Sunday, April 24, 2011

Story tellers can serve a higher purpose

Since the ancient times, entertainers such as storytellers, musicians, artists all have served a higher purpose than just entertaining people.
Many still perform those duties today... but some have moved away from that sense of purpose.
I would like to remind myself, and perhaps others with it.

Since the old times, stories are always meant to teach a lesson, promote a good value, record history, in order to securely build a culture where people who grow up with it can feel they belong to. Same with music, and its lyrics. Visual Arts wise... it's what gave people identity. (fashion, pottery, items)

While most of us remember this... some don't.

Therefore it is not good for some entertainers to forget that and think they are just entertaining people.
When people look to them, they dodge their responsibility by saying "Hey I am just an entertainer."
Like making an overly violent game with no positive messages in the end, and then say "hey, I'm just a game developer."

I'm not against violence/sex/drugs as a tool for a good message, I use them ALL.
The world has violence/sex/drugs, we need to know/learn about it, covering it up doesn't make it go away, kids want to know about it, so it's better to talk about it, than to think they are all little angels shielded away from the world's dirtiness, no they are not. Be real about this, they want to grow up, into this world.
There are deviant entertainers who perform with contents that are questionable even to me, but they can reach an audience I can't reach, so if they can still be good leaders, I don't mind their rebellious contents.

I personally actually have gone the opposite way... making mature material with kids in mind. lol I have always pictured one of my reader is probably 9-11 year olds... even if I am making a story for adults. And it's true.... some of my readers appear to be that age, and they are so desensitized it doesn't bother them. (though that bothers me a bit.)

I support adult material, if they are sensible and make good messages. (past legends have no "ratings" its Rated E for everyone... with all the sick stuff in it anyway.)

While it's no good to just be a preacher, (leave that to the politicians/elders) our jobs as storytellers, entertainers, should be recognizing what role we are playing to the people who are watching us. We are potential moral role models. So it doesn't matter if the work is full of curses, or violence, or sex or bad things... its the end message that counts. However, I support ratings... so kids who want to peek in at least know what they are getting into.

All writers, comic artists, animators, film makers, musicians, actors, game developers are part of the storytelling team... if anyone's involved in these media reading this, I hope they understand the power that they have, the influence that they have over all their viewers/readers/audience.

Speaking of which.... I have betrayed my own ideal recently....
I had agreed to a job I figured I rather not do due to the non-positive message in it.... I was shaky about it, decided I don't want to do it thinking its a private commission, but this client happened to claim he's attached to another company in Jordan and they thought I was going to do it.....
I do feel stuck in this situation, but i can't go back on my word now...
I have asked the client not to put it online fearing its bad influence if I ever do it for them and he agreed.
I hope he keeps his promise, if he doesn't, I'll suffer for it, consider it one of my mistakes.

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