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Trying to start debunking the "Generations of Sonic Fans" perception.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Rhythm Raccoon, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. It's very easy to forget such a simple fact due to being too insular in our own biases, and most of the content we see from Sonic fans is all about how THEIR preferences are superior.

    Sonic is popular, ALL OF IT. Some things may be more popular than others, but Sonic as a whole is incredibly popular.

    Even the Boost games that supposedly "nobody likes" are in fact, very popular.
  2. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    If we added side games that don't fit that much with mainline games (Advance/Rush games fit), we could go nuts. There's probably someone out there whose introduction to the series and favourite game is Sonic Pinball Party, and I won't understand it but sounds perfectly valid. I'm the guy who defends Sonic Shuffle, after all.
  3. In any case, my first game was on the Sonic & Knuckles collection on PC when I was roughly 4 or 5 years old, but since I was too young to have my own console, I wouldn't even be aware of the series again until I got Sonic Adventure 2 on Gamecube roughly five years later. And a year after that, I got Mega Collection and played all of the Classic games. So my formative years were roughly on the 6th Generation of games, but I played enough of the Classics to be just as familiar. Seriously, I've probably replayed Sonic 3 more than any other game in the series to date, to the point where I practically have it memorized.

    But according to most of the old heads on this site, I'm an "Adventure baby" because I just so happen to like those games as well as the Classics. Biases and prejudices are fun :V
  4. cartridgeculture


    Wiki Contributor Member
    I was introduced to the Pico on Christmas 1994, at four years old, and it was singlehandedly the moment that would shape my life the most. And I got a LOT of games for it too; tons of fascinating education and history games, with some Disney games as well. Later, when my father would visit the gym, I’d get dropped off at their on-site “kids club” to be supervised in the meanwhile. And they had a Genesis. Even better, it had Sonic & Knuckles. I didn’t know who the blue circle man was, but bouncing on the mushrooms was fun. I never did beat Mushroom Hill Zone, but for the first true video game I ever played, I’m glad it was a Sonic title.
  5. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think your posts and survey is great.

    However :V

    I think we have to be somewhat careful when making this claim. If someone is 13-19 years old now, they were born in the years range 2002-2008. A lot of kids don't play games the year they come out, especially back then. I'm a perfect example of this. I was born in 1991 and I played Sonic 2 for the first time when I was around 8 in 1997. That was a six year gap, but I'd still consider myself part of the Classic generation and I think a lot of us in our late twenties to early thirties would say the same. Unless we are going to get really absurd and say only those who played Sonic 1 when it first came out in 1991 are the true Classic fans!

    SA2 was released on Gamecube in December 2001. So to be honest, kids who played it in 2007 weren't really any different to me. So I think you can very much say that kids between 13-19 could still be the Adventure generation. I think this is another reason why dividing generations of fans around such arbitrary lines as "they played this game when they grew up" is so misleading.

    If we actually look at the age generations, I think it's more like the following:

    Millennials probably grew up on the Classics and/or Adventure games.
    Gen Z probably grew up on the Adventure games, Heroes, and/or Unleashed.

    The close overlap between the above groups is part of the problem of taking two groups (late millennials and Gen Z) who honestly have more in common than people like to make out, and trying to make some huge wedge between them. People talk about generations of fans being this huge gulf, when sometimes we are taking about five years differences.

    This kind of rhetoric also doesn't factor in collections such as Mega Collection. A Gen Z who was born in 1997 could have played Sonic 2 for the first time at age six when Mega Collection came out. How is their experience any different from mine, despite the fact that the games would have been retro at that point? They still played Classic Sonic at a young age.

    I find the whole lines drawn around generations of fans a tedious form of gatekeeping. And the more you think about it, the more obvious it is.
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  6. ashthedragon


    Dragon Team Researcher
    Sonic Paradise & Sonic Ages
    I'm 34 years old, my first Sonic game was Sonic 1 for Master System. Played the classics all over my childhood, specially 8 bits ones, but also played the Mega Drive ones when I was a bit older ( around 10-12). I loved Sonic, but I woudlnt consider myself a fan back then. There were great games, but there were other games that I liked more.

