Man vs the Internet

Last week I saw the new Die Hard movie and it was totally awesome. Lots of things blew up and the bad guys were killed in graphic, imaginative ways. It had everything a young boy could ask for in a film, including a rich allegorical undertone. John McClane, a bit older now and outdated in his tactics, is forced to battle a young, nimble cyber villain bent on turning the internet against America. As our aging hero got closer and closer to the web-savvy bad guy a newfound fear of new media swept over me. Could it be that the internet, though chock full of excellent cat videos, is actually a confusing, treacherous place that may someday destroy us all? Think about it, they’ve already hacked the iPhone. Was that phase one?

Of course once I left the theater and supplemented my own powers of contemplation with a b-vitamin boosted Jamba Juice the Die Hard metaphor took on a somewhat dated feel. Haven’t we moved past the stage where the old vanguard is afraid of the young, flashy, interweb? I mean, even my grandfather has “learned computers.” Is new media really all that new?

I ask this, of course, with the advertising and design community in mind. Interactive categories are growing at the fastest rate, so we must at least say that work in this medium is at an early stage of it’s development. But that being said, how different is a webisode from a tv spot? Have the worlds of advertising and design fully integrated interactive ideas as just one of many possible communication strategies? Or do you still get the sense that interactive is a new medium at the table, one that requires special creatives to produce?

Like I said before, I don’t make the stuff, I just watch it. So if you’ve got any thoughts on the subject I’d love to hear them.