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Genre (specific form, content, technique, etc.) is usually discussed from a descriptive point of view without any connection made between types (for e.g., between a docu-drama, detective series or a variety shows).
Jost contends that genres make sense due to three “worlds” that interpret images:
1) the real world – our first instinct when we see television images is to refer them to our world, ask if they say something about our world, and question if they depend on our own ideas about the world;
2) fiction – if we know we are looking at fiction, we will accept events that we would not otherwise believe. We can enjoy watching Blair Witch as fiction, but not as reality; and,
3) game shows – these are based in rules and connected to reality. Quiz shows are connected to reality by means of specific rules for answering (such as time available to answer), and answers that relate to reality. Role playing game shows are different because they are fiction, but players consciously accept this fact.
Question: How do the three worlds that Jost discusses (real, fiction, game) change our view of how we view television images? Explain.
Reference: François Jost, “When Reality TV is a Job”, in Kraidy and Sender: pp. 31-43.


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