The following " as if you cared " is an inventory of my entertainment center:
One DVD player, one VCR, one Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound system, one Comcast digital cable box, one 30-inch Widescreen Phillips HDTV, one slightly antiquated stereo system, one Playstation, one GameCube, one XBox, nearly one-hundred DVD's and twice that in CD's, a few dozen books, and roughly twenty or thirty videogames.
So, you ask, what does this prove? What's the meaning, what's the point?
And so the point, fellow film-fans, is this:
That in the little wooden space that holds the better portion of my possessions, there are currently eight doorways into five different houses of narrative. That every wire, plug, page and power switch are there in dedication to the craft of storytelling. That this small construction is not so much a shrine to technology as it is to every tale and telling that exists throughout the world today. Every syllable written or spoken in tribute to the human condition. Every brick, along every road, that carries a hero forward, through time and space, to death or destiny.
Film. Television. Music. Gaming. Literature.
Five distinct points of storytelling media. Each specific to their form. Each similar in their aim.
Think of it like creation, like a nova, exploding outward as word gives way to chord gives way to frame gives way to channel gives way to so many pixels and polygons. And our old, familiar tales find new, evolving faces and wear them proudly through the decades until they are no longer new And so the inevitable question is what is likely to follow? How will our children and our children's children tell their own stories?
Take gaming, for example.
Just over a decade ago, when graphics were little more than a crude conglomeration of shifting, colored blocks, we had Mario. A mushroom-eating plumber adventuring through a foreign land to rescue a princess from a scaly, fire-breathing villain. Classic story, classic form. Simple and simple, hand-in-hand, pushing the form as far as it could go within the boundaries of its own possibility.
And now today. PS2. Final Fanstasy. Ten-minute long, CGI cinematic intros. Sweeping plots and boundless worlds of fantasy. An interactive story where your own decisions effect the outcome. Seemingly limitless potential for a narrative to grow and develop.
Not quite film, but not so different than it once was.
So here's the question:
What's your favorite form of storytelling?
What strengths and weaknesses do you see in your television, your Cineplex, your bookstore or your Xbox?
And where do you think this all can go?
How will the next decade hold its audience captive?
What do you think?