At the end of the first chapter, Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin put down the idea that digital media must make a radical break with the past. They say digital media will “instead function in a constant dialectic with earlier media, precisely as each earlier medium functioned when it was introduced.” Media remediate previous media. Bolter and Grusin say this how new media reaches importance and new media does not necessarily need to break out. What do we think is more important for new media? To remediate old media or radicalize and find its uniqueness? A balance of both?
However, Bolter and Grusin’s chapter on video games feels dated at times. Video games have not stuck with remediating film and television as much as they suggest (certain video game genres still do remediate film with cut scenes and static cameras). Many game industry professionals (like Irrational Games’ Ken Levine) show how video games are finding its uniqueness in interactivity and less about remediating past media (Bioshock, Half-Life, Shadow of the Colossus). Are video games going against what Bolter and Grusin say? Will video games continue to both remediate and innovate? Are video games innovating to “improve” upon old media and convince customers games are better? Is it all economic?
I wish Bolter and Grusin would have spent less time during the video game section discussing pornography. I was incredibly excited to see him mention The Last Express, though. Visually wonderful experience that is worth looking at.
Bolter and Brusin have a wonderful phrase in chapter 3. “To condemn new media is to condemn contemporary culture itself.”
I’ve got to go back and try and figure out more of the book now.