Saturday, March 13, 2010

"I know what we're going to do today!"

I ended the last blog talking about how children, after school, seem more interested in the virtual worlds of the internet and video games than the real world, a world that provided their parents and grandparents...etc... with as much excitement as World of Warcraft does the kids today. Oddly enough, it still shows in some of the television shows made today.

There is something so refreshing about watching Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel each day. Something that will make me laugh and feel refreshed even when I'm having a rotten day (like yesterday, for instance. Dealing with my bipolar car and my grandmother's taxes was not the way I wanted to spend my day off.) But as I was thinking about Architecture and rooms and whatnot, it occurred to me that bedrooms in television shows are of the utmost importance. Whether to show them, or not, what they symbolize in the show itself. Take the characters on P&F. The only time you will ever see Phineas in his bedroom is when he is in bed or waking up. Otherwise, he is eating in the kitchen, or outside making a rocketship to the stars (or giving a monkey a shower). On the other hand, Candice, who cares little for the imagination of her brothers, is always found in her bedroom talking on the phone and daydreaming (virtual worlds, and the like) about her boyfriend. In some episodes, she was seen forwarding youtube videos (of a guy rollerblading in his underpants and falling into a toilet) to all her friends, and non-friends. Exactly what indoor, Cyber-children do today. True, she does go outside on dates with Jeremy, or to "bust" her brothers, but she symbolizes the contemporary adolescent. While Phineas and Ferb symbolize what children could be, letting imagination and creativity run wild.

In a similar show, the creators of iCarly on Nickelodeon have never shown, to my knowledge, Carly or Spencer's bedrooms. They've been in Freddie's bedroom once, and never in Sam's. And while we're not talking about the outdoors here, it's the same principle. The world in which imagination and creativity run wild takes place in the studio where they create the iCarly webshow. For them, they take the tools of the internet and take them as far as they want, doing anything they want with them. It's just as liberating for them as the outdoors is for P&F. Unlike Neville, who is holded up in his bedroom on his many computers all day long.

It's the spirit of freedom that creates the best environment for children. The ability to be creative, to build tent cities in the living room, or treehouses and forts in the backyard, using them as spaceships or castles or army forts. It's the free range of the outdoors that develops the sense of pioneering reach, that children can do whatever they want, if only they are creative and free enough to do it. It builds self-esteem, makes them strive toward their goals, for if imagination can take them anywhere in the fantasy worlds, the real worlds shouldn't be that much harder. The children today should reach for the moon just as their parents and grandparents did, only with the tools they have now, they should go further. And yet, when the tools of Cyberspace are instead creating pseudo-worlds for them to inhabit, what's the point? When corporations earn millions of dollars on a video game, such as Final Fantasy, what motivation is there to invest that money on the real frontiers here in the real world. Let's fight the challenges of going into the unknown, instead of taking on dragons and whatnot that aren't even real. The possibilities are endless when that energy is expended on the right thing. Let's be more like Phineas and Ferb, and a little less like Neville. The world will be far better off that way.

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