I'm posting this mainly because I don't think it actually warrants a post on the General Anime Discussion thread over at GiantITP.
So I saw this Article when I was perusing the NY Times, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.
It's very interesting how I'm getting all the way through the comments, and no one has mentioned visual novels in any way, shape or form. I've been getting absolutely enthralled with Seorin's Let's Play of Fate/Stay Night that I mentioned earlier- it's miles better than Tsukihime- makes more sense, easier to read, better characters, much cooler action, particularly as Unlimited Blade Works gets going, and I've also discovered that, with glasses as opposed to that blindfold she normally wears, Rider is smoking hot.
Anyways, there's a lot of talk about how this whole thing "will destroy reading" and cheapens its value, blah blah blah, because the imagination is apparently super-important and only comes through if one reads words printed on paper. It's always very interesting to look at this from the perspective of someone who is so ingrained into the types of entertainment that my laptop has pretty much become another appendage for me, and the resulting fact that I don't read nearly as often as I used to (When I was a kid, I absolutely always had my nose buried in a book.). But I don't think that my creativity or my imagination has been stifled by shifting my enthusiasm towards anime, video games, and the like. I mean, how the hell do you measure friggin' imagination? Playing pretend? I did that more for Power Rangers than any books I read. Creative Writing? Well, I don't do that, but look at all the friggin' fanfiction that exists out there. Once again, I'm asking just how the fuck you measure imagination. Are there tests?
Also, there's a lot of complaints about how kids today aren't focused, all A.D.D-like. Well, I haven't really seen that, and I don't think it's true of a lot of otaku culture- you've gotta have a pretty good attention span to buckle down and watch various shows, or read that 1,000,000-word fanfiction. So I think a lot of the people commenting on the article are, in fact, full of shit. It's in the storytelling that lets you dig into the characters and analyze them, it's the storytelling that makes a deep work of literature. That's true regardless of medium. It's just that movies, video games, and the like have other things they can fall back on when the story sucks- spectacle, gameplay, pretty music. Books don't have that luxury.