When I was a little girl the year 2011 seemed space ages away. Instant food, hovering cars, and robot maids were things I thought I would never live to see. Well, here we are, 2011. Maybe things are not as advanced as they were for good old Judy Jetson, but they have definitely moved along.
Microwaves pop food out in 30 seconds, a Roomba can do your cleaning while you're at work, we can plug our cars into outlets, and video phone calls are not only a reality but they can be done anywhere, anytime using a small hand held device called a smart phone. I pay my bills while standing in line at the pharmacy, I send pictures of my grandson to my mother (who lives 6 hours away) in 5 seconds, we move standing still on conveyors in airports, and I can transport myself anywhere on the planet just by typing www.
Amazing. And yet, in the midst of all this change and advancement several things remain constant, one being the use of and the need for story. Avatar, a groundbreaking movie in the area of special effects, would be nothing without the story. Web sites are just electronic billboards of a companies story. Facebook is just millions of people shouting, "Look at my story...read me!".
In a recent edition of Scientific American Mind, there was an article stating that today's children are so advanced, in the use of video game hardware, that game designers are realizing they cannot create anything new that will challenge them. So, they are going back to the story of the game and making the story deeper, more complex, more meaningful, and more textured.
There is a buzz about technological advancement hurting the art of storytelling. I somewhat disagree. Yes, it's a bit harder to grab attention of the wired child/adult, but they are reachable. Watch any kid/adult sit down in front of a good storyteller and in 30 seconds they are hooked.
Humans can decorate themselves with all types of electronic gear, surround themselves with all types of cool toys, gadgets, and robots...but they are still human. And other than love, story is one of the basic elements of human survival.
Even the most extreme gamers recognize that.