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Subscriptions: Game developers moving toward subscriptions

This article will analyze the growing trend of game developers and publishers moving towards subscription models instead of one-time purchases. Examples: Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, Microsoft’s Game Pass (old, but now more aggressive than ever push towards subscription-only titles and removing one-time purchase options swifter than ever), Ubisoft , EA Play, PlayStation Now. Studios with a single game or franchise are also going the subscription route. Is this good? Bad? Subscriptions of the Game Pass, for example, have increased by millions in the last year. And it’s true that indie games, when they come to Game Pass, earn more than they could ever make solo. Xbox Game Pass is a unique case which will need its own section here. Instead of subscribing to a service that gives free delivery (like Amazon) or TV shows (like Netflix) – a game can be anywhere from 20 hours of fun for hardcore games or 1,000 hours of play and replays – how is it fair that you pay less than I do for the same game in this case? A headline: "GDC has released its annual State of the Industry survey of 4,000 developers, over one-fourth of which were concerned such models would devalue games." Another topic to cover is games-as-a-service (or more broadly tech-as-a-service) models being adopted by videogame publishers and developers. Even gaming hardware seems to be moving in that direction, with Nvidia providing subscription to RTX 30-series gaming capabilities instead of actually owning a video card. Starting from newspapers and magazines; then moving to TV shows, movies, and software; and now to games – subscriptions seem to be the way forward. But is it really better to have a monthly subscription to play games than to own the games and judging by the current pace of things, even renting your hardware and not owning it?

  • A couple of articles here in The Artifice have already explored similar problems (micro-transactions, in-app purchases, and yearly-releases) in the gaming world. The progressive increase of an economic model based on subscriptions in the video game business can be an interesting topic to explore, as long as it frames the phenomenon in larger and more meaningful terms than “good” or “bad.” The question “Is adopting the subscription model in videogames development good or bad?” needs to be reformulated. Good for whom? Bad for whom? It is certainly good for the business. It might be good or bad for consumers, depending on what they get from the deal. But and outstanding article about this topic would need a stronger and more daring approach. – T. Palomino 3 days ago
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The Marxist reading of Jaws

The climax of Jaws focuses on the endeavor of three men to save the town. Each comes from a different economic background: Hooper (wealthy), Brody (middle class), and Quint (working class). Quint’s ultimate demise and the use of his gun to destroy the shark could certainly be read as the working class man sacrificing himself for the security of the upper classes. I am curious if someone better versed in Marxism could dig deeper into Jaws as Marxist tale, or more generally as a tale of class and consumerism.

  • Fidel Castro used to argue that “Jaws” was a Marxist tale. Slavoj Žižek summarized this in his documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” where he also gives his own reading of the story. As a matter of fact, “Jaws” has been interpreted in so many ways, such as being about patriarchy, immigration or fascism. This is a nice topic that could become a great article, as long as it acknowledges all the discussions and interpretations that the Spielberg’s film provoked in the last forty years (not an easy task), offering a new and original angle of analysis. – T. Palomino 6 days ago
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YouTube Kids: Harmless or Dangerous?

In past decades, children got their television "diet" from specific shows on specific channels, or program blocks on one or two channels tailored for them. Today, our children have an endless list of shows to choose from thanks to streaming services and 24-7 content.

One example of such content is YouTube Kids, a network of channels that are given new content daily, sometimes several times daily. Some of this content is positive, but just as much if not more is allegedly detrimental to kids. Writer and artist James Bridle, for instance, gave a TED Talk for YouTube that, while three years old, has 4.8M views. His TED Talk posits that YouTube kids is actually dangerous to kids’ mental health and development.

Examine this TED Talk as well as other sources, such as the Momo controversy from the late 2010s, or certain shows and videos on YTK. What content is the most detrimental, and why? Is there anything parents, guardians, and tech experts could do to make content more educational and child-friendly? Perhaps most importantly, what exactly is the draw of YTK, and why do so many adults welcome its content, questionable or not? Discuss.

  • You should look into a youtube channel called "How to cook that" by Ann Reardon. She does debunking videos (normally 5-minute craft kind of videos) and discusses the implications of having these dangerous videos widely accessible to children. She also discusses the legalities of these videos being on youtube in the case that someone is injured following a video. – scampbell 9 months ago
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Book Influencers and Their Impact on the Publishing Industry

The concept of social media having an impact on various marketing strategies is nothing new. However, one industry that has been increasingly affected by social media is the publishing industry due to "Booktube" and "Booktok". In recent years, there has been a rise in how these influencers are starting to shape the books that people are reading. There are now tables displaying the latest trending titles in local and big box bookstores, regardless of when they were published. There are stories of writers who gained enough of a following to self-publish their highly anticipated and praised books. How does this impact the publishing industry? What does the future of the publishing company look like? How will authors be influenced by their audience as the distance between writer and reader shrinks with the aid of social media?

  • Interesting topic, but there was an article published about this exact topic about 2 weeks ago on this site. – CulturallyOpinionated 2 months ago
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The Appeal of Wednesday Addams

The original Addams Family series graced our televisions in the 1960s. The show was already an adaptation of Charles Addams’ successful comic strip, but has since spawned a series remake, a cartoon, two live-action movies, one animated movie, and a musical.

Netflix is now set to stream yet another addition to the Addams canon. However, this one is a bit different, in that it focuses mainly on daughter Wednesday. This makes sense, as Wednesday seems to be one of the family’s more popular members. But, why is she? Does this have to do with Christina Ricci’s treatment of her in the live-action films? Is it her personality, or a way she stands out in her already unusual family? Explore these or other facets of Wednesday and her popularity. You might also consider comparing/contrasting Wednesday with similar unconventional female characters, to see whether they have or haven’t achieved Wednesday’s popularity.

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    Film, Law, and False Depictions

    The 2008 film, American Violet highlights some wicked practices of the criminal justice system when it comes to plea bargaining. Using this film as well as the real story that took place in Hearne, TX (as opposed to Melody, TX as portrayed in the film), what racial and social realities do we find in such movies? Why do films portray false evidence in instances where they do not necessarily have to? (For example, the film depicts only 2 ACLU lawyers rather than even remotely mention that it was a team working on the case). Finally, does the film provide an accurate depiction of America’s plea bargaining system or is it an exaggeration?

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      Modern Superheroes as Our Myths and Legends for Future Scholars to Consider

      Scholars look back on the myths and mythological figures of ancient societies to understand the cultural, sociological, psychological, and anthropological aspects of those societies. Those myths and legends indicate the issues, concerns, and priorities of the day, as well as perhaps the character and values of the people who perpetuated them. Will the comic books and superhero films of our day serve the same purpose for scholars of the future? If so, what conclusions might they draw about us? To what extent will those conclusions accurately reflect who we really are?

      • Hey. Thank you for the topic suggestion. I want to make one thing clear. Before discussing anything else, it's crucial to address the question of whether or not we can properly grasp ancient societies without imposing our own values, viewpoints, and way of life on them. The same principle applies when we consider how others could view us in the future: Are we truly capable of thinking via their lenses? How specifically? Or is it simply pure speculation? When this question has been addressed and it appears feasible or at least practical to carry out such an exercise, it is recommended to make a more general statement about heroes and their relationship to the situation of people in cultures throughout history: do these heroes, putting aside all other factors, reflect the condition of individuals in such societies as we examine them? If not, should scholars reevaluate how much they rely on these characters to establish sociological, psychological, etc.-level claims? – Samer Darwich 2 weeks ago
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      • Comics and films are cultural products and expressions that will and should be read as such in a possible future, not as "myths." Myths are something different and they don't exactly work like it is suggested here. – T. Palomino 2 weeks ago
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      • Comics will definitely, even if inadvertently, be useful for future scholars to depict the times of our day. – Montayj79 2 weeks ago
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      • You might already be aware of the link, but some of these ideas remind me of Henry Jenkins's work about fandom. I just mention it in case you think it's worth looking into :) – Caylee 2 weeks ago
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      How Arcane Changed the Game

      Video game adaptations have been in a slow but steady trend. It’s produced under a variety of important factors such as storyline and fanbase that can make or break the adaptation. League of Legends’ Arcane, produced by Netflix, not only succeeds the expectations of longtime LoL and Runeterra fans but also captivates the interests of the non-gaming audience. Its release reignited both adaptations and animated media into what video game lore can achieve.

      Analyze the thematic aspects of Arcane that contributed to its engagement and how it relates to the lore of Runeterra, especially since LoL is not an action-adventure game. Take into consideration that Riot Games also has a history of well-made cinematics for promotion of game updates, events, etc.

      You can also explore the relevance (and perhaps, risk) of the fanbase in adapting Arcane. Riot Games is known for its heavy fanservice and focus on its community. Is Arcane a gift to the LoL fans? And of course, how has Arcane effectively introduced LoL to a new market? Has it affected the toxic reputation of the game, or has it enticed new players to join?

      • Castlevania is the other great video game adaption, but both Arcane and Castlevania debuted on Netflix. – Sean Gadus 5 months ago
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      Film

      Marvel’s Shang-Chi Fights Against Anti-Asian Hate in North America
      Marvel’s Shang-Chi Fights Against Anti-Asian Hate in North America
      Time Travel in Fiction
      The Appeal of Wednesday Addams
      A Cinematic Journey Through Time

      TV

      The Unsung Hero of the British Office
      The Unsung Hero of the British Office
      The Book of Boba Fett Is A Failure That Hold Warnings and Lessons For Future Star Wars Projects
      Social Commentary in The Office
      MythQuest and the Challenges of Creating Entertaining Educational Children’s Programming

      Animation

      Disney Heroines and Gaslighting
      Disney Heroines and Gaslighting
      Celebrating, Analyzing, and Resurrecting Fillmore!
      Nickelodeon, Disney, and the Story of Growing Up
      Ren & Stimpy’s History: 30 Years Later

      Anime

      Spirited Away as Social Criticism
      Spirited Away as Social Criticism
      The Legacies of the Atomic Bomb in Anime
      Anime Versus Cancel Culture
      Perfect Blue: A Genre Study

      Manga

      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      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

      Comics

      Continuity and Connectivity in Comic Book Movies
      Continuity and Connectivity in Comic Book Movies
      Comics in Education: Benefits and attitudes
      How Gwenpool Knows the Unknowable (And Can We Do the Same?)
      Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist

      Literature

      BookTok Influencers and Their Impact on the Publishing Industry
      BookTok Influencers and Their Impact on the Publishing Industry
      Star Wars Publishing Is Taking An Exciting Plunge Into The Unknown
      Harry Potter and the War on Terror
      Demystifying Franz Kafka

      Arts

      Are Immersive Exhibitions Ruining Art?
      Are Immersive Exhibitions Ruining Art?
      Apex and Abyss: A Thematic Analysis
      Issues of Consent, Representation, and Exploitation in Deepfake Pornography
      Autism in Media: Progressing, Yet Stuck

      Writing

      Writing About Place
      Writing About Place
      NaNoWriMo and the Art of Eating the Elephant
      Writing in Isolation during a global pandemic
      Fantasy Writing in the Age of Reason to Today