The Student Room Group

The Media Opposes Variety

I've always had this sense that the media chokes the life out of variety. When you look at all of the entertainment we consume, I'm guess most of what we know best has been drummed up by the media's influence.

Now, you can say media opens us up to everything-which is true, but certain songs, games, films and books get a hell of a lot more attention than others. Yes, if they are popular then we'll likely see authors and artists take those same ideas and reshape them with their own visions-but only the dominant trends are ever going to truly be known by almost everyone.

Here's a music-based example. We all recognize Ed Sheeran right? Why? Because his music relates to millions and millions of people. So ever heard of Staind? No? Because they don't catch on the same way right? What we're left with is a funneled sense of the real variety of music's potential. You put certain music artists up on a pedestal, then other music artists will be faded out. There are thousands upon thousands of songs that we won't get to hear, simply because what's popular plugs our ears most of the time.

In videogames there's this huge Game of the Year battle going on between God of War: Ragnarok and Elden Ring? Why? Because those games appeal to what a huge chunk of gamers want from their games. They want to topple huge beasts, engage in huge open-worlds, they want great stories and larger-than-life characters. But what about a game as self-referential and humorous as The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, or the Medieval perils of A Plague Tale: Requiem? Gamers want the same kinds of experiences all the time, it's hard for them to think outside the box when they aren't shown what the outside of the box looks like. Pah! Even BBC cradles us into mainstream videogames with their hyperbole-laden articles about the next triple A blockbuster, making me think their only interest in videogames is to give off a political agenda.

Sorry about this diatribe, but I felt I should get it off my chest. How do you feel about the media's role in our consumption of entertainment?
Reply 1
I don't feel like it really affects me at all because I barely bother with any media of this sort. My music tastes are all over the place and I couldn't name you and Ed Sheeran song. I probably couldn't name a track in the top ten and it has been like that for probably 20 years now. I do find it funny that you mention Staind, because I was a teenager in 2001 ish when their first record came out and they were the preppiest, most poser band around at that time. They'd certainly not be held up by anyone on the scene then as some bastion of originality or outlier. They were a pop band with detuned guitars.

So I suppose this is an issue for young teenagers who are out for direction and trying to find stuff (even then it's easy to break out of that mould), but if it's an issue for people outside of that it's because they're lazy. And that's fine, too. I don't care if nobody has heard of my next fave band tbh.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by gjd800
I don't feel like it really affects me at all because I barely bother with any media of this sort. My music tastes are all over the place and I couldn't name you and Ed Sheeran song. I probably couldn't name a track in the top ten and it has been like that for probably 20 years now. I do find it funny that you mention Staind, because I was a teenager in 2001 ish when their first record came out and they were the preppiest, most poser band around at that time. They'd certainly not be held up by anyone on the scene then as some bastion of originality or outlier. They were a pop band with detuned guitars.

So I suppose this is an issue for young teenagers who are out for direction and trying to find stuff (even then it's easy to break out of that mould), but if it's an issue for people outside of that it's because they're lazy. And that's fine, too. I don't care if nobody has heard of my next fave band tbh.


I find it hard because I was a child when I started noticing that the songs that I enjoyed weren't represented on the radio. I only mentioned Staind as an example-I love their music personally. It's not about what I think is original, it's about my experience of recognizing music that I enjoyed that I didn't hear on the radio and wasn't represented. I know it doesn't matter; it only bothers me because it makes me feel like even more of an outcast-but then that's not strictly a bad thing-following everyone else sucks.
I think you said it best on your first post. The whole point of media is to appeal to as broad a market as they can. It might suck for people who enjoy niche things, like a very specific type of music, but media as a principle is built around that. Large corporations want to make as much of a profit as possible, and the best way to do that is to appeal to the masses, who often don’t have a qualm with the fact that what they’re watching/playing is the most general appealing thing ever. You can go and make stuff that’s appeals to specific people, but you likely won’t profit off of that very much as it’s a niche of people. The only way is if you go viral and your work is shown to a large amount of people. But then your “niche” has become just another thing that now appeals to the masses, so the people you originally made the thing for are now lost in the crowd. It’s like a cycle imo, and there’s not really a way to break it, unless you have those people willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for your “niche” thing. Idk, but that’s just my two cents (or pence).
Reply 4
Original post by JDINCINERATOR
I find it hard because I was a child when I started noticing that the songs that I enjoyed weren't represented on the radio. I only mentioned Staind as an example-I love their music personally. It's not about what I think is original, it's about my experience of recognizing music that I enjoyed that I didn't hear on the radio and wasn't represented. I know it doesn't matter; it only bothers me because it makes me feel like even more of an outcast-but then that's not strictly a bad thing-following everyone else sucks.

I sort of understand that because a lot of my mates were the same when we were younger. I never really felt it, personally.

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