Real time (media)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Empire (1964 film)

Real time within the media is a method of narratology within a motion picture, television series, radio program, computer game, comic book, or comic strip wherein events being represented or portrayed exactly as it occurs. The exact time of the story action would be equal to the time it takes to view that action.

For example, everything that is shown within a linear thirty-minute, real-time television episode will occur within thirty minutes of "real life." In a real-time episode there will be no cuts to action occurring several minutes, hours, or years later or earlier. An event that is shown fifteen minutes after the start of the episode is thus depicted as occurring fifteen minutes after the events that are depicted at the start.

The most prominent current example of real time occurs within the television series 24, where 24 one-hour episodes combine to form the real-time events occurring to the protagonist over the course of a day. But before that there was James Joyce's Ulysses. Broken down into roughly hour-long narrative units.


See also

Film and television

Often, use of split screens or picture-in-pictures are used to show events occurring at the same time, or the context in which various subplots are affecting each other. Examples include the television series 24 and films Timecode and Phone Booth. Often, the use of on-screen clocks would remind the audience of the real-time presentation.

The technique has been criticized for being unrealisticTemplate:Fact, since in order to make fiction more interesting than real-life, tasks such as travel, eating, and use of bathrooms would occur much quickly (or be ignored entirely) and therefore require more suspension of disbeliefTemplate:Fact.

Video games

In a real-time computer game or simulation, events in the game occur at the same rate as the events which are being depicted. For instance, in a real-time combat game, in one hour of play the game depicts one hour of combat.

Comic books and strips

In comic books, the use of real time is made more complicated by the fact that most serial comics are released on a monthly basis and are traditionally 20 to 30 pages long, making it difficult to tell a story set in real time without overlooking important events from one month to the next. Another explanation is the prevalence of the super-hero genre in American comics, and the iconic status attached to such characters : it is often considered that such mythological, sometimes godlike heroes cannot age in real time without losing the characteristics that make them special. Hence the more common use of floating timelines in Marvel Comics or DC Comics. Exceptions include Marvel Comics' New Universe line of books, Erik Larsen's long-running Savage Dragon ongoing series, John Byrne's Superman & Batman: Generations (three non-canon miniseries exploring the notion of "what if Superman and Batman could age?"), and Ben Dunn's Ninja High School

Comic strips which feature characters aging in real-time include:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Real time (media)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools