chapter  4
The language of new media
Pages 10

How we communicate using computers is an important question and, since humancommunication has always involved the development and use of language, weneed to consider how computer-based forms of communication relate to language. There are two related senses in which a language of new media can be discussed. First, we can consider whether the distinctive features of computer communication, the digitisation and storage of data, programming and software use, operate in any way like a language. The central interface of end-user computer communication remains, for the time being at least, language based, however, the ways in which we engage in textual communication with a computer, as opposed to written or printed text, is potentially new or at least different. Looking at how new media operates using a variety of language elements builds upon established ways of accounting for how meaning is achieved in other media forms such as literature, graphics, film or photography. The communication of meaning in film, for example, is achieved through a combination of the technical apparatus for creating moving images and synchronised sound and the cultural forms, or the rules and conventions of actions, events and scenes within the filmic image. Currently, film and photographic theory are having to reconsider how the introduction of digital technology is changing the ways in which we have come to understand the production and use of certain kinds of images in media forms such as Hollywood movies and photojournalism.1