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The phenomenon of seven-second videos.

Whilst video platform Vine has closed down, its legacy of short Internet videos has remained. Investigate the popularity of these short videos. Why are they so popular? What makes them popular? How can a short video reach success – what needs to be included within the short video to make it successful? Is this medium preferred over longer YouTube videos, for example?

  • A good topic to think about. I think it's worth putting some attention on how the popularity has informed modern humor. – kerrybaps 14 hours ago
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  • I agree. I've always wondered why short videos has been popular lately. Not just videos, they have different challenges too. I'd love to explore. – bp2020 3 hours ago
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Analyze the Evolution of the DOOM Franchise

The release of Bethesda Softworks’ DOOM Eternal this year marks another milestone in what has become almost three decades of video game history for the franchise. For 27 years, the franchise has been a pioneer in FPS multiplayer games, and their fan base has witnessed an ongoing evolution of characters, graphics, and narratives. But this begs the question, why has a game that began as shareware endured with such longevity, outliving other games from the ’90s? So, analyze this evolution of the DOOM franchise, from the original DOOM (1993) to the recent 2020 release. Look specifically at the graphics, gameplay mechanics, lore, and storytelling. Question what exactly makes the franchise so popular, and what has maintained this popularity through the decades. Although the franchise includes films, comics, novels, and more, this article would seek to analyze the video games specifically.

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    The Role of Social Media in Contemporary Politics

    Recently, there has been a boom in social media coverage of political events. Politicians have been using social media to their advantage to build an image for themselves during campaigns. Analyze the role social media plays in influencing audience perception. How is this trope being harnessed by politicians today all over the world? What are the moral/ ethical dilemmas (if any) associated with this free and easily accessible tool for shaping public perception?

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      New Season: When should it end?

      Various TV series are loved and enjoyed for different factors that lead to producers investing more as time passes and ratings rise. It’s good for the show, the production, and the fans as more seasons get made. But when is the limit of stretching a story? Especially when lead actors decide to leave the cast?

      Helpful examples are long running shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural, the CW Arrowverse, Once Upon A Time, etc., and even more recent hit shows like Stranger Things. Also, a good comparison are with shows that did well with just one season, particularly “limited series”, a current television trend that includes Netflix’s Maniac and HBO’s Sharp Objects.

      • This is a really cool topic, I actually think about this a lot. For example, Dexter is my favourite show, but I do think they should have ended sooner than they did, since the story felt stretched. What do you think is a good gauge for knowing when to end a show? – priyashashri 8 hours ago
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      Does the "Snyder Cut" Set A Good or Bad Precedent for Move Studios Going Forward

      The 2017 film Justice League had a troubled production history, with the film undergoing major changes before and during production. This resulted in the theatrical release being very different from how the film had been envisioned by its original director Zack Snyder. For more than two years many fans (and some of the film’s stars) have campaigned for Snyder (using #ReleaseTheSnyderCut) to create a version of the film that more closely aligned with his original vision which include unused villains like Darkseid. In May 2020, HBO and Warner Bros. announced that "The "Snyder Cut" would be an exclusive to the new HBO Max streaming service and the project will launch sometime in 2021. This version will reportedly cost $20–30 million to complete with special effects, editing, and other revisions. Is the Snyder cut a positive thing, allowing a creator to finally realize his true vision in some way and an admittance that the studio made a mistake with the original. In contrast, could the Snyder Cut demonstrate that movie studios are listening too much to a vocal group of fans about a film that even with significant revisions may not fully satisfy its audience? Lastly, would Warner Bros. have allowed the Snyder Cut to be created in a time period where they didn’t have a massive streaming service (HBO Max) to promote/sell to consumers.

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        Should Conventional Theater Change to Accommodate Diverse Actors?

        Musical theater is a huge and well-loved medium, and in recent years has given us some cutting-edge hits (Legally Blonde, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, etc.) Yet there are some accepted "rules" of theater culture that still feel like stereotypes or "boxing in" actors. For instance: sopranos get the leads; mezzos and altos play "witches and britches." Tenors play romantic leads; basses play villains. Actresses past the age of 30 can expect to play mothers and grandmothers, but not love interests for their own sake. If you are a white male, you cannot convincingly play a male or female of any color (although I have conversely seen white women tapped to play WOCs). Actors with disabilities can only really expect casting in disabled roles.

        Most theater aficionados will tell you there are solid reasons behind this thinking, even truth. Then again, in 2019, should conventional theater change more to suit the needs and desires of actors? Could or should a musical be written to give an ingenue role to an alto or a hero role to a bass? Is it pushing the envelope to allow actors of certain orientations to play outside of them, or for a white actor to play a POC (outside of a historical context)? In short, what would and should truly "diverse," "inclusive" theater look like?

        • I think that, in some respects, it's easier for theatre to accommodate diversity than other media because, moreso than in any other medium, any actor who's qualified can take a particular role regardless of race, gender, or background. This is especially true of school performances, which have to work with the available students. I've seen a rendition of one of Shakespeare's history plays that featured Black actors, for example; and on YouTube I've found versions of Little Shop of Horrors where Seymour was biracial and the dentist was Asian. I've even found a theatrical version of the Screwtape Letters where Screwtape was played (really expertly, I might add) by a woman. – Debs 6 months ago
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        • Hi, Debs,That sounds really cool. I'm glad your theater experience was more inclusive than mine. My schools (high and college) had GREAT theater programs I so wanted to be a part of. But, esp. in the case of my high school director, I was not given that chance and I think it was because of cerebral palsy (couldn't prove it, and if I'd said something it would've been, "Oh, you just think everybody's picking on you.") But the truth was, even after calling my acting phenomenal on more than one occasion, that director in particular would only assign me chorus or walk-on roles. The justification was, "Well, the leads have to dance," but chorus lines are basically there to *dance*, at least in my productions. There were other examples of non-diversity there too, such as the lead *always* went to a first soprano--and the year it went to a mezzo, of course, I wasn't in the running. But, this director was *also* willing to cast a white girl as a Hispanic lead (but not a girl of color as a white lead) ??????Anyway, it's only been recently that I realized the full lack of inclusivity and diversity in the world at large and the theater world, so...there you go. Again, we need more stories like yours. – Stephanie M. 6 months ago
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        2

        Stephen King's Best Work Is Not Horror

        Stephen King has built his career being the foremost prolific and successful horror storyteller of our generation. Or has he?

