So, like many others here, I'm a returning member of ACC from the early 2010s. In the years in between, I've spent most of my time online on various social media sites, and there's something that's been bugging me.
I've noticed that everyone seems to be in a rush to finish series, games, etc ASAP, and post as much content for "clout" as they can in the phase where everyone is obsessed. Then, a few months pass and the hype dies out and nobody cares anymore. I know that generally there's always going to be a surge of initial excitement when something new comes out but this culture of... binge consumption has really been pronounced recently.
For example, in summer 2019, my social media feeds were full of Fire Emblem Three Houses. Everyone was talking about it, making jokes, posts, drawing fanart, etc. Then a few months passed and the whole crowd moved onto Pokemon SwSh, and FE3H was barely spoken of anymore. Another few months and now its ACNH whilst Pokemon lies forgotten.
Now, I thought to myself, surely Animal Crossing would be different? Surely people will take their time and enjoy it slowly? But unfortunately it doesnt seem to be the case. The majority of people I know through social media are getting super impatient and time travelling to get everything done quickly. Like jumping multiple days to get terraforming ASAP, to fill the museum, to get loads of clothes and furniture. And I'm not trying to criticise how people choose to play their game but it's just got me thinking -- I don't remember this happening much at all with WW and CF.
Which I guess leads me to say... do you think this has happened as a result of the shift to binge culture? Like, how TV shows are shifting from a serial format to all episodes released at once on Netflix. Say 5-10 ish years ago with the serial format you'd be super excited to watch the weekly episode, then spend all week discussing and theorising with your friends... and the hype continued for years. Whereas more recently it's like, binge it all in one day or risk getting spoiled, then everyone mass talks about it for a couple of weeks, then it completely dies.
I'm so sorry for the wall of text but I've been thinking about this a lot lately and just had to write it out! Let me know your thoughts.
when all of this is over will you come to wake me up?
This is a really interesting point, and I think you're right. I've played all of the AC games, and they've all started out slow or had annoying parts to them. On the last day of every month in AC:GC, for instance, Nook would completely shut down his store to have "raffle day" for stuff I genuinely didn't care about, but I'd just accept it and plan accordingly. Never once was I tempted to go a day ahead, even on another memory card where it wouldn't affect my main town.
However, I'm now strongly fighting the urge to time travel so I can >>get Resident Services back, since they're closed for remodel.<< I don't really have a reason to, but just the thought of "having to wait to experience what happens next" really bites.
I felt this way with The Mandalorian on Disney+ as well. They released one episode a week, which was unlike how Netflix handled their original streaming content, and it sucked. However, ultimately, I feel like I cared more about the show -- it wasn't something that entertained me for a weekend, it was something that I talked about with my friends, looked forward to each week, and generally had it on my mind for about two months. It really made a difference.
It's not even just related to media, either. I ordered something online around November as a Christmas present for one of my dear friends, and it took about 2-3 weeks to ship. I've grown so used to Amazon, where you can order something in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday and it arrives at your door before dinner on Friday -- and of course, some people live in towns where they can order something and get it delivered in mere hours. Things are meant to be done as fast as possible, so when video games or TV series comes out that break the mold, it can be jarring to some.
The "instant gratification" culture is really shaping so much about the world. People find US politics "obnoxiously slow" because the system is set up to take some time and discuss/debate the issues before Congress can vote. As this generation grows and fills those seats, will we see a shift there, too, all because of Netflix/Amazon? Will dining at restaurants decrease, as more and more people opt to get the same food from Uber Eats?
I think that's always been the way of gaming. There's always going to be a huge crowd of "oh look new shiny thing" and then after the next new game comes out it's on to the next game with the hype train. The new animal crossing looks good though. I think it will keep a good community of people even after it ages. I've always been a time jumper. I didn't like being cut off from the rest of the island or having hardly any villagers. I just do it to get started. There's so many bugs, fish, and fossils in game it is kind of tough to binge them all unless you abuse time travel. I still have no idea how I am going to build my island. I have the feeling everyone else is going to create master pieces and mine is going to look like an island from wild world. lol.
