Infornography

lain

Infornography is a portmanteau of ‘information’ and ‘pornography’ used to define an addiction to or an obsession with acquiring, manipulating, and sharing information. People ‘suffering’ from infornography enjoy receiving, sending, exchanging, and digitizing information. The definition (without explicitly using the term itself) is also greatly applied in many cyberpunk settings, where information can almost be considered a currency of its own, in a sense facilitating the development of an alternate world for ‘escapism.’ Megacorps, hackers, and other kinds of people use information to thrive; they can subtly be called infornographers.’

The term was popularized by the 1998 Japanese TV cult cyberpunk series ‘Serial Experiments Lain,’ an avant-garde anime influenced by philosophical subjects such as reality, identity, and communication. The series focuses on an adolescent girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the ‘Wired,’ a global communications network similar to the Internet. Communication, in its wider sense, is one of the main themes of the series, not only as opposed to loneliness, but also as a subject in itself. Director Nakamura said he wanted to show the audience — and particularly viewers between 14 and 15 — ‘the multidimensional wavelength of the existential self: the relationship between self and the world.’

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