The common response to creative types panicking about the mass of content that’s being produced right now is “Oh, don’t worry, it’s all crap. If you make something great it’ll rise to the top”.
But is that true? Once again, science fiction author Charles Stross invited me to blog over at his uber-popular site. For this one I decided to dig into the figures for films, TV, books and games. And what I found was both surprising and, frankly, terrifying…
We might assume that getting a really positive response from consumers will still lift you above the masses - indeed, I’ve heard the argument time and time again that no really good games, films, books, etc are being ignored.
But a very brief look through the lists of media I’ve found above puts the lie to that. For example, how many of us have watched The Algerian, a massively-acclaimed, complex international spy thriller with a string of film festival awards? It’s right up my alley and I’d never heard of it.
What about Over The Garden Wall, a dark animated series in the style of “Adventure Time”, starring the voices of Elijah Wood and Christopher Lloyd amongst others? Reviews are dribblingly enthusiastic, with an average rating of 9.2.
Or Tomb Of Tyrants, a fascinating pattern-match / strategy cross-over game with 98% positive reviews on Steam and a small but very dedicated community?
The backlog of genuinely fantastic storytelling that you’ve never heard of - and often no-one really heard of - and so quite often the creator’s no longer creating or unable to get funding - is only going to grow, and it’ll grow fast.