There has been huge excitement at the long awaited announcement that Harry Potter will be reinvented in Cinematic Reality. Despite this excitement some truly die-hard fans are angry. Why? Because Harry, Hermione, and Ron won’t be using magic; they will be using sorcery.
To understand why, we must go back nearly 15 years to the summer of 2015 when Magic Leap exploded into the world’s consciousness. I had tried Oculus VR and it was stunning, but nothing prepared me for my first Magic Leap experience. I was so excited on my first first trip to the Magic Shop to see the Flutterpods. My first purchase? A dragon, of course! His name is Tarquin and he’s perched on my bookcase right now, cleaning his wings. It was clear to me at that moment that Magic Leap had invented magic. So along with everyone else I began calling this new technology just that: magic.
The speed with which magic became ubiquitous is, of course, well known. I’m writing this sitting on my couch with a translucent writing screen conveniently floating in front of me. When my daughter Magic-Skyped in a few minutes ago the screen faded away and instead she was there in the room with me. We magiced in her mom as we planned for Thanksgiving. When done they magiced away and I magiced the writing screen back up with a nod of my head. Remember all those devices that we used to have–phones, TVs, tablets, laptops? They are all pretty much obsolete now. Everyone just uses magic.
And this is the problem for Harry Potter. For the generation that has grown up with magic it becomes confusing when characters are engaging in the fictional supernatural phenomenon that is now commonly known as sorcery, but are referring to it as “magic”. Personally, I think the younger generation should be given enough credit to understand that Harry Potter comes from the time before magic. I don’t expect Hollywood to agree with me.
The redefinition of words by technology is nothing new. Consider that the word “computer” originally referred to a person who would perform computations. But if I say, “the time before computers” everyone understands I am not talking about such people. Likewise, when I say, “the time before magic” most people will understand what that means–it means the time before Magic Leap.
Magic has its problems and everyone is aware that not all the social implications have been positive. But despite these issues I feel extremely lucky to be living in the age of magic. And as I throw snacks for Tarquin and watch him swoop down to pluck them out of the air I want to say a big thank you to Magic Leap for inventing magic. And yes, magic was invented in the same way that computers were invented. It was invented so completely that the very word has been redefined. Literally.
Posted by Arthur
November 22, 2029.
(This is a work of speculative fiction. I have no connection to Magic Leap nor do I have any inside information. I am not from the future.)