Earlier this year, it was announced that the prior forefront of Sony Games, Spyro the Dragon, would be receiving a remake of the original trilogy. This announcement was met with excitement and relief, but also left a question for other gamers who met the announcement with uncertainty: would the gaming market be dominated by remakes for the next few years?
Remakes are nothing new to entertainment and can be used as a re-imagining of what could have been. John Carpenter's beloved 1982 movie, The Thing, was a remake of Howard Hawk's movie of the same name from 1951. The reception to both movies was drastically different and gives a reason as to why one is more critically acclaimed than the other. But, what makes the audience's so drawn to these remakes and sequels that are seen more frequently in our generation?
The biggest factor is comfort: we know what to expect if it's been done before. Sequels are guilty of drawing in huge audiences because of this expectation. This was seen when sequels such as The Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory 2 came out, having box office sales respectively of $180 million and $135 million domestically.
These movies drew in audiences of various generations because they were able to provide a simple premised movie that had both nostalgia and character development for characters we hadn't seen in years.
It leaves the question of if these remakes and sequels are necessary. Are we capable of making original movies that can receive as welcoming of an audience compared to a remake or sequel? A step further is asking ourselves: Are we capable of experiencing something new for the first time?
Everyone has activities that they're used to, but these activities were once new to all of us. We weren't born knowing how to ride a bike or speak a language, but through practice and exposure, we began to master these skills to the point that they're second nature to us now. We are all capable of doing something out of routine or trying new habits, but why does it take us so long to begin that process?
I believe the comfort we have in our habits and routines makes it difficult for us to challenge ourselves. Routines give us stability in our hectic lives, but they shouldn't stop us from trying something for the first time. If we are able to challenge our comfort zone and have new experiences, we will be able to progress as individuals and as a generation.
Don't get me wrong: There's nothing wrong with remakes and sequels (I'm so excited for the new Spyro remake). They give us an opportunity to explore stories and ideas that weren't previously addressed, but it shouldn't hinder the need for originality. We should be able to use our nostalgia and love for the past to fuel new ideas and products for the future.
When you hear the words, "try something for the first time", take into consideration what you haven't experienced yet. Go try that restaurant that you've heard all your friends talk about, but haven't had the chance to go yourself. Try ice skating for the first time. Challenge the social norms you've become comfortable with.
If you're preoccupied with staying 'comfortable,' you may miss new experiences you could love in the future.