Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Amusement Park Elitism

(courtesy of janzedrik)

Why is there no Lester Bangs of video games or comedy? Genres of art that have their own critics tend to have their own snobs. Music snobs scoff at Sugar Ray. Film snobs love Richard Linklater or Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Video game snobs and comedy snobs are new to this century, so we might need to wait a year or two for the critics of those respective fields.

But what about attractions? Theme park rides, specifically? I cannot think of a less elitist art form than theme park rides. Perhaps the lack of recognizable, distinguished living theme park architects has something to do with this. Who praises the architect of the Tower of Terror?

Short of it: it don't get more lowbrow than rides and attractions.

Maybe amusement parks are to Orlando what movies are to LA. Everyone in LA thinks and breathes movies; everyone in Orlando thinks fun, sun and air conditioned hotels.

Perhaps the Universal Studios mantra "ride the movies" explains it best; theme park rides are literally moving theatrical experiences. Forget fourth wall; we're talking about the fourth track here.

If video games are digital movies, then theme park rides are new media plays mixing analog and digital; human (some rides have sardonic tour guides) and robotic animatronics); live (robots moving in the same space as audience) and prerecorded(videos, music).

Indie theme park rides do not exist of course. There is no homebrew scene nor is there a community revival of Spaceship Earth.

Once again I'm on vacation so here's a lazy link to a way more intelligent guy.

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