Entertainment ADHD Parents claim they love all their children equally. This is a lie. You know who the favorite in the family was (it was totally you). But it’s more complicated than a simple binary designation of who is number one and who are the leftovers; as you and your siblings grew up your personalities shifted, interests adapted and different quirks became more relevant that endeared you to your parents. The rankings were in a constant flux, unless you were a weird only child (like me). Or I assume so – I don’t have kids. My ‘children’ in this bizarre metaphor (which I’m nailing with poet-laureate skills) are comics, movies, television, anime and games. Did I have more fun killing this guy the first time or the 1,000th time? I love them all and would be hard pressed to choose one over the other for my lifetime entertainment desires. However, in the moment I clearly have a favorite that I want to spend more free time with than others. It isn’t always the same response, it’s a constant shift from one to the other. They are all always there, just with varying degrees. Currently, I am on a TV-kick. I want to steamroll through seasons of television, watch characters grow and get lost in the mythology of the world building. Eventually it will cycle back to the interactivity and nuance of videogames or it could switch to the production value and character arcs of self-realization only possible in movies (and books I assume…but what is this 1812!? – we have electricity for a reason). Comics aren’t in the running right now…I completed a “Dear John” letter to comics last year and it pains me to stay that it is still relevant. I read previews, reviews and spoiler pieces on media sites and fan blogs – the industry is still in a weird treadmill of blockbuster-events and ‘gotcha’ shock storytelling. I still read the sites, proving I’m interested in returning and hope things become better…but they haven’t yet. Now we know where I’ve been, my current status and can accurately predict where I’m going…only not so much. The “why” of the constant shift in focus eludes me. Change can rejuvenate a series…or be a jumping off point. I can’t tell if its burnout on my part, 500 hours of Destiny can do that to the most hardcore of Guardians, or that I spend too much time with the medium and see more of its faults and pitfalls. Am I just jumping from house to house like a neurotic puppy who thinks the grass is greener on the next lawn? I believe it’s a measure of utility (a philosophical ‘happiness’ widget to count joy in the world). There is a belief that repeat activities generate less utility because expectations are set and the value of surprise and discovery is lost. This holds true when engaging with the same IP repetitively. There is a cadence to shows, a rhythm to games that can be comforting but also becomes a predictable pattern that loses some of the luster. Utility explains why fans enjoyed Avengers: Age of Ultron, but walked out of the theater with the sentiment “it’s more Avengers” as if that was a bad thing. Another hypothesis is the worship of the newest-shiniest-best. The jumps in entertainment media aren’t controlled by my subconscious but are a pavlovian response as I react to market forces designed to drive my attention (and wallet) in their direction. There is a premium in being at the cutting edge, as a wise man once said “old game is old” and in a world where the East Coast can spoil shows for the West through live-tweets we are all busy running full speed in our hamster wheels to say ahead of the curve. I’m just a victim of my desire to be an early adopter. Gimmick storytelling or a breakthrough concept? Regardless of why, time is a premium; it is the one currency you can’t reclaim (unless science comes up with some next-gen magic-level breakthrough). How we choose to spend it says a lot about ourselves and our values. I value fun and would rather be a Chris-of-all-trades in entertainment instead of focusing all my energies on one media (not to say I don’t have some valuable opinions on everything). I’ll continue to follow the bouncing ball of interest as it jumps from one media ‘child’ to the next, unable to declare a winner but trying to enjoy them all fairly (which doesn’t mean equally or the same), just like a good parent….I think. How do you consume entertainment? Are you consistent in how you spend your time with different media or do you see patterns of waning interest? Is there anything that you once loved, that you have completely given up on? Level Up, Friends!