Saturday, 17 March 2018

McLuhan's concept of "Media"

McLuhan's approach is new and ingenious. It is rich of enlightenment for the understanding of the development of new media especially online games. It helps to understand the virtualization of people's cultural life nowadaysit helps to understand the entertainment and games of the contemporary media. 


McLuhan observes that any medium "amplifies or accelerates existing processes",  "change of scale or pace or shape or pattern into human association, affairs, and action", More controversially,   suggested that content had little effect on society the effect of media is considerable  McLuhan pointed to the light bulb as an example.   A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs. Yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during night-time .
McLuhan says that we are fail in  studying media, because we pay attention to and focus on the content, which blinds them to see its actual character, the psychic and social effects.
Impact on a society is not linear and static, but multi-dimensional and dynamic as that medium interacts with other media and as the society changes how it uses the  medium.

Content is  medium

McLuhan also says that a CHARACTERISTIC OF EVERY MEDIUM is that its content is always another medium.The impact of each medium is somewhat limited to the previous social condition,since it just adds itself to the existing, amplifying existing processes. Therefore, different societies may be differently transformed by the same media.

Hot or Cool Media

McLuhan also stated that different media invite different degrees of participation on the part of a person who chooses to consume a medium.
Some media, such  A movie is thus said by McLuhan to be "hot", intensifying one single sense "high definition", demanding a viewer's attention, enhance one single sense .  "Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one.  Hot media  are usually sequential, linear and logical. They emphasize one sense over the others. For this reason, hot media also include radio, as well as film, the lecture and photography
Cool media, on the other hand, they require more active participation on the part of the user, including the perception of abstract patterning and simultaneous comprehension of all parts.  Therefore, according to McLuhan cool media include television, as well as the seminar and cartoons.
Hot Medium
  • extends single sense in high definition
  • low in audience participation
  • engenders specialization/fragmentation
  • uniform, mechanical, extends space
  • horizontally repetitive
Cool Medium
  • low definition (less data)
  • high in audience participation
  • engenders holistic patterns
  • tribalizes
  • creates vertical associations


McLuhan thinks that game is also a media; it is the extension of man and society.
The core of McLuhan’s theory, and the key idea to start with in explaining him, is his definition of media as extensions of ourselves.  Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex.
In McLuhan’s theory language too is a medium or technology because it is an extension, or offering, of our inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings—that is, an extension of inner consciousness.
Thus, spoken language is the key development in the evolution of human consciousness and culture and the medium from which subsequent technological extensions have evolved.Thus,  make us aware of the implications of the evolution toward the extension of collective human consciousness facilitated by electronic media.

Media can “heat up” over time

Writing in the 1960s McLuhan described television as a cool medium, but one could argue that television has “heated up” since then as it has become more high definition and more omnipresent. We do not use television today in the same way we used it in the 1950s and 1960s, when families frequently sat around the television watching one show at a time. Now we have multiple televisions and other types of screens (such as personal computers, laptops, cell phones, tablet computers) of multiple sizes in multiple locations (including on our person) that are available continuously to provide a stream of images, text, and other information that we often attend to in a fragmentary and desultory manner. Therefore the experience and effect of using electronic screen technology has heated up over time.

Global village

Electronic media create the “global village”, transforming us into people who are complex, depth-structured and emotionally aware of our interdependence with all of human society .