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RisenShadow

Honestly, does "coming of age" ever stop? (potentially create a more powerful narrative)

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Meandering thought

So in episode 2 they talked a little bit about the concept of a boy and a girl coming of age. I assume we're talking about that whole transition of going from being a teenager to young adult.

I can't help but think that the whole coming of age thing never stops. I mean, I remember trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to be when I was turning 20....trying to define myself. I would look at those older than me and marvel at how they were so definite on who they were and what they believe. How they aren't swayed by others and take this heroic stance on their moral beliefs.

Now I'm 30 and still admiring those older than me, but now it's because they're managers at work, they make decisions every day that affect our business and the direction our little piece of society takes. I try to understand why they make the decisions they do in hopes of gleaning just a fragment of their life experience and world view for myself.

Those things that I held in such high regards when I was 20 now seem detriments rather than benefits now. Knowing who you are is all well and good, but refusing to change or making dramatic decisions because you're letting your emotions control you do seem to lead to more foolish results rather than heroic.

Concise Summary and how it relates to the story idea

Tim and Co, please consider not just locking in to one time segment to tell your story. The first 15 minutes of the movie Up was a far more powerful and compelling story than many tales told in 120 minutes. I think (and feel free to offer a counterpoint to this) that part of the reason was because we didn't just see them as kids falling in love, or teens learning who they were, but because we got to see them grow into adults, share some beautiful memories across the ages, and stand with them as they felt lost and alone again.

A time skip is not necessarily a bad idea for a game to allow a player to see how their choices affect the character and the world. Perhaps even allow multiple solutions to a single puzzle to guide the development of the characters (good for re playability too).

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Age doesn't matter, I can definitely see our characters being:

The "boy" is from a futuristic world where life has naturally been extended significantly. He's a 90 year old living in his mother's basement.

The girls is a 200 year old sorceress who's been given the secret of internal youth, and, fearing how others would want to exploit it, has shut herself out from the world.

:)

But hey, a time skip is not a bad idea, either. :)

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I'm bringing in the professionals.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ComingOfAgeStory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildungsroman

I'm glad TVTropes has a page for this, because Wikipedia doesn't have as much of a list as I'd hoped, and while I'm sure those are all classics (I love Catcher in the Rye), I think it helps to have examples from pop culture that feel more relevant and approachable. I'm looking to see whether they've got come examples with people in more adult stages of life. There's The Graduate, which at least moves away from children and teenagers.

Well, the TVTropes definition includes the age of 20 that you mention, but you make a good point. Is there any reason a coming of age story couldn't be written for someone at any age?

I haven't reached your age yet, so I can't say from personal experience. I would venture to guess that although we continue to grow as humans throughout our whole lives, there really is something special about the transition from childhood to adulthood. Maybe while similar stories about personal growth could be written for a protagonist at any age, it's not really the same thing.

But what do I know? 20 is a pretty arbitrary age. Other than being a number divisible by 10 there's nothing special that happens at that point. 22 might make more sense. That's around when people graduate. Why not 30 or 40 or 50? And, I suppose that even if a story about a 30 year old would be completely different, there's no reason that couldn't be used as a part of a coming of age story, and a very powerful part at that.

And that's basically what you said. It's a neat idea that could work. You never did say that a coming of age story should focus on a 30 year old anyway, so why was I even talking about that? Well, now I'm curious. How different would it be? Would it still be a coming of age story? Does it matter? We're just pigeon holing genres. But it does matter, because genres tell us certain things about a story and give us certain expectations. It's okay to break those expectations sometimes, but if you call a romantic comedy an action thriller you're just plain lying.

I'm done.

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A coming of age story doesn't necessarily mean "getting old", I think. Up is not really a coming of age story but it's an interesting case to look at. It is true that the first ~15 minutes of Up is super sad and compelling, but I think the hundred minutes that follows it is more of a coming-of-age story. There is a clear character growth in Carl during those hundred+ minutes. It's more of a coming of age story because he learns how to be happy with his life and to care for others again etc., while before he had an almost childish obsession on completing his dream on his own. The point of the genre I think is to condense character growth into a shorter (chronologically speaking) story. That's why a child or a teenager is often used, since they usually start with little experience and go through change very quickly. If the story is 4-year long with time skips, we'll end up with another Grim Fandango (not that I'd be complaining.)

This is a good point to bring up, though. It's not really necessary to have young children as protagonists. We don't really know where that idea is going yet, though. The children might become a metaphor for Tim's experience in the game industry, or for adventure games themselves. I'm really interested in seeing where it goes.

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The coming of age is traditionally a story covering the transition from childhood to being "of age", which is at the basest level the old fashioned equivalent of being over the age of consent and/or old enough to marry. It makes for good story telling because there's a lot of changes and drama both internal and external.

That said I think Noble Psychomaster may have hit on a potentially interesting idea. What if the world of the future has gotten to the point where people no longer age, get old and die, or at least are extraordinarily long lived. This could mean he meets the past girl through whatever means DF come up with when they're both young and follow them as they grow up together, but once they reach adult hood the boy effectively ceases to age while the girl he loves moves on through her life into old age and presumably eventual death.

Perhaps it's a bit melodramatic or art house for a Double Fine game, but I imagine with a bit of thought it could fit into one of Schafer's esoteric universes.

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I totally agree that growth never stops (although you can certainly put the breaks on if you lock down your belief system to the extent that you stop re-evaluating) but there are definitely certain rites of passage or transitional hot-spots, if you like.. I really liked Tim's description of grabbing hold of the wheel and starting to take responsibility for the direction your life is taking.

Time skips or long periods of time being represented in some way does appeal to me, I think the extra scope can really bring out some poignancy and awe in a story. I don't think it's too melodramatic for a Double Fine game. I found Grim Fandango evocative in that sort of way, and the fact that it actually moved me is a big part of why I love it so much (now I really have to get back to finishing my recent playthrough, it's been years since I've seen the later parts of the game).

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I believe that part of growing up is kind of coming to accept that nobody really grows up. Once you realise that you can either

(1) pretend harder at being a grown up until even you believe it yourself, or else

(2) just sort of make peace with the fact that you're never going to receive that 'welcome to adulthood' starter pack that tells you how to behave and what to do to be an adult. Once you do that, it's amazing how you can view the world with a childlike wonder again, and a lot more fun, be more creative, see the value in play.

There's a passage from the Bible that I hate: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." I get the feeling Paul of Tarsus was a (1) kind of guy.

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Good point! There can definitely be a lot of social or societal pressure to get more serious and self-important and bury that wonder and playfulness, and I think you're right that a truly mature outlook sees through that. Funnily, you reminded me of a passage from the Bible (not that I remember many), attributed to Jesus himself, that seems to imply the opposite of the one you mentioned: "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven". I think that's the first time I've quoted the Bible on a forum.

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Here's something I'm thinking about.

If coming of age stories can encompass any age, what exactly makes it a coming of age story? The most immediate point is character growth, but character growth isn't something specific to coming of age stories. I wouldn't say it happens in every story, but character growth is very common, and I have heard people say that it should be in every story (I don't agree).

Is it about how much the character grew? Or maybe it's a certain form of character growth.

I don't see it cited anywhere as a coming of age story, but I wonder whether Fight Club should be considered a coming of age story. I kind of think it should.

And Scott Pilgrim (the comic) should be a coming of age story. The movie lost a lot of that character growth, and while I can understand that decision when changing mediums, I was a bit disappointed by that.

When people talk about definitions a lot, a frequent response it that it's pointless and constraining. While that's true in a sense, we're talking about a coming of age story. If we take away all constraints, we could start talking about something other than a coming of age story too, and that would be fine. But it would be a slightly different discussion that's not necessarily about coming of age stories anymore.

Is No More Heroes a coming of age story? I think it might be.

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While I think it is true that one "never really grows up", I think to focus on that is to think about the bildungsroman from the wrong angle.

Framing your understanding of "coming of age" to mean something like "coming to wisdom" (and people are never truly finished coming to wisdom) is to limit your understanding of the genre too much. People are gaining wisdom and experience all the time, yes, but a bildungsroman is a liiiittle more complex than that.

Typically the bildungsoman IS about GAINING experience, wisdom, maturity. But it would be wrong to put all the emphasis there.

The bildungsroman is simultaneously about LOSING the shelter, the naiveté, the innocence of youth---a painful process.

The bildungsroman is not just about what you get by journeying TO; it is also about the bittersweet journey AWAY.

We are all getting older and wiser all the time, but the difference between age 8 and age 18 is a very different transition from age 18 to age 28. The chasm between 8 and 18 is much wider, and the amount that is gained/lost is much more significant. It is its own literary genre for a reason. To dismiss it as "big deal, we're all doing that all the time" is to misunderstand it, I think.

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Coming of age doesn't necessarily mean growing up to be a certain age, and thinking of what to do with your life. I think its more to do with becoming more mature, and getting a better understanding of how the world works. Even still, I guess that doesn't really change to a certain extent. But I think once people lose their innocence (I'm not talking about having sex) they get set in a certain way, and they don't change much. Did that make any sense?

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Coming of age doesn't necessarily mean growing up to be a certain age, and thinking of what to do with your life. I think its more to do with becoming more mature, and getting a better understanding of how the world works. Even still, I guess that doesn't really change to a certain extent. But I think once people lose their innocence (I'm not talking about having sex) they get set in a certain way, and they don't change much. Did that make any sense?

Yeah, and actually Philip Pullman uses that as a theme in the His Dark Materials series of books, which are a bildungsroman story, among other things.

In those books, every character in Lyra's world has a "daemon" that accompanies them everywhere. Children's daemons constantly shapeshift into all kinds of different forms (although they have favorites). But once a child matures and becomes an adult, they kinda settle into an identity, and then their daemon settles into a form reflective of their character and never changes shape again.

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Typically the bildungsoman IS about GAINING experience, wisdom, maturity. But it would be wrong to put all the emphasis there.

The bildungsroman is simultaneously about LOSING the shelter, the naiveté, the innocence of youth---a painful process.

The bildungsroman is not just about what you get by journeying TO; it is also about the bittersweet journey AWAY.

Ah! Thank you very much. I think that's exactly the sort of clearer definition I was looking for.

In those books, every character in Lyra's world has a "daemon" that accompanies them everywhere. Children's daemons constantly shapeshift into all kinds of different forms (although they have favorites). But once a child matures and becomes an adult, they kinda settle into an identity, and then their daemon settles into a form reflective of their character and never changes shape again.

I actually read through the whole "The Golden Compass" book before, but at the end I realized that I only heard the words in my head and hadn't retained any of what happened. I think that was in grade 4.

Until seeing this here, I never got the metaphor of the daemons before. So thanks for that too.

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I actually read through the whole "The Golden Compass" book before, but at the end I realized that I only heard the words in my head and hadn't retained any of what happened. I think that was in grade 4.

Until seeing this here, I never got the metaphor of the daemons before. So thanks for that too.

They're a brilliant series of books. One of my all time favorite reads. Pullman is a genius with those books in so many ways when you really dig into them.

For example, the daemons metaphor is elegant enough as it is, but the daemons themselves are also an allusion to ancient Greek mythology/philosophy. Plato describes Pullman's use of daemons almost exactly in The Myth of Er. He borrows from greek mythology a lot actually, now that I think of it... but it is always in really cool, subtle ways.

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Yeah, and actually Philip Pullman uses that as a theme in the His Dark Materials series of books, which are a bildungsroman story, among other things.

In those books, every character in Lyra's world has a "daemon" that accompanies them everywhere. Children's daemons constantly shapeshift into all kinds of different forms (although they have favorites). But once a child matures and becomes an adult, they kinda settle into an identity, and then their daemon settles into a form reflective of their character and never changes shape again.

Well, thank you for giving me some reading material for the future as well as a new word to add to my vocabulary!

It seems that the majority of us agree that a "coming of age" reference could be just about any age as long as it's signifying a major development for the individual. Bringing that back into focus of my original post now, I would ask opinions on if the coming of age story of "a child becoming an adult/finding true love/growth as an individual" is overdone in books/games written today? Do you think that by focusing just on that small time frame of a persons life, it detracts from the idea that we grow throughout our entire life?

In that last video, Ron G. even says that he's grown as a person since the last adventure game he released (cave story excluded). When you heard him say that, didn't something stir inside you that made you want to think about how you've changed from how you once were? Is the concept of "coming of wisdom", where going beyond the bildungsroman (defined only as youth becoming an adult) timeline something that could add real value to a tale and have the potential to take the narrative of gaming to a new level?

Post away, guys.

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It seems that the majority of us agree that a "coming of age" reference could be just about any age

I don't agree with that at all, and I don't think anyone else should either. It doesn't matter what anyone supposes a bildungsroman is. The bildungsroman is an established genre. A person can't just redefine a literary genre at their own whimsy.

The sentence quoted above, combined with this part...

as long as it's signifying a major development for the individual. Bringing that back into focus of my original post now, I would ask opinions on if the coming of age story of "a child becoming an adult/finding true love/growth as an individual" is overdone in books/games written today? Do you think that by focusing just on that small time frame of a persons life, it detracts from the idea that we grow throughout our entire life?

...to me, those quotes combined are a lot like reading someone say, "It seems that the majority of us agree that a romantic comedy could be about any kind of love. Don't we all love people in our lives? I wonder if you guys think that romance is overdone in books/games written today? Do you think that by focusing on romantic love, it detracts from the idea that we can love other people in our lives?"

Kinda missing the point, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, a person can just dislike a genre. That's fine. Happens all the time. Nobody completely likes every genre there is. So they just choose a different one.

But here's what you can't do: "Romantic comedies are too often about a man and a woman falling in love and going on dates where funny stuff happens. I'm interested in telling a love story, but there are lots of kinds of love. Romance is too specific and overdone. I would rather it be a sentimental story about fatherhood. So if it's going to be a romantic comedy, I think it should be about something like fatherhood."

The last sentence makes no sense. Similarly, it makes no sense to say, "If it's going to be a coming-of-age story, maybe it could be about a 65-year old woman learning an important life lesson, making her wiser, even in the later years of her life. Maybe you could tell a coming-of-age story about that." <--Again, this last sentence makes no sense, because a coming-of-age story already means something specific, and you can't just make up new definitions of words.

Maybe that's not what anyone is saying, so maybe I'm saying all of this for no reason, but I'm getting the vibe that some people are kinda inching in that general direction, and it's making me twitch a little.

In that last video, Ron G. even says that he's grown as a person since the last adventure game he released (cave story excluded). When you heard him say that, didn't something stir inside you that made you want to think about how you've changed from how you once were? Is the concept of "coming of wisdom", where going beyond the bildungsroman (defined only as youth becoming an adult) timeline something that could add real value to a tale and have the potential to take the narrative of gaming to a new level?

Almost every good book/movie I can remember reading features coming-to-wisdom of some kind, because characters are expected to grow and develop through the course of the story. That's not a revolutionary idea. That's just good writing, and good writers have been doing it for ages.

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I don't agree with that at all, and I don't think anyone else should either. It doesn't matter what anyone supposes a bildungsroman is. The bildungsroman is an established genre. A person can't just redefine a literary genre at their own whimsy....

Almost every good book/movie I can remember reading features coming-to-wisdom of some kind, because characters are expected to grow and develop through the course of the story. That's not a revolutionary idea. That's just good writing, and good writers have been doing it for ages.

I never said that bildungsroman could be any age. As you said, it's used to describe period in life. I would argue that the concept of coming of age could be the coming of ANY age, not necessarily the assumed teen to adult. The idea of coming of age of a guy about to enter the mid-life zone is appealing to me in a way. If you do not feel comfortable using the term "coming of age" in that situation, let's call it "coming of wisdom."

You would argue that every story involves a "coming of wisdom," element but I would challenge DF to make the idea of a coming of wisdom situation the focus of the story. I'm sure it's been done before, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

The sentence quoted above, combined with this part...

...to me, those quotes combined are a lot like reading someone say, "It seems that the majority of us agree that a romantic comedy could be about any kind of love. Don't we all love people in our lives? I wonder if you guys think that romance is overdone in books/games written today? Do you think that by focusing on romantic love, it detracts from the idea that we can love other people in our lives?"

