Showing posts from November, 2018

Aesthetic Materialism, part 2: Escapism

Aesthetic Materialism, part 2 [click here to see part 1] Every time another science fiction movie or comic book hero movie comes out, it's pundits' job to tell us that our culture is "escapist".  Another way to think of materialism is to ask: what is escapism escaping from? Work?  Think of the phenomenon of "grinding" in video games.  Many video games require the player to perform the same action over and over again, more or less identically, for many hours at a time, in a manner that closely resembles work.  In some games, the player's character actually goes to work and does labor - fictitious labor, for fictitious bosses, to earn fictitious money, but which requires real time and effort and occasionally causes repetitive stress injuries in players' hands (who knows what it's doing to their minds).  This labor is forever being abstracted, quantified, supervised by software, tested, judged, and assigned a value, whether points in a score or