    What made the difference for me? SA2 Battle. When I was 15 years old. That game really blew my mind. I consider myself an adventure fan even I like most Sonic games. My favourite are the adventure ones, of course, and Im also fond of the 8 bit ones due to nostalgia. I love Forces, 2006 and Black Knight. The ones I like less are Colors, Sonic 4 and Sonic Blast.

    If the fan generations theory were true, I should be a Classic fan. But I'm not. In fact I'm a bit tired of all the classic sonic nostalgia feeding we're having lately. Mania was great but... I hope we dont see Classic sonic anymore in a long time. At least, keep him far away the main 3D titles
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  7. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Wow, I can see several people completely mis-interpreted what I said. I wasn't intending to imply that at all in a "fuck you, your style sucks" sense. I happen to like boost games, and I said it'd be the same as Adventure eventually. "Minority" was used in a "this number is lower" sense, which it is. "Really" was used in a "they hardcore like it" sense for Adventure fans.

    Maybe I should just bail now and not say anything else, lest I get another round of attacks.
  8. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    Honestly I think a large point which a lot of people are missing is that Sonic Mania has a lot of popularity across age demographics because it's relatively new and was good. If a new Adventure title came out and was good it would probably have similar widespread popularity. In fact, I think if @Josh did that poll in 2013 Generations would have been a lot more popular.

    People have their favourites, whether it be Sonic 3 or SA2, but I think the fact that Mania is new gives it a unique position. People like to go back to old games but having something fresh is always going to make it more imprinted in your mind. It'll be interesting to see how Mania is received in 2030. Will it still be incredibly popular or will it go the route of Generations?

    Anyway, in my own opinion, Mania is by far the best Sonic game ever made :V
  9. Just gonna say, as the person who started this thread lol-

    I grew up with the classics as my first sonic games, and hold them very near and dear to my heart. I had mega collection. First time playing it was in 2006 when 06 was in development and Shth was the newest game. :p

    On a different note, @Laura I agree that the generations divide the internet has come up with is just an elaborate form of gatekeeping. Like 100%. People will like what they like, sure, but I couldn't shake the idea that the sonic fanbase is just like any other in almost every aspect, and yet apparently we're cursed with some obscene fanbase split that we can't shake.

    All of these studies Josh shared and the stories we all have on our experiences are quickly revealing that, no- we are just like any other community. We'll squabble and fight, sure, but at the end of the day we all have the real super power of teamwork helping us keep our favorite blue boi going strong when the internet at large is determined to pin him down.
  10. Josh


    I hope I didn't make you feel like I was trying to pile on! I've been on the other side of that myself, and I know how disheartening it can be.

    So, I saw this survey talked about on another board, and the consensus seemed to be that older people tend to be more "set in their ways," as if everyone 28 and up is an old codger. :V But it did get me thinking... clearly, fans have a tendency to put what they grew up with on a pedestal sometimes, right?

    If you were 10 years old in 1991, then you were an adult by the time Sonic Adventure came out. The only games you could have that reverential childhood nostalgia for would be the classics. But if you were a kid in the 2000s, then reissued compilations OF said classics were every bit as accessible as the brand-new games, and (due to lower price points) were probably easier to come by. You wouldn't believe how often I get a comment from someone who discovered the series through Mega Collection, or if they're a little younger, that DS collection we all griped about when it came out. :V

    And if you were a kid of the 2010s, forget about it, you had fairly easy access to just about everything, and a robust internet to help you find AND contextualize it. There were 13 year olds in the poll whose favorite game is Sonic 3 & Knuckles, or Sonic Adventure 2, or Sonic Generations.

    Maybe the younger crowd has a better balance between preferences because, sort of in line with what @Laura was saying, they grew up with everything. You're not nearly as likely to be put off by a shift in the series' tone or identity in retrospect, if you weren't a fan yet when it happened. That's probably also why many people's least-favorite games tended to be ones they were old enough to be aware of at launch.

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  11. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Now that I think about it, being a fan is something very personal, especially when it comes to video games. It's not like with music, where you can simply go to a concert, join the crowd and have a good time. As a kid, my classmates (who were also into video games) would not always understand what I was saying when I talked about a certain blue hedgehog. I would think to myself, 'Well, how could they know?', and leave it at that. Thankfully, stuff like that changed over the last two decades. The internet has become a place where people go to find proof of what they believe in, argue, socialize, and even do business. The fact that we're all able to share a love for something with others online is pretty awesome, but I think it's also important to realize that it's not all about yourself. Some things just stay in the RL. For example, you read a review on a website. Sometimes you might disagree with the opinion, call it outrageous and then post a heated comment, but what if you just didn't belong to the target audience?