Kinda missing the point, isn't it?

I can see how that would be misinterpreted. While my personal opinion is obvious based on posts, I am interested in the feelings of my peers on the subject. I can't even say that I dislike for the genre, more of a "ah, another one of those."

It could be a great story, but if I've just recently read 4 bildungsroman books, I'm not really going to feel like reading another for a while. The same could be said if I've just watched 2 bildungsroman movies, read one bildungsroman book....will I really want to read about or play a game of the same genre? Eventually I will, just not in the mood for it right now, which leads me to asking how other people feel about it. I would hope to see a difference of opinion and I find reading those posts refreshing.

But here's what you can't do: "Romantic comedies are too often about a man and a woman falling in love and going on dates where funny stuff happens. I'm interested in telling a love story, but there are lots of kinds of love. Romance is too specific and overdone. I would rather it be a sentimental story about fatherhood. So if it's going to be a romantic comedy, I think it should be about something like fatherhood."

Why can't I say that? I want to change how people define Romantic Comedies. You say words have definite meanings, I say that words have literal and conceptual meanings based on the culture in which they're spoken. A heroic tale in China has very different elements to it than one in North America.

Mind you, if I want to change a cultural definition, I would have to refine my idea, offer examples, get input from people who are like minded, as well address counterpoints offered by those who disagree.

The first part of the example you gave sounds very reasonable, but the second half feels a little over-embellished and mocking. Change it to say that I think that a Romantic Comedy between a man and a woman who are in the prime of their life is overdone. I'd like to hear about two old people from the style of that genre. Or perhaps I want to hear about a gay/lesbian romantic comedy, maybe even a DARK romantic comedy? Can you say just because I want to take the status quo and pull the rug out from under it, that I'm wrong? I want to show people that just because they think a genre should be one way, doesn't mean that's all that's available. If people focused only on the defined, we'd never have developed FPS games with RPG elements or RPG games with platformer elements.

I think I covered everything. Let me know if I missed something. (EDITED for the third time)

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RisenShadow,

This is a bit off topic, but I really love your assertion that we never stop coming of age, and it reminds me of a recent novel I read that affected me deeply with respect to that sentiment. It's Julian Barnes "The Sense of an Ending," and it won last year's Booker prize. It's relatively short (under 200 pages I believe) but it packs a huge punch. It's told from the perspective of a man in his 60s reflecting back on his life, with the bulk of the story focusing on the author's late teens and early 20s--the traditional "coming of age" period--but what becomes so powerful about the novel is the realization of how much one's character and perspective can still change much later in life. It's a really heartbreaking and beautiful work.

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RisenShadow,

This is a bit off topic, but I really love your assertion that we never stop coming of age, and it reminds me of a recent novel I read that affected me deeply with respect to that sentiment. It's Julian Barnes "The Sense of an Ending," and it won last year's Booker prize. It's relatively short (under 200 pages I believe) but it packs a huge punch. It's told from the perspective of a man in his 60s reflecting back on his life, with the bulk of the story focusing on the author's late teens and early 20s--the traditional "coming of age" period--but what becomes so powerful about the novel is the realization of how much one's character and perspective can still change much later in life. It's a really heartbreaking and beautiful work.

Thank you. I'll be adding that book to the reading list I've been compiling from books people have mentioned here :) . Be sure to thank Ron for really driving that home that people are always growing and changing no matter their age. A simple statement, but very thought provoking.

oh and belated congrats on the community manager position.

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I never said that bildungsroman could be any age.

Oh, okay. I was just misunderstanding you then.

As you said, it's used to describe period in life. What I said (perhaps in a round-about way) was that the idea of coming of age (bildungsroman) could evolve more into a "coming of wisdom." You would argue that every story involves a "coming of wisdom," element but I would challenge DF to make the idea of a coming of wisdom situation the focus of the story. I'm sure it's been done before, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

I kinda see what you mean, but I kinda don't. I said before that I think every story should have dynamic characters that undergo some kind of growth in the course of the story, and I think there are examples of video games that have done this already, including some of Tim's.

