The excessive use of ‘favouritism’ – mere fun or outdated?

If you’re like me, you use the adjective ‘favourite’ a hell of a lot and I’ve come to thinking recently that it feels overused and I find myself wondering why we feel the need for such a context (especially from a media perspective which is what i’m basing this off of) to exist? I like games, music, movies and TV shows along with their electronic counterparts but, merely enjoying these mediums doesn’t seem to feel enough in the modern day.

Simply click onto YouTube and you will most likely stumble upon a ‘top ten’ or whatever subsequent number list of whatever topic the person in the video is talking about. This was a big seller for video game-based YouTubers a few years ago and some still do them today but, definitely less regularly as most did not want that to be their only output or attachment. The most famous YouTube page for top ten videos has to be WatchMojo. The American firm has managed to get millions of views on videos looking at all kinds of media platforms that advertise to all walks of life. They look at genres of film and anime, death scenes, decade eras, consoles, spoilers, end scenes and a lot of other themes that revolve around games and film.

Creating said top ten video may prove to be influential or open discussions between people about what they thought of the list and bring forth their opinions as well. The only issue with this is that most of the time the viewership will not agree with the video and each other in the comments. This is good as we are all entitled to our opinions but in that thinking that is what damages the idea of favourites, best ofs and top tens… HOW CAN THERE BE ONE SUCH GREAT THING? Sticking ‘personal’ in front or use of personal pronouns expectedly improves the situation but even than it is not without conflict.

At this point in the webisphere, top ten videos feel outdated and even more so their influence was metaphorically shoved down our throats by the internet ‘news source’ Buzzfeed. The company’s consistent selling point was these lists and their output led to other news outlets doing the same, most notably the free newspaper Metro on their website. This posting was a major influence in the term ‘clickbait’ where companies would create ‘relatable’ content to readers so they would click onto their website and increase their web traffic and the climb up through the Google search engine. Doing these lists has enabled them to shovel out the same stuff with perhaps one update each year and people have forotten about them thus ending back on them. It is all very tiring and I of course are guilty for trawling through these posts to find out how relatable they are…perhaps they were good in the sense of answering our questions of how relatable we were with other people.

The main premise of this article is…can’t we just enjoy things?  Comparing and rating is definitely one of the forefronts of our conversations and I’m very guilty of that. To say you like a certain album or game than another by the artist or in its series somehow defines you as a person. You’re one of ‘them’ kinds of people. If I can draw a comparison from my own interests, a band I really like, Weezer are most notably recognised for their first two albums ‘Weezer (The Blue Album)’ and ‘Pinkerton’ being their best work and so fans argue which is better. I like the latter better and due to its darker undertones that changes who I am as a person to some people, but we like things for our own reasoning and that’s how it should be. Perhaps I’m getting too invested in this matter but like a major factor in my life is console wars which definitely ruin how we enjoy video games.

I’m a console collector and have played and most home consoles since the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and I enjoy games from all of them. In this day and age where first party titles are better and different on the current consoles of the three big companies: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, you start thinking: “well this must be popular because A and B however this console also has good components from B yet the final console has great features which neither match what A and B are saying…comprende?”

When referencing console wars, going back to the early 90’s where the feud between the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and the Sega MegaDrive/Genisis divided many people as both were great consoles with great games that featured personally or on both machines. Those which featured on both machines like Disney Capcom title Aladdin would strike even bigger debates about different concepts of video games such as gameplay, fame rate, look and audio. There just had to be one better than the other which I guess is fair because that’s how games work, but the superior in gaming terminology may not be someone’s favourite due to personal experience and someone could argue to them asking why the superior isn’t their favourite for A and B reasoning again.

Perhaps I am being cynical and too radical to this idea and that it is good for us to enjoy things and rating said categories merely expands our minds. Being able to develop an assumption for ourselves that we think a certain item deserves a higher ranking personalises who were are and brings forth these important discussions. Having discussions is what furthers our development. It may sound a little philosophical, yet if we discuss in a civilised manner and not shit all over each others ideas and favourites then we might enjoy favouriting things more. I believe it is even more enjoyable if we keep an open mind and hear someone’s reasoning for their placing of whatever it is that they are talking about. At the same time calling something ‘favourite’ one day does not define it as such seeing as opinions can change constantly so we shouldn’t hang too heavy over what someone describes as their favourite too much.

What are your opinions?

Do we try and favourite things too much or is it good to favourite the things we enjoy and love?


 

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Nostalgia: Controlling & Influencing

If there is anything that can make us feel humble and send a euphoric shiver up our spines to make us feel like life is incredible for a second it is nostalgia.

I have been pondering for some time that with the growing of the internet it has become more accessible to experience nostalgia. We can see things on a commercial scale that we once adored and potentially have the opportunity to purchase again. There are many mediums on the internet platform that provide us with benefits. Google images and Facebook can let us see images of places we once visited or how our home towns used to look. YouTube lets us watch videos of shows we watched or videos of places we lived/visited and eBay enables us to buy the stuff we threw away because what did it matter back then?

In media we are always seeing what we grew up with return and it can either be welcomed or resented. A movie reboot of a classic series never seems to go down well as it is a real pull on the heart-strings and the developments of cinema and technology damage the originally we hold so dearly. A random band you might have forgotten about might make a return and even record new music. It will never feel the same though (Busted). Time progresses and those things we loved try to keep up and change with the times yet we resent it.

Video games are a major nostalgia factor as they developed from a niche to a mainstream over the last 25 years. That makes those that played video games in the 90’s and whenever before feel very close to games I find. When a game gets remastered it is usually cheered as it reminds us of the simplicity of childhood. Pokémon GO was the perfect example of Nostalgia and last year The Pokémon Company rode the nostalgia train quite proudly. The game series which branched off into everything in the 90’s celebrated 20 years with all kinds of merchandise and a mobile app and new games Sun and Moon that saw a lot of people revisit the creature catching series. Everything about the games was different but it seemed to work for a lot of people. Pokémon GO appeared to be a groundbreaking piece of tech allowing people to hunt for Pokémon as if they were playing the game.

To be fair in that sense it is really nice to give people that opportunity and it was quite beneficial for everyone to get out and communicate. Another issue with this is that Nintendo rode nostalgia in a heavy commercial manner and the same thing appears to happen everywhere and not just in the video game market. It strikes me more as I love video games. Hearing the start-up screen of a Playstation 1 is an incredible feeling and something I hold near and dear.

So why is nostalgia is important? Is it due to all aspects of life and the nihilistic feeling that we’re all just going to die and rot in the ground so might as well hold onto what memories we have whilst also trying to avoid the reality of life and that we’re edging further away from said memories and we are fools for not appreciating our childhoods because of the lack of responsibilities and wonderful things we had? Maybe. Or maybe it is necessary to experience nostalgia as a means of appreciating life and the things we have done because humans will naturally remember more bad than good. Maybe that is an unsatisfying feeling we have where we never get what we want and so the parts of our past that stand out and make us feel warm are the greatest feeling in the world.

If we do not learn from the past then we are to carry it on into the future or at least what we do in the past plays a major role in the present and future and nostalgia is just that for me. A lot of the things I enjoy now in terms of TV, music, entertainment and job prospects are because of what I did in the 90’s or what were in the 90’s. Now I may only remember segments of the late 90’s but, what I felt in those times is better than the crippling realities of socio-economic happenings and being obsessed with a time period I was in stands out a lot more to me than one I wasn’t such as 60’s-80’s. Politics seems to play a major factor in my nostalgia due to studying Britain at A-level and seeing which time periods were better…they don’t look appealing.

In terms of my work I want to write about media such as video games and anime as I watched and enjoyed them as a child and they have stuck with me. I work in a store which I favoured greatly as a child and is really one of the only stores I can remember going to. Working there is a completely different kettle of fish to how it felt in the 90’s but there is a comfort somewhere. You see a lot of nostalgia-referenced stories in media outlets like Buzzfeed’s ‘top ten 90’s toys’ or, look at this catalogue for 1985 Christmas and this helps remind us when we have forgotten what bliss times they were. When a store closes like Woolworths, Virgin Megastores, Gamestation or British Home Stores (BHS) it reminds us that nothing lasts forever and then we wish it wouldn’t go but it is too late and we have to move on with the memories.

While it has its positives and negatives to how it dominates our lives in a sense that we are influenced easily and look to shelter ourselves in the past, it is a wonderful feeling. I find nostalgia to be one of the strongest drugs of them all, a positive hallucinogenic. The show South Park touched on this with the whole ‘Member Berries’ skit and how political frameworks can be based off of ‘it’s not as good as it used to be’ and we all just want to have a good time and experience the tranquility of our personal lives.

This post was merely a ramble about a topic that has been a centre-point for me for the past couple of years and I wonder how relatable people will find it. Nostalgia sells.

Balgenkamera Old Nostalgia Nostalgic Camera