Friday, March 16, 2001

One of the students from Volda is doing a "Big Brother" parody all of her own, lille søster (little sister). What she's doing is actually to log (a weblog!) her day-to-day events in her internship in the NRK-radio - Norwegian Broadcasting. The weblog is cute - but it made me wonder again about reality-TV, logs and games... On of my colleagues, Hans Martin, claims that the tension in "Big Brother" is created by the anticipation of the moment when the people in there can't play their roles any more. My reason for viewing this as roleplay is that they all play a role - they perform in a competition for the chance to win 1 mill - which is a little more than 100 000 $ (check the exchange rate here). His argument was that the tension is created by the fact that you can't stay in a role 24 hours a day for 100 days - and it's those slips the audience is looking for.

This is an interesting direction of thought. This points to the conventions of roleplay, and the conflicts and intrigues which can develop from mixing In Character and Out Of Character situation/information, it points to sports, where we are greedy for the details from outside of the arena which can influence an athlete's performance, and I am certain Richard Schechner could say something about the on-stage and off-stage of modern theatre or traditional performances outside the western culture which can shed light on this phenomenon. There's of course Erwin Goffman: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life and his discussion of how we always play roles...

I still don't watch it though. This is a dilemma. I am really curious about it, and I would love to figure out why it's so fascinating - it would make some great and boring lectures - but I have such a problem with what I feel is an abuse of people's intimate lives that I can't bring myself to watch it.

No comments: