Monday, December 18, 2006

The Baby Scale of Media Interactivity

Subject infant pictured with his brother's games computer (who also finds it an extremely seductive medium)

I've worked out a new measure for the interactivity of media. It is called the Baby Scale: How one adult can interact with a particular media form whilst being responsible for an infant. I have noticed that it is quite easy to watch television while caring for a baby; the infant does not pay attention to the media, but at the same time does not interfere with the media. Television is therefore a passive medium. Related to television but of a different scale is the DVD/VHS player, this is of moderate interest for the infant who enjoys the fact that it has a remote control that has an LED on it (television remote does not) and small objects can be inserted into the device when dad is distracted watching the film being played. The DVD/VHS is therefore a moderately interactive medium. In the case of the computer it is not possible to operate for an adult if there is a mobile infant with an opposing thumb in the room. I suspect that the modem we lost last week was a victim of the infant's curiosity. We have lost several emails as infant is able to turn the computer off if he is fast enough (and boy is he quick). The computer is therefore a highly interactive medium.

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