Portal. October 9th , 2007. Valve Corporation. Nov. 19th, 2013. Video Game.
Fallout 3. October 28th, 2008. Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda Game Studios. Nov. 19th , 2013. Video Game.
- I’ll be using Portal and Fallout 3 as examples of two different displays of dystopian societies. Portal is subtler while the Fallout universe is blatantly dystopian but also post-apocalyptic.
- I will be utilizing material from my 2nd Revision (all about Portal and Marcuse)
Dick, Phillip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. New York: Random House, 1968. Print.
- DADES provides me with a literary source of dystopia and it also relates to the post apocalyptic society in Fallout.
- · If I need another literary source, I plan on adding 1984 by Orwell
Star Trek. J.J. Abrams. Paramount Pictures. 2009. Film.
- Star Trek will give me the rare example of a futuristic utopian society not prevalent in today’s media and will be part of the counterargument
- I haven’t watched the film yet (or much Star Trek at all) but depending on the depiction of utopia, I may use other parts of the Star Trek universe and/or try to find another source.
Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon, 1964. Web. http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/pubs/64onedim/odmcontents.html
- As with Portal, I will be pulling material from my 2nd Revision on Marcuse’s philosophies on industrial societies and mass media.
- Marcuse will act as the main source material with the video games/film/book all relating to it
Moylan, Tom. Scraps of the Untainted Sky: Science Fiction, Utopia, Dystopia . Boulder: Westview Press, 2000. eBook. <http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=acls&cc=acls&idno=heb07710.0001.001&node=heb07710.0001.001:4.1&view=image&seq=4&size=100>.
- This will act as my academic source on what actually defines utopian, dystopian, and why media clings to the depiction of dystopia.
We have studied a few futuristic societies during our time in this class, specifically Portal and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. These mediums along with a lot of other pieces of work that I have played/read all have a dystopian twist to them. In fact, it is hard to find a film, book, or game that depicts a completely desirable future. The creators’ of these works let dystopia dominate the future science fiction genre. In many ways, the dystopian society is just an extension and amplification of Marcuse’s philosophies. The questions I will be attempting to answer:
- Why does dystopia dominate future science fiction?
- What characteristics of Portal, DADES, Fallout etc. make them dystopian and Marcusian
- How does One Dimensional Man not only relate to these society’s depicted, but also how does it act as a precedent and basis that the creators of dystopian mediums follow.
- Why is there a reluctance to depict utopian societies?
- How is Star Trek utopian and go against Marcuse’s principals?
As for a counterargument, pieces of utopian science fiction do exist, but they are far and few between. By examining these, specifically Star Trek, I will examine what could entice someone to create a utopian piece of work. Also, I will try to relate a utopian society to Marcuse’s work.
The reader should care about at least two aspects of this argument. First, it effects what kind of media they are viewing. They are always being presented with a dysfunctional future. Why and what effect will this have on them? Also, they should care because if we are constantly putting out mediums that depict dystopia, it could have implications on our reality.
As I stated, Marcuse will act as a reference to most if not all the pieces of media I will be examining. Marcuse is the blanketing theme that can relate all these works. I will also be using Marcuse’s view of his society in his time and what effect that could have had on our views of our future.
I’m definitely trying to go in a different direction from my 2nd Revision because I feel like I have a completely new argument. However, it will provide me a starting point and material from Portal and One Dimensional Man that I can utilize. I probably will not examine Portal as thoroughly (I have other sources that need attention) but I will still be pulling details of how Portal is Marcusian. If I do end up using a lot of the details, I’ll be sure to streamline them while still keeping their meaning and relation to Marcuse.