Each year the media market is flooded with more new experiences than we could ever hope to count. From games to movies, thousands of projects hit the shelves, but only a few manage to stay within the public eye. Sometimes, media created to become huge hits end up critical and commercial bombs. Other times, smaller projects reach far wider than ever intended, becoming important milestones in their generation’s zeitgeist. Taking a look at some long-time favorites in movies and interactive entertainment, we want to investigate how this can happen.
Blackjack and Casino Games
Though many digital games aim to push the envelope with new ideas, casino games like blackjack online have offered fundamentally the same experience for generations. Here, titles like Lighting and Original Blackjack play with rules that date back to around 1700, yet they’re still just as popular as ever. The reason why this is possible is simple, the games speak to us on a fundamental level. They’re simple to learn, they’re impossible to master, and they’re playable with real money on the line. Update these opportunities with the convenience of modern tech, and everlasting appeal has simply continued as normal.
Before getting into specifics, no talk of movie hits is complete without first going into the worldwide phenomenon that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bringing in over $20 billion so far, the MCU has been a hit that few would have seen coming a couple of decades ago. Around the new millennium, comic movies were almost always derided as a joke, so this series becoming the biggest of all time was not a safe bet.
The overwhelming success of the MCU has been owed to several factors. The first is our constant love of action movies. The biggest wave of these movies like Terminator 2 found success through science fiction action, and this made a perfect fit for comic book interpretation. Combine this with a public who had grown up with comic books, vastly improving CGI, and the success of self-contained film series like 2002’s Spider-Man, and the stage was set.
First released in 1977, George Lucas wasn’t confident his Star Wars film would do well, but the public had other ideas. As for what made Star Wars successful, some of this is owed to the audience being hungry for a new experience, but thanks also have to go towards what was then cutting-edge effects technology.
Star Wars was a spectacle like nothing audiences had ever seen, essentially becoming the first big name that proved what the future of high-tech epics could contain. The systems pioneered in Star Wars were thanks to Lucas’ effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, which had formed in 1975. ILM became the standard against which everyone else was measured, with its contributed effects a decade ahead of their time, many of which still stand up today.
With these three examples, the one connecting factor is that classics have an appeal that extends beyond their immediate release window. They’re timeless, affecting our interests at the core of our beings. Though our environment may change, our love of adventure and fun remains the same, and whether intentional or accidental, these examples leverage that part of humanity. A hundred years from now, we wouldn’t be surprised to see these still brought up in the media zeitgeist, no matter what direction the future takes them.