I've been thinking lately about how I consume entertainment. I'm mostly a visual person; enjoying movies, television shows, and the occasional comic book. Next is probably audio, since I have a fair amount of podcasts I listen to on a normal basis. Last is the written word (ironic since I write myself pretty regularly). I'm not a huge reader but I try to keep up with at least a book a month. In a sort of transcendent additional category is video games, since a lot of the entertainment comes from participating in the narrative. I've been a lifelong gamer, but have fallen off on that too as of late. I'm hoping to get back into it soon, but all of this thinking got me exploring the benefits of diversifying our entertainment medium consumption. Especially in the era of on-demand everything, we can explore all sorts of new ideas and stories while engaging different parts of ourselves in the process.
What I like about movies and TV is how everything comes together to create a beautiful piece of art. The visuals, the music, and the story all coalesce to make for an engrossing entertainment experience, especially when you go to a theater for a big, fun movie. I like to get to the theater pretty regularly. Even with the absurd prices, it still feels worth it for the big screen, surround sound, and perhaps enhanced visuals. I tend to go especially when the movie is built for some good enhanced visuals from 3D or IMAX. Something else that is great about the theater is the communal experience of seeing a film with a room full of people. I'm not much for concerts, so this is the closest I'll probably regularly get to enjoying some entertainment live with other people. While it can also be a burden, for a big comic book movie or something with a passionate fan base, the community experience is awesome!
What I like about podcasts is how you can focus entirely on the spoken word. In its simplicity, it can be immensely powerful to hear someone speak their own words. Also, I often listen to podcasts alone or with headphones so the experience is very intimate almost, which creates a very personal connection between me and my podcasts. I listen to informative, funny, and emotional podcasts. The medium is one of the most unique and diverse forms of entertainment, with thousands (if not tens of thousands) of shows telling different stories and providing a platform for people to speak to their niche communities.
What I like about books is the nuanced exploration of a single topic. While podcasts or movies can do much of the same, I'm not going to sit with either for as long as I would with a good book. Plus, there is something uniquely cool about the analog quality of an actual book. I tend to purchase a hard copy of books I especially like just so I can have it in my hands and on the shelf. Otherwise, I am all digital since it helps to keep all of my books portable on my iPad. I've also gone all digital with comic books lately, since it helps with the problem of being able to read them whenever and wherever while also helping me travel light. I honestly think I'll start reading comic books more than regular books since I have been feeling an itch to explore some different stuff, like the Marvel Civil War story line in anticipation of the new movie (which I just finished, and it was excellent!) and the new Star Wars comics. Also, the way a good frame can capture emotion or action with an artistic, illustrated visual style is unparalleled.
As much as I enjoy any single medium at a given time, it has been enlightening to explore stories through all sorts of different platforms. The beauty of the time we live in now is that all of these mediums are easily available to us. We can embrace the diversity of stories, mediums, and people behind them, which I think can make a hugely positive impact for the world.
I look forward to indulging in all of them so that I can share some good stories with the people I care about.