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  1.  (10371.1)
    I've been thinking about how much of stuff that are well known cultural canon nowadays are from the 60's - songs, books, movies, TV-series', stuff like that - and which products of our time (let's define it as created between 2000-2011) will survive to be some sort of cultural mainstream 'till 2060.

    I'm not looking for trends and technologies here, so not stuff like the rise of e-books, mmorpgs going mainstream or the rise of reality TV, but single works of art and design (books, comics, fonts, movies, songs, games...), and to a certain extent people, who might be household names half a century into the future.

    What's your take on this? Give me your list of stuff you think may endure the teeth of time.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    @ Vornaskotti: Good one lad.I got me thinking hood on.
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011 edited
    The Frisbee. People will still want to toss a pie plate around outdoors. Assuming the air is breathable and all.
  2.  (10371.4)

    Dude, Frisbee was invented in 1930's :P
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    I will think about this all day now (thank-you Vorna) and music is the first thing that comes to mind.

    System of a Down's "Toxicity" and TOOL's "Lateralus" are both rock albums from the early 2000's that (imiho) still hold up.

    . . . can we count Transmetropolitan? Started in '97, sure, but went through '02!
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    60 years is an immense timeframe, but: Wikipedia or some equivalent thereof.
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    On the video game front, World of Warcraft is an obvious choice (mostly just due to sheer numbers). Bioshock is also a good potential artifact. If people don't remember Bioshock in 60 years, I will personally smack them. It's a good enough game that I would happily reference it in a philosophy class. Starcraft is late 90's, but it definitely lead to e-sports being something you can make a living at.

    For written works, the majority of the Harry Potter books were release in the last decade. I never finished the series, though, so I can't really speak to the longevity as well as someone else might. Should be present in the popular consciousness for at least 30 years, though. Maybe not 60.

    Firefly's cult status is probably going to stick around for quite a while, I think.

    Music is a tricky one, especially given the genre-explosion of the past decade. The previous grand palooka wrote a thing on this recently. More than sums up my views on that subject, but also outlines the trickiness of identifying a only a few songs as more influential or important than other songs.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    I'd be amazed if many people remember Bioshock within 5 years let alone 60. Very few videogames since the first generation have had any real staying power in the public consciousness at all (everyone knows Pacman and Space Invaders. Ridge Racer? Not so much).

    Grand Theft Auto will probably still be known about, maybe the Call of Duty series. Tetris will still be around as it's the universal law of gaming that Tetris will exist on every platform until the end of time.

    Gaming's great moments that will be considered on a par with the great moments of film are still yet to happen, to my mind.
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    Well, it's already been over 4 years since Bioshock was released. You are right that most video games have little staying power. All of my video game picks have reasons outside of transient playerbase numbers. Bioshock I mentioned specifically because it is one of the few mainstream games to have a bigger agenda than "make money" (in this case, to be a critique of Ayn Rand's moral philosophy).

    I like to think that the timeline that video games are progressing along is closer to that of comic books than that of films. There were a number of great films pretty early on in the medium's life cycle, which may have something to do with the way film as an art form extended out of theater. Video games have very little existing context to evolve from, which is why I think many people don't view them as a legitimate art form yet.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    There are so many values of "survive" that I'd have a hard time narrowing this down.

    Most movies survive from around 1961, and there's no reason to burn the film stock, and in fact theoretically they're easier to get a hold of then they'd have been 25 years ago (pre-VHS), but even so no more than a tiny fraction of these films get actually watched. Have they "survived?"

    Computer games will have a harder time getting "ported" than video or music. You can build emulators and adaptation layers and such, but it takes work, and folks may not care enough about such-and-such game to bother coming up with a Circa 2011 PC emulator to run them.
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2011
    I think videogame portability is getting better as more and more hardware and software standards develop. These days I can fairly easily play a game released a decade prior. If this was the mid-90's, that definitely wouldn't be the case. Of course, the same doesn't hold true of consoles, but a non-trivial portion of that is marketing ploy rather than tech issue.

    In the context of this thread, though, I think that "survive" means "still has a presence in the collective consciousness" rather than the physical longevity of the item. For instance, I know there were a bunch of books written in the 1950s, but the vast majority of them have been lost to obscurity.
  3.  (10371.12)
    There's still a big audience for classic films from the early part of the last century (say film noir), and for books and texts way back from that, so I'd assume that works or genres deemed to be notable for aesthetic or historical reasons would be kept alive (say, early CGI stuff, or post 9/11 movies), and the rest would just sink into obscurity. Really interesting to try and call it though - would Star Trek, for example, seem so quaint in 60 years' time and be so outdated as a 'vision' of a future humanity that it would be unwatchable to future generations? Would artefacts that dealt with contemporary issues be more likely to 'survive' than sci fi? Don't know - I could see a book like Neuromancer still being viewed as important in the same way that something like 1984, Watchmen or V for Vendetta still seems relevant?

    And pretty much every design trend gets recycled every few years anyway, or at least heavily referenced.
  4.  (10371.13)

    By "survive" I meant being present in the collective cultural consciousness - as in songs played in the radio, books and movies being known and referenced as classics, games... god knows how they will be remembered. So, not physical copies. Think the original Star Trek, Beatles, Prisoner, etc.
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011
    See, I was thinking WALL-E for sure, until Mr Jones very wisely made the point about things seeming quaint to the point of unwatchability to future generations.

    On one hand, I can see WALL-E standing up as well as say, Snow White. That's still being watched and enjoyed by kids today, and the 'Hi-Ho!' song is still referenced and recycled pretty frequently. I can see WALL-E being just as well loved. On the other hand, and at the risk of sounding like a doomsayer, viewers in 2060 might think themselves beyond ecological redemption, and therefore find WALL-E too naive to elicit any response other than a cynical yawn.
  5.  (10371.15)
    I think you'd have a hard time making the case that WALL-E, Bioshock, System of the Down, or TOOL are in the collective consciousness even NOW let alone in 60 years. I don't think System of the Down or TOOL are making any contemporary MTV "top 100 artists of all time" lists, and they were never mainstay Top 40 acts. Bioshock is a good game, but in the end it's just one in a sea of dozens of similar sci-fi shooter titles (with many more to come)--I imagine it will get lost in the shuffle after the next 10 greatest games ever come out. WALL-E is only the 84th top grossing movie in the world (no small feat, to be sure, but I don't think it is popular enough enough to stick around for 60 years).

    My guess would be huge mainstream cultural phenomenons from the 90s like The Lion King (a smash as a movie AND on Broadway), Nirvana (hugely popular across most demographics), and Harry Potter (smash books and movies) will still be known.

    The 2000s were weird musically, since the internet opened up so many niche options. I guess Top 40 stuff like the Foo FIghters and Lady Gaga might be played on throwback stations in the future. Avatar will probably have staying power due to its huge success around the world. The iphone might be remembered as the grand-daddy of whatever surgically-implanted electronic devices we're using then?
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011 edited
    A few years back I ran into a video store clerk -- Blockbuster, but still -- who had never heard of Laurel & Hardy.

    That . . . astonished me.
    * * *
    I think PIXAR films will be remembered, if not by everyone (not everyone remembers Disney's Snow White), then by connoisseurs. They are exactly the carefully, lovingly made work that would be remembered and sometimes watched by future generations.

    Wall-E will probably look even better, and get more respect, in retrospect. Its profoundly anti-consumerist message was an odd fit for a Disney production. (There is no trace left of the utterly brilliant, sardonic site . . . it goes to a Disney page.) If the environment truly goes to shit, Wall-E will get referenced when politicians and industry shills pull the "well, we could never have imagined . . ." line.

    The not-really-made-from-krill cracker Soylent Green seems to have entered the lexicon, and is used by people who have never seen the film. Soylent Green is a shlock movie by most standards, and while we seem to have dodged the packed-jowl-to-jowl future it showed, there are some deeply dismaying things in that movie that may yet come true. The ocean ecosystem has died off, and the greenhouse effect has mired New York, at least, in a perpetual filthy hot summer.
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011
    Any that is why there are not many Blockbusters anymore.
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011 edited
    One reason why this intrigues me is that as I've heard it, a lot of the "classic 60's music" we know wasn't really that well known even then at all, but just some single hits or weird b-sides that somehow bubbled up. Might be wrong about this, just remember reading an article and hearing an interview to this effect from Somewhere (tm).

    Video games are a very interesting point here, mostly because it's a medium without history. You can pick up an old album and find an easy way to listen to it, but even games published in the 90's are a huge bother to get working straight from the shelf. Also, I kind of agree that the greatest moments of gaming are still ahead of us, since frankly - stories in games are still a little bit in the level of being "good for a game" or "almost as good as a movie". This applies to stuff like LA Noire, Heavy Rain, Bioshock etc., no matter how great their stories and atmosphere feel to a modern gamer. And this from a guy who's been an active gamer since the 80's and who values story and atmosphere in games very high.

    Of course, game != story, so what gameplay elements might survive for half a century... I'd say Bejeweled is the new Tetris in that regard. You can dispute the nomination because match-three was hardly invented by PopCap in 2000, but Bejeweled became synonymous for that puzzle game type, lifted it to the radar of a surprisingly wide and diverse audience, and in its way perfected what it did.

    From other games... I personally dislike mmorpgs, so it pains me to say that from the games of the last 10 years, WoW probably has the biggest amount of cultural staying power. There have been such a crazy amount of human hours pumped into that game, and it has has kind of nailed down the mold for what a successful mmorpg is, that I'm surprised if it'll be forgotten while the current players are still alive.
    • CommentAuthorOrpheus
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2011
    Hm. I guess it really is just standing the test of time really. it's just my two cents but the original creations that become popular are the ones that should and often are remembered. For instance Superman, born in the 80s was the first super hero comic and is still running today.

    So... Video games?
    Pokémon. Easy. Something that has and is still affecting generations of children, teens and young adults. The same goes for the Halo franchise. And in my opinion, yes (unfortunately) the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

    As for film...
    The Matrix (yes, and its sequels) shall be remembered for game changing special effects and action scenes. Avatar also gets a worthwhile mention for being essentially the flagship of the 3D reboot.

    Literature and books.
    A Song of Ice and Fire? I really hope so. Along with the Harry Potter books, His Dark Materials and the DISCWORLD series. Perhaps in a similar way to how Tolkien's work is around today.

    I'm honestly rather unsure what Kraken Scriptures would be able to last 50 odd years that have been created in the last 10. I would like it to include 'The Walking Dead' or similar long form stories from Indy labels.
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2011
    I've started chewing on this question a lot...and one thing that comes to mind is another question: to what extent has the fragmentation of media and popular tastemakers hamstrung the development of media sensations?

    On the one hand is the availability of so many more options in today's environment. This hit popular music in particular...if the Beatles (and presumably other top tier folks like Dylan, Elvis, The Stones, etc) are the benchmark of artistic longevity can any modern musician crossover enough to make that kind of lasting impact?

    Another issue is the decline in print media. Frank Lloyd Wright, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Jackson Pollack...all of these type of figures were in part able to cross over into contemporary awareness in part due to coverage from a Time or Life magazine. Those magazines don't fill the same niche today...and I'm honestly hard pressed to come up with anyone from a 'high art' perspective who meets that bar. Frank Gehry from an architecture perspective (although his work well predates the Aughts)...and Banksy and Shepard Fairey from a contemporary art standpoint. Gehry I think makes it sixty years if only because a number of his building will still be extant...Banksy and Fairey...I dunno...they may have a niche...but I doubt their estates will have the legacy that the 20th century masters do...