A Requeim for Reverie

My feeble attempt to muse upon Mr. Modesitt’s questions posed in his blog post today entitled ‘The Failure of Imagination.’

Specifically, in his closing paragraph, the question:

“The immediate question is to what degree the proliferation of graphic everything minimizes the development of imagination. And what are the ramifications for the future of both society and culture?”

Is our obsession with gadgets and glitz impeding or ability to excel in the hard sciences?  Where are the young up and coming visionary innovative scientists and inventors? Lost in a maze of mindless virtual mayhem? Distracted and disillusioned from the implacable mountain of hard work and study they must climb before great achievements are realized.

I too lament the decline of perception and a sharp increase in instant gratification; easy answers, quick fixes.  And at least half of my offspring may eventually contribute to the ‘problem’ of faster, flashier graphic violence as an aspiring artist hurtling toward the gaming industry galaxy.

I’ve thus far avoided the allure of today’s graphically bloated games.  I’m an old school drop-out of D&D who prefers a text based MMORPG exactly because my own mind is my first and best cinematic director.

I pose a ‘what if’ scenario, which most likely has been done before in science fiction.  What if all of us became blind? How, doesn’t matter — could be disease or radiation or some other catastrophe. Would your imagination musculature be up to the challenge? Would we then strive towards ideals that benefit all since we would need to depend on and trust each other for survival?

Turn off the tube.  Put down that game controller.  Take a walk.  Walk the dog (you both need exercise).  Close your eyes.  Or read a book.

Try a proactive response rather than a reactive reflection.

4 thoughts on “A Requeim for Reverie”

  1. There is room to do both. Most game designers and creators started out playing Text-only and good ol’ pen and paper RPG’s. They didn’t let the pencil and paper stop them from artistic expression or their imagination. Sharing your imagination with the world does not require other people to STOP dreaming. It usually make them want to share there own dreams with others. There is unlimited dreamspace for everyone.

    Did playing an awesome D&D campaign run by someone else eliminate the ability to think of cool things on your own? Does amazing art stop your imagination from working? Many people get INSPIRED from these things. Didn’t you? Isn’t that one of the reasons that you loved to play? Do you think that these games that are being created don’t require TONS of hard work, dedication, skill and vision to create? Does that happen by reactive reflection?

    You also assume (since you don’t, you know, actually PLAY these games…) that its all about “…instant gratification; easy answers, quick fixes.” That’s an extremely premature conclusion. (Almost as easy as… “D&D= Demon Worship!” Remember that one? Because it had demons or the supernatural themes involved… Must be demonic in nature! That MUST be the reason that they spend so much time playing this game…) D&D has many “murky” ethical and moral repercussions in MANY of the campaigns you could play. (Well, if you had a good GM or played any of the well written ones…) Many video games today take that even further. In fact, it’s an industry standard now, because players responded so well to it. They get to choose a moral compass, which often is reflected by the world they’re play in. They get to explore many different shades of gray and react them. Sacrifices are made. Repercussions that effect the player (and the World) on an emotional level. Memorable experiences result that last well after you’ve finished playing. But you wouldn’t know…

    There are MORE up and coming visionary innovative scientists and inventors right now than most people actively know about. Many people feel that the result of this is the perpetuation of technology at a rate that is too fast for them to keep up with. Most of the resulting products ( those gadgets that you speak of) require excelling in the hard sciences. Do you know how much R&D it takes to create a next gen Cell Phone or GPS system or whatever? You might be upset about the fact that many of the scientists work for Corporations that sell these things, but government grants don’t grow on trees. Unless you’re a defense contractor, of course… Thinking about it, most of the well known innovators of the last few decades that got serious exposure to the public were linked to the defense industry, weren’t they? Might that have to do with the reason that you don’t know about many of the visionaries of science that esist today?

    I know this issue is complex, but shouldn’t you actually find out some hard information about these things?

    Try a proactive response rather than a reactive reflection.

    Especially when to relates to a past time that enhances your life to this day and inspired(s?) your own creativity. As a gamer, I expect more from you.

  2. But Big Upps to you for Reading L.E. Modesitt Jr! That’s how I found your blog. Thanks for supporting Quality Novels and Authors. You could do the same towards the Video Game industry as well. There are plenty of quality creators within it, just like every other art form. But you have to explore these mediums before making a hasty judgments.

    1. Not so hasty a judgment as all that. Over twenty years of parenting (only recently an empty nester). But I do agree that I should venture out more into newer types of gaming, but at this point it my life, I’ll most likely just stick to text based adventures. Visual aids are superfluous for me.

      But, yes, I love quality reads and exceptional authors. Mr. Modesitt fits both bills.

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