Alex Kurtzman Says Something Correct, For Once

I was reading an article about how Star Trek Picard is no good, very bad, and awful (which is true), and something towards the beginning really stuck out. It quotes Alex Kurtzman, destroyer of franchises, currently showrunning (into the ground) the Star Trek franchise. And, to my great shock, the words quoted actually were true! Just about had a heart attack, I did. So, what did he say? For those of you who didn’t click through and read the article:

If you really want Star Trek to reach people, then you’ve got to start young.

This is 110% true. Star Trek is a dying franchise. Almost literally: the bulk of the fanbase – or at least those willing to spend money – are 50+. There’s a reason the conventions are so expensive. There’s a reason there’s Star Trek: The Cruise. It’s all old folks. I figure I’m at the lower end – and I’m in my 30’s! To avoid the inevitable end of the fanbase, it needs to be replenished. You do have to start young.

Most of those old guys still going to conventions? They started young. Many with syndicated reruns of OG Trek, or with the old movies. People of my generation probably started with TNG. I’ve been watching since I was a baby: my parents were both into it, and were watching TNG as it started. My dad even had (almost) the complete collection of the TOS VHS collection, back when that was really expensive (buying physical copies of Trek shows has always been quite expensive for some reason). I still have some of those Micro Machines ship toys.

HOWEVER, that’s not what Kurtzman is actually doing. When he talks about young, he’s not talking about kids. He’s talking about folks in their 20’s. Adults. You can’t build a strong fanbase out of adults, not for something like Trek. It almost requires starting from very young. That was the thing with old Trek: it was for the whole family. Kids could watch and enjoy. So could their parents, older siblings, and everyone. Modern Trek is for people in their 20’s and older. It’s the exact opposite of family friendly. You can’t get small kids watching and enjoying this. (And really, most adults wouldn’t enjoy it either.)

That’s a big problem with Trek right now: it’s looking for a new fanbase, when what it needs to do is grow its fanbase. Current Trek is not for kids, and it’s not for old fans. The creators actively spit in the faces of old fans, yet don’t create a quality product that will actually get them that new fanbase they’re desperately hoping to get.

And even then, they’re chasing the wrong demo. Trek, like many franchises, lives on its merchandise sales. Have you seen any real STD or Picard merch? Or heck, even the stuff from the most recent movies? No, not really. Certainly not in stores, not even the specialty stuff. I remember being in university, going to Wal Mart, and seeing Trek stuff. No longer. Any merch still being sold is of the older Treks. Companies now won’t even license stuff, since it won’t sell. The old guys with money don’t want it, and the new audience – such as it is – isn’t the sort to buy that kind of stuff. Kids of course don’t want it, since they don’t even know the franchise exists.

So, Kurtzman said the right words, but he didn’t mean them in the right way. Indeed, his idea, as usual, was completely wrong and backward.

May That Was, June That Will Be

I’ve been a bit lazy. OK, really lazy. I didn’t mean for the blog to completely die once Blapril was over. It’s not like I have haven’t had things to write about. Matter of fact, I have a blog post almost ready, that is written out on-paper (literally), that I’ve had sitting around since before I wrote this post (and indeed, was inspired by the same thing). I even took it on vacation with me, so I would have something easy to post while I was away from home.

But no, just too lazy. Been too ‘busy’ reloading twitter and watching youtube. It wasn’t that long ago when I could go 30+ minutes sometimes with nobody posting anything on twitter. Now, with only a few more people I follow, that’s gone up significantly. And not just because of current events: I swear these folks just post constantly. I just don’t understand that. Maybe it’s those kids with their cellular tele smart thingymajigs that they constantly use. I just can’t stand phoneposting. Makes my teeth itch.

Anyways, that’s enough for the self-flagellation. Now, what did I do last month? Well, I got a new game, surprise surprise. Mentioned I went on vacation. I was going to stay with my grandparents for a couple of nights (since, unlike my parents, they actually have spare bedrooms), but they didn’t have good wifi, so I couldn’t just rely on my tablet games. So, for the first time ever, I decided to detach my Switch from the TV, and use it like a portable. But what game? I’d finished (or ‘finished’) the games I had for it.

What I really wanted to get was Rune Factory 4. But I wanted physical (I don’t like the idea of putting full games on the SD card if I can help it), and Wal Marts in the area didn’t have it (Wal Mart having Switch games for $10 off in general). I didn’t want to get a game that would be way better on TV, either, so no Astral Chain and what-not. So I got Final Fantasy XII. I’ve been waiting to get that on Steam for under $20, but that looks like it won’t happen; and the Switch version is apparently the definitive version anyways.

So I’ve played it for a few hours now, and it’s just as good as I remembered. I don’t know what’s improved so far, it feels mostly the same to me, but I’m still in the beginning (he says, after playing eight hours). Haven’t even gotten Asche yet. (Technically only Basche is with Vaan right now, and we’re “on our way” to get Balthier and Fran.)

So that’s my one new game (which I’ve already played before). Got some DLC for Cities Skylines on the Humble Bundle, but it turns out I already had the bulk of it, only getting some music packs and Campus expansion (I mistook Mass Transit for Sunset Harbor, which wasn’t part of the bundle apparently). I don’t think I got anything else…

Otherwise, I’ve mostly been playing New Vegas. Playing it back-to-back with my last character probably wasn’t the wisest choice, but I’m sticking to it. Don’t know if I mentioned this, but this new build is meele exclusively. I’ve put some points into unarmed, but not many, and I don’t plan on using it. Chainsaw is an awesome weapon, and it’s not bad to use with the jury rigging perk (“why yes, I do repair a chainsaw with a baseball bat; don’t you?”). I’m also going NCR this time, and will probably do at least Dead Money dlc in addition to the Old World Blues that I’ve already done. But I am getting tired of it, I must admit.

In mobage news, I started playing BangDream Girls’ Party (Bandori for short), on a lark. It’s a rhythm game, which predisposes me to not like it. I just can’t keep a beat worth a damn. And even on my chromebook it stutters quite a bit; I don’t know how people play this – and play it well! – on their phones. But it’s cute, even if it’s legitimately the dumbest cast of girls in any anime game ever (I swear, I legit don’t know how Kokoro even functions). But I’m getting better, and the gacha is just for fun.

Also, I got a new tablet. I guess this fits in more with June, because I got it on the 1st, but I got a new, and good (Galaxy Tab s5e), tablet. Turns out that Dragalia Lost is requiring an upgrade; Android devices need 4gb of memory to even run anymore – or rather, in August. I figured that, I had the money now, who knows what the future will bring (might need to move), so just future-proof myself. And man, what a difference it makes. It actually downloads at a human pace, even in my wifi-eating bedroom. Also, it actually runs Pokemon Masters, which is a good bonus too.

Now, plans for June? I don’k know. Finish this playthrough of New Vegas, for sure. Figure I’ll continue on with FFXII, even though I won’t be doing any more vacations or travelling for a long time (drove almost 1900 miles on this trip; also got a ticket, which sucks). I’m thinking of getting back into Stellaris, maybe get a couple of the DLC’s. I also want to play another anime rpg, but the games I’ve started (Tales of Zestiria, Atellier Dusk, Blue Reflection, …) aren’t really speaking to me. One of the SAO games, perhaps? Maybe the one that doesn’t have Kirito as MC (the shooter one, I think?). Honkai Impact 3rd, now that I have a good tablet? Or maybe I’ll just be lazy and treat twitter as entertainment. We’ll see.