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Why Infinite is the Enemy of Great

Several of my books are stand-alone volumes, but design. I said what I wanted to say. It’s out of my system, there’s nothing else that I need to explore, I’m done. I recognize that when one of those books becomes popular, there is a culture urge to exploit it and expand upon it. Fans want sequels. Business sense says create them and grab that cash. There’s more to it than that. Infinite is the enemy of great, a lot of the time.

Not everything needs to be a trilogy, or a franchise, or six seasons and a movie. Sometimes creative works are best when they stand alone. The expectation of endless more is the result of this consumer society. If people want it, they should get it, and that’s a good enough reason. If money can be made off of it, then the company has a duty to do it. Madness.

Ugh.

You can see it in the entitlement of fandom. Star Wars fans who demand that the last three films be remade to suit their tastes, because they are financially and emotionally invested in the IP. Harry Potter fans who feel that they, not J.K. Rowling, no own that universe because they love it so, in order to separate the books, films, and merch from their transphobic creator. Dungeons & Dragons fans who hate the racist, misogynistic, and colonialist legacy of the game and its creators, so they feel it should be changed and the problems erased because damn it, they still want to play but not feel guilty about it.

We often ruin things by piling onto them. Opportunities for new things are lost when we continue to invest in more of the old, familiar things. We need to stop. Let things find their level. Allow things to be what they are, as long as they are. Let creators make the things they want to make, the way they want to make them. Put the emphasis back on quality, rather than quantity.

Why Infinite is the Enemy of Great

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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