topical media & game development

talk show tell print


Asa briggs & Peter Burke

A social history of the media -- from Gutenberg to the Internet

Polity Press ISBN 0-7-456-2375-1

p. 216 technological determinism

Technological determinism was not the answer, as the third section of this chapter, on the 'Age of Television' will show, but more attempts were to be made to provide answers about the social consequences of television than had ever been asked about radio.

p. 555

Information became a major concern anywhere during the late 1960 and 1970s where there was simultaneous talk both of 'lack of information' and 'information saturation'.

information as a commodity / information economy

p. 187

functions of media -- information, education, entertainment

p 244 medium

Ernie Kovack's judgement that

television is a medium 'because it is neither rare nor well done'

is memorable

p. 261 information society

the new term 'information society' gave form to a cluster of hitherto more loosely related aspects of communication -- knowledge, news, literature, entertainment, all exchanged through different media and different media materials -- paper, ink, canvas, paint, celluloid, cinema, radio, television and computers.

From the 1960s onwards, all messages, public and private, verbal and visual, began to be considered as 'data', information that could be transmitted, collected, recorded, whatever their point of origin, most effective through electronic technology.

p. 321 cyberspace

Vivian Sobchack, 1996, The persistence of history described the metaphor of cyberspace, itself a construct in terms of an electronic system:

Television, video cassettes, video tape-recorder/players, video games, and personal computers all form an encompassing electronic system whose various forms interface to constitute an alternative and absolute world that uniquely incorporates the spectator/user in a spatially decentered, weakly temporalized and quasi-disembodied state.

AE: stoned / fried by magnetic radiation

p. 325 virtual reality

Virtual reality was when and where the computer disappears and you become the 'ghost in the machine'

AE: what are the limits of the digital experience, or more importantly, what should be the norm: 3D virtual environments, plain text, or some form of XP?

some phenomena in the media are older than is generally recognized

Again, some of the conventions of the 20th century comic books draw directly or indirectly on an even longer visual tradition:

  • speech balloons can be found in the eighteenth century prints, which are in turn an adaptation of the 'text scrolls' coming from the mouths of the Virgin and other figures in medieval religious art.

Anon, The Vision of St. Bernard, Book of Hours c. 1470


Harold Lasswell (1902-78):

who says what to whom in what channel with what effect

  • what: content
  • who: control
  • whom: audience (how many)

media as materials

each medium of communication tended to create a dangerous monopoly of knowledge

p.8: for Christians, images where both a means of conveying information and a means of persuasion

AE: part of the rethorics of institutionalized religion

ecclesiastical rethoric: pulpit is a mass medium

mediated literacy, literacy as an obstacle to public amnesia

p 40 (1500)

Another development of this period was the narrative strip or picture story. The ancestor of the 20th century comic strip. The visual narrative in which the viewer 'reads' the episodes, visually from left to right and from top to bottom, was already known in the middle ages but its importance increased with the rise of woodcuts in the Renaissance.

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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