Posted: May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I were at Bookshop Santa Cruz (otherwise known as our Friendly Neighborhood Independent Bookstore), looking at SFF books. He hasn’t read much SFF. I have. So as you might imagine, I was the person who he went to when he wanted me to recommend him a book.

We started talking about Ender’s Game, which we’ve both read, and eventually I said something like: “It’s a classic. Well, I mean, it’s more than twenty-five years old. Which is the definition people use when they call something ‘classic’.”

We dropped it at that.

But I started thinking about this. I realized that people call games like Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII “classics”. Neither of them are even close to being 25 years old.

So here is a table that I made that allows you to determine whether a work in a certain medium is old enough to be considered a “classic”. Enjoy.


internet memes, web videos: 5 years

songs, music albums, video games, anime: 10 years

TV shows, comic books, graphic novels: 15 years

books, movies: 25 years

paintings, plays: 50 years


So, by these standards, the first seasons of The Guild and Legend of Neil became “classic” this year. American Idiot, which I consider to be the defining album of the Bush era, won’t be classic for another two years. The original Super Smash Brothers, as well as Super Smash Brothers: Melee are both classics. Halo became a classic last year. The final issue of Sandman just went “classic” last year. And Aliens became a classic just last year.

Your thoughts?

~ Ian


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