The physical just isn’t good enough anymore 😦 As technology has progressed, so has the way in which we interact with the objects around us. “Oh you felt like ploughing a field this morning? No no, don’t you even get out of bed, there’s a farming simulator on your PC for that!”
Our modern society has evolved to a place where the physical entity simply isn’t sufficient, and we need a digitalised element. Kids no longer just play with just their toys, they use figurines like Skylanders or Disney Infinity in conjunction with a digital element (in this case Television), allowing a deeper experience with the activity. Although I would argue that toys like that would take away from the imagination/ creative intelligence aspect of playing.
But this transformation from material to digital can create new messages and engage audience on another level. A terrific example is Claymation, think of your Wallace and Gromits, and your Chicken Runs. These stop motion films convert what would otherwise be just some lumps of plasticine into beautiful digitalised works which convey a meaning the material itself couldn’t.
It’s funny though, because you can go and buy a physical incarnation of your favourite animated character, and the material to digital concept comes full circle.