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Veronica Mars- The Power of Competence

Our current culture has it’s fair share of ‘strong female characters’, but Veronica Mars is one who stands out. That’s not because she makes speeches about making her own decisions, it’s because she’s the one getting stuff done. Rather than just reacting to what happens to her, she is the one making moves. Not just for one climatic moment- she is ALWAYS chasing down a case, getting a favour, asking the first question. She is the one people go to for help, she is the one you want on your side, because she is really good at what she does. The point is, female characters saying ‘this is my choice’ while deciding between love interests is not nearly as empowering as watching Veronica seeking out her own cases and succeeding by her own skill.

Discussion doesn’t need to be limited to Veronica Mars. Other characters like Jessica Jones, and (sometimes) Emma Swan (OUAT) show proactive competence. There should definitely be comparisons to characters like Elena Gilbert (Vampire Diaries) who, while brave and occasionally proactive, still lapses into long periods of being rescued and only choosing between other people’s plans.

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    Will Virtual Reality Impact Tourism?

    Visiting foreign countries can truly change peoples lives. Whether its rural folk seeing thriving metropolises or hot climate citizens witnessing snow for the first time, being in a new environment can take your breath away. The use of graphics in gaming has skyrocketed. From the revolution of Pong 40 years ago, blades of grass and drops of rain have become routine for triple AAA titles. If we can imagine the difference in graphics rendering in 40 years, will a $100-$200 VR headset rival the thousands we spend on flights and accomodation overseas? If we could graphically render a building twice as tall as the Eiffel Tower, why go see the Eiffel Tower? Could virtual reality be a substitute, or threat, to global tourism?

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      The Abridged Series as a Critical and Interpretive Tool

      Abridged series – a style of parody in which a preexisting show is summarized by new actors dubbing over the original show’s animation – have become increasingly popular, and as they have done so have evolved from simple comedy sketches to works that can be as focused on drama and complex characters. The writer should investigate a number of popular Abridged Series, comparing and contrasting them with their source material and noting any differences in tone, characterization, or storytelling style.

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        The Religious Politics of Hellsing Ultimate

        Examine the religious politics of Hellsing Ultimate and how the conflict between the Protestants (The Hellsing Organization) and the Catholics (The Iscariot Organization) impacts the narrative and echoes past and current real life tensions. Possible real life issues to explore are the differences between Protestant and Catholic doctrines and the cultural influence of the Protestant Reformation, especially in England, given that the main setting of Hellsing is London.

        • This looks like it would be a great topic and help promote Japanese anime for those of us who are not familiar with it but would love to learn. – Munjeera 2 years ago
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        Viral Videos and Heroic Acts

        Sharing viral videos of heroic acts seems to be a double-edged sword. On one side are those who argue that sharing videos of heroic acts encourages others to do the same, and reminds our world that “good deeds” and “good doers” still exist. On the other side are those who argue that publicly sharing heroic acts is not in fact heroic, and that it is done for attention. Some critics even claim that some of these heroic acts are staged.

        Analyze our culture’s attitude toward heroic acts. Consider the arguments on both sides, and the truth and facts behind these arguments. Also consider the celebrity-ism behind viral videos. Individual such as Antoine Dodson (“Hide yo kids/hide yo wife”) and Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, not only became well-known for their interesting personalities and rather funny news interviews, but because of the “remixes” that their videos inspired. What can be said about our culture turning heroic acts into laughable, light-hearted memes?

        Last, consider the way technology affects these heroic acts and the attitudes of people on both sides of the argument. For example, prior to the social media and viral video revolution, heroic acts were often shared through mediums such as newspaper and word-of-mouth. How has our culture’s attitude changed in this regard?

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          The FOX and the Mouse: What does it mean for movies?

          When Disney announced their intent to acquire a large chunk of 21st Century Fox on December 14, cinephiles and television enthusiasts alike released a harmonious d’oh! Although the deal could take more than a year to close (if regulators approve), I think we are all left wondering what this merger could mean for the future of media consumption. Domestic box office attendance in 2017 is reported to have been the lowest in 25 years. With Disney simultaneously planning their own streaming service, could this merger signal the death of theatre going as we know it?

          • The death of cinema has long been predicted. Perhaps with digital media, the demise of movies can be expected. This topic is timely. – Munjeera 2 weeks ago
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          • Definitely interested to see what the writer comes up with, not only in terms of how the merger will affect cinema, but how it will affect both companies and their fans. I'm already seeing memes, comments, and so forth rejoicing over the fact that Anastasia could be considered an official Disney princess, for one. I see some potential new fandoms and fan culture popping up here. – Stephanie M. 2 weeks ago
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          • If Anastasia becomes a Disney princess, so should Esmerelda from Hunchback. But I digress... – Munjeera 6 days ago
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          Yearly-Release Games: How Much Do We Still Care?

          Gaming companies like Ubisoft and EA have essentially built their reputations upon their franchises that promise annual releases. Ubisoft took an unexpected break between Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (2015) and Assassin’s Creed: Origins (2017) to reexamine the franchise, to "evolve the game mechanics," and to ensure that they were delivering the promised "gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground."

          In other rumored news, EA may forego the annual releases of their sports games, like FIFA and Madden NFL, in exchange for an online "subscription" service that requires an annual fee to update rosters and stats ((link)

          The writer should examine if Ubisoft delivered on its promise with AC: Origins by investigating Ubisoft’s reported sales in comparison to its other AC games, critic reviews, and notable bugs or technical issues. Did Ubisoft indeed improve the newest game by taking a short break, or has anything really changed?

