When pondering on memories and inspiration from childhood I came across this term coined the MTV Generation. Apparently anyone born from 1975-1988 falls into this labeling, a generation whose adolescence and coming of age is perceived to have been heavily influenced by 1990s popular culture and mass media. I have always been interested in the influence of culture and how this shapes our beliefs for the future, something we are born into...something we are have no choice in being influenced by.
Courtesy of Wikipedia: If you were part of the MTV Generation you will remember:
- the VHS
- Growing up with personal computers in the home.
- The introduction of the Nintendo and Atari gaming systems.
- The introduction of first-person shooters (e.g. DOOM) and online games (e.g. EverQuest)
- Early computer games like Prince of Persia, Test Drive and California Games.
- popularity of The Simpsons
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, with its vague associations with Bushido, white rap, and surf slang. Interest in some of the Asian martial arts (including, of course,Ninjutsu) temporarily spiked among teenagers in some areas due to the franchise's influence.
- The launch of Nickelodeon (TV channel) in 1979, one of the first channels geared to entertaining children.
- The launch of MTV in its early period before its mid-1990s makeover for predominantly pop music, rhythm and blues, hip hop culture and reality television. The popular tagline: "I want my MTV"
- Music influences stem mainly from MTV standards such as Madonna and Michael Jackson - mostly from The Like a Prayer & Dangerous years in the 1980s - but also include the rise of the Grunge music scene of the early 1990s, and the rising popularity of Hip hop and techno music through the 1980s and 1990s.
- The second generation to mostly be influenced through Television (especially Music Television) as the primary medium for information and entertainment (the first being the baby boom generation crossing over to the early Generation X - when TV came into becoming an item in every household during the 1950s) especially from children growing up in the 1980s to their teens in the 1990s.
- Films such as The Goonies, The Neverending Story and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial which featured children in opposition to adults and oppressive or impersonal systems of law.
- Transformers, Thunder Cats, M.A.S.K., Masters of the Universe and other toyline (franchises) centered around the primary theme of alien/high tech/supernatural combat occurring at large in a disguised form, but also containing strong modernist/morally absolutist themes which have been more recently removed in revised versions of these fictional scenarios
I'd also like to add Back To The Future, Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Home Alone 1&2 and a Sega Mega Drive II to that list :)
The MTV generation represents the revolutionary changes of the 80s and 90s and the overall feelings this created. I found it fascinating how one TV channel has been the catalyst for much of my childhood memories, that along with the changes in media, meant that the constant bombardment into living rooms was something hard not become absorbed into. It's almost like the impact of viral campaigns today.
There were for no jabs against the MTV virus.
Although I didn't really mind being infected, the cultural references surrounding the term really re-kindled times once forgotten, I'm sure many other twenty-somethings will agree with me.
Bart Simpson: Nothing you say can upset us. We're the MTV generation.
Lisa Simpson: We feel neither highs or lows.
Homer Simpson: Really? What's it like?
Lisa Simpson: Ehh. [shrugs]