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I just saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last night and it occured to me that as a society as we get more entranced with technology (and able to tune into society privately i.e.: online), the historical myth is getting more popular in a different form. In the 50’s there were programs such as Flash Gordon, fantasy books such as The Hobbitt and Lord of the Rings, but generally they were few and far between. The 80’s brought George Lucas’s Star Wars and rush to produce new versions exploded along with VCR’s, more television channels and the repopularization of the comic book. Today fantasy (that is to say myth) is so popular that they have their own television channels, fan fiction has developed into its own genre and the video game industry could finance a small country. I could go on, but the point is what is it about myth that as a collective society the closer we get to a technologicaly integrated life the more we need to hold onto the myths of the past and keep recreating them over and over again? All age groups in one way or another cherish these stories and seek them out in a multitude of formats. 40 years ago it would have been rare for 3 or 4 generations of a family to enjoy a fantasy evening of entertainment and for different reasons  but it is happening more so these days. I wonder if Homer and his ilk had any idea of what they were starting 5 thousand years ago?

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3 thoughts on “Is myth becoming more valuable or cherished as we get more technological?

  1. Interesting thought! I think they feel the need to recreate such myths so as to integrate the values and morals they portray with our ever changing lifestyles. If myths weren’t found in video games or movies (both of which are extremely popular in our society) how would we keep the stories going? It’s as if this is our new form of “passing on” the legends we know so well.

  2. I think both the post(jgrichard) and the comment (jlsimons) are absolutely correct! I think another reason we still enjoy these myths is because they can be both timeless and modern. By timeless, I mean there are common issues that have faced humans since time began; also modern, in that we can alter these myths to better suit our own modern society and values.

    That we can represent these myths through art, film, tv, video games, etc. gives us the opportunity to see these myths in a different mode. We no longer have to sit there and listen, but we can see these myths being represented in literature, tv and films. We can also immerse ourselves into these myths through video-games or role-playing (at conventions or through like-minded groups, I guess??). Since our technological advancements have allowed us to experience these myths through different mediums, we can appreciate them on different levels.

  3. Personally, I don’t feel that saying myth now is ‘more popular’ than in earlier times is a valid statement.
    There is a shift in focus away from small communities toward a more global community, and perhaps the more broad accessibility seems to show that the movies and things we see are ‘more popular’.
    I would say that, proportionally, things are much the same as they were even thousands of years ago.
    We still tell stories about monsters and heroes, and a large proportion of our (global) community knows about the stories we tell. The stories told in the past seem small-scale only because we have such a grandiose expectation of what ‘fame’ is. The popularity of the myth hasn’t suddenly resurfaced from a long quiet period between now and then, people are simply more accepting of adaptations and reference. 40 years ago, the classical community would have shot these new stories down because they weren’t in the proper form for the stories they were telling.
    The subject matter that is so prevalent today is recycled again and again from the stories of old. Vampires are hardly a new idea. Neither are unlikely heroes. Neither is putting them together.

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