        In his almost fifty years of publishing stories, he has a tendency to repeat the tales and tropes he finds interesting again and again because if there’s one thing King is not afraid of, it’s putting out his first draft while he hones in the story. "Here’s my story about a murderous car. No, wait. Here is my story about a murderous car. Okay, hang on. This is my story about a murderous car."

        Controversially, King’s best work is when he branches away from the supernatural, the ghostly, and the otherworldly and steps into the realm of ordinary people in real situations. An author who after a car accident is taken in by a crazed fan only to be brutalized, a man wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife succumbing to life behind bars but secretly plotting his escape, or an author is murdered and his killer stashes his unpublished works before being sent to prison but after his release goes in search of his hidden treasure only to find a child has stumbled upon his prize and the lengths he is prepared to go to get back what is his. All of these scenarios are horrifying, but in a wholly different way than utilizing some fantastical element like telekinesis or inter-dimensional monsters.

        It is at the core of stories like these that we find real characters that we can relate and connect to and it is there that we find the heart and capability of Stephen King’s true storytelling abilities.

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          New Old Horror: An Introspective Look Into How Old Horror Tropes Are Revitalizing The Current Horror Genre

          Since the introduction of the horror genre, our love for being terrified has only grown. What is it about being frightened to death that makes us feel alive? Is the rush of being able to view others in horrifying situations from the safety of our homes a voyeuristic thrill? Oh, you better believe it.

          The trouble is, what happens when the familiar tropes stop scaring us and the over saturation of horror films reaches critical mass and we can no longer reach the same euphoric terror we once had? Unfortunately, the same ideas from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have been rehashed and repackaged so many times over to the point where the things that should scare us couldn’t even frighten a small child.

          Hollywood’s peddling of mediocre films has flooded the genre into a frail, shambling corpse of its former glory. The lumbering serial killer pursuing its victims at a pace never exceeding that of a brisk walk, the family wronged by a group of depraved lunatics to the point where the only justice is bloody vengeance, a small group surviving the never-ending onslaught against an insurmountable force, and the supernatural/demonic force that wants to inhabit our heroes has been driven into the ground so deep that you’d think Jason Vorhees had his undead boot pressing on the back of its skull.

          However, there are some directors that exist today that are able to take the old, outdated tropes from these bygone eras and bring them up to date in refreshingly gruesome ways. Directors like Robert Eggers, Leigh Whannel, Jennifer Kent, David Robert Mitchell, Panos Cosmatos, and Jeremy Saulnier have all contributed to the revitalization of modern horror by taking what made the previous generation’s horror movies that we loved great and updated them to fit into our current world.

          Taking an introspective look into new films, what they’ve adapted from earlier cinema, and how they’ve redefined tropes to make them stand among the best of what modern horror has to offer.

            Film

            Life Without Movie Theatres
            Life Without Movie Theatres
            Antoine Doinel – Juvenile Spirit of the New Wave
            A Life Measured: The Parasitic Nature Of Capitalist Dystopia
            Disney’s Mulan is NOT a Musical & Why that Makes it a Superior Remake

            TV

            The X-Files: A Feminist’s Analysis of Gender Imbalance
            The X-Files: A Feminist’s Analysis of Gender Imbalance
            The Mainstream Effect of SNL
            Person Of Interest: The Art of putting Kant’s Philosophy into a Computer
            The Sobering World of BPD in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

            Animation

            How Princesses of Color Have Improved the Disney Princess Narrative
            How Princesses of Color Have Improved the Disney Princess Narrative
            The Legendary and Cautionary Tale of The Simpsons
            Ray Harryhausen: The Monster Maestro
            Live-Action Disney Remakes and the Souring Faith in Animation

            Anime

            Made in Abyss: Gender Politics
            Made in Abyss: Gender Politics
            Anime in America: The Adverse Affect on Women
            The Religious Politics of Hellsing Ultimate
            Interpreting Live-Action Adaptations of Anime

            Manga

            The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
            The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
            One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
            Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
            Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution

            Comics

            Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
            Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
            Why Has Batman’s Origin Remained So Iconic?
            Feminist Criticism of Society and Comic Books’ Past
            The Batman/Catwoman Wedding Is Supposed to Upset You

            Literature

            Why Do Readers Enjoy The Detective Genre so much?
            Why Do Readers Enjoy The Detective Genre so much?
            The Long-Term Positivity of Multi-Cultural Children’s Books
            Themes in The Book Thief
            The Giver: Memory, Meaning and Belonging

            Arts

            Indian Folk-art: An Expression of Cultural Diversity
            Indian Folk-art: An Expression of Cultural Diversity
            Problematic Creators: How Do We Interact With Their Work?
            Gavazov and the Eastern European Art Scene
            Alienation in Simon and Garfunkel’s Music

            Writing

            Susan Sontag and her love of photography
            Susan Sontag and her love of photography
            The Relationship between Travel and Creative Writing
            Fanfiction and LGBT+ Representation
            Planning for a Better Communication