Media Evolution: Emergence, Dominance, Survival and Extinction in the Media Ecology

Carlos A. Scolari


This article presents an integrated model for understanding the evolution of media, aiming to go beyond the traditional reflections—which tend to reduce media history to a linear succession of technologies—to propose an integrated view of media evolution. Constructing a model of media evolution means going beyond the concepts used up until now—such as Bolter and Grusin’s remediation—to integrate into a single framework analytical categories such as emergence, adaptation, survival, and extinction. In this theoretical context, the article pays particular attention to the simulation processes that occur in the different phases of the evolution of a medium. Finally, a series of critical reflections on the sequential-linear and genealogical-branched evolution models are presented to propose alternatives that represent the complexity of the media ecosystem more closely.

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