I’ve been an anime viewer for a long time since I was a child. I’ve written before of how I enjoy this medium of entertainment, but I sometimes wonder if it was fate that drew me into this medium as it happen merely by accident. I was born into a generation where the western audience was about to explode, and I happen to be involved with a family which had already been early adopters of the medium of what western anime historians typically recognize as the period 1970’s and 80s. This isn’t exactly another post about anime, but instead the point I am trying to convey is that this was the spark of my fascination with understanding an entire different country and later continent. I became fascinated with their history, and culture realizing that in some aspects it wasn’t that much different than my own, but in other ways it truly was foreign. Japan in my opinion gives a glimpse into the future of humanity. A place where economic stagnation is a consequence of decades of corruption, and bad policies. Where there isn’t a true incentive to bear children like before, and thus a declining population rate has developed as it also has in Europe. A world where the visual, and the fantasy become what the human heart desires a world in which reality is something to escape from not embrace. Resulting in a place in which instead of understanding pain, and loneliness we run away from it hiding through easy gratification services for pleasure, and joy. In which visual media keeps us so distracted we never bother to think too much outside of the world that was derived for our enjoyment.
The virtual becomes better than the reality. In my own country this is merely beginning as Netflix being the major chunk of Internet traffic is merely the proof of that fact. In the west there will also be a transition to what has occurred in the east a world in which the digital slowly takes over. In Korea RTS players are treated as kings, in China they are all so hungry for digital media they have become best DOTA 2 (MOBA video game) players, and in Japan you merely have to visit or Google articles about Japanese virtual girlfriends.
The fact the Staples Center sold out for a video game tournament only adds to long list of signals you as well the amazing growth of Twitch.TV. When I was young being a gamer wasn’t exactly widely accepted, but now it is part of the mainstream landscape. Most of today’s information is digested through digital means as most people use applications on their phones, and computers to communicate in this world to define who they are and in extension ‘live’. Slowly we will move from the 2D screen into the 3D realm that once we thought was unimaginable, but that is the yearning. When games like Second Life exist, and are popular I realize that people yearn to live their fantasy, and distance themselves from the bane of their existence. It’s always easier to delude yourself, and play along in the fantasy. Ignorance and escapism are intrinsic human traits. I see a world that won’t be as interconnect as it can be, but instead isolated and fractured. Where people no longer say anything meaningful to each other, but exist frame to frame thus a way of life that is devoid of any true meaning. Does this mean I am saying technology is the root of our problems? No the problems of today are instructively human no matter what the circumstance. Instead what should be obvious is that society, and people are evolving. As a species we are evolving to a much more visual culture where images impact us more than just words. This is nothing nothing new people have been writing about this transition for 35 years now, but before they only had photography, and television to provide as a basis. Now in the dawn of online video, games, streaming, and numerous other applications we all should see where this trend all lead to. It leads to a society in which everything can be compartmentalized. Everything a human could ever need, do, and dream about can be all neatly organized into a serious of different applications. Want to date? There is an application/site for you. Want to write a journal? Service for that as well. Share pictures? Thoughts? Dreams? Pain? It’s all there for the taking. I could go on but I hope you understand the picture I am painting for you. We are entering an era in which culture of all kinds will blend together, and it will be up to the individual to decide how to conceptualize it all. Are we ready for such a world? I think not, and perhaps it’s already here. As more people in the poorer countries become connected to our virtual world we will see the blending I speak of. It’s uncharted in terms of scale, and speed of interaction. In such a world everything will become an image of projection. Who you are, what you believe, and what you do will all become images and those images will tell your story. Not merely your own, but everyone else’s as well.