I'm also back from forever ago! This whole quarantine has made me feel like I'm back in middle school. Staying up until 2am playing hide and seek on animal crossing with strangers.
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday.
I've always thought this. It seems to be like anything else, what's new is in, what's old can be in, but what's in between is not in. It's exhausting so I do not participate in the gaming community too much. It's also impractical and expensive to try and keep up with that. I've tried and even if you play 8+ hours a day you're not going to knock down the wall of all the new and popular games that come out. Not to mention the cost, even if you buy them used. I use to get 1-2 games per paycheck. That was 2019, and I'm just barely finishing the stack I created last year. I also tend to believe that people talk like they've finished the game but they haven't. "I've already played it" but you put in like 10 hours and didn't even get part way through it, you just had a taste and that's all you needed. To be popular you need to keep up and play ONLY what's new or trending. No going backwards even if it means we're in March and you're going back to January lol When you binge you don't get the full feeling for things usually. Or you don't even finish. You can kinda tell people just play a few hours and put it away then go online and tell everyone their 50 sentence opinion on it, but then you'll go on things like PS4 and see a mainline story related trophy will only have 23% of players having achieved it. They binge purchased games and binged on them but didn't really play them.
But as for other media, people from the 20th century wished they could binge like we can now. If they had this stuff in the 1950s everyone woulda sat around just the same during their free time.
tl;dr binging ruins everything but it was inevitable.
I don't watch TV series (bit of a misnomer, since they aren't really watched on TV services anymore...), so I miss out on the Netflix binging craze. But in general, I don't binge on media. Or try not to. I get bored of it too easily. xD
I really have no understanding of what is or isn't popular. Maybe because I'm autistic and anti-social. But all the popular YouTubers and such... I just don't understand what makes them entertaining or why people enjoy their content. I feel like an old man complaining like this, but it's true.
I don't cling onto many fads, and as such, binging on media escapes me a bit. But yeah I do find it slightly annoying and I hate to say I feel I've also fallen victim to this "instant gratification" culture. We can get anything so quickly with just one click or tap away. It does take away the true meaning of patience a bit, so games like AC may no longer translate as well. And it's evident now more than ever.
~Grand winner of Push the Button  in Forum Games with 2113 points!~
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Maybe it's more a consequence of getting older and having less time? I "binge-watched" TV long before Netflix was popular because I didn't actually have TV, so when I started watching a show it was long off the air and I could buy a used DVD box-set and watch them back-to-back. This started when I realized I was an adult and had money (for the time, at least!) and could actually watch all of The X-Files for the first time since childhood. But now that I have kids and more responsibilities, I couldn't commit to watching TV or playing a game for a set amount of time on exact dates if I wanted to.
So, when I actually have time, I want to be able to watch or play something consistently for that time. Like if I have a couple hours in the evening, I'd rather watch 2 or 3 episodes of the same show instead of 2 episodes of different shows, then wait a week to watch the next ones and forget what was happening.
With games, if I go a long time without playing it's very likely I'll never get back into the game, so the more I can finish in a short time the better my chances of actually finishing the game. That's kind of why AC caught my eye, I figured with the real-time clock it's not that big of a deal to just play a little bit here and there.
I think that this has more to do with the nature of social media than with the rise of binge consumption. Discussion on social media is monopolised by the newest thing, so anyone wishing to take part in active discussion there has little choice but to keep up with whatever that is - and those motivated by notes/retweets/likes/karma/whatever can get many times as much with posts themed around the shiny new thing than around something several months old.
I'm not on any social media, and I wouldn't say that I've experienced much of what you're referring to. Discussion of pop culture to which I'm exposed is mostly limited to this website and Skype, where I frequently chat with several friends whom I met here. Obviously, both are skewed toward Animal Crossing, so I know that we'll still be discussing that even after the next big game comes out. All I really have to worry about when it comes to New Horizons is spoilers, which admittedly does require me to be pretty careful - I can't even visit the NH General board because even many of the titles contain minor spoilers.