Is popular "geek culture" infantilising a generation of adults?

A generation ago, merchandise for film/TV/anime/literature pitched at children and young adults was also aimed at children and young adults. In 2017, we are seeing a rise in merchandise pitched to adult aficionados – think Pokeball serving bowls and superhero-themed shot glasses. Do these trends mirror an entire generation that is unable to grow up? Is this just about rampant capitalism? Or is this generation of 20 and 30 somethings just passionate, and less ashamed than their Gen X and Baby Boomer family members?

  • Yes. But in a way it is nice to see people keeping their inner child alive. Last September I attended a ComicCon and was impressed by the quality of handmade items available by various artists. Also, in talking to some of these adults, I sensed that for them, their work was a real labour of love. It was an eye opener for me. I like your point that these are not shameful pleasures as in the past. I think Cosplay also could be included to support your point. "Embracing the Inner Child" could be a title here. – Munjeera 6 years ago
  • Amazing topic. I've never really grown up, myself (my PopVinyl collection will tell you all you need to know about that😁). It might also be interesting to delve into the blurring of fact and fiction and how many young people on social media are using fiction to illustrate injustices in the real world. – AGMacdonald 6 years ago
  • I think you'll need to make important distinctions between types of merchandise that have gotten more popular; there have always been statues and t-shirts, for example. But now you see leggings and underwear, pop figures, piggy banks, etc. There are Rick and Morty (and Mr. Meeseeks) plushies! It also, obviously, depends on the show. – IndiLeigh 6 years ago
  • I'd like to comment on just this one question: "Do these trends mirror an entire generation that is unable to grow up?" I don't think that's the case at all. I think it's very possible to be a highly functioning adult and still not fully put away childish things, regardless of what we find in the "good book." – JamesBKelley 6 years ago

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