    Anyway, to get back on to topic, I know that my siblings all loved Heroes for some reason. Must have been the music. And my friends back in school liked SA2, but thought that Rush used too many effects.
  12. No. Bad. Rush is a perfect 10/10 game. Heresy. ;)
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    often the real thing™ Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    It's wiki time. There's no need to be afraid.
    Aren't all these charts misleading unless you've ensured everyone taking part in the poll has played every single game?

    I wouldn't expect 13 year olds to have much of an opinion on Sonic 2006 - the game is older than they are, and it's been out of print for more than a decade. Meanwhile Sonic Forces is still relatively new and is exactly the sort of game a 13 year old might end up owning.

    And I'm a sysop on a Sonic wiki and I've played neither! And because I haven't played Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (thought I'd mention that one - nobody else has), my "worst Sonic game" vote would go to Sonic 4 - a "generational" thing or "I don't want to play bad Sonic games" thing?
  14. Josh


    They might be extremely misleading, sure! Like I said on the last page, this is one of the major weaknesses of self-selected polls, especially about qualitative opinions. Even in a controlled environment where researchers can conduct one-on-one interviews with respondents, there's no real way to account for why people's opinions are what they are, or to know with precision how representative the results are. For instance, a great deal of research studies use college students because they're studying in the field, or they have the free time to participate. It's easier to conduct a study on a college campus. But these results will sometimes then get reported and interpreted as if they apply to a much wider population.

    With an anonymous internet poll, I can't be sure where the results are coming from (maybe Twitter users skew differently from Discord communities), or if a bad actor lied about their age trying to skew the results, or took the poll repeatedly to stuff the box with their favorite/least-favorite game. I'm trusting that most people WOULDN'T do that, and I didn't see any surefire evidence of the latter (which would be fairly obvious) in the raw data, but you can't discount the possibility. This is one reason I promoted the poll with no indication of what I was actually going to be doing with it, in hopes that would cut down on anything like that.

    Regardless, yeah: It's an anonymous internet poll. Definitely don't use this as hard evidence of anything.
  15. Flygon


    Is it practical to retake the poll using some form of ranked choice voting? We know there's already issues with titles such as Sonic Colors being lost by not being perfect but not being bad, so not ranking statistically on a FPTP poll. Even if they probably do mean a lot to people, and might be captured by a poll that lets them be 3rd or 2nd best game in many people's minds.
    Of course, the more complex poll might result in less people voting, and reduce the sample size.
  16. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    What would be an easier redo: instead of "How old are you?", ask "What was your first Sonic game?". Granted, depending on how old they were at the time, they may not remember. I couldn't for the life of me tell you if I played Sonic 1 or 2 first.
  17. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    I played Sonic 2 first, in fact Sonic 1 was the last of the original trilogy I played. That's why I didn't like it as much. It felt like a down grade
  18. Frostav


    Ehhhhh......I don't think that's quite true. 06 is an infamous game, and now people are endlessly churning through youtube and watching videos seemingly all-day. And 13-year-olds are the exact kind of demographic who would watch youtubers incessantly, and Sonic 06's infamous reputation has kept it alive in the public sphere enough that these kids would soak up the public opinion on it through osmosis. The game is nigh inescapable when discussing 3D Sonic and while mainstream gaming culture has pretty much wrung that well dry it's still a common enough discussion topic to get to these kids.

    The game being out of print means little: to kids these days, watching a youtuber or streamer play a game is basically the same as playing it themselves, so their inability to actually play it doesn't really matter. All they need to hear is horror stories about the game's bugginess, or its plot (and that infamous scene), or watch clips of the meme moments and lets players doing stupid shit and their opinion is pretty much set already.
  19. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I also think it's completely irrelevant if they've played every game. The point of the poll by @Josh is to find general trends of what Sonic fans at certain ages think of the series. Whether they've played a lot of games is beside the point. If you have played a Sonic game and liked it then you can be a Sonic fan.
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  20. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    People younger than me seem to like music much older than me and retro games alongside the modern stuff.

    Game industry likes to use nostalgia as an excuse when they fuck things up. Its literally just an excuse.