Check Those Graphics Man!

pong

By: Steven Dell

As video games have progressed so too have the graphics. If you look back at some of the different systems they almost seem laughable. But at the time they were a source of enjoyment for those that wanted to play them. As the time and technology progressed so did the amount of information that able to be put on those video games. It is to a point now that it is starting to get more and more difficult to tell a video game from a real life situation. (not really but you get my point)

Where this gets more interesting is when you throw this into the 24hour news cycle. I like to think of news as not entertainment. The content can be very entertaining, but I’m not looking to sit down with popcorn and a beer to watch the NBC nightly news. I want the broadcast to give me the information they have for the day. Clear, direct, and to the point NEWS that tells it how it is. People died in some war torn nation, scientific breakthrough in new field of plant research, or maybe 5th grader spells word most people can’t pronounce. I want simple and effective journalism. Throw a picture on the screen, or put a correspondent in Somalia to drive the point home.

So now the news networks (pick your poison) are giving me something else. It used to be that the anchor gave a story and moved on; seriously that is how they did it. Now we seem to be A.D.D. or something or at least that is how they think of us. If the news anchors don’t have some big board with lights and graphics and Vana White turning letters it must not be news, I’ll change the channel and watch the more entertaining guy give me the low down.

peter-jennings

This progresses to an almost ridiculous point. First it was the running ticker on the bottom of the screen, then the side bar on the coming attractions. Now laser light pens and touch screen boards the size of a wall in my house. Also on election night CNN unveiled their secret weapon in the ratings war “Holograms”. This honestly did not seem too great of a thing, but I’m sure it cost too much money and maybe people enjoyed seeing Will I. Am in the room with Wolf Blitzer when he actually was not in the room with him. I remember seeing Princess Leah doing it and that was pretty cool. I guess I won’t change the channel.

Where do I go from here? My choices a severely limited as to how I get my information. My first Idea is to go to the news paper, now that is the last bastion of true journalism. Short articles with the main information right away more detailed information after that. This is tried and true news gathering. But how do they compete with Monday night Football style graphics? They have got to do something to keep their name in the ranks and to keep the next few generations captivated.

So it is a lost medium anymore, print that is. People have become lazy and don’t seem to want to actually think about what the information is that is given to them. So they let the broadcast companies tell them their opinion. This is a pretty harsh statement but I think that if it wasn’t true people like Kieth Olberman and Bill Oreiley wouldn’t have a job.

On a side note could you imagine if Walter Cronkite had all of the crazy graphics they have today when he announced the assignation of JFK? Very bleak indeed.

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3 Comments

Filed under Media

3 responses to “Check Those Graphics Man!

  1. Shawn_Scanlon

    Yup. Spot on, brother.

    It really saddens me that we’ve allowed this to happen to ourselves. I mean, how can we maintain an informed electorate if all we’re doing is watching infotainment?

    I’m not convinced that a more informed electorate will help the progress of any specific ideology, but it might lead to a better Democracy.

    Which is nice too, I guess. 😉

  2. Tony Robinson

    Steven:

    I agree with the sentiments here. I remember when USA today was laughed at as the McDonalds of the national news, and now the Wall Street Journal is owned by the same company and following the same USA Today format. That CNN hologram was laughable, as if i would rather see a cool bell and whistle than actually see a correspondent in the element out there in the bush. There is great media out there on the internet and in some great journals, so I think there is plenty of quality out there for people who want it–but television news is absolutely a barren wasteland. The equivalent of crack cocaine. Short bursts of euphoria, but nothing lasting.

  3. Joseph Martinez

    Great point Steven, I think that the American public has grown so distracted and turned off by politics that these “state of the art” political tickers are a necessity. People need the pretty colors and holograms to stay interested in the politics of the day. Much like the video games that Steven compares them to political coverage has to continue to evolve.
    I have noticed that the major news networks have turned the Republicans and Democrats into “Bloods and Crips” each group has their colors respectively. Politicos and even politicians play into this. “Lets turn Colorado Blue.” Or “The West is turning Blue” or even the “Blue Rockies.” And those just the colors.

    The touch screens and all of the other technology that goes into these elections remind me of either an 80’s style rock concert (- the pyrotechnics of course, unless it’s Obama’s concert) or a WWF production. All noise and pretty lights that have nothing to do with what is going on.

    Pong, though is a classic and still fun, for about five minutes (Just like politics!)

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