Johnson And Tom Bissell: A Comparative Analysis

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Television and video games, while heavily stereotyped, have been a part of international culture for the past several decades. Authors of articles Watching TV Makes You Smarter by Steven Johnson and Extra Lives by Tom Bissell work toward proving a counter argument toward those stereotypes. Both authors assert facts and opinions meant to influence their readers, critics, and perhaps each other. Specifically, Bissell influences Johnson in that he provides an example of Johnson’s idea of increasing intellect in mass media, shows insight into video games through emotion while Johnson uses reason to address broader topics, and also provide corresponding opinions on storytelling in general. Through Fall Out Three and imagery of plot lines in shows…show more content…
Whereas television shows of the fifties and sixties were easy to follow and provided classic entertainment, compared to modern shows such as The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, those shows are painfully-simple plotted. In summary, Johnson believes that all forms of television and entertainment typically seen as lazy, in actuality, provides a variety of cognitive benefits; which Bissell proceeds to…show more content…
Aside from television examples based off of their plot lines, Johnson begins his argument by briefly mentioning the controversial show 24. He acknowledges that, “Judged by that morality-play standard, the story of popular culture over the past 50 years-if not 500-is a story of decline: the morals of the stories have grown darker, and more ambiguous, and the antiheroes have multiplied” (Johnson 279). As aforementioned, Johnson states that television has made up for its decreasing moral standards for its increasing intellect required to keep up with those shows and their plot lines. While a decent story is a key point towards any media outlet, no story is flawless and there will never be a flawless story. As stated by Johnson, “The real world doesn’t come in nicely packaged public-service announcements, and we’re better off with entertainment like The Sopranos that reflects our fallen state with all its ethical ambiguity” (Johnson 279). In short, as agreed to by Bissell, the art of storytelling is not an exact process with no issues, and it should not be held to those facts

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