Books are a Dead Medium

December 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm (St. Jason) (, , , , , )

First I know what you are thinking, “Jason you are biased! You don’t even like books!” False. I have read several books, including all seven Harry Potter books and at least two other books besides that, so I feel my judgment is fair.

We are in a new age of technology and frankly books are an archaic form of communication that should be eliminated. Sure it’s fun to pretend that a 12’ record sounds better, that 35mm film looks more authentic, or that a typewriter is more better to type on. The truth is that technology gave us better ways to do this and the only people that want this old technology are hipsters who will think anything is cool if no one is doing it. Throw away your crappy scratched up Beatles LP and be happy that we have the technology to digitally remaster it so future generations won’t ignore their music because the quality is so shitty. If you wanted to be a hip audiophile you would have bought the 5.1 surround DVD of a classic album but you didn’t and so they stopped making them.

But we aren’t here to talked about dumb hipsters we are here to talk about books, and how much better video games are then them.

First, let’s look at some of the faults that plague books.

They are boring – It’s true and you know it. It is a lot of words and paper and the only picture is the cover! Laaaame. This past weekend I saw Ninja Assassin and they cut a guys head in half with a knife on a chain. Not impressed? Of course not! This is because words can’t describe how badass it is to see a guy’s face cut off only seeing it could give it justice. And what is better than just seeing it? Having the control to make someone else cut their face off.

They are a passive experience – Scenario, you are reading a suspenseful part of a book and the Tom Hanks is about to solve the Da Vinci Code and out of no where Magneto is actually the enemy and all your shit is turned upside down. Now you say to your self “Wow that book was a roller coaster ride! I was at the edge of my seat until the credits rolled!” Now I agree that books can be suspenseful but the fact is that it has a predetermined course and you are really just along for the ride. Sure your imagination can take you so far but reading it will all ways be a barrier that prevents you from becoming completely immersed. Modern Warfare 2. You are a CIA undercover agent and are going along with a terrorist group find your self at an airport as they mow down civilians and you are forced to walk with them. People are screaming and running around and all around you is smoke, explosions, and suitcases being blown up by stray gun fire. Now a book could describe this and tell you how bad you feel and describe the chaos. Or you can be that CIA agent and feel for your self the emotions this brings up first hand.

Is there any hope for books?

Sadly, yes there is still hope and his name is Seth Grahame-Smith. He took a book that is probably one of the worst and yet classic stories of all time and made it good. How? By adding zombies. It is a simple concept, take a shitty book like pride and prejudice and unshitify it adding zombies. Honestly every classic book from The Great Gatsby to The Cat in the Hat should follow suit. Now I didn’t read this book because I don’t read but if I had I’m sure it would have been much much better than the original which I also didn’t read.

The Next Step

So we have these crappy books and we have added zombies, yet what has remained is still a book. The solution is to take the obvious next step in what I call, first person classics. We take classic books and add zombies and then make the experience a first person shooter. Not only will kids line up to get there hands on these classics but they will pay upwards of $60 when you tell them you can get the basic concept of The Scarlet Letter as you blow away puritans and zombies alike as Hester fucks and fights her way through 17th Century Boston wearing a bikini, an “A” tattooed on her double D’s, and two automatic assault rifles. Now that’s a classic I can get behind!

Final Thought

There are many who would say that books are still worth saving and all I have to say to that is your “precious” books have created the Twilight Saga and for that alone I think the medium deserves to die.



  1. Salamander said,

    heh…I can imagine that.
    “Oh noes! Romeo and Juliet don’t get to together in the end!”
    “Then hit the damn restart button and try again.”

    AS for Twilight | I couldn’t care less about movies with overdone cgi and special effects or hormone crazed teenage girls. But books as a medium, in general, I kinda of like. Even if they conflict or create crazy cult followings.

    There’s something different about a medium that plays with your imagination rather than tries to overload your senses with noises and pretty colors.

    Besides, reading has always been an active experience for me especially when I take a pencil and highlighter to a library book. =)

    I guess it’s like the difference between a programmer and a video game player….

    And if books still have a possible chance of redemption for you. Then try giving Fahrenheit 451 a read and tell me what you think. Of course you could always just do a wiki summary or something but….

    You’ll never know what’s in it…

    Better than I do. =P

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