Featured Articles

TV
20
TV
28
Film
44
Film
36
Games
36
Comics
31
Literature
50
Animation
42

Latest Topics

5

Are Microtransactions Ruining Video Games?

Ever since the meteoric rise of mobile gaming, microtransactions have plagued the world of modern video games. Games are being released with DLC content available from day 1, leaving many to consider such games incomplete upon release. DLC used to be used as a way of extending the playability of games after they have been out for a while. However, it is now being used as a cash grab for developers who sell game content separately. Is this trend leading to the downfall of video games? How long will players continue to shell out wads of extra cash to play a game that they already bought?

  • I think that one should be careful to separate microtransactions, DLC, and expansion packs. Like the difference between a Sims stuff pack, Oblivion's Shivering Isles, mobile game shenanigans, and buying a crate in a game like Overwatch. It might be obvious to some, but clearly delinating what's what will likely prevent a lot of confusion. – Scarlety 2 months ago
    3
  • Make sure to define your terms very clearly, microtransactions, DLC, expansion packs, etc. Good, relevant topic, lots of resources to look and draw upon from across the internet/gaming sites. – Sean Gadus 2 months ago
    1
  • To me microtransactions along with companies such as Netflix has started to lead us down the path of games as a service rather than or alongside buying and owning games. Because of this I don’t think microtransactions, as frustrating as they are, are ruining video games. Instead they are reshaping the way companies develop and provide games with continuing income in mind. – mfgorey 2 months ago
    0
2

How far away is gaming from becoming mainstream?

The last several years have seen a major explosion of popularity for competitive gaming, with games like League of Legends, Fortnite, Counter Strike:GO to name a few. Millions are poured into this industry as it is a new market and it seems to be a good enough investment that the Houston Rockets (NBA Team) have a LoL team in North America. As competitive gaming continues to grow and tap into new potential, will competitive gaming be mainstream or will it remain in its own sphere.

  • One thing that might be added to this is the growth of board gaming as well. It's nowhere near the phenomenon of video gaming, but tabletop gaming is having a surge of popularity. – RublevIcon 2 months ago
    0
  • I really think the main focus here is Fortnite. League, PUBG, Dota, and others are popular, but Fortnite is a phenomenon. I can't remember any game being this huge, and, if gaming does become mainstream, I think Fortnite will have a major hand in it. A focus on breaking down Fortnite's success might be a really interesting angle on this. – elijahoates 2 months ago
    2
  • The fact that Drake played Fortnite with Ninja just the other month proves how far games have come as a contributor to the wider world of pop culture. I'd argue they've become mainstream already, when huge "normal" celebrities like Drake can publicly play games and not only AVOID backlash, but for it to be celebrated and garner the highest views a Twitch stream has ever had! – Dimitri Adoniou 10 hours ago
    0
4

The Impact of the Streaming Age

I know for myself, I watch maybe two or three shows on cable. The majority of content I watch is either on Netflix or YouTube. With everyone gathering their own streaming services now (Disney working on its own, CBS All Access, YouTube Red etc), it is not hard to see that this is where the future is heading. My film professor once told me that soon, cable will be phased out and replaced with each individual television network having its own subscription service, which would essentially be more expensive than cable. How can that be combated when subscription based streaming is super popular? It is an interesting debate to have.

  • I would also widen this to the discussion of pirating and pirate streaming sites to comment on the international cost to American studios also. It is an interesting discussion to have especially when drawing in more unusual streaming services such as Amazon and Twitch. – SaraiMW 3 months ago
    4
1

The appeal of an anti-hero and should they be idolized?

Is it because they’re more human than the traditional hero (see: Captain America, Superman, any character who is Inherently Good and Morally Right). There are studies that have shown that people like to watch/read about characters who are on good moral high ground, that they feel elevated by this. So then, why are characters like Deadpool, Loki, Severus Snape, Robin Hood–even Jack Sparrow–so popular? Are they easier to relate to? Should they be idolized, as may be seen with the more traditional heroes?

  • in many ways the anti-hero is often idolized for their ability to make their own rules. opposing the traditional hero, who is bound by moral imperatives set by society which may often weaken them or cause them mental/emotional anguish, the anti-hero is often shown as disregarding the social/moral law in favor of their own rules. Friedrich Nietzsche and Plato write about this phenomena quite a bit, their work may provide a nice starting point for anyone who chooses this topic. – ees 2 months ago
    1
1

When Does Introducing Time Travel Retain Consequences in Fiction?

Time Travel is a common plot device in fiction. But when it is introduced often the consequences it allows for or the plot twists become redundant or reversed. Are there examples of fiction that does time travel well, such that the impacts aren’t made redundant or that it effectively creates isn’t there to offer neat ways to resolve unsolvable plot contrivances. In this regard, is there such a thing as ‘good’ time travel?

  • The visual novel and anime called Steins;Gate is always my go-to reference for time travel being done well. It creates it's own rules around time travel and shows the power even small changes in a timeline can realistically make to change the wider world around them. Every use of time travel has deep and meaningful consequences that shakes the story to it's core. However, the show only succeeds because time travel is the major plotpoint of the show. I'd say this is the only way time travel can be done well in fiction - if the story isn't explicitly about time travel, chucking it in to resolve plot contrivances is always bad. – Dimitri Adoniou 10 hours ago
    0
7

How pop culture such as facebook and other social media influences young adult's self esteem

Discuss why social media negative or positive influence young adult’s self esteem

  • What examples of pop culture do you mean? Could this include YA films like Divergent and Star Wars and how this affects the psyche of YA? – Kevin 2 years ago
    1
  • This is a good line of inquiry, but really broad. Narrow in on some particular aspect of pop culture so you can build a better argument with solid analysis. – albee 2 years ago
    1
  • Hmm...interesting question. I'm now trying to think of any songs, movies, or shows that have impacted my self-esteem...I automatically think of "in a negative way" but I realize that there are probably a lot of things that have impacted me positively. I think focusing on one of these sides would be very interesting and much more effective. – skohan 2 years ago
    2
  • It seems like there is a distinction between pop culture and social media. You might want to pick one or the other. If you want to focus on self-esteem, social media might be a good one, and think about the idea of cyber bullying. It could come in several forms, but people on the internet are notorious for saying things that they wouldn't in person. – AbeRamirez 2 years ago
    2
  • I agree with AbeRamirez, the writer should consider selecting either pop