By: Jacob Combs
Science fiction, or Sifi, is the genre dealing with imaginary stories often pertaining to futuristic worlds, aliens, paranormal activity, robots or parallel universes. Science fiction is a very broad subject, which includes many subcategories including Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Time travel, alternate history, military science fiction, superhuman, apocalyptic and space western, along with many others. All of these subcategories of Science Fiction come together to appeal to nearly all people who watch television, play video games, read comics or read books. Thus I believe that our class should explore how science fiction affects our society.
I am interested in Science Fiction because it shapes the culture in which I am constantly engaging. In some cases, these interactions with science fiction from our pop culture have altered people’s life. For instance, Tom Cruise who is a famous movie actor, believes in Scientology. Scientology is a religion based off of a Science Fiction book by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard called Dianetics. For Tom Cruise and the other people who believe in Scientology, science fiction drastically affects their day-to-day lifestyle.
Another example is in Australia voters can now vote for a religion called Jedi. This religion was inspired by the popular movie series, Star Wars. This means that enough people believe in this religion that they can now call it an established religion and put it on legal voting pamphlets. These religions have been created from popular culture and more specifically, Science fiction. This is why I am interested in studying Science fiction. If anything is powerful enough to create its own religions, then I believe it is worth studying and understanding. I don’t understand how much science fiction plays a role in my lifestyle so I would like to look at it analytically to observe how it does affect me daily.
Also I would like to study how science fiction plays different roles in different parts of the world. For instance in Britain, nine out of ten kids know what a Dalek is (Harness). A Dalek is the antagonist at the longest running television series ever – Doctor Who. Obviously science fiction plays a bigger role in Britain than it does in other countries. Thus studying how different countries are affected by science fiction would be interesting.
There are many more examples of how science fiction in pop culture has changed society, in class I want to study some of these changes and explore what caused their creation. I also believe that this would be a good subject in class because everyone could relate to it and have some form of personal connection to it so that nobody in the class will be left on a topic they care nothing about.
Harness, Jill. “Doctor Who? What?.” Neatorama. 26 Apr. 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <http://www.neatorama.com/2010/04/26/doctor-who-what/>.