I found Lev Manovich’s idea of Hypermediacy in yesterday’s class to be quite fascinating. The counterpart to Hypermediacy, Transparent Immediacy, is a medium that strives for as accurate a reflection of reality as possible. The paradoxes and contradictions created in these two ideas are quite visible in our CGI-ridden and graphics obsessed entertainment industry.
For example, many big budget video games, especially those for the PC, are marketed on their ‘cutting edge’ graphics, which accurately reflect the scene of a bullet blowing up a man’s skull and the various facial contortions one make’s when riding a motorcycle and firing two machine guns at the same time. Does this sort of ‘realism’ sit under the banner of Hypermediacy or Transparent immediacy? On one hand it is striving for visual realism, by giving as accurate reflection of various scenarios as possible. On the other, it’s strive for realism is part of a self-conscious development to be better than predecessors or competitors. By striving for realism, they are in a sense referring back to the medium of video games itself, the very definition of Hypermediacy.