ever for a group of people. That group of people soon start going nuts with that movie and later on create chaos with their newfound fandom. From talking about details in the movie to writing sick little fanfics about it. Now, fan frenzy comes and goes with a lot of media-related things. Movies are the ones that really taking advantage of it. Why? Well, movies and video games both share the idea of throwing down a fishing line of a sequel or something to their fans and watching them go crazy for it. But movies are publicized like mad throughout the place, either glorifying the movie and/or giving fans more and more things that they want. And it's typical for these fans to become the everyday nuisance of people who really aren't ballistic about it. The "hardcore" fans are either cool people, people that don't have a life or complete lunatics. The problem with each fandom is how the hardcore sector is divided, either making them more bearable or less. In the case of today, we are cursed with the Twilight fan ambush, where countless teens are going gaga for some dude who probably would become Adam Lambert's girlfriend. As well as some kid that isn't that good of a singer.
Movies are also the most notable for something called "Sequelitis". And this is repetitive (and annoying) as fuck. Let's see if you can remember a scenario like this. Some person comes along and throws a really good movie for people to watch. People like it a lot and some demand for a second one. The second one either becomes better, worse or in the middle, but it still makes money for this person. And soon that person will continue creating sequels until realizing that the fanbase is dragging across the pavement, urging for the creator to stop. A famous series that's known for suffering a bad case of Sequelitis is Saw.
I never seen the movie, because of my young age. I have watched parts of it and found that if I were to go on Youtube and watch this by myself, I should probably have to take a bunch of sleeping pills. It's a gory movie (not super-duper, but I'm kinda squirmish. Key word being kinda) and the villain's form of "teaching" his subjects the wrong from the right is sickening. Yet, with all the information I've gotten...this movie seems to intruige me a lot. I mean, the puppet is cool, the way he sends the messages is cool, the traps are crazy and the villain is a complete lunatic. But people seem to dislike the series for two reasons. One is that it's a torture porn flick. And that with torture porn, you're not really getting the same effect as a run-of-the-mill horror film. That's debatable and I'm pretty unbiased of the whole thing. The other reason is that the creators went waaaay too far with sequels. They create a sequel every year and at some point (fans say it was at the fourth installment), people were sick of it.
"Why were they sick of the sequels?" you may ask. Well, it's because they don't really put any thought to it and just rush a sequel in for a cash in. Some know when to stop and others just went out of their way to care. It's not rare to find a good sequel. It's just really hard to do so. Oh...I almost forgot to mention remakes. Nothing quite says "We've got nothing" like a rehash of something that already was made. Sometimes, it's because this person had a different way of viewing the series. Other times, it's for a quick buck. And then sometimes, it's just for the pure nostalgia of it. Speaking of which...
Games are the more leeching kind of repeaters. This means that when they repeat, they do it so that they can get you enjoying it while they slowly suck out all the cash that you have. In other words, by bringing a nostalgic game back on it's roots (or making a new addition to the series), you are brainwashed to buying the same stuff you did before...just now with a new feature or something. Is it a bad thing? Well, yes and no. Yes because you make the game developer's job easier than it has to be. All the developer has to do is change a few things and package it off for you. Hardly any experimenting goes around. No because the game developer is not going to piss off a bunch of gamers by drastically changing a game they liked causing them to hate him/her. By playing of safe turf, they don't risk falling flat on their face. But it becomes a problem once the gamer realizes that the game doesn't do anything that makes it new, boring him/her once the next game comes in.
This sort of thing becomes a little complex to talk about because soon people are praising a game that is good, but almost the exact same game before (Super Mario Galaxy 2, for example), and later on attacking a group of people on how they can be buying the same game as before (like CoD fans or Madden fans). And then the whole thing intertwines itself, causing mass confusion among others. Let's just put it like this. Series like Mario, CoD, Madden, etc. are the same game, just with alterations. You either enjoy the series or you don't. But once you see that your series is getting a tad too repetitive for your tastes, try to think of a way that you would still like the game, but have its mechanics changed for a different experience. Once you do that, tell your company to try and do that.
I'm trying to say that in order to change a game's mechanics for the better, you have to think like crazy. Gameplay mechanics can be "limitless", but you have to think about the limits that your fans would enjoy. To me, it just seems tough to truly change the game and have your fans like it. At the same time, I do think that Nintendo should really think of going somewhere else with their franchises instead of just dangling nostalgia above our heads to please us like a baby with jingling keys. Don't get me wrong, their games are good...but wouldn't it be nice if they tried something new with them? I know that Mario has been in every single sort of game known to man, but the formula has become so old, it's a joke. I just would like to see something new, y'know? As I say that, I'm faced with the problem of not knowing what I specifically want for the change. I'm just blabbering without thinking twice about it. Eventually, I just stick with my Mario games, even though I know they are recycled. That, or I can just play something else. After all, variety is the spice of life.
The repetition of games can best be summed up like this. You either play the series or not. And if you question your series for it's repetitiveness, you either face the music and demand for a change, continue playing because you don't have a specific idea for what you can change in the series, or get a different game. Either way you go, the buisness is still making money and you are still left with your mind tied in a knot.
I have gone on a few arguments here and there about the repetition in these industries. I know that history repeats itself. I knew it ever since I learned about the phrase. I also know that sometimes repetition is good and repetition is bad. Repetition can be good with the cycle of life, or the cycle of water or with video games. But it can be bad when it deals with annoying situations, people getting angry, doing something for a quick buck or never learning from your mistakes. I haven't even hit half of the things that are bad with repetition...mainly because I think you know about them, and don't want to feel like Captain Obvious here. So, repetition works for the better of us, or for the worst. It depends on the situation. Just remember that no matter what...history shall repeat itself.