On a Silver Platter: CD-ROMs and the Promises of a New by Greg M. Smith

By Greg M. Smith

While the recent medium of CD-ROMs emerged, figures and critics alike proclaimed their almost limitless strength. Adapting fabric from well-established media like tv and movie, CD-ROMs have quick reworked genres akin to technological know-how fiction and horror. even as, the realities of tangible CD-ROMs usually fall in need of their utopian visions.

On a Silver Platter marks a "coming of age" for CD-ROMs as a commercially and aesthetically major medium not easy serious consciousness. Greg Smith brings jointly media students comparable to Lisa Cartwright, Henry Jenkins, Janet Murray, and Scott Bukatman to research how CD-ROMs provide choices to standard places--to museums, to towns, and particularly to study rooms. analyzing particular CD-ROM titles, together with, Sim urban, Civilization, and Phantasmagoria, the members argue that CD-ROMs are complicated texts priceless of shut attention, either for a way they've got replaced our knowing of house and style, and for the way they are going to impression the improvement of destiny media.

By studying specific CD-ROM texts and contexts, On a Silver Platter probes this new medium for perception and figuring out into the present nation of multimedia and into the way forward for expertise.

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Like the uses of the word ‘‘interactive,’’ the academic use of the word ‘‘active’’ is both truthful and an exaggeration. We do engage in such complicated mental processes sitting in front of the screen, but few who consider these media to be ‘‘passive’’ would deny that these processes are engaged. By labeling these activities ‘‘active,’’ academics say less about the viewing process than they do about the value placed on that process. Introduction 33 7. If one discussed media at the height of the nickelodeon, one might have discussed film as a highly interactive medium, since the nickelodeon was a place where audiences verbally and physically interacted with each other and with the screen.

There are also computer sensors to indicate if planetary atmosphere is safe and a database of technical information from the Star Trek universe, including background information that makes for a more realized game (the culture of the Romulans) and data on the immediate game world (which planets are habitable). There are many things to do, and most have clear and immediate consequences. Playing the game means responding to a relentless series of red alert sirens. ‘‘This is way different from the show,’’ complained one of our fifteen-year-old researchers.

This discourse, like that of interactivity, can best be understood in its context. The concept of ‘‘active’’ reading was created in opposition to the dominant understanding of media consumption as passive. ’’ The term ‘‘active’’ contains more rhetorical force than it does analytic insight. Few would disagree that we add ideological shadings in interpreting imagery or that the expectations and anticipations are central to our screen experiences. To realize that viewers do such activities is not particularly surprising, at least not as surprising as hearing these processes called ‘‘active’’ in the context of a ‘‘passive’’ conception of media.

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