Monday, 29 June 2009

Of sex and blogs

Two interesting articles in last week's Technology Guardian leapt out at me.

Aleks Krotoski noted that sex is absolutely excluded from videogames in any form other than visual titillation. Yes there are heroines with bulging tight tops to gawp at. But actual sex as a practice is rigorously excluded. You can adopt a self that blows someone's head off, fine. But you can't adopt a game self that has intercourse. Why? This is a very interesting question. Every other textual form - the novel, theatre, film, TV etc etc - has found a place for sexual activity and tended to sell better when that place was a prominent one. Why not videogames?

I suspect the answer is, in short, that videogames are a different (digimodernist) species of textuality. The inherited rules of games don't apply to them; they're not commensurable with what's gone before them; their exceptionalism takes us into uncharted reaches.

Charles Arthur, on the other hand, argued that the long tail of blogging is over. Yes, people still blog and read blogs, but he quoted research saying that 95% of existing blogs on the Web are in effect abandoned. Where have all the bloggers gone? To Facebook and Twitter, he thinks.

The digimodernist text is clearly subject to its own evanescence, but also, it would seem, on the level of the platform. There is a powerful wave of fascination for computerized text around now and it tends to surge towards the newest thing, leaving behind older models.

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