Media is everywhere.
It has it’s models, owners and issues.
But, what role does it play in society?
What Kind Of Roleplaying Is Media Into?
The phrase ‘media’ has so many forms that it’s be foolish to think that it played a small role in society. In fact, media is so heavily embedded in our lives, it plays a strong role in controlling our actions, influencing ideals, and empowering people to rise up against forced ideologies.
Marketing media and journalism are forms of media that influence ideals. Large scale media ownership allows a single ideology to be broadcast to a wide audience with minimal question. Images are often used to broadcast ideologies to a vast audience or to ask people to question the ideologies they have been subject to.
Semiotics has been used throughout history to enforce hegemony, the dominant influence of a group over another (usually the state over it’s people). For example, Governments using war propaganda posters for recruitment; this draws on the ideology that civilians should go to war to defend their country. At the same time, semiotics can be used to empower the people. Images are often used in social media as support for a social uprising. Social media has begun to be a platform for people to band together as in a ‘participatory culture’ to create a revolution, revolting against old ideals and ideals that have been pushed onto people in the past (The Guardian on social media’s effect on local communities)
“RSA Animate – The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?” A very detailed look at how the internet affects citizens and the role it plays in empowering them for revolution and allowing the government to silence citizens through censorship.
Third Person Role Playing
CCTV cameras are a great example of how media can repress the public.
In the late 18th century, Jeremy Bentham came up with the ‘ideal’ prison design, The Panopticon. The Panopticon only needs one guard situated in the middle with the cells surrounding the guard. This meant the guard had constant view of the inmates and the inmates knowing they were being watched would be less reliant to revolt. Essentially repressing the inmates.
Modern day CCTV cameras also rely on this concept of constant surveillance to keep citizens in fear.
The effectivity of CCTV cameras are often in debate as it can be argued that they are an invasion of privacy and that they are a scare tactic with minimal crime prevention.
“Alex Deane debates CCTV cameras on BBC Breakfast”. Debating the use of CCTV cameras in England including citizen and expert opinions.
Massively Multiplayer Role Playing
Without a doubt, the internet, specifically social media, has begun empowering citizens in a way never before seen. Social networking encourages people to share info and come together to share ideas. These aspects of social media is arguably perfect for supporting marxist ideologies and uprising against hegemony.
Social media provides the ability to broadcast ideas instantly to a global audience. Governments have and still are censoring media such as this but with such a low cost of entry, civilians are finding ways around the censorship to organize rallies and protests. The Arab Spring is a fine Example of the effect social media has on societies.
The Final Fantasy
Whether it be repressing or empowering civilians, media will always have a powerful impact on society. The State will most likely never fully control it’s citizens as long as they continue to resist with the very same media.