Sunday, November 18, 2007

Adultification

That's what I call it when adults take over something meant for kids and suit themselves by making it unsuitable for kids. The Transformer movie is a prime example. Heres what I think happened.

I think the adults liked Transformers when they were kids. Now, when they get to make a movie about it, they make the movie they would like to see: lots of violence, pretty scary, throw in a heavy dose of sarcasm and tight low cut clothing (on the girls, not the giant robots).

Another example would be video games. A cursory look at X Box magazine (in a barber shop) shows that they are not just selling games (heavy sexual content in the ads), and the games they are selling often contain "adult" (read impure and hyperviolent) content.

How about comic books? Not just for kids anymore? Try NOT for kids anymore! Immoral "heroes" reflect the desires of adults, not kids.

Heres my theory: Video games, comic books and other amusements are supposed to be primarily for kids. Not that an adult shouldn't be amused from time to time, but an adult should not have time for extensive video game playing (we can talk later about how much time kids should have for idle non constructive amusement.) The point is that childhood has been extended and idealized as a time of license: do what you want with no responsibilities and no repercussions. Why grow up and be responsible? Why have kids to ruin your fun? They might break your toys!

I think kids are being crowded out of childhood by adults who don't want to grow up. What do you think?

5 comments:

Grand Emperor said...

I agree; many "safe" kid areas have become more "adult" of late, leaving fewer and fewer "safe havens" for kids' entertainment. I also agree that this comes from adults who haven't matured yet, partially due to the delay in/destruction of marriage, availability/encouragement of contraception, etc.

Part of this phenomenon is a reverse-"kiddification" that I noticed back in the 1980's, when Aliens, Predators, etc. had toy lines. Toy lines for rated "R" movies? Wow.

It's worth noting that comics weren't always a "safe haven" like you assume--the 1950's featured quite violent and nihilistic comics (especially by E.C. Comics), while Marvel in the 1970's published "Son of Satan" (as a protagonist), "Ghost Rider" (demon as protagonist), "Tomb of Dracula" (king of vampires as protagonist), etc. Labeling would help, but superhero comics in particular, especially iconic ones (Spider-Man, Batman, etc."), should lay off the "mature" stuff.

Michelle Waters said...

I'm with you!

La Bibliotecaria Laura said...

Well, it only makes sense since the kids can't vote and don't have any money so why not pretend they don't exist?

Little Things said...

I think I don't want to grow up! I like playing games, and personally am lusting after a Wii right now. But I promise I know where the line between my toys and my kids' toys belongs.

Grand Emperor said...

Ha--that's funny; I'm trying for a Wii, too, but they're always out . . .