          The writer should also assess how, or if, EA’s rumored subscription service will benefit players. Contingent upon price, how would a subscription service be better (or possibly worse) than re-purchasing a slightly updated version of the same game year after year?

          Lastly, the writer should examine the bigger issue at hand: Do we still care about annual release games? What do they offer that non-annual release games do not, and vice-versa? Can the methods employed above by EA and Ubisoft work in their favor and possibly revive their franchises, or are the franchises past the point of revival?

          • Annual release games should definitely be broken down into the genres of games they are referring to. For sporting games, like FIFA and Madden, the premise of an annual release is simply to update the rosters for each respective team. The game of football has not fundamentally changed in that one-year time span, and besides any minor control updates, the game-play mechanics are relatively absolute for each edition. More story-driven franchises are a different case however, as many of those releases not only have improved or altered game mechanics and controls, but another installment into the story for the franchise. The standard of quality for those kinds of games should be higher than that of sporting games, which may influence any arguments regarding the relevance of annual releases. – Gliese436B 1 week ago
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          • It might be useful for the writer to consider what triple A companies employ annual releases outside of sports titles, and what those annual releases are. A number of such developers, such as FromSoftware and Sucker Punch, release their flagship series at a much slower rate -- writer should compare these nonannual franchises to annual ones, and compare their respective costs and benefits. – PersistentCrane 7 days ago
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          The Separation Between Predators and Their Art

          Those who have harassed and sexually assaulted others are finally coming to light. The skeletons are being flung out of many guilty people’s closets and those who have suffered are speaking out. While it is not cleaning out everything, there is progress.

          We have become familiar with publically "outing" abusers in the movie business. However, what do viewers, outside of the film industry, do to show their support for those who have suffered while protesting the offenders? Are we able to avoid a film because a director, producer or actor has harassed someone? Do we ignore the rest of the hard-working men and women attached to the set?

          Are we able to appreciate the art of someone who is an offender?

          • This is a great topic and one that could be expanded upon in philosophy and literature. So many authors in the established canon often had offensive views, owned slaves and perceived the Enlightenment as a sole privilege for Europeans. So what does one do with offenders, past and present? Do we throw the baby out with the bathwater? – Munjeera 1 week ago
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          • This is SO important. Though you've placed this under Film, as a literature nerd I'd suggest to anyone who chooses to write on this to look at Roland Barthes' "The Death of the Author." Not the most exciting read but it basically asks this exact question. But someone, please write on this! – Heather Lambert 5 days ago
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          • Unfortunately, this has always been a topical post. Fortunately, the issue has started to be addressed. However, what I find interesting is when someone moves past the "alleged" and into being convicted. For example, Mike Tyson. He was convicted of rape over twenty years ago yet he has been something of a minor pop-culture star for years, even starring in the successful Hangover series, ironically as apparently the cast and crew protesting Mel Gibson in the second film, they seemed to have no such reservations about a convicted rapist. Did the stigma ware off Tyson? Was it too fresh on Gibson? The latter conclusion would be supported by Gibson's resurgence in the last couple of years, notably in Daddy's Home 2- where many critics enthusiastically proclaimed "Gibson is family friendly again." – jackarthurgayer 3 days ago
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          Film

          Cinema Cynicism: The Ballad of Adam Sandler
          Cinema Cynicism: The Ballad of Adam Sandler
          Eat Drink Man Woman vs. Sense and Sensibility: A Feminist Observation
          Censorship: Post-Weinstein, and the Impact of Social Media
          The Art of Collaboration: Jeanie Macpherson and Nancy Meyers

          TV

          Mindhunter: A gritty insight into criminal psychology
          Mindhunter: A gritty insight into criminal psychology
          A Female #doctor13: Why the Controversy?
          The Successes and Failures of Sesame Street and Arthur
          Is “Geek Culture” Embracing Our Inner Child, or Infantilising a Generation of Adults?

          Animation

          Samurai Jack: Exploring the Newfound Maturity
          Samurai Jack: Exploring the Newfound Maturity
          The Double-Edged Stigma Faced By Western Animation
          Best and Worst Disney Role Models for Girls and Young Women
          Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think

          Anime

          The Appeal of Slice of Life
          The Appeal of Slice of Life
          Psycho-Pass: Understanding Structural Violence
          Parasyte: Exploration of what it means to be human
          The Mythological and Folk Tale Origins of Classic Anime

          Manga

          One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
          One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
          Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
          Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution
          The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

          Comics

          Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
          Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
          The Social Stigma of Comic Book Reading
          What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
          Finding the Bridge Between Superhero Comics and Hip-Hop

          Literature

          The Philosophy of Conflict in Literature
          The Philosophy of Conflict in Literature
          Araby: Intercolonialism In Ireland as Portrayed by James Joyce
          Missing Moms and the Fairytale Characters Living Without Them
          Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Is Jane Austen Rolling in Her Grave?

          Arts

          Picasso’s Guernica: 80 Years Later
          Picasso’s Guernica: 80 Years Later
          Women, Culture and Politics: Buffy’s Critical Bite
          Enhancing Performance: Self-Care for All Artists
          Celebrating Finnish folk songs: Finland’s centennial anniversary

          Writing

          Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
          Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak
          Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference
          Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
          Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?