Albert Einstein once said that “imagination is more important than knowledge”. Einstein understood that a vivid imagination is essential for creativity, innovation and discovery, thus setting the stage for new knowledge.
Most Christian parents recognize the importance of spurring the imagination of their kids, but don’t know where to turn as they see how excessive screen time is turning their brains into mush. And unlike the early 1900s of Einstein’s era, TVs, smartphones and tablets are deeply imbedded in today’s culture – screens dominate our landscape.
The good news is that tens of thousands of conscientious Moms and Dads have discovered a captivating alternative to video that is igniting the minds of their children.
Enter the world of audio adventures. Yes, as counter-intuitive as it may first seem, these “movies for your ears” have become all the rage. And for good reason. Studies show that listening to audio adventures activates the left side of the brain (the thinking, or logic side), while video activates the right side (pleasure-seeking side), which tends to put the mind in cruise control.
There are fascinating studies indicating that the use of sound effects from audio drama increases the level of mental imagery, but perhaps the simplest way to encapsulate the effect that audio adventures has on the imagination is the classic story of a little girl who, when asked whether she preferred television to radio, answered, “I prefer radio.” “Why?” “Because the pictures are better.”
The resurgence of audio adventures has generated quite the buzz in the media entertainment industry. For example, Jeffery Deaver, who has sold 40 million of his 35 novels, recently decided to release one of his latest works as an audio adventure exclusively, in large part in response to the booming audio book market. Donald Katz, CEO of Audible.com recently stated, “You have this massive opportunity when you don’t have to fight for peoples’ eyes.” And several classic adventures like Marvel Comics and Sherlock Holmes (that have been traditionally presented in video format) are now available as audio adventures.
It’s important to point out a significant distinction between audio adventures and audio books. Modern audio adventures are nothing like narrated audio books – they are much more engaging, well produced audio “movies” with full-cast professional actors, composers, engineers and writers.
A number of today’s new Christian audio adventures offer families a great mix of education, faith-building and fun entertainment, but another very compelling reason that so many parents are now including audio adventures into their kids’ entertainment diet is that their brains and imagination are being rekindled like never before. Perhaps they’re beginning to recognize that God created our “mind’s eye” to be even more powerful than the physical eye!
- The Atlantic- http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/04/podcast-brain-why-do-audio-storiescaptivate/389925/
- The Well-Tempered Audio Dramatist – Yuri Rasovski (page 7)
- The Wall Street Journal – http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323854904578637850049098298
- New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/business/media/new-art-form-rises-audio-without-the-book-.html?_r=0
photo credit: koalasafe - google images
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