Are the media and entertainment industry trying to tell us something through their portrayal of ever-developing world environmental problems like pollution and global warming in various fictional ways? How far does the line between reality and fiction truly go?
There have been many changes and advancements to the world, from natural disasters and political wars to the mysterious and devastating Coronavirus pandemic and social media gaining more power by the day, all the way through to the new age Metaverse.
As Medium online publishing (2018) and The Conversation journal (2020) reveal, these events, alongside technological-innovations, science projects, and environmental issues lead more than half of the global population of all demographics to gain interest in these themes and towards individual scenarios about a respectively dystopian world, where technology rules the same social-class gap of our current days but to the extreme.
With an ever-growing popularity for concepts such as revolutionary science experiments; synchronicity with nature; technological-advancement and dystopian worlds, and the multiple means through which media and entertainment sectors deliver this content, it expresses the dark realities we all share, but are afraid to talk about.
There is probably a prototype or some research data as rudimentary behind every fictional idea, as suggested by some examples from the EFF (2010), including the entertainment industry’s vision of the 21st century, which suggests there would be ‘less privacy (with citizens actively participating in their own surveillance), a less-neutral Internet, and federal agents acting as paid muscle to protect profits of summer blockbusters.’ Perhaps implying that the entertainment industry could be one of the best means to help audiences immerse and visualize in a mundane-realistic, dystopian life in an unimaginable, yet entertaining way.
Moreover, dystopian narratives in pop culture were always used to convey world fears held by the entire population, from award-winning, silent–movie “Metropolis” of 1927, to the influential “2012” movie; and popular “Maze Runner” and “Divergent” franchises; as well as more modern tech-age movies such as “Interstellar”, or controversial Netflix series' like “Black Mirror.” All of which suggesting an ever-growing popularity amongst audiences of all ages, towards this type of genre.
However, is it just pure fiction depicted visually by the creative industry and the imagination of content creators and writers? Or are they trying to send us a message? Maybe we should all take another look at our zero-waste and green-lifestyle objectives as a start towards our journey to make a change, and stop masking our fears in fiction and fantasy.