IMAGINATION and LIMITS - Part 1
Since my first blog, 'Toys vs Imagination', I've spent numerous sleepless nights thinking of so many more areas which afford interesting concepts. To me, anyway, and before I continue, please note that all of the following, are my opinions only.
The one reference I'll make will be to a volunteer librarian, Jessamyn West, who listed seven categories in which all stories fit. I'm leaving them until last, but I mention them now as the categories easily flow into other genres.
Following toys, I look at technology, which gives us appliances, communicative needs, medical aids and machinery, gadgetry and inclusions within almost every part of our days, from here to outer space. And, of course, in our entertainment.
If some form of technology doesn't apply, then we can be reached through the verbal, "Well, technically speaking, you.....". There is very little chance of escape.
The most common we encounter (as long as we're living somewhere that supports technology), are home appliances, computers, phones and entertainment products.
Many of a household's chores are taken care of by appliances and, as with all technology, they improve over time and we're given more 'spare' time because of them.
Computers and phones allow for worldwide interactions between people from where you sit and from where you may also have whole entertainment hubs set up. Screens bringing you visuals, buttons supplied to change visuals, someone telling you what's happening in the world, stories on film to satisfy your tastes, sporting coverage to appease your loyalties, lessons in how to cook food that you don't need, and on it goes.
If these aren't enough, we reach for our electronic games and we begin to meet up with some serious limitations.
The similarity in between the limits in games and, say, a racing car, isn't quite the same. The designers may have had the imagination to create a body of parts, linked to allow for possible high performances on roads, but to achieve this, a driver uses more skills than brain-only.
Granted, physical ability IS controlled by a brain, but desired and necessary physical ability is not always within an individual's capability. This may also apply to the car's designer.
As we've evolved, so too have our needs and therefore, our complications.
Thankfully, there are still cultures that maintain enough original humanity to seek few, if any, of the daily needs within a so-called 'developed country'.
Developed into what?
Into a confusion of needs based on requirements of a societal existence. If you don't have this, or you don't have that, you may be classed as either 'poor' or 'odd'. For (1), being poor is usually only a level as measured against those who have some noticable wealth. To many of the poor, this is an unfairness and/or an affront.
And (2), being odd is a refusal of a mass to accept a peer as someone who has an imagination geared to 'self' rather than 'herd'. That, more so than unfairness or affront, seems to me to be more a failure of the mass, where the mass has frowned upon an individual that has added a new dimension to his world. The mass appears happiest living in the limits, as set by the technological achievements within their possessions. Their own up-to-now standardized comfort zones. The damning of an individual's imagination is the REAL oddity.
And so after we all have our appliances and vehicles etc, which save us so much more time than past generations in past centuries seemed to have had, what do we do?
We create amusement. Or rather, as a society, designers in huge companies invent vast numbers of fun things for us, which more often than not, become international trends. This being helped along via media advertising and encouragement that convinces you that "you really need this in your life".
Many must-haves are for indoor entertainment, and as populations explode, it seems wise that people are being continually provided with stay-at-home amusements.
The downside of this, is that general standards of health drop. But not to worry, there are always many entrepreneurs who will build inviting gymnasiums, so you at least excercise a little. And you're told where to find these gyms in advertisements you see while you sit watching your televisions. If you have no inclination or time to visit these sweat factories, you can buy smaller equipment to install in your home
One way or another, the exercise police will catch you and prick your conscience.
Apart from any standard games that have been a source of challenges, we have now taken to feeding our levels of competitiveness without having to go out and physically indulge too much with other people.
We have games. In many, many forms and levels. New games, and new variations of skills needed to play them, continue to flood our lives and whatever form they take to connect us, not many age groups escape.
We give skills-needed toys or 'activity centres' to very young babies, and proceed from there.
And so to our games.....: nicely entertained, in-house contained, we're fed our amusement needs, and we seem happy to accept being amused by other peoples' imaginations. We don't often seem to question that OUR imagination level has been limited. We're happy to give ourselves to an outside controller, and we stretch our finances to ensure we aren't left out of any circle of global population trying to reach that latest 'high score'.
A top gamer will never be as good as the person(s) who created the game.
It surprises me a little that avid players would always be willing to be no higher than 2nd place, at best.
....end Part 1.....