- TV-citizens or cyber-consumers
- The numeric world is knocking at our
door. What will be the best and worst about tomorrows' world
? This article appeared in Globe Hebdo in March 1994
- Text and photos by Jean-François
nightmare scenario : monsieur Durand, the interactive commercial
- The videophone alarm goes off
waking Monsieur and Madame Durand. From the depths of his bed,
Monsieur Durand takes hold of his remote control and the face
of the TV-Shop presenter appears on the screen on the wall. "Rise
and shine my dear Monsieur Durand ! All you have to do to win
is answer the..." He cuts the videophone off angrily. "
I'm sick of these interactif commercials, we should buy an ex-directory
to find a good film he switches the TV back on. But with 450
channels to chose from it's not easy to find what you want. Finally
he hits on Megasoccer, an interactif channel dedicated to soccer.
Megasoccer offers a large choice of frames and information about
the teams and players.
- Over a third of the screen is
taken up by the show's logos ."That's why it's worth having
a big screen" murmurs Madame Durand who prefers watching
Mondisport because the screen in that show is logo free and so
you can enjoy the 16/9 format.
that channel is so expensive that the young couple can only afford
to watch it once a month. Half their salary already disappears
in pay-channels and the rest in the videophone bills. In the
mean time Madame Durand would love to have the Simili 3D system
where the actors appear in the middle of the living room ! But
to buy that they'd have to win the Cyberloto !
- The ideal scenario : monsieur
Dupont, a model telly-citizen .
- Monsieur Dupont awakes in a
good mood, and instead of switching on his TV-answering machine
to watch his video-messages, he asks for the news. The head lines
come up on the giant screen of his TVHD : "Following the
presidential campaign, preparations have started for the mars
mission"...Stop ! he orders the vocal control.
- Space travel is his greatest
passion ! He grabs hold of the track ball remote-control and
browses easily through the menus on the different servers. Thanks
to the research soft ware on his computer terminal, he is quickly
able to behold all the information concerning space travel taken
from all the general channels.
- Later on he will have a look
at the scientific files and NASA' info server. This evening,
with his kids, he will even connect with a server which simulates
perfectly the flying of the Martian shuttle ! Whilst having breakfast,
he sends out some urgent video-mail, telly-books two theater
tickets and compares two points of view on Algeria entering the
EU put forward by two leader writers for main newspapers.
- Like all his fellow citizens
he is very concerned by the evolution of society and he participates
actively every month in the government's "telly consultation".
Since all homes have been connected numerically, this live electronic
referendum enables everybody to manifest their resentment and
offer up solutions on the network.
- © Jean François
VIBERT - Journalist and photographer - Paris -
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