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Latest Topics

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The Rise of the Premium Web Series

Analyzing the paradigm shift created by the new studios (Netflix, Amazon, HBO) and how they’ve given courage to a new breed of content creators (YouTube Red, AwesomenessTV, Vimeo Originals). What is the result? The emergence of Netflix-worthy shows on a whole new array of platforms, and a race for other media companies to become "content creators."

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    Video Games and Crowdfunding: A Retrospective

    Kickstarter is the crowdfunding platform many video game developers have turned to in order to fund the development of their personal project. Take a look back at the biggest games of the last five years that have been created with the help of Kickstarter (Undertale, Mighty No. 9, Shovel Knight, etc.). What caused some of them to succeed upon release? What made some of these games disappoint backers and players alike when they released?

    • This topic is so good. It is incredibly relevant to the current gaming landscape. With Yooka Laylee out soon and Bloodstained: ritual of the night coming in 2018, the topic is not going away.Shovel Knight is a fantastic game and has thrived really well, with new expansions coming out every year or so. It has a great following. Mighty No. 9 was extremely disappointing for a variety of reasons. – SeanGadus 1 day ago
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    • A lot of people are losing hope in projects that feature in Kickstarter just like how people now naturally assume that Steam greenlight is filled with shovelware. A lot of people ought to know this is a platform that has made success possible for a lot of determined developers. The message seems to be deteriorating as time passes. – TheUbiquitousAnomaly 1 day ago
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    British Originals versus American Adaptations: Which is more successful Shameless or The Office.

    Compare the success or failure between the original British creations and American versions of Shameless and The Office. Argue which version is more successful and the reasons why. Address the cultural difference that may have contributed to the popularity of the show.

    • I do think a big part of the argument would be exploring the cultural differences in how drama and comedy are expressed. Our traditional slapstick vs thier dry, witty humor; our drama tends to feel more exaggerated while theirs feels grounded in harsh reality.American versions of both these shows made American changes for the better or worse? How have these changes translated for audiences when there is access to the originals? – C N Williamson 11 months ago
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    • It would be useful to define what success is. – JDJankowski 11 months ago
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    The Endurance of Gatsby

    Analyze what makes The Great Gatsby such an enduring piece of literature — the 1920s was long ago, as is its culture, and yet we continue to read the book and see pieces of ourselves in the characters. What is it about the writing, the scenario, or the characters that continue relentlessly, beat on, boats against the current?

    • interesting take, worth looking in to! – Slaw17 21 hours ago
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    Blurred Lines: The Surge in Branded Content and Advertainment

    Examine the incorporation of branded marketing in the history of film and TV, and how the normalization of sponsored content has allowed for successful films like The Lego Movie to branded documentary series like Margot vs. Lily by NikeWomen. Is it changing the world of advertising or is it changing the world of entertainment?

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      Indictators of talent in creative writing

      There are many talented writers, but many people still argue whether it’s nature vs. nurture. Is being a good writer a mix of the two, or is it solely based on talent? Also, what are some signs of talent or potential in someone’s writing?

      • It can be a mix of the two or one or the other. Personally, I showed a talent in writing from an early age. I passed with flying colors on literature and writing exams, and was always nominated to participate in school spelling bees. As I entered college, I tried pursuing the sciences, but that eventually led me back to writing. This is a great topic, but I feel as if there isn't a particular answer simply because it varies from person-to-person. Some individuals don't realize their talent until much later in their lifetime, where as for others it can be during adolescence. – Marina 5 months ago
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      • Very true. It is a mix of both talent and hard work ethic. – Afanos 5 months ago
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      • The answer is fairly simple - it's is a mix of both nature and nurture. Understanding the answer is a little more difficult. Writing is a hard skill and can be taught to just about anyone. However within this hard skill are many soft skills like creativity and problem solving which can not always be taught. That's why the degrees of good writing vary so widely and why we cannot say for certain that everyone is good by nature or even that everyone can one day be good by nurture. – ashleyab 2 months ago
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      • Some is definitely nature; I've loved books and words since I was a little kid. But no writer ever reaches his or her potential without mentoring. Additionally, writers are always going to have different sub-gifts. One might be gifted at dialogue while another is better at setting, or one writer's talent might lend itself to poetry over fiction. Much of what is considered "creative writing" can't be taught strictly speaking, but can be nurtured. – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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      • Both Stephanie M. and ashleyab have very good points. I think the experience varies from writer to writer and each person contains a slightly different nature to nurture ratio. Personally, I have always been attracted to rich stories. Creating characters, scenarios, and dialogue seemed to come naturally but I had to be taught to write it down effectively. – ReidaBookman 2 days ago
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      Gender Roles and Sexuality in New Blockbuster Films

      Analyze how the portrayal of gender roles and sexuality has changed during the last years and how it has changed in recent blockbuster films. For example the inclusion of a homosexual character in Disney’s Beuty and a Beast (2017) and in the upcoming Power Rangers (2017) film.

      • I do love the topic, and though I feel like a lot of people have tried to tackle this, the fact that you are limiting this to blockbusters might take this discussion into a slightly different direction than usual (aka whoever writes this won't necessarily focus on the tragic gay story that dominated indie movies, or the recent "burn your gays" movement in TV shows. Though, even those might have their place, so I'd leave that to the writer's discretion). That being said, I'm thinking whoever writes this might like to focus the topic some more considering that even in the blockbuster realm, different genres of movies have different histories that point to various forms of progress/regress. Beauty and the Beast, for instance, might speak to the way representation of LGBT peeps is (very) tentatively making its way into children's movies, while the Power Rangers might open the discussion about how homosexuality might/might not challenge the hyper masculinity of male heros and the hypersexuality of female ones for instance (I have yet to see either, so these are mostly guesses, but it still feels like both movies could potentially lead to different discussions). In any case, I still think its a super relevant topic today and welcome more discussions on the matter. For Disney, their "easter egg" gay man in Frozen could be used for contrast when establishing a timeline, and in superheros, the erasure of Mystic's bisexuality and Deadpool's one being still pending could be interesting to look at. – Rina Arsen 1 week ago
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      The Significance of Live-Action Remakes of Classic Cartoons

      Recent years have witnessed the emergence of live-action remakes of classic Disney films including Cinderella (2015), Maleficient (2014), The Jungle Book (2016), and Beauty and the Beast (2017). The trend is ongoing, with Disney planning many more adaptations in the coming years. Can the popularity of live-action remakes be reduced to nostalgia, or is it reflective of a lack of creativity on the part of studios? On the other hand, do live-action remakes offer something new to viewers, and does the genre provide opportunities for filmmakers to explore new themes?

      • This is a question that's been dwindling in the back of my mind for some time. I've mostly assumed this to be a lack of creativity and a need for more income but I would be very interested to see what live-action remakes have to offer. Given that the author has done their research and looked into all the possible aspects of this prompt I think it could be a very good article and may conjure some good discussion. – ReidaBookman 5 days ago
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      • I think there is definitely something to be gained here. A place to start would be the change of the elephants in the live action Jungle Book. The singing marching tanters (who are enjoyable) are transformed into animals perceived as gods in their jungle. This contrast provides an interesting view, and would make for great discussion. – McCooper 2 days ago
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      Film

      How Manchester by the Sea Turns Social Realism into Social Feelism
      How Manchester by the Sea Turns Social Realism into Social Feelism
      Medicine in Film: An Insight Into the Brewing Emulsion
      Bollywood 101: A FUN Guide to Indian Cinema
      World War II’s Secret Weapon: Propaganda in Film

      TV

      Once Upon A Time: A Work of Creative Genius or a Tangled Mess?
      Once Upon A Time: A Work of Creative Genius or a Tangled Mess?
      Why Wouldn’t Everyone Love Lucy?
      “Balance of Terror”: Star Trek, History, and National Security
      Relationship Entertainment: Navigating the Struggle between Romance and Friendship on TV

      Animation

      Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think
      Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think
      Disney and the Perils of Adaptation
      Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?
      The Legend of Korra: Empathizing with Villains

      Anime

      The Magic and Artistry of Studio Ghibli’s Films
      The Magic and Artistry of Studio Ghibli’s Films
      Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Symbolic and Ironic Deaths of the Homunculi
      Death Parade: Humanity in Yuzuru Tachikawa’s Anime
      An Overview of Anime in the Mecha Body of Japan’s Economy

      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 Power of Biographies: A study of The Road To Nab End
      The Power of Biographies: A study of The Road To Nab End
      Terror and Horror in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”
      Fahrenheit 451: What’s In a Tale?
      Poetry: An Appreciation of Repetition in Stan Zumbiel’s “Standing Watch”

      Arts

      Toys Will Be Toys: Barbie vs. LEGO
      Toys Will Be Toys: Barbie vs. LEGO
      Painters Who Challenged the Conventional Female Nude
      The Body Imperfect: Art as its Champion
      Tattoos: Alternative Expression with Traditional Roots

      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?