Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Analog Generation

The Los Angeles Times reports in "Vinyl records make a return" that a new vinyl-only label thinks it has a viable business plan in the age of digital music. As the article points out, many in the supposed "digital generation" still choose to collect and exchange physical artifacts. Certainly my own children often have analog preferences, and the role of various trading card games in many young people's lives and the resurgence of board games indicates that non-computational media still play an important part in multiple entertainment ecologies. Both Henry Jenkins and Siva Vaidhyanathan have talked about the "myth of the digital generation." Perhaps this is yet another example of how they may be right, particularly if some kids are more interested in spraypaint than Photoshop. Of course, as this poster from Cristen Torrey on a message board at The Crucible shows, researchers are looking at the osmosis between the analog and the digital as well, as DIY culture crosses from the real to the virtual and back again. (Click to enlarge.)

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