Follow TV Tropes


Entertainment World History

Go To

We at TV Tropes often find ourselves fascinated by the long and illustrious history behind the media and genres that houses all our favorite works. Just where did all of these creative enterprises come from, and how did the eternal march of technology and society bring us everything we know today? Which tropes came and went and stayed and changed with the times? To that end, we've compiled several Media Notes on the histories behind these industries. These may not be the most in-depth guides out there, but we hope that they contain enough information to paint a comprehensive picture if these subjects fascinate you as well.

You'll notice there's something of a pattern to these histories. First, there's an early age as creators experiment with this newly-established field, then technological advancements kick-start a golden age as it makes its mark on the entertainment world. It doesn't take long for Moral Guardians to take notice, prompting a Censorship Bureau to demand heavy restrictions. More often than not, this leads to a Dark Age of homogenization that, while nostalgic for some, winds up imposing long-standing stigmas on both the field and its fandom. Naturally, creators strive to reinvigorate the Glory Days, ushering in a Renaissance that helps to shake off the prior doldrums and bring things Out of the Ghetto. Quite often, things end up going full-circle when Franchise Original Sin sets in, and the trends that breathed new life into the field start to sour. Eventually, things settle into a steady series of peaks and valleys for the various studios involved. Now in the time of The Internet and other innovations of the digital age taking off, the winds of change blow faster than ever, and we might even be on the heels of a new era. It's hard to come to a consensus on when exactly eras came and went, but its certainly interesting to see how:

See also our index in Hollywood History for the many historical ages and eras of Real Life. Our pages on The 20th Century serve as a point of reference for what was happening concurrently to most of what's detailed below and how it may have influenced all this.

Note: The page is meant to list off the pop-culture histories that are written about here on TV Tropes. If there is any such chronology you feel is missing from our coverage, we encourage any and all Tropers with an intimate knowledge of the subject to write up the needed article(s) and link them here.

Historical eras and events than span multiple corners of pop-culture

Histories of the various mediums and industries of the entertainment world

Histories and historical events of the Music industry (could use expansion, please help)

Histories of other specific genres

  • The Primordial Era of Western RPGs: Tabletop RPG nerds and computer geeks program the first Text Parser games.
  • The Golden Age of Western RPGs: Several fondly-remembered games and studios revolutionize the genre with boundary-pushing innovations (although comparatively low production costs invoke Sturgeon's Law).
  • The Dark Age of Western RPGs: The genre struggles to keep up with ever-increasing technological advancements (and budgetary demands), causing many duds and sequel gaps. That said, a few of today's big names managed to get their start during this time.
  • The Silver Age of Western RPGs: The double-punch of Diablo and Fallout revitalize the market and established the genre's recognized conventions. The MMORPG sub-genre is born.
  • The Bronze Age of Western RPGs: The genre gets a Big Budget Beef-Up as Multi-Platform titles developed by AAA studios becomes the industry standard, with all the polish and innovation that implies.
  • The Western RPG Renaissance: Occurring within the Bronze Age is a comeback of mid-budget "B-Titles" and Immersive Sims tackled by developers old and new. Many titles are Kickstarter-funded Genre Throwbacks to the Golden and Silver Ages.
  • The Modern Age of Western RPGs: AAA and Indie developers begin to cross-pollinate, and European devs throw their hats in the ring.