I am tired of media and entertainment companies trying to monopolize my attention.
Fourteen years ago, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe had begun bringing to the silver screen the crossovers that defined superhero comics, I was on board. I love a good superhero team-up, and the MCU films came without decades of baggage. When the first Avengers movie hit theaters, it felt like just the right amount of reward for time spent.
Fast forward to now, and I just cannot keep up, nor do I want to. The problem isn’t just that Marvel is putting out so many more movies and TV shows. I really don’t mind sprawling mega franchises that fans devote their hours to. Nor is it that I’ve just gotten older. Rather, what I’m bothered by is that Marvel seems to be trying to push out all other competition from people’s brains until they’re all that’s left.
Compare this with something like Pokémon. You could easily spend every waking hour (and potentially even your sleeping ones) to these Pocket Monsters. But Pokémon doesn’t act like every game, manga, and anime is interwoven, nor does it imply that missing even one of them means failing to have the whole story. In fact, almost every game starts from the assumption that it’s introducing new players to the world of Pokémon, and they don’t draw specific attention to prequels. Marvel, however, wants you to watch show after show, film after film.
Another example of mind-monopolizing media is just gacha games in general. Between the stamina bars that either encourage players to spend money or keep a close eye on when they refill, the constant limited-time bonuses, the never-ending new stories, and the gambling-esque character rolls themselves, I constantly find myself wishing I could enjoy these games. That’s not to say that I avoid them entirely, but I have to actively minimize their presence in my life. The worst of them take from the old Farmville school of essentially holding your game hostage.
I’m not inherently against Marvel, mobile games, or similar, but I can’t stand how they discourage exploration by trying to monopolize attention. I love to explore different stories, different forms of art, and different creators. I’m not going to be nerd-guilted out of that passion.