Disagreement with Jenkins

I must disagree with Jenkins’ “Worship at the Alter of Convergence,” I think we’re much closer to the black box than he thinks. My brother-in-law has a computer in his living room that holds his music, controls his cable, records tv shows, plays dvds and does all the things a traditional computer does. Its always on, always connected to the Internet and uses a wireless mouse and keyboard set so he can control it from across the room. If he was willing to enter the legal gray area of software emulation, he could play most of his video games on it also.

Look at a cell phone. In addition to making calls, my cell phone can (if I’m willing to pay for it) watch videos, stream tv, take pictures, record quick movies, store notes to myself, play music, act as a planner and connect to the Internet for email and browsing. Thats a lot of features that comes pretty close to Jenkin’s mobile “black box” idea.

Of the two examples I’ve given, I think the cell phone comes closest to proving Jenkins wrong. I went to a store and bought that, just like anyone could do. My brother-in-law had to build his system, which requires slightly more specialized knowledge than swiping a credit card. Jenkins is a preaching about a mass produced device that anyone can buy that will control all media, just like my cell phone.

We’re there Jenkins, “black boxes” are all around us if you know where to look.



  1. brophinator said,

    September 18, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I look at my entertainment center cabinet and I see; VCR, Digital HD Cable box, DVD player, five disc CD changer, XBox, PlayStation, and an Xbox 360, and that’s just the living room.

    Lot’s of boxes, and several of them are black.


  2. exploringinteractivecommunication said,

    September 19, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Good comparison to “black boxes”.

  3. delvyncale said,

    September 19, 2007 at 3:41 am

    Tell me you also HATED reading that article?!

  4. rdmillner said,

    September 19, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    That article was the best of the bunch.

    Why do you But how many of those devices can be replaced? They make combination DVD VCR players, theres one less box. In fact they have TVs with built in VCRs and DVD players. Any DVD player will also play CDs. I don’t own an Xbox 360 but I think most Xbox games will work on that, which also plays CDs and DVDs. You can eliminate some of those boxes without losing anything.

  5. jadimauro said,

    September 20, 2007 at 1:13 am

    So true I totally use my xbox as a dvd player, i never really play cd’s on it because i have my ipod, I think the next great thing would be if we could hook our ipods to our xboxs or game consoles.

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