What is Mario? A plumber? Well, technically yes. But, to clarify, Mario is, unbelievably, fictional. A canvas that has been drawn on and brought to "life". Colorful, and analphabet. Written to be a jerk.
Why do people watch movies? Why do people play video games? Is it to escape from reality? Perhaps. To escape from the fact that you have failed uni twice, or have multiple assignments? That's what I said just now...
Perhaps, people play games for the deep gameplay? Perhaps to have pure, unadulterated fun, maybe with a side of luck and rage? This sounds aggressive.
Sometimes, you don't feel like playing Dark Souls. You may sometimes not even feel like creating your own characters in an RPG, and just observe as the protagonist develops their character, like in an anime.
Movies can be fun to watch. You can just sit, obtain physical affection with your friend, and eat popcorn. To let your worries go for just a short while, and laugh, cry.
Some people prefer to play as a badass than a sentient pink ball, and though that's somewhat understandable, I don't think it matters much if the character is not well written. You play as this character; if you don't like them, that's kind of a problem, especially if the whole game revolves around them.
Read Spice and Wolf.
Over the years, the definition of cool has changed. Orcs, goblins were the hot stuff. Now they're boring. Stylized gangster lizards are now the new "cool".
This statement may not be entirely factual, but...
Some people have trouble taking games like Pokémon seriously, for one reason or another. And, to be fair, the main story mode for most Pokémon games aren't exactly what one would call deep.
But, is it possible to look away from a silly looking plumber in his 30s and play the game anyways? To realize that Mario is fictional, a canvas for the creator to draw on? (How old is Peach, anyways?) For some, it is like what it is for me to watch Bambi; extremely difficult. (especially considering how much of a jerk Mario can be...) Really, I am not sure if this can be helped. Thumper is a fictional figure from Bambi, but that doesn't stop me from wishing he died in a forest fire.
But, perhaps it is worth trying. Spongebob is a sentient male sponge in "adulthood". That sentence alone may sound concerning to some, but is it really? You don't know until you watch the show. The answer: Sometimes.
This is a shot at 6.
Personally, I do not really agree with the mentality of "grow out of it," especially if one forces it down someone's throat. Forza Horizon is probably more realistic than, say, Mario Kart, but does Dry Bones exist there? (Perhaps this isn't the best example, considering that Blur exists...)
People watch shows because characters are well developed or the action scenes are well done, or even because of how childish it is. People play games because of the gameplay, or, if it's a visual novel, the characters.
Really, let people like what they want. There's a real fanbase for Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends. Why? Because its first few seasons were of high quality. That, and the characters were absolute savages. Nostalgia, good writing and sassy engines. . . a recipe for a fan base? Looks like it.
If you can't handle watching My Little Pony, then don't be saddened or mystified. There is always something a person can't handle playing or watching. Seriously now: Would you willingly watch Bambi?
On a side note, I don't fault you for not being able to handle edutainment. The morals tend to come out so bluntly, it can be somewhat irritating. Or the show fails at its job and they don't come out at all. Blame the author.
This is more a collection of thoughts than an article, really...
To end this questionable, useless article, let me say this:
If you ever think the story of a game or movie is extremely childish, remember that soap operas exist...!