During my morning ritual of reading random articles, I stumbled upon "The State of Serious Fiction in the Age of Games and Pornography" by Nathan Englander.
In this article, he summons the topic of media progression. What I mean by that is, sometimes one medium replaces another. According to the article, by large, we are a society that indulges in video games and pornography more than any other medium of expression. These trends have flipped on the panic switch for many fiction lovers and writers. Will video games, for example, murder fiction? With so many other sources of information and entertainment, why read?
1. Should You Care?
So to me, I think if an art form’s going to die, let it go and good riddance. The photograph did not kill the painting. The moving picture did not kill the photograph. The talkie killed the silent film because it was supposed to die.
Englander is not alone on this argument. There are many researchers & writers like him who think it doesn't matter what happens to fiction.
I like the concept that one medium doesn't end up killing the other, unless it is meant to die. Of course, this is a very religious sort of answer. A fate concept.
Personally, I don't think fiction will ever disappear. Think about how long movies and TV programs have been around versus the novel or short story. It's stood the test of time. However, like many have noticed, video games trump movies, comics, short stories, novels, non-fiction works, television, and so much more. Their only competition is porn.
I guess the goal of fiction is to write from the soul. I wouldn't write if it wasn't cathartic. It's the same reason I started reading. But could the video game, which is the most interactive medium of storytelling, ultimately eliminate our thirst for fictional literature? And do you care?
2. Damn Video Games
I've written quitea bit about this concept of video games battling fictional literature. Hell, I've even been dumped before because I didn't game enough.
Honestly, I don't think video games will replace fiction. Ever. The notion is absurd to me. Video games are fun and they can certainly get you thinking or render you unstressed. But what fiction offers is much more interpretation.
Video games allow you to take some control of the story, but where fiction really excels is that the interactivity is with your imagination. And your imagination is often a creative response to experience. That's why people can't put certain books down. It's why at some point, even those who call themselves non-readers (poor souls, but I can write about them since they won't be reading it), get bored and find a book that speaks to them.
That's the beauty of fiction: Complete control but never any answers. It's about questions and emotions rather than closure. If you seek closure in life, you'll always be disappointed.
3. Now for Some Pornography.
When I found the Englander article, I had no idea what he meant by "All art forms -- all culture -- is currently lost to video games and pornography." To tell the truth, I'm still not certain what he means.
I get the video game point. But what the hell, people don't read because of porn? I have no real thought here. I mean, I've written multiple times on the idea of pornography slipping into (no pun intended) literature. You can find that stuff here.
Maybe this one isn't a thought, but a question. I need your help here.
What do you think "All art forms -- all culture -- is currently lost to video games and pornography" means, focusing on the latter?
How has porn replaced fiction?
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