This chapter employs history in a different manner to the more straightforward way it is used in chapter 1. I now embark upon a consideration of the forms and genres of visual digital culture introduced above, from two quite different historical perspectives. Chapter 3 will concern itself with the particular character of contemporary aesthetics, exploring shifts which have occurred there in the late twentieth century, and relating these to the emergence of the forms in question. I begin, however, by contemplating the forms of digital culture at issue within a more expansive history of popular entertainments, and in particular those that are technologically based (though not only them). The discussion revolves around forms, institutions, contexts and modes of reception associated with pre-and early cinema. I return to this earlier context because, as I contend below, both in terms of important analogies and direct historical lineage, such an approach throws considerable light on visual digital culture as I am defining it here.