While World of Warcraft is an exemplary piece of media in terms of demonstrating the consistent peripeteia of late capitalism, I don’t believe that it’s the first or only piece of media to do so. Several forms of serial media, specifically television shows and comic book series, have been around for decades and have been producing narratives that indicate a constant state of peripeteia since the 1930s. General Hospital, which began airing in 1963 and continues today, is one of dozens of soap opera series that depict the constant, extreme personal crises of its characters. There is no sense of an ending for General Hospital–seasons end with major crises, generally, but plots bleed into each other and there never seems to be a moment of rest, let alone an ending. Comic books are another medium that invokes peripeteia on a consistent basis. Even the apocalyptic narratives referenced in Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending frequently show up in these stories, only to have deus ex machina endings that allow the story to continue. There is no sense of an ending in the DC and Marvel universes–characters frequently die and are resurrected, and wars and genocides only change the circumstances so that the narrative can continue. In my opinion, these examples call into question when society began thinking of the world as a constant peripeteia, and how much of that concept actually has to do with distributed networks.
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