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Why Consuming Bad Media Is Bad For You


Ryan Dave Jimenez

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Garbage in garbage out.

This is a saying in technology that basically means, poor input will always lead to poor output. That a computer only gives out what you put in. But I find this applies to humans too. Especially in terms of creativity.

 

Creators are consumers, but not all consumers are creators.

 

Before you make something you need ideas. So how do you get ideas? The easiest way is to consume media.

If you want to make anime but have no ideas whatsoever, watch anime. If you want to make a game but have no ideas, play games. Eventually inspiration will strike and the ideas will come. Creators are fans too. We are just fans who love something so much we decided to make our own. While most fans are happy being consumers.

 

And so the saying, garbage in garbage out comes to play. If you consume crappy stuff you will make crappy stuff. 

 

I am a big believer in not watching bad anime, playing bad games, watching bad movies, etc. As a creator it will make you a bad one. As a consumer it will lower your standards.

 

That is why I started reading/playing Steins; Gate. Said to be the best visual novel of all time.

And right away I already learned something.

 

Compared to my visual novel (Super Detectives), Steins; Gate had more dialogue. It had deeper writing.

Take note I never committed to a visual novel before.

 

This will probably be the first and last visual novel I will consume. At least it was a very good one.

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I don't think that, as a creator, staying completely away from the bad stuff is a good idea.  If nothing else you're requiring someone else to decide for you what is "good" or "bad" so that you never have to bother with the latter.  (If only it were that simple.  :) )  I also believe it is very rare that something is entirely bad, with no redeeming features whatsoever.  True there's the time issue.  You simply can't evaluate everything personally.  You certainly don't want to emulate the bad parts in your own material however, even inadvertently due to ignorance.  Learning a lesson from other peoples' bad examples is actually a valuable skill, professionally speaking.  The trick of course is to recognize what makes something "good" or "bad" and then deliberately integrating the "good" parts into your own material while rejecting and avoiding the "bad".  And yes, the subjective definitions of "good" and "bad" make it all that much harder.

 

Edited by efaardvark
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