Well I didn’t realize that the third blog was intended to be the summary of the project, so it turns out that I will be writing one more entry. As I come upon the closing of the summer as well as my research project, I feel I have a grasp of not only the topic I had been studying, but ideas on art and culture as whole. I went into this subject expecting it to be purely academic, with me cross-referencing books and postulating intricate theories about how everything was related. I thought that the meaning behind the art I would be studying would be so complex that only the elite and educated could access it, that the pieces were unique in their attempt to bring High Culture to the masses through technology. While yes, I was studying Lost, a videogame, and Dave Matthews Band, I thought I could maybe raise these household names to those of classics, far above the normal “trash” found in the respective mediums that these works inhabit. I learned, however, that comparing these works to others was not the wisest path to take.
Entering into my project, I wanted to first get a sense of the differing ideas on the media’s effect on people and culture. On recommendation of my professor, I picked up three books on the subject which I planned to use as introductions into the general ideas and arguments about culture before I delved deep into the actual works themselves.
Ah, video games. No other modern medium of art has been so maligned as the recent one of gaming. The words “video game player” themselves bring up images of 13-25 year old males who sit in their mother’s basements, wasting their lives in virtual worlds as the real one passes them by. When brought up in the news, video games are depicted as violent and corrupting, and any praise brought upon them is solely financial, as a talking head announces that the video game industry is surpassing the movie industry in revenue.
At last, the night I had been waiting for came. July 28th, 2010, the night that Dave Matthews Band would be playing at the 1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheater (yes that’s the real name of the venue and yes I think it’s ridiculous). It would be my third year in a row seeing the band at this same venue, and while the previous two years I went solely out of desire to enjoy the music of one my favorite and the world’s most popular band, this time I would have another agenda.