Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is fiction better than reality?

                “The Art of Immersion: Fear or Fiction” was written by Frank Rose and it’s about how people connect with different technologies.  He started off by saying how before the movie “Avatar” came out, editors wondered if people would watch it or not but when it came out; Josh Quittner said “I couldn’t tell what was real and what was animated”.  The amazing 3D in the movie was so realistic that people could feel a connection with the movie. Even though it had real actors and fake alien characters in it, the graphics were so real that people could imagine themselves being there on Pandora. I think that’s what immersion is about. It’s when you can feel yourself having a mental connection with fiction.
                Then Rose mentions the book “Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury”. That book was about how everyone lived in a society where books were illegal and had to be destroyed. Only TVs were allowed. The TV screens would take up the entire size of a wall probably to get people addicted and it was possible that the government was watching everybody from the insides of their TV screens. The main character in this book is a man whose job it is to burn books but eventually meets Farber and becomes a savior of books. The reason why books are prohibited in that society is because knowledge = power. The government doesn’t want people to be able to think for themselves so basically they’re somewhat mind controlled through TV screens. On page 367, paragraph 8 it says “That was Bradbury’s beef with television-it was just too immersive. Logical, linear thought was no match for its lively phosphorescent glow”. The meaning of this is that people choose TV over books because you don’t really have to think as much, the TV does all the work for you, and it even glows so people are attracted to it more than a book. You may learn a lot from television but with books you actually have to think about the meaning behind everything. TV is just fast paced and always changes so you literally sit there, think quickly and move onto the next thing that pops up.
                In the end Rose makes a bold claim saying that we do not want “authenticity”; “It’s what we think we want. What we really want is to go back to Pandora, even though we’ve never been there in the first place” (par.25). What he means by this is that fiction can be so good that the reader gets immersed in with what’s going on in the book. We might not want to be realistic all the time because sometimes reality isn’t that great. But with a good fiction book where the story is made up, people might be able to connect with it and use it as an escape from reality. It’s just like how sometimes people wake up from a really good dream and try to go back to sleep because dreams are better than reality sometimes. In “A Christmas Carol” Scrooge has a bad day because it’s Christmas. He hates Christmas spirit, is coldhearted, rejected people that asked him for donations, and saw the ghost of his dead friend Marley. Marley appeared in shackles and chains and told Scrooge this was going to be his fate if he didn’t see three ghosts. Most likely the ghosts are going to tell him to change his ways and become nicer or else he will have to end up like Marley. In the end Marley tries to blow it off by going to sleep. This is an example of how fiction is better than reality. In reality he had a bad day and saw a ghost that told him bad news so in order to escape it, he’s going to sleep because like I said dreams are better than reality sometimes.