Essay on The Is The Paradigm Shift

1517 Words Nov 4th, 2016 7 Pages
"Convergence" is the "paradigm shift" of the last few years. The word gets bandied about a lot in the media world, but seems to have no set definition. I first heard it applied to the idea that someday soon all home media consumption -- Internet, television, music, gaming, and movies -- would take place on a single black box in the living room that would take the place of the home PC, television, stereo, gaming console and DVD player. Microsoft created its X-Box console with just this type of convergence in mind. It wouldn 't be just a device to play games on, but the centerpiece of all home entertainment. Technologically, this wasn 't such a stretch. Sociologically, though, it was, and it never happened. If anything, the marketplace is filled with an even more bewildering array of electronic gadgets today. With this style of convergence effectively dead, the word has gone on to take on a host of possible definitions. I sometimes get the disconcerting feeling that even many of those who use the word are doing so mainly because it is expected and somehow makes them feel good about whatever agenda they happen to be promoting.

This brings us to MIT Media Studies Professor Henry Jenkins and his 2006 book Convergence Culture. Jenkins knows exactly what he means by the term convergence, and his definition is much more complex, subtle, and interesting than the old one. Jenkins is not interested in the hardware level at all, but rather looks at looks at trends in media…

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