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Fantastic book which presents a whole new way of looking at modern day media. I didn't even realize that such a unique perspective would have existed. I've read FAR too many books and articles that all cry about the modern day trash that is television, video games and franchise movies, so it was a genuine pleasure to see a book analyzing the evolution and growing complexities of these mediums. The observations, analysis and evidence were soundly compelling and persuasive... and the writing itself was smooth, engaging and interesting. This book should be put on the list for 'recommended reading' for all Media and Communications university students.
I remain unconvinced by the central tenet of his argument. He seems to ignore the vast swathe of largely mindless pap which fills the airways and focuses on a narrow band of high quality drama and comedy. Would he really argue that modern TV documentary series are better than the likes of Jacob Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" or Alistair Cooke's "America" Interesting idea but unsupported by evidence as far as I can see.
I read this book at the end of 2005 and found it one of the best eye openers in challenging a lot of my simple misconceptions regarding computer games, TV and the benefits of the internet (as an education/social interaction tool as opposed to a tool I use at work every day). I no longer look at my children's fascination with playing computer games with such concern; it has not increased my viewing of TV (a medium I actually think too many people view with rose tinted historic spectacles given it formed such a key part of their early lives) but it has helped me appreciate the wider benefits of how TV series now operate and are structured versus the versions I saw as a child; plus the internet and its wider social impact is put into context with the end coverage that IQs are given these changes getting higher in the middle and lower zones of society if not so clearly helping the top intellectual end are well made even if you do not wholly agree everything. The book is US centric but given the author's life, location and background that seems inevitable and indeed the beauty of the arguments presented for consideration is that you find yourself applying them to local UK TV programmes given the main messages are universal. While the style is too academic at the start, once the writer warms to his subjects he does present well and in a very creative structure that interlocks across the book. Finally, the end section on summarising areas for further reading on the different topics is one of the best I have seen in such a small book.