Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2005-04-28

Sweet, Sweet Vindication

TV Makes You Smart! Take that, "Oh, pop culture is so low-brow these days" naysayers! I know, just because it's published in the Times, it doesn't make it automatically true, but I am thoroughly tantalized by this excerpt from Steven Johnson's forthcoming book, Everything Bad Is Good For You (does the title remind anyone else of They Might Be Giants' early song Everything Right Is Wrong Again? No? Just me? Okay, then.) and now it's at the top of my to-read list for the summer.

Although the excerpted article was a little low on the kind of close readings of more recent shows like Lost and Deadwood that I would like, and all but ignored shows for the teen audience (Buffy, anyone? How about Veronica Mars?), I was really excited by this comment [emphasis mine]:

If early television took its cues from the stage, today's reality programming is reliably structured like a video game: a series of competitive tests, growing more challenging over time. Many reality shows borrow a subtler device from gaming culture as well: the rules aren't fully established at the outset. You learn as you play.

I'm really pleased to see gaming getting some positive mainstream press, and am even more curious to see the results of longitudinal studies on brain development in gamers of all types.

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