iPadology I: Media(r)evolution
The New Frontier of Technology, The Next Step of Gaming, The Future of Books, of Journalism, of Education, The Rise of a New Interface Culture, The Big Bang of Transmedia, The New New Everything: What We Can Learn from the American iPad Discourse
This week the iPad finally comes to Germany, two months after the US launch. Since late January, when Steve Jobs first announced the "Jesus tablet," as it is called in American publishing circles, I have collected hundreds of articles and posts by tech journalists, influential digerati, bloggers and nameless early adopters. They are expressing their high hopes and deepest fears and then, starting in early April, they begin to describe their first hands-on experiences, stories of repulsion and conversion.
My analysis of this "wisdom of the happy few" will be published in three installments on "Carta - Gruppenblog für Politik, Ökonomie und digitale Öffentlichkeit". The first part "iPadology I: Media(r)evolution" is already online (3600 words long, in German!).
If you want to learn about the strange and strong mix of utopian hopes and dystopian fears that attach themselves to the iPad, you have to read the article. All I can give you here, are some great quotes:
- "The iPad looks like it came from a science fiction movie prop room, except it’s fully functional." (Michael DeAgonia in Computerworld)
- "I see this as the fourth step of the games evolution. First the microcomputer, then the dedicated console, next the smart phone and now the iPad." (Michel Guillemot in Time Magazin)
- "The zeitgeist excitement needle on this gadget has moved past Hula Hoop and Lady Gaga levels, and is approaching zones previously occupied only by the Beatles and the birth-control pill." (Steven Levy in Wired)
- The tablet computer "will remake both book publishing and Hollywood, because it creates a transmedia that conflates books and video. You get TV you read, books you watch, movies you touch." (Kevin Kelly in Wired)
- "Tablets are therefore the new frontier. They are the new book, the new newspaper, the new magazine, the new TV screen, and potentially the new laptop." (Nicholas Negroponte in Wired)
- "So I see the iPad as a Bizarro Trojan Horse. Instead of importing soldiers into the kingdom to break down its walls, in this horse, we, the people, are stuffed inside and wheeled into the old walls; the gate is shut and we’re welcomed back into the kingdom of controlling media that we left almost a generation ago." (Jeff Jarvis in his blog buzzmachine.com)
- "How, indeed, could anyone have guessed that Apple Inc., the creator of the personal computer, would lead the effort to exterminate it?" (Tim Wu in Slate)
- "But for me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist's rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands. One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker's Guide that humankind has yet devised." (Stephen Fry in Time Magazine)
GUNDOLF S. FREYERMUTH
Gundolf S. Freyermuth is a founding director of the Cologne Game Lab and Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the ifs international film school, Cologne. His teaching and research concentrates on digital audiovisuality, cross- and transmediality, network culture and games.