Bertrand Media Categories

Bertrand media categories
Image from Bernd Helfert

The BMC is a set of categories, used to group various kinds of media as diverse as holovision, virch, smellscapes and artistic massage. The BMC is used by a wide range of multimedia critics in the Sophic League, NoCoZo, the Inner Sphere, and to a lesser degree most other major empires and many smaller.

The BMC is named after Bertrand Madden Sirius, an intellectual and media critic from the Sophic League, who first established the basic categories in 8992 AT. Since Bertrand retired from public view in 10321, to go on the Grand Tour, the BMC has been maintained by the Bertrand Media Categories Maintenance Fund. Since the BMCMF's chairbeingship was taken over by the bioborg 6rgo in 10454, an average of 3021 subcategories, subclauses, exceptions and expansions has been added each year, seriously bloating the BMC. As such critics often distinguish between the Original BMC and the Expanded BMC, often preferring the Original BMC for its simplicity and ease of use and understanding. The Original BMC can be found on many mirror servers on the known net, while the Expanded BMC can be found in full length only on the BMCMF's official server, and on the "Save the BMC from 6rgo" site, physically located in the Altair system.

At its most basic, the BMC groups the media into one of six groups depending on the primary sense used to perceive the media; Sound, Picture, Aroma, Touch, Internal, and Virch. As such the BMC is also known as the SPATIV categories.

Sound media include all media which are perceived primarily by the ears or other sound sensors. Examples could be music, static, nerve soothers or speeches.

Picture media include all media which are perceived primarily by the eyes or other radiation sensors. Examples could be paintings, holographic images, movies and auroras.

Aroma media include all media which are perceived primarily by taste or smell or other chemical sensors. Examples could be smellscapes, sweets, Sirian olfactory stimulants, or tastetales.

Touch media include all media which are perceived primarily by the sense of touch, both pressure sensors and heat sensors being included. Examples could be massage, three-point wave treatments, solaria, and recreative acupuncture.

Internal media include all media which are perceived primarily by the brain, most often in the form of imagination or inner visualisation. Examples could be written fiction, roleplaying, lucid dreaming, or lucid awakening.

Virch media include all digital media which interact directly with the brain through the use of DNI or similar devices, with the focus being on interactivity. Examples could be virchworlds, digital dreams, digital overlays, or interactive fiction.

Many types of media combine several of the categories, but in most cases it is still possible to find the primary category. The primary conveyor of entertainment in most holomovies is picture, just as the primary conveyor of entertainment in written fiction is internal. As such the categories are broken down into subcategories, with the primary category followed by the secondary and tertiary categories.

Examples: Massage - T (Touch primary)
Sirian olfactory stimulants - AI (Aroma primary, Internal secondary)
Doomlight concert - PS-A (Picture primary, Sound secondary, Aroma tertiary)
Blackroom sensage - TSA (Touch primary, Sound, Aroma secondary)
Manaran virchtale - VI-SPAT (Virch primary, Internal secondary, Sound, Picture, Aroma, Touch tertiary)

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Development Notes
Text by Thorbørn Steen
Initially published on 28 November 2006.