A New, Complex World

It is important to note a shift that has taken place in the evolution of sport media, which reflects a corresponding shift from a Baudrillardian second order of simulacra (production) to a third order of simulacra (simulation). Only a short time ago television was the driving force behind sport videogame innovation, which led to the introduction in videogames of play-by-play and colour commentary, multiple camera angles in a 3-D game field, instant replay, and picture-in-picture showing runners on base.

Recently, however, videogames have begun to surpass television and are now the driving force behind sport media innovation. The simulation capacity of videogames has led, for example, to the 1st & 10 line in football, a virtual line "painted" on the field to show how far the offensive team needs to go for a first down.

The 1st & 10 line: a high-tech entertainment technology that has won two Emmy Awards, and which is born of higher-tech U.S. defence technology. This reminds one of the military C3I that Donna Haraway refers to in her Cyborg Manifesto: command, control, communications and intelligence. Which reminds one that the cyborg is semiurgic in nature, ie. of code.

Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction. Modern production seems like a dream of cyborg colonization work, a dream that makes the nightmare of Taylorism seem idyllic. And modern war is a cyborg orgy, coded by C3I, command-control-communication-intelligence, an $84 billion item in 1984's US defence budget. I am making an argument for the cyborg as a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality and as an imaginative resource suggesting some very fruitful couplings.

We may thus reconsider the old military-industrial complex as the new military-communications-entertainment complex — that is, a military-post-industrial complex of warfare technology that may also be leveraged in the production and consumption of hyperreal spectacles.

Continues Haraway: "Michel Foucault's biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field."


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