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Public Medium Ignorance
Everything you need to know to be a NASCAR driver.

"There's not a lot of people who know that."
Peter Sellers, imitating Michael Caine (who, incidentally, never actually said that line).

All of us here know that there's a diverse array of titles within any one medium. Not all video games are Pac-Man or Wii Sports or Grand Theft Auto or Super Mario Bros. or Tetris or Halo.note  There are games like the Silent Hill series, which tries to immerse you in an environment through the use of incredible attention to detail and lots of optional internal monologue, before gradually creeping the living daylights out of you over time. Or The Elder Scrolls series, which presents to you a wide-open world and several big choices you can make in it, giving you unprecedented freedom to experiment and explore.

The general public doesn't (always) know that, though — people who don't play video games think that all games are like the ones they hear about on TV, which would tend to be either Wii Sports (due to the Wii showing up in retirement communities all over the place), Super Mario Bros. (due to Mario's recognizability as a Series Mascot), or the latest "controversial" violent game that the media love to shove in people's faces. If these people are older, expect their perceptions of video games to be even worse.

Likewise, comic books are not all about poorly-written superheroes in garish spandex costumes fighting one-note supervillains with outlandish plots, nor are they essentially printed versions of superhero movies where Iron Man is exactly like Robert Downey, Jr. and Wolverine is exactly like Hugh Jackman. In fact, they haven't even been primarily about the former since before most of today's comics fans were born. There are a great many comics telling other kinds of stories, such as the supernatural mystery Leave It To Chance, the numerous indie Slice of Life comics such as the cute family comedy Yotsuba&! and various other manga ranging from heartwarming love stories such as Kimi ni Todoke to Action-Adventure series such as One Piece. Certainly the Super Hero genre itself is much better written than what is stereotypically attributed, and can also differ greatly from your typical Hollywood superhero action-fest: Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns should be proof enough of that. Good luck explaining that to the average person on the street. If you say you like comic books, they'll respond with something like, "So you like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man?"note . Some comics (usually ones dubbed "graphic novels" to eliminate this very problem), like the autobiographical Fun Home or the aforementioned Watchmen, have won awards for their artistry and originality. But the general public doesn't know about that, and thinks that the only "artistic" superhero thing in existence is The Dark Knight Saga.

And of course, cartoons. We know all about the Animation Age Ghetto and All Adult Animation Is South Park. Cartoons can only be funny, right? The sheer number of non-comedic cartoons says otherwise. On the other hand, many companies seem convinced that kids will watch cartoons only if they are funny, and add extraneous humor that sometimes clashes with the mood just to fulfill their comedy quota. There have been non-comedy cartoons for adults, but they haven't done terribly well. Unfortunately, the Animation Age Ghetto lives. Often, animators have to start with an R-Rated Opening in order to warn young audiences and their parents that what they're watching isn't a Disney animated flick just because it had cartoon people on the cover.

This is especially true for anime. On the public eye, anime is either associated with Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! (often with the Animation Age Ghetto), and maybe Naruto if you're lucky, or with sordid, lecherous hentai. And the dialogue is either poor dubbing along the lines of Speed Racer, or blatant "Blind Idiot" Translation.

Heaven save paper Roleplaying Games, which a significant chunk of the general public has simply never heard of, or, at best, has some nebulous awareness of D&D, in the same way they have a nebulous awareness of Andorra. note 

The public at large has these prejudices and preconceptions. But this trope can also be an example of a prejudice in itself against the general public. In some cases this trope can be true, but it is also equally possible the larger public is aware of diversity and just isn't blabbing about it with the people who really love it. In the past we determined what was known by what people actually sat around talking about. Nowadays when you can gather with people that do all want to talk about this or that, the lines between what is a majority/minority and what the general public knows is blurred beyond repair.

These works are often prime targets of Snark Bait and Hate Dumb. Common Knowledge is usually ignored in these situations. Works that fall into this have a high tendency to suffer from an Audience-Alienating Premise. Exposure to a Gateway Series can certainly be very helpful to break these prejudices. If a significant title stands out from the perceived "ghettoed" group, the No True Scotsman is often applied to try and distance a well-liked entry from it. Related to Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure.

Tropes associated with this:

All examples of this are right in those sub pages, or in the page's Discussion thread.
Protagonist Title FallacyCommon Fan FallaciesReality Is Unrealistic
Periphery HatedomInternet BackdraftSacred Cow
Propp's Functions of FolktalesMeta-ConceptsRealism
Pietŕ PlagiarismArt TropesSaving The World With Art
One True LoveRomance Novel TropesReformed Rakes
Powersuit MonkeyAdministrivia/Images Without a SourcePun
Protection from EditorsCreativity LeashRatings

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