But it sounds like the key to what you're saying is that you want DF to make it the "focus" of the story, which I suspect looks a specific way inside your head, but to me, I don't see the difference between a story that has a coming-of-wisdom in it and a story where coming-to-wisdom is the "focus" of the story.

I can't even say that I dislike for the genre, more of a "ah, another one of those."

Man do I ever know that feeling.

It could be a great story, but if I've just recently read 4 bildungsroman books, I'm not really going to feel like reading another for a while.

Haha, yeah, when I was in my undergrad, I once had to read two bildungsroman novels a week for an entire semester, and by the end of it, I was QUITE DONE with the genre for a while. Totally understand.

Why can't I say that? I want to change how people define Romantic Comedies. You say words have definite meanings, I say that words have literal and conceptual meanings based on the culture in which they're spoken. A heroic tale in China has very different elements to it than one in North America.

We're kinda saying the same thing but focusing on different parts of it. I'm not saying that words have inherent meanings that never change. My degree was focused on linguistics, so trust me that that is one of the LAST things I would ever say.

But what I WOULD say is that words mean whatever the mass of people who are actively using that word (e.g., a culture) tend to agree that it means. If all of those people agree that the term "romantic comedy" now exclusively refers to stories featuring anthropomorphic zebras wearing top hats, then that's what it means. But if 99% of the people who use that term agree that it means X and one person says, "Maybe it should mean Y too", I'm saying that 1% can't easily argue with 99% and perhaps that person should pick a new word for Y instead of trying to push through some steep opposition for attaching Y to the old word. But I'm not here to tell you how to live your life. ;-)

The first part of the example you gave sounds very reasonable, but the second half feels a little over-embellished and mocking.

Ooooh... I wasn't going for that, but was a little afraid it would come off that way. Sorry! Not intended!

Change it to say that I think that a Romantic Comedy between a man and a woman who are in the prime of their life is overdone. I'd like to hear about two old people from the style of that genre. Or perhaps I want to hear about a gay/lesbian romantic comedy, maybe even a DARK romantic comedy? Can you say just because I want to take the status quo and pull the rug out from under it, that I'm wrong?

But see, I don't have a problem with any of those things, nor do I think any of those things are trying to redefine what a romantic comedy is. All of those things involve the following two ingredients:

1. Romantic love, regardless of who makes up the couple(s)

2. Comedy

What I was trying to illustrate (and inadvertently coming off mocking in the process... sorry again!) is that I felt like you weren't just trying to upset the status quo from within a genre or experiment with a genre.... I felt like you were trying to do something that wasn't even related to the genre but still wanted to call it the same genre.

You could have a story about fatherhood that was also a romantic comedy. (I'm pretty sure at least twelve of those movies exist, actually.) But you couldn't do a movie that was exclusively about fatherhood and call it a romantic comedy and say that you were upsetting the status quo by doing that. That wouldn't be experimenting with genre as much as it would just be using words in a way that was confusing to the other people using that word.

But all of that commentary was based on a thing I THOUGHT you were saying, which I'm no longer sure you're actually saying, so it could all be meaningless now anyway.

I thought you were saying, "Let's do a story about some non-children/non-adolescents gaining some important lesson in their life, but still call it a coming-of-age story."

I was just trying to say that that would be confusing if you did that. You could TECHNICALLY do that, but I don't think that's how most other people who use that word mean it, and so it would either confuse them or cause them to argue with you about your use of the term (as I suppose I was doing).

But if you just wanted to do a romantic comedy about a pairing that is not usually explored by that genre, I think that makes sense. If you wanted to do a coming-of-age story that involved adults gaining wisdom, I think in order to call it a coming-of-age story, you still have to have the child/adolescent experience in there. Like the romantic love in a romantic comedy, that is just one of the pieces you can't remove for that genre or else you're no longer in it. But that doesn't mean you can't do a story that has both children and adults gaining wisdom, whether it was through flashbacks, a memoir, the interplay of characters at different stages of their lives, or some combination thereof. It's not impossible. I just think to qualify as a "coming-of-age" story and not something else, there are a couple of things you can't just nix.

I want to show people that just because they think a genre should be one way, doesn't mean that's all that's available. If people focused only on the defined, we'd never have developed FPS games with RPG elements or RPG games with platformer elements.

Or romances with comedic elements. But notice we call those romantic comedies, not just "romances". If we did, people might be confused and think we meant something we didn't, or else they would go to the movie and get something they didn't expect.

Terms and their meanings do shift and change over time, but that doesn't make the current popular meaning unimportant. You can technically use a word to mean whatever you want, but you have to consider that you're talking to other people who may or may not be willing to meet you halfway on that.

I feel like I'm getting persnickety about a language question, though, when you're trying to talk about something else, so perhaps I should just let it go. =P

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Im almost 31 and I absolutly hate being 30, somehow it feels life ends at 30. Ive been working my ass of to get my phd, now that is done and Im left with just 'sitting my days out'... For me it feels like I missed my window of opportunity to get something substantial done, and now ive got the road of being 'an old guy' paved out for me.

Kind of like in a comming of age film where the hero becomes the loser and the loser becomes the hero, I was the sidekick guy that was neither hero nor loser to begin with. And I will be stuck there till I die peacefully...

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Terms and their meanings do shift and change over time, but that doesn't make the current popular meaning unimportant. You can technically use a word to mean whatever you want, but you have to consider that you're talking to other people who may or may not be willing to meet you halfway on that.

Touche', my friend. I have really enjoyed our discussion in this post. You're right that if I'm in the 1% it would be impossible to fight against the tide of the other 99% to change the perception of what they think X is, but if it's a logical enough jump while still having strong enough relations to the original concept perhaps people would concede the point that Y is a "weird X" would be good enough for me. As noted before, the whole thought on this was just offering any DF person who reads the post a chance to remind TIM that if he's seriously considering a coming of age story, he doesn't have to lock in at a certain age group. Dudes an awesome writer and (just a personal opinion here) if he did expand it to go further than just becoming an adult, it has the potential to make the story part of the game exponentially more interesting and unique.

Frankly, between the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and a slew of other bildungsroman movies/books that came out in the last year or so, I'm just a bit tired of hearing about teenagers and would like to be able to relate to the protagonist(s) on a different age level.

Im almost 31 and I absolutly hate being 30, somehow it feels life ends at 30. Ive been working my ass of to get my phd, now that is done and Im left with just 'sitting my days out'... For me it feels like I missed my window of opportunity to get something substantial done, and now ive got the road of being 'an old guy' paved out for me.

Kind of like in a comming of age film where the hero becomes the loser and the loser becomes the hero, I was the sidekick guy that was neither hero nor loser to begin with. And I will be stuck there till I die peacefully...

Dude, I'll be 31 in another few months. Don't give up! Most of the people who leave their mark on the world do it after they've gained the insightful wisdom that only comes from age and experience. Make a goal to achieve in just one part of your life, plan out how you would get to it, and then chase it down. Ever since I got my last job I've decided my goal is to change the corporate culture for my company. I won't know if the fruits of my labor will result in what I want till I"m at least 40, but if I keep trying...even the rain can wear down a mountain.

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Im almost 31 and I absolutly hate being 30, somehow it feels life ends at 30. Ive been working my ass of to get my phd, now that is done and Im left with just 'sitting my days out'... For me it feels like I missed my window of opportunity to get something substantial done, and now ive got the road of being 'an old guy' paved out for me.

Kind of like in a comming of age film where the hero becomes the loser and the loser becomes the hero, I was the sidekick guy that was neither hero nor loser to begin with. And I will be stuck there till I die peacefully...

This is kind of a strange thing to say, you have a PhD but haven't done anything substantial? I am 32 and just completed a BA/MA THAT TOOK ME 7 years and I feel like my life is just about to begin. The stuff you probably missed in your 20s is of little substance and with a PhD you probably have more opportunities open to you than others.

If you don't want to tangent this thread with personal issues that's ok but it seems like this thread has taken a turn towards the philosophical.

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I would love to see a multi-generational story, but I'm sure that's not where they're going with it. The first book of the Foundation series by Asimov comes to mind, where every few chapters brought the story many many years into the future of the characters and showed how they and the world they helped create had changed because of their actions. Maybe not for this game, but some game in the future. Any of you amateur devs wanna take a shot at it? :)

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