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Commentaries on this Media!

Playstation as new item

by Julz

This clip takes a look at the new gaming system by Sony, The Sony Playstation Portable, or PSP.  In the commercial, the psp is packaged what we can assume to be the headquarters or “operating room” and sent to individuals across the globe. Pure excitement and joy is displayed as the users or characters of this device are able to experience it’s wonders.

The audience is made to believe that they are the reason behind this new experience until it is revealed mid-way through the commercial.  It is then that we go to an objective shot of one user playing a game on the portable gaming consol.  Furthermore, we as the audience are able to 'be' and see the game and its results of its players.

Our Relationship with Technology

by Lorien Hunter

I think this clip also comments on the ways technologies such as the PSP have changed how we relate to each other. Personal interaction has been changed to such an extent that we now appear to most closely relate with our personal technological devices rather than other human beings.  Through the point of view shots seen in the beginning of this commercial we establish a sense of intimacy with the various people we see smiling back at us.  However, about half way through the commercial it is revealed that our point of view actually belongs to the PSP and not another person.  After this revelation, these point of view shorts are interspersed with objective shorts (read as reverse shorts) of the PSP.  In doing so, this commercial accomplishes two things.  First, in some of the following shots we begin to see people choosing to give their attention to the PSP over the other people who are attempting to interact with them in the shot.  This quite firmly establishes the idea that technology is more central to our lives than other human beings.  In addition, by locating the viewer in the PSP throughout the commercial, it also suggests the idea that we are actually becoming technology.

Response to analysis of PSP commercial

by slc68

In response to Julz's statement about how the audience is made to believe that they are the reason behind the new PSP experience, I think this commercial also reflects the tendency of single user interface devices and technologies to bring out a form of narcissism. Such technologies focuses on a single user by minimizing peripheral vision and canceling out the richly interactive surrounding physically world. By using this psp point of view shot, the ad takes advantage of the audience desire and familiarity for these intensely self-centered experiences. The audience here is the mirror image of the people playing on the device. Both the people playing the device and audience members are by nature of the interface lured into not interacting with the surrounding people. Both are intensely fixated on a technologically generated interactive experience tailored specifically for individual satisfaction. The psp game player enjoys visual and auditory feedback that function as rewards and complements while the television watcher indulges in the illusion that he or she is interesting to and admired by the series of people depicted in the ad.

In the McLuhan sense that the medium is “any extension of ourselves” from which the “message” or societal change (noticed or unnoticed) arises, I agree with Lorien Hunter's argument on the centralization of technology and that we are becoming technology. The psp here is the extension of our thoughts and our desire for individual agency that provides a temporary dose of illusory empowerment but simultaneously causes an atrophy in our collective ability to recognize and assign importance to those around us. The dehumanization and technologization is in different ways and degrees. It includes both our increasing closeness to these devices rather than other human beings but also in the fact that we the audience have and can become mere objects to be used and played with by the psp users. This ad presents a Faustian bargain in technology in that we desire the feeling of being the center of attention when engaging with interactive systems but that by doing so, we also become mere technological assets characterized by not valuing people as high as tools and by our vulnerability to be represented as only objects to be played with in a machine generated setting. In the latter case, psp players are represented as abstract signs and digital objects to other players, becoming mere pixels to be manipulated. Going back to McLuhan, he reminds us that “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force.” Having these open discussions is the first step towards understanding and better control of these changes.


Playstation PSP experiences a new birth for its players

from Commercial (2005)
Creator: Sony
Posted by Survey of Interactive Media