Media outlets of all types see April 1st of each year as a time to play with their audiences. These stories rarely “catch” me because they typically have to be so outrageous that it’s clear from the outset that they are April Fool’s Day jokes. This morning, however, National Public Radio ran a minute and a half long story that totally caught me. I spent about 60 seconds planning my blog response to it.
The story is about the fact that 3D viewing technology has really exploded in the entertainment market but the technology still requires us to wear cumbersome 3D glasses. An opthamologist claimed to have pioneered an eye surgery that would allow us to watch 3D entertainment without having to wear those glasses. They even had one of the first people who had the surgery talk about how great it was to watch Gnomeo and Juliet in 3D without those glasses. The line of the story that really made me want to respond was about how this surgery would allow us to live in a 3D world. In my head, I was yelling “We already live in a 3D world!” And that was the moment that I knew it was an April Fool’s Day joke. The beauty of this story is that it mimicked real stories of this type, where people do crazy things to further immerse themselves in online entertainment. I’ve been reading a bunch about how Reality is Broken and what we can do about it so this story didn’t seem particularly far-fetched to me. Good job, NPR!
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.