How can we introduce sci fi to the younger generation?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by CmdrShep2183, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with sharing your interests with your kids, as long as you don't try to force them on them. I inherited much of my enthusiasm for science fiction, monster movies, comics, and so on from my dad, who exposed me early on to his own favorites: The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Shadow, War of the Worlds, etc. But it was never pushed on me against my will.

    "Hey, look, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN is on TV tonight. You know all about the Wolf Man, right?"

    I never felt like my arm was being twisted. He made it fun.

    As with most social interactions, the trick is gauging the other person's interest. If they seem genuinely intrigued or curious, keep going. But if their eyes glaze over and they start looking bored, back off.

    I'm proud to say that I exposed my youngest sibling to Boris Karloff when he was only eight days old, and today his kids are all into zombies and werewolves. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 11:29 PM
  2. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I see what you did there!
     
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  3. Dudley the Bishop's assistant

    Dudley the Bishop's assistant Commander Red Shirt

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    I disagree that being totally hands-off is the only way.

    Exactly. I have two daughters, now 18 and 20, who have been exposed to the interests of me and my wife all their lives -- movies, books, hobbies, music. Some they have gladly embraced -- Star Trek, B5, interests in history and science, board & card games, costuming, classic animation (Looney Tunes to Bullwinkle to Peanuts), etc. Some things never appealed to them -- classic rock (60s & 70s), historical re-creation (SCA), the supernatural romances my wife likes, etc. There was no pressure, just an introduction, plus seeing us enjoying the things and activities we liked.

    But one of the truly amazing things about being a parent is giving your kids freedom to explore, then watching them find things they like all on their own. Being a melding of us and brand new things, becoming their own persons. And, surprisingly, introducing us to some interesting new stuff that we've embraced alongside them -- anime (much of which has strong fantasy & SF themes), costuming interests morphing into talented cosplay that is winning prizes at local cons, J-Pop music, modern video games, and even coming back to classic SF through a new route (the Extra Credits YouTube channel folks have a sub-channel called Extra Sci Fi, which is exploring roots & themes of science fiction, from Shelley's Frankenstein to pulps to Campbell to the Big 3 of the 50s -- Asimov, Clarke, & Heinlein, all in only the 1st season).

    tl;dr -- Expose kids to what you like, no pressure, just part of the environment they grow up in. They'll find what speaks to them. And they may find and introduce you to some cool new stuff that you can embrace with them.
     
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  4. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

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    Duct tape them to the barker lounger and make them watch all 7 seasons of DS9?
    OK, maybe not. But I do think that modern SF series with legacies should be using their off time to show their historical versions in order to build new fans.
    Example: When Dr. Who isn't showing new eps (which is most of the year), BBC America should be showing classic Who. They could be showing 2 eps at a time to fill the 1hr slot.
    When CBS AA doesn't have any new Discovery to show, they should do a mix shuffle of all the other series they have in the inventory.
    I'd also push ebooks of Asimov, Clarke, Herbert, Et al. Wanna know where Star Wars came from? Here's Foundation and Dune. etc.
     
  5. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the point was to build new fans, not scare them away..?
     
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  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a more complete way of saying what I meant to say. I meant basically, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. If you try to insist kids like something they'll resist liking it more, but if you just show it to them and make it easy for them to explore it, they might pick it up on their own.

    I'd also argue age is a factor. I'd propose, the chart of "Age of child" and "Likelihood to pick up something you want them to like" is parabolic between about the ages of 10 and 20.
     
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  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    And, invariably, some kids are going to take to it more than others. My siblings grew up with the same dad in the same household, being exposed to most of the same old movies and TV shows, but they didn't end up geeking out on them as much as I did. They developed their own interests, which my parents, to their credit, also encouraged.

    Like you said, you can lead a horse to water, but only some are going to dive into the deep end. And, at the risk of waxing nostalgic, science fiction and horror ended up being a special thing Dad and I bonded over . . . .

    (Last movie we ever saw together in a theater was X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. He had no idea who the X-Men were, having grown-up on Golden Age heroes like Batman or Captain Marvel or the Sub-Mariner, but I like to think he enjoyed himself.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 2:13 AM
  8. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Make them all into 10 minute Youtube video's. Also let them interact by having the actors do whatever most people want to see from what they say in the comment sections.


    Jason
     
  9. Dudley the Bishop's assistant

    Dudley the Bishop's assistant Commander Red Shirt

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    Certainly, when they were younger, I'd show them the more "kid-friendly" stuff, like TOS episodes, then the animated series, and so forth, selecting them to match the kids' interests and maturity. A couple of times, we made the mistake of saying something was a classic they should see before showing it to them. Kiss of death. They still hate The Maltese Falcon. But when I introduced Double Indemnity and The Bishop's Wife as "a couple of Dad's favorite movies", they ate them up.

    It's uncanny. We theorize that, even raised in the same household, siblings will deliberately select the opposite ends of the spectrum from each other in most matters. And if there's 3 children, they create 3 different equidistant poles to stake out. It's confounding... :wtf:
     
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  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My parents introduced me to TNG when I was young, then 25 years later I hooked my mom on DS9.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Interesting. I can only suppose "classic" sounds like homework, like something you should like because it's good for you. Whereas one of Dad's favorite movies sounds more like fun.

    When I made up my Vampire Viewing List for that one niece, I tried to personalize it when I could. "This was one of Grandpa Bill's favorite movies," etc.
     
  12. Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)

    Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) If you want it Premium Member

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    I didn't realize this "problem" existed. :lol:
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What I might do would be the show the black and white stuff from the 1950s, and move forward, so they appreciate it at a young age. As they get older, Trek and Dr. Who...

    I know like I sound like Aaron Sorkin--but I might want to script life for younglings so that they are ever seeing newer things--and see progression. Same with computers. Show them early computers.

    The idea would be--if at all possible, to have kids see the latest sci-fi--and know what a smart phone was--right as they are headed out the door to college.
     
  14. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know if something like that would be possible in this day and age. You'd pretty much have home school them and keep them locked up in the house 24/7. You couldn't even send them to live with the Amish, some of them have smart phones now.

    If kids are to young for things like the MCU, Star Trek, or Star Wars, there quite a few SFF shows for young kids, so you could always start there.
     
  15. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ???? I am in education, and I see all kinds of kids reading books. At least as many as back in the seventies and eighties when I was in school. But now there are a lot of options for younger readers that are really exciting and interesting reads. When I was my children's age I read a lot of "adult" books because there wasn't any other option.

    I think what this thread is really about is why don't kids love the same thing we used to like? I didn't get into movies my parents watched until I was older and I don't think I'm a unique case. Why force kids to like Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Doctor Who or whatever just because it is what we like? For my children, even the original X-Men movie came out seven years before they were born. That would be like me wanting to watch the first season of Doctor Who over the Tom Baker years--and I had people tell me that the older episodes were superior to the ones I liked. Or my parents telling me that Buck Rogers in the 25th century was inferior to the original seriels.

    As for Star Wars, I remember showing my son the original trilogy and we couldn't even make it past the first movie on the initial try because he was devastated the Stormtroopers were bad.

    As a side note, my son now loves seventies music because of the GOTG movies. I tried to get him interested in more contemporary music and he wasn't interested. He just kept exporing all the music on my old iPod. I asked him what would happen if the kids at school teased him for listening to old music and he said that he didn't care about that--they had no right to tell him what music he should like. I was so proud.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 9:11 AM
  16. Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)

    Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) If you want it Premium Member

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    I was about to post the same thing. :techman:
     
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  17. HugeLobes

    HugeLobes Commander Red Shirt

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    This is a really good point. When I was young (now 30), there were lots of books for kids up to 10, then it kinda dried up. Seems like now there are more books aimed at the young teenage market, which are the years most people I know stopped reading.

    It's a shame because reading really is something you have to learn even after you know what the words mean. Can't jump right to Virginia Woolf or whoever and expect to enjoy it right away. I think a lot of people never really challenge themselves because they simply didn't keep reading through school. With more young adult options, maybe that will change?
     
  18. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Aren't some stuff usually loved over several generations? "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" wouldn't be what they are if they didn't capture the imagination of several generations in great numbers. It's easy to understand why kids might not get into the average stuff. I wouldn't expect kids for example get all excited over "Sliders" or even "Quantum Leap" but it does seem weird to see the big things be resisted like Classic Trek and Classic Star Wars. Granted maybe it's just that kids now have more options than previous generations.

    Jason
     
  19. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    More likely you're just looking at the wrong group of kids. I think that there are plenty who are still open to classic wars/trek. They may like the modern stuff better, but that doesn't mean they don't like any of the older stuff.
     
  20. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's true and you also have to consider that one way fandom has changed is less worship of just one show or even a couple of shows. You could these days maybe make a legit argument that there is almost a dozen shows that you feel is your most favorite show on tv and it makes you want to follow it. Same with movies. Do people who love the Marvel movies also like "Stranger Things" or Trek or Star Wars as a few examples just as much. I think the answer might be yes.


    Jason