In ages past, only certain styles of art were considered acceptable. The sculptor Rodin was believed incompetent by critics and people alike because his sculptures did not subscribe to typical conventions of human body proportions. Van Gogh was likewise unsuccessful introducing his new style. Both are now considered paragons of the arts, geniuses before their time. The lens in which the public eye views their work has changed, and with that change, the value of their masterpieces has skyrocketed. Who was right? The societies of old, or our present one? If in five hundred years they are widely regarded as hacks again, would that be true?
I'm not sure I understand. Right in this post you are ascribing to sales =/= quality. Nobody liked them, therefore they were shit.
Psychologically speaking, most people judge the quality of entertainment using their own tastes as a measuring stick; if they enjoy it, it is good. If not, it is bad (simplified, but mostly an accurate assessment). When sagas like Twilight appear and musicians like Justin Bieber enrapture massive fanbases, the natural response from those who do not share those tastes is borderline homicidal rap.
I'd like to see exactly what psychology you're referring to. There is a theory I'm aware of in that "what I like is RIGHT, and people that disagree are WRONG", but I haven't seen what you're talking about.
If something is good, people will hear about it. And if they appreciate it enough, money will exchange at some point. If not, those coins will be exchanged for something better sooner or later. That’s just how people work. You’re not going to go to a restaurant and order something that you wouldn’t feed your dog, you’re going to get something that you like or hope to like, a decision probably made by a past experience. By following sales trends, success can be measured. If something is objectively terrible, the money will stop flowing.
This is a major crux of your argument, and a huge problem to boot. Wherein does expectation deviate from quality? A lot of your point rests on "continues to sell". This is a good statement, but still far from true. Many things continue to sell for other reasons than quality, "mere exposure effect" comes to mind ie; preference based on familiarity. You seem to be saying that hype somehow fits into your idea, but it really doesn't. It's a piece of counter-evidence that you're shoehorning into your theory.
Call of Duty has succeeded. It has entertained those people. It is fun. And it sells accordingly. Smaller games may be more enjoyable to a smaller crowd but the goal of entertainment is to entertain as many people as possible for as long as possible. That’s just the objective way of looking at how my own personal tastes hold up versus the world. I have made the cognitive leap to understand that collective opinion on subjective matters outweighs my own even if I refuse to change my mind.
What I subjectively think is good may not be objectively good, what I think is subjectively bad may not be objectively bad. Same goes for you. Think about that the next time you walk past the line of Twilight fangirls at the theatres only to park yourself in a mostly empty room. Think about that when someone says that they enjoy a game you think is terrible.
Sales=Quality. If you have a better measuring stick that is an objective method of assessing the quality of entertainment, please...enlighten me.
Please read bolded.
While I commend you for stepping up and saying, "my opinion =/= reality", You're conclusion is false. Sales =| quality. Do not "dumb it down" for the mainstream. What you really want to say, is "prolonged sales is related to quality". In that, you are 100% justified.
If you are a student of psychology, I would take this opportunity to remind you of the effects of social conformity. Look at the Asch experiments, and look at cognitive dissonance. Psychologically, people tell themselves they like something even if they don't, because of conformity.
Let me also remind you that business-wise, business model is far more important than quality in determining sales. It is a fact, a bold fact, that to reach the biggest audience, you must make something simple. The entire entertainment industry knows this. It is no surprise that pop-music lyrics focus on easy to understand messages. Lady Gaga called rebecca black a genius, for the lyrics to friday. The story-line to Avatar, was superficial and overdone.
I think the thing that you are confused about, is the process of deciding what is bad, has more to do with experience than you give it credit for. I can say that Avatar's storyline was bad because I've read that same story a thousand different times, everytime in a slightly different background...whereas other people seeing it the first time might be amazed. Additionally, there is also the process of implementation of the story. Their execution was superb. It was a well executed version of the story. But, does that mean the story is quality? If compared to others with the same story, then yes, if compared to other stories, then no.
To further answer a question with a question, if there are two car dealership across the street from one another, and one has lower prices and sells more cars, who has the better cars? The answer is neither. One dealership has a better business model. However, what if the costlier dealership has a free "return in a month for full credit" deal, and it's cars sell more? Is that quality of the car? It looks more like value to me. Those are value driven incentives, which increase the quality of the purchase, but not the quality of the car itself.
So, logically, quality is an abstract idea given value by outside forces such as convenience, or price, or even social conformity.
What this leaves you with, is the logical conclusion that sales=quality is a false statement.
It was a good read, though.
As to Rol saying that McDonalds is better at the job of fast food, well, that's starting to become collectively untrue. Healthy eating (ie; good food) is exploding, with startups such as Ufood, and loose leafs. What I think you're unconsiously saying is that McDonalds food is perfect for the people who want the McDonalds product. Keep in mind though that McDonalds has been successfully sued for their food being "addictive". The level of calories and sugar contained is like a cigarette. They don't get it anywhere else, and the body begins to crave it. Additionally, to counter your point that McDonalds is better off compared with other fast food chains than with high end restaurants, I would say that Mcdonalds ultimately has a better business model, but not better food than say wendy's or arby's or burgerking.