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Prediction: post-covid, the neverending sequel franchise trend will be mostly dead.

The new mainstream thing will be either westerns or whatever the opposite of cyberpunk is.

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@machado There will be no such thing as post-covid, the disease will be with humanity for a foreseeable future, just like influenza. The only thing which will change is the methods of curing the complications, not just for this particular infection.

Siberpunk has many reasons to fade in popularity, it's overall too real since a few decades now.
It (anti-utopia) will be rather replaced by solarpunk (utopia).
Not westerns, because it again is too real, especially for the country they originate from and are the most popular in.

@amiloradovsky But westerns are detached in time, feature the great outdoors, and have a trove of unexplored non-white perspectives.

The issue with solarpunk is that utopias make for boring stories. And it's easier to agree against a specific dystopia than for a specific utopia. So half the audience is bored and the other half is triggered.

But I do expect solarpunk-lite, adding the aesthetics onto pre-existing feelgood genres.

@machado I've impression that all westerns are the same and boring, but that's probably just me.

WRT boredom of utopias, yes, but I see people preaching to the choir for years, and don't seem getting bored. So maybe the genre is what they'd appreciate more.

@amiloradovsky There's definitely a niche, but it won't be the next big thing.

But westerns have a lot of thematic meat to them. Race relations, the role of women, conflict management away from state control, the creation of traditions and norms, how anarchist communes and local strongmen adapt to the arrival of law and order, outcasts trying to outpace the state westwards, the importance of controlling infrastructure, frontier innovation, and more.

@machado Maybe there will be a genre analogous to westerns, but looking back at the 20th century instead of the 19th.

@amiloradovsky Maybe. But I think if there's any defining feature to the 20th century, is the lack of frontiers. It's started as a closed system century, leading to the world wars. Then we turned to space for a while, but it was too expensive. The digital frontier failed too. This century already explored and enclosed the digital, and it may do the same to space.

I don't really see much in the 20th that fits the western ethos. Maybe 60s counterculture and it's progeny.

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