Transmedia With a Negative Tone
This Summer I attended Awesome Con. It’s a multi-genre convention, one of those “nerd conventions”, as I’ve heard them talked about before. I was working the merchants room with my boyfriend, because his boss has a booth at the show and they need people to sell and/or take money. Here is a link if you want to check out what they’ll have this year.
I enjoy an array of media just as any other human being does. Do I know everything? No. I don’t tend to know much about video games, much to some people’s disapproval. Does that necessarily mean that I, the lone me, should represent the female gender as a whole in video game knowledge? Hell no.
Our booth was rectangular in shape, with comic book long boxes on one long side, and both short sides. If a customer wanted to see a figure or such up close, we would grab it and bring it up to them. A simple enough system; most people would point and about 98% of the time I knew exactly what they were asking for.
Everything was going great, we were making money, but more importantly we were making people happy. Until one gentleman was asking for a figure from a higher shelf. He wasn’t pointing, but he kept saying a name. With the higher shelves, the names of the figures were harder to see and I could barely hear his voice. Then he started calling the figure the “Fox thing” and was really frustrated that I kept asking “This one?” and pointing to the wrong box.
FINALLY, after a short, annoying amount of time he said, “The Final Fantasy figure on the top shelf.” I was able to locate the figure with this new information and as I handed the Fox Thing from Final Fantasy he said, in the most degrading way…
“That’s why they made the movie, for you Girls.”
I said nothing and waited from him to either pay or hand the figure back. Thinking back I was mostly shocked at his comment because as a female I am used to seeing stupid comments like that one on blog posts or YouTube comments or even Facebook. However, as a female, I had never had anyone actually anything like that to my face.
Looking past the fact that I know plenty of females who play Final Fantasy and other “manly” video games, this guy brought up a question that is interesting. Do companies use different mediums to gain an audience they believed were overlooked? Or do they produce trans-media products exclusively for the profit? Is it a combination of both aspects, plus further name recognition?
It could be possible that Star Wars had Rey as the main character to be in a category they believed to be previously ignored in the franchise. Disney owns Star Wars, so they already are appealing to different demographics of people.
I personally believe that companies create multi-media products because they wish to make profit and expand their name and universe. They don’t specifically look to appeal to specific demographics, however they wish to reach more of an audience, in general. Companies do have to combat problems of misogyny that are rooted in entertainment. The more mediums they use the better their name looks and is recognized, which means more profit and income. And most businesses hold profit as their number one priority. I’m not saying that every company that produces media does this, however we can agree that profits help run their company, pay their employees, and keep their products coming.