Is adult media inherently better than child media?

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:18 am UTC

elasto wrote:Hence, the question is not as written above; Instead it is this: "Is media rated R/M of more intrinsic worth than media rated G/E?"

And I'd argue strongly yes! Since media rated R/M can cover every topic to every depth that media rated G/E can - and then R/M media can explore some additional topics, and to some additional depths that G/E can't. That gives it more intrinsic worth.
That's what I took you to be saying, yes -- and that's the premise I disagreed with you on, and still disagree with you on. That fiction which conforms to the standards we've set for media that is consumed by children is of less intrinsic worth than fiction which does not.
elasto wrote:If thing A can do everything that thing B can, but it can do other things also, then it is of more worth. eg. If your computer can run every game ever made, and mine can only run half of them, then your computer is of more intrinsic worth than mine.
That's not how art works, though.

If this were true, we could argue that color photography is of greater intrinsic worth than black and white photography, since color photography includes all the colors. Or we could argue that film trumps them both, because film permits me to record all the colors and motion, too.

But we don't do that: We recognize black and white photography is a form of art distinguished from color photography, which is a form of art distinguished from film. One can incorporate the other, but we understand that each is defined and enhanced by its limitations -- because these limitations force the lens to highlight certain features that would otherwise go unnoticed in another medium.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby natraj » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:53 am UTC

i mean i was completely ignoring j_s's initial post because it was completely nonsensical and barely coherent.

but yes, i was also taking you to mean what you're talking about now and it's still wrong.

media rated r/m can't cover every topic to every depth that media rated g/e can, not the way you seem to think. that's not how these media ratings work and what you're saying makes no sense. if we took what elasto is saying as true, then if we only had "r" rated media we could have an equivalent breadth and depth and variety of media that we currently do -- but that's untrue. r rated media, by definition under the media rating system that you are discussing, cannot cover and explore in depth stories that pertain and relate to children. where we seem to disagree is that this is of equal value. if we only had r rated media we wouldn't have media like avatar or lilo and stitch or up or inside out or fievel goes west or coraline or my neighbor totoro or ladybug and chat noir or steven universe. those things literally could not exist with an r rating, it's nonsensical. that's not what the ratings system means at all.
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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby Weeks » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:56 am UTC

elasto wrote:*overall... Obviously in any specific instance a particular G/E media might have high intrinsic worth and a particular R/M media low intrinsic worth...
no, monochrome photography is not intrinsically worse "overall" than color photography just because it has fewer colors, and media rated G/E is not intrinsically worse "overall" than R/M media just because it has no curse words.

Now please tell us about how you've always thought monochrome photography, traditional art, dot paintings, papercraft, graffiti, poetry, music, novels, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. are all inferior to movies because they don't have both audio and video.

edit: ninja'd by natraj
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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:28 am UTC

natraj wrote:where we seem to disagree is that this is of equal value. if we only had r rated media we wouldn't have media like avatar or lilo and stitch or up or inside out or fievel goes west or coraline or my neighbor totoro or ladybug and chat noir or steven universe. those things literally could not exist with an r rating, it's nonsensical. that's not what the ratings system means at all.
I think an excellent example of this can be found by examining The Brave Little Toaster. The Brave Little Toaster is a G-rated animated film about appliances that come to life when no one's looking at them. It explores themes regarding friendship, obsolescence, disposability, DIY solutions, family, capitalism, B-movie horror films, and how it feels when the people we care about most move on without us.

At one point in the movie, the characters end up in a junkyard full of old cars waiting to be wrecked for scrap. As they're trying to escape, the cars sing about their old lives as they are literally crushed to death. The musical number consists of them describing their experiences, ranging from competitive racing, marriage, death, youth, suicide, and growing up as a native American on a reservation (yes, you read that right). All of these segments end with them dying horribly. And all of these segments are connected via a single unifying element: Once full of hope and life, they've all been thrown aside and labeled "worthless".

There is no fucking way you could pull this off anywhere else. Don't even think of trying a scene like this unless your movie has blankets and toasters singing songs about friendship. It doesn't work in an R-rated movie, and it sure as fuck doesn't work in a movie targeting adults. This scene only works if you're talking to kids. That is, in fact, part of what makes it so compelling, touching, and yes -- emotionally gut-wrenching. That this shit goes down in a G-rated film.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby ucim » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:16 am UTC

elasto wrote:If your computer can run every game ever made, and mine can only run half of them, then your computer is of more intrinsic worth than mine.
Uh.... no. And that's not even the OP's question.

Directly to your point, there is something about curation. If mine can only run half of them, but it runs the best* half, then it's not at all clear that mine is worse. It's arguably better, because it curates the programs and saves me the trouble of wading through all the junk.

And to the OP's question, "rated X or R" excludes "rated G or PG" (or whatever the new rating system is). These are disjoint subsets, as originally posted.

But, the OP is nonsense. The subsequent discussion is more interesting.

The Great Hippo wrote:[...The Brave Little Toaster...] There is no fucking way you could pull this off anywhere else.
Uh... this is just metaphor, and (adult) SciFi does this all the time. Sure, it's a different metaphor for a different audience, but identity is not necessary (else it would be literally the identical show). But your underlying point is valid - that the stories generally told to children can do things that the stories generally told to adults don't generally do.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:35 am UTC

ucim wrote:Uh... this is just metaphor, and (adult) SciFi does this all the time. Sure, it's a different metaphor for a different audience, but identity is not necessary (else it would be literally the identical show). But your underlying point is valid - that the stories generally told to children can do things that the stories generally told to adults don't generally do.
Right; I'm not talking about the abstracted metaphor, I'm talking about the actual scene itself. You can't have a bunch of cars singing songs about their lives right before their horrible demise and have it carry the same emotional impact in a movie that isn't targeting children. Not unless it's, like, a weirdly dark comedy or something.

Similarly, a movie with themes and a plot like Toy Story wouldn't carry nearly as much emotional force as it does if it was written for adults. It's a story about how children relate to toys and how toys relate to children. Making it targeted at children is what gives it so much emotional and intellectual depth. Limiting it to a G-rated narrative makes it stronger, not weaker.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby ucim » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:19 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Similarly, a movie with themes and a plot like Toy Story wouldn't carry nearly as much emotional force as it does if it was written for adults.
Yeah, sort of. I see (and agree with) what I think you're getting at, but I don't think that's exactly what your words are actually saying.

The story is what it is because it was written for a specific audience in mind. This is true of all (good) stories. In this case the audience is kids, and this is a classification (of sorts) in the movie rating system.

The story is good because of what it is... how it's written, how it's filmed and edited...

THEN the film gets a rating. The rating doesn't determine the film's quality.
Spoiler:
Well, yeah, it sort of does, in that filmmakers aim for specific ratings because ratings mean money. But in this case I don't think the rating system had a significant effect on the story.
The first rule of storytelling is to be true to your audience. It's not that the audience was kids, it's that the film was true to that audience. That is what gives it impact. And that impact carries over to other audiences too, because what's in it is true. (in the sense of "truth in acting", not the sense of "literally congruent with reality")

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:55 am UTC

Actually, media for children is of more value than media for adults because it’s created and used to be far more than just entertainment. It’s how we teach children morals, social norms, how to behave, etc. Look at Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood-kids were supposed to enjoy it, but Mr. Rodgers discussed all manner of serious topics from divorce to disability to death and how to handle big emotions. Even the crappiest after school special is designed with “teaching moments” galore.
Meanwhile, grownups are being fed Game of Thrones, Kill Bill and such wonders as 50 First Dates.
Basically, the entire premise of the OPs argument is bullshit.
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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:58 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Similarly, a movie with themes and a plot like Toy Story wouldn't carry nearly as much emotional force as it does if it was written for adults. It's a story about how children relate to toys and how toys relate to children. Making it targeted at children is what gives it so much emotional and intellectual depth. Limiting it to a G-rated narrative makes it stronger, not weaker.


I think you could argue that Toy Story 3 is what Toy Story written for adults would look like.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:25 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I think you could argue that Toy Story 3 is what Toy Story written for adults would look like.
Probably, but Toy Story 3 only works because of Toy Story. Indeed, Toy Story 3 was released 15 years after Toy Story -- by the time it came out, most of the children who experienced the first movie in theaters were now adults.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:11 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, can I just point out --
elasto wrote:or exploring themes of torture or warcrimes.
-- that this is wrong? These are themes children's media explores. Maybe not with the same degree of detail as adult-oriented media, but here are just a few examples from Avatar: The Last Air-Bender:

  • Genocide (the Fire-nation's extermination of the Air Nomads). Pretty sure that qualifies as a war-crime.
  • Attempts by the government to cover this genocide up (Aang corrects the teacher who mentions the Air Nomad as the aggressors)
  • The murder of Katara's mother (pretty sure that's also a war-crime).
  • State-mandated torture and brain-washing (the Earth Kingdom's Dai Li).
  • Violent ethno-nationalism and racism (the Fire Nation).
  • Prison torture (what the Fire Nation did to the water benders -- the episode with the blood-bender lady).

I mean, you're not wrong to say that there are places where children's media doesn't go, but I think you're glossing over a lot of places it does go.



Adventure Time. That one episode with the Bee. It was basically an episode on how people will try to use you for sex, that casual sex cannot fill an emotional void, and date rape.

Really, it’s impossible to take this topic seriously. By definition in the OP, My Dinner With Andre is ore childish than the Transformers movie where the robot had balls.

I’m going to give j_s 24 hours to argue around that before I lock this worthless excuse for a Serious Discussion.
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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

"Adult" media by definition has fewer restrictions on it than media for children, thus has more opportunity to be better. The problem is financing; something the whole family can watch instead of just mom and dad is going to make more money, so studios are going to offer a larger budget or create more of it.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby ijuin » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:57 pm UTC

There is also the matter of social stigma—many adults consider watching child-oriented media to be detrimental to an adult’s “macho” image.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:04 pm UTC

If you aren't man enough to cry while watching Up, you aren't man enough for me.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby pogrmman » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:03 am UTC

ijuin wrote:There is also the matter of social stigma—many adults consider watching child-oriented media to be detrimental to an adult’s “macho” image.

Which I think is absurd and stupid. There’s fantastic children’s media out there. I still think the first act of Wall-E is some of the best film out there.

I don’t really consider children’s or adult’s media to be inherently superior to the other. They can both be fantastic — and they can both be horrible. Children’s media clearly isn’t inherently limited in terms of depth — just as others have pointed out.

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Re: Is adult media inherently better than child media?

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:22 pm UTC

Y'all aren't even arguing the idiotic premise j_s presented - that in using the American scale - R and X rated films are at best G and PG films with their adult content stripped away, ignoring that j_s is conflating maturity of content with social acceptability of content.

Moving on. Reasons this thread is being locked include, but are not limited to -

media that gets a higher rating on the maturity scale (e.g. movies rated R and games rated M) and child media is media that has low ratings (e.g. movies rated G and games rated E). I will treat this as a binary, but really it is a continuum. If this really bother's you, pretend I am only talking about media at the extremes.
I don't even know where to begin on that.

Mature films would be colloquially described as films about adult situations meaning things like a 25 year marriage starting to crumble due to infidelity 20 years ago that resulted in a child who is only now discovering their actual other parent.

Adult films would be colloquially described as films of people fuckin'

Mature =/= Adult, though it is entirely possible there is a nuanced film about a 25 year marriage starting to crumble due to infidelity 20 years ago that resulted in a child who is only now discovering their actual other parent that's full of fuckin', it would be described as a Mature Adult Film.

So right out of the gate, we're already (intentionally? I'm going to assume intentionally) using words wrong, which is only going to result in pretty much immediately people defending G and PG rated materials as having adult themes. Which is pretty much what happened.

I do not have time to make a full post

Then don't post.


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