Oh not the cartoon – the cartoon is shockingly shit – but the fact that he’s able to watch it is amazing.
A couple of days he looked up from crashing his Mario kart on his Nintendo DS and said he wanted to watch Mario on the TV. And today, with the help of the internet we have 28 episodes of the bloody thing to watch if we wish to (actually I tried him out on the Super Mario Brothers live action film staring Bob Hoskins – but even a four year old is too sophisticated for that pile of crud).
This is a theme that I’ve harped on about before, but Amy and Evan’s generation are going to have such a different experience of consuming media than I did in my childhood. I suppose the same could be said for me compared to my own father – but I suspect that the gap between my and his experience will be minuscule compared to that of Amy & Evan and I.
I’m convinced we’re only a few years from having huge catalogues of TV shows, music, and films available to us whenever we want them via the net. Vast databases of literally millions of titles that we can just access wherever we are at the touch of a button. It’s already happening in fact – America has Netflix, which seems to be getting even more fantastic by the week, and we of course have Spotify for music.
And I wonder what effect this will have on the actual production of media itself. Will the fact that people will be choosing actively rather than passively what they want to watch mean that TV studios produce fewer higher quality shows, or will they go for cheap sensationalist shit to throw at the wall and hope some sticks? Will we spend as much time watching old shows as we do new ones, or will there still be the same desire for fresh content as we have now?
And what about the financial aspect. People are becoming less and less enthusiastic about paying for any media they consume – and the days of the £10 movie DVD or £20 TV box set must surely be numbered. A micropayment or subscription service is much more attractive, yet may not be as lucrative. Will this see an end of multimillionaire actors, directors and musicians. Will they all end up being paid a generous but scaled back living wage like, say, most computer game designers.
I have no idea, but we definitely live in interesting times.