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Final Fantasy X as a modern example of technocriticism

Posted by: Sara Paccione | February 6, 2011 | No Comment |

Many stories feature technology as a new phenomenon but many other stories feature technology as something that was more advanced in the past than in the present.  In addition to real life, in which many people have similar views about ancient civilizations and their advanced societies, this view of technology as an ancient art is one commonly seen in fictional stories.

While I’ve been writing my paper, I’ve noticed storylines like this in many movies and video games, and one good example of this is in the video game Final Fantasy X.  In the game, the city of Zanarkand, which existed 1,000 years prior to the main events of the game, had technology that was more advanced than cities that exist in real world:

Ancient Zanarkand

The beginning of the game, which takes place in a dream replica of this city and includes sporting events, televisions, bright lights, and techno music, seems like an odd start to a fantasy game.  However, shortly afterward, the character finds himself on an island that exists in the “present” time.  It seems as though this present time is less technologically advanced than the past (and the dream version of it), but that this is due to a force that destroys cities that become too large and technologically advanced.  The futuristic city that existed in the past turns out not to have been so “futuristic,” as its real future consists of a pile of ruins:

Zanarkand Ruins

This view presents technology as something that does not necessarily progress consistently over time, but moves in cycles.  After the evil is defeated at the end of the game and the people are allowed to act on their own accord again, technology is free to flourish (and it does in the game’s sequel).  FFX is somewhat strange in that even though misuse of machines and technology led to the downfall of the advanced ancient civilization, the resurgence of technology in the future after an era of very little technological advancement is not completely condemned.  People in the game realized that while technology might have been at fault at the beginning, ancient evil proved to be just as destructive and possibly even worse.

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