black typewriter with paper sticking out of it and a white background behind it.

Changes to Media

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Today, we discuss media and how both have changed over time in the matter of print. Last time we discussed text.

In previous centuries, all communication within a writing spaces is by hand until the printing press. Today, when we write we do it electronically on portable, individual computers. It has come to the point where during my midterm last week, my professor had us handwrite our essay in a bluebook rather than type it out. Handwriting feels foreign now and I’ll bet that’s the way a large portion of us feel if we are to write things down using pen and paper.

According to David Bolter, writing separates into two broad time periods: the Age of Print and the Late Age of Print. We have become very accustomed to what he refers to as “Late Age of Print” because we write on our computers and access texts digitally. Old print such as books are far from obsolete but accessing and distributing information is digital today. However, Bolter worries about the loss of good writing and careful reading skills with this shift from one age to the next. Because of how quick we write information, send it to someone and receive it, it’s possible there is less care in its writing and reading. This is evident upon reading essays from students that were typewriting. With handwritten essays, students write at a slower pace which allows them to be more wary of spelling and grammar.

Remediation and Hypermediacy in Media

Remediation means to innovate and improve a previous form of media with a new one. This occurs in the video games industry nowadays as countless classic games anywhere from the 90s to even the early 2010s are becoming dated graphically and in terms of their gameplay mechanics. There are remakes and remasters, with the latter being a form of remediation due to how the original is improve. In a remaster of a video game, graphics, resolution and performance are typically the main features that developer focus on and improve by taking advantage of newer hardware.

For fans and owners of PlayStation, many of their PlayStation 3 titles from 2008 have remasters for the PS4 during its early life cycle around 2016. These consoles have updated hardware that allows the develops to push the boundaries of games even further and this usually comes in the form of remasters or even remakes. Usually, a remake has its own separate identity from the original game. Develops build it from the ground up and make drastic changes yet retain aspects of the original.

Sometimes, one medium or piece of media can remediate another. Adapting a book into a movie is an example. Similarly, oral communications was remediated into written communications. Much of the elements from the original are still present but are expanded upon.

Hypermediacy on the other hand is this blog post making you aware that you are reading this blog post online and engaged in its contents. One way of doing this is by linking articles the posts of citing information from or by referencing previous blog posts. Hypermediacy is often present on many websites that have a windowed view to them and their abundance of icons.


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