Best Of

Best Of
The Myth of the Media Myth

Brenda Brathwaite | 20 May 2008 09:11
Best Of - RSS 2.0

"The media perpetuates it, but it doesn't cause it. ... The media just picks up on it and presents the same message with as much negativity as it can possibly find, because we are a negative-driven culture. We don't do things because they are right thing to do; we do things because we don't want the wrong things to happen." I think on that a long time.

"Parents always think kids are wasting their youth, and always have done [so] down through the millennia," says Tom Forsyth of RAD Game Tools. "'That Ug, always holding things. His front paws will develop in funny ways. Why can't he walk on all fours like normal proto-hominids?' And so, whatever the kids spend the most time doing, that's always what parents think is a waste of time, and what is corrupting their lives. It doesn't matter what that is. If all they did was homework, parents would be worrying that their kids aren't becoming well-rounded people. And, in fact, parents do this - enrolling math nerds in karate classes and the like. There is no way to win - parental paranoia ensures that kids are always doing the wrong thing."


This issue, this image problem, is a lot deeper than Jack Thompson, Dr. Phil and a few sound bites here and there. It's a generational, interpersonal, cultural, economic and political subject. The dinner conversations I take part in are merely the emergent result of several very complex systems.

"One thing I find interesting related to this is the myth of a permissive, bohemian side of society peddling filth media to a more God-fearing, family-values side. It's part of the political narrative," says Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios. "And parents are super quick to pick it up: 'I'm trying to protect my children from the vile content produced by amoral arts people.' When, in reality, entertainment media - and which projects even get considered - is ruthlessly driven by economics, controlled directly by pro-business forces and indirectly by consumers, like Mom and Pop, who are addicted to shows that push the lines of their own decency like Desperate Housewives or 24."

So, after all of this, I know and I still don't know where the hell all this comes from. I can see the LEGO pieces being put into place, but I don't wholly understand why people are putting them where they are. I have learned that the real myth is the media myth itself, and that in 20 years, maybe the myths won't matter anymore.

Clint Hocking says what I didn't think to say at dinner that night. "If I had a choice, I would want to include these distrustful folks in finding solutions. I would prefer it if they understood. I would prefer it if they could see the long sequence of events that is going to address their fears and create the medium they will inevitably love and participate in, whether they expect to or not."

"What's sad is that their ideological, ignorant, hostile, one-dimensional attitudes oversimplify one of the most beautiful problems in human history. It makes me very sad that many of these people will die fearing games. I would so rather include them, but they have to meet us in the middle or become sad, lonely, reclusive luddites.

"In the end, we will stamp them out if we have to, but it would be nicer if we all tap danced our way into the future together."

Comments on