I’ve been thinking a lot about original stories and how their life expectancy is pretty low nowadays. What is it that makes most people prefer remakes, sequels, and prequels more than completely original stories? Maybe it’s the mystery that turns people off, the possibility that might not be as good as something already successful like Spider-Man or Star Wars. Is it that we cling so tightly to what we know that we feel secure in things we know to be successful?
I can attest that I have for the most part fallen victim to this ideology. And usually when I try something new, it’s after it’s already become critically acclaimed or it’s compared to something I know and love. Or it’s made by a creative mind that I trust.
But what makes something original? That’s a hard concept to wrap my head around to be honest. Especially when I think about how it’s almost impossible to not be influenced by something during the creative process. Or the whole “it’s already been done before” perspective. Is it even possible for an unadulterated, innocent idea to thrive now?
The things we write can be derivative of books, people, movies, games. But it’s difficult to classify something as original as you read, watch, and engage more in the world, I think. That word can mean something completely different for everyone. And even though we mostly prefer more of the same, the originals that are successful are praised specifically because they’re original, because they’re doing “new” things that I’m sure someone somewhere has done or thought of before. It’s so mind-bending that I stared at my screen for about fifteen minutes trying to put all this into words.
New ways of telling stories are only new for each of us the first time. The next time it turns into a variation of the word ripoff. But that first time was probably a ripoff of something else.
And now I bet you’re wondering where I’m going with this. I’m not really going anywhere honestly. I just finished playing Spider-Man on PS4 and it made me start thinking about how the game’s huge success already is basically just because it’s Spider-Man. Who doesn’t love Spider-Man? Not many people apparently. I’m sure there will be many sequels and many more iterations in the years to come. Because why not? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
P.S. It was a good game though. 7/10