The Users’ Interaction with Digimodernism

Alan Kirby details an emerging movement – digimodernism – in the second chapter of his book, How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture, exploring the movement’s continuation of postmodernism and the “rupture” it has created within postmodernism (51). The digimodernist text essentially allows the reader/viewer to shape the text to their own choosing; the user and the text interact in a visible back-and-forth exchange. This interaction is particularly interesting as its engagement with the user is essential to both the meaning-making and the text-making. This participatory element contributes to the ever-changing, or growing, manner of digimodernism which is often referred to as ‘onwardness’. Digimodernism is reflective of an emerging movement which has permanently altered our cultural landscape, in spite of individual texts’ evanescent qualities.

Kirby’s analysis explores users’ main fascination with digimodernism, which has to do with its unique and diverse functioning. This analysis prompts the question: is the concept of immediacy the attracting feature of digimodernist texts? For instance, the computer application “SIMS” is often used by both millennials and generation Z. The game reflects the excitement society derives from interplay with the text and, like any digimodernist text, the program develops the way the user wishes it to. This computer game creates hyper-realistic caricatures, structures and relationships that provide a distorted and controlled version of our reality. Users have the opportunity to insert themselves within storylines of their making, and SIMS simulates immediacy by placing them within the “experience” of what is being viewed. Although the content is simplistic and lacking in quality, it is an excellent form of digimodernist text because its functioning continues to engage more and more users. SIMS, and other digimodernist texts, are indicative of society’s desire to be involved in the text-making of the work they consume.

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