Friday, March 11, 2011

Writing Novels Television Computer Graphics Will Doom Us All!?

"The Art of Immersion Excerpt: Fear of Fiction"
Frank Rose, Epicenter, Wired (March 1, 2011)

"Two years ago this month, as editors worldwide were beginning to debate whether anyone would actually go see Avatar, the $200 million-plus, 3-D movie extravaganza that James Cameron was making, Josh Quittner wrote in Time about getting an advance look. 'I couldn't tell what was real and what was animated,' he gushed. 'The following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.'

"It was not the first time someone found an entertainment experience to be weirdly immersive. For all the cutting-edge technology that went into the making of Avatar, in that sense there was nothing new about it all.

"Some four centuries earlier, Miguel de Cervantes reported in his satirical novel that Don Quixote went tilting at windmills because he'd lost his mind from too much reading:..."

"...As Janet Murray of Georgia Tech observed in her 1997 book Hamlet on the Holodeck, every new medium that's been invented, from print to film to television to cyberspace, has increased the transporting power of narrative. And every new medium has aroused fear and even hostility as a result...."

The first example cited is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: interpreted in this article as "Bradbury's beef with television."

It may be hard to realize that novels were, not all that long ago, "novel." A new form of presenting information. And, of course, a threat to civilization. Just like another 'dangerous' new technology: writing.

The Lemming remembers when the telephone was a threat to society, and television would lead to something dreadful. If you believed what some folks said, anyway. Then it was cable television, the Internet, and Twitter that would doom us all.

There's little doubt, in the Lemming's opinion, that today's world isn't quite the same as it was in the 1950s. Not here in central Minnesota, anyway.

But change happens - and that's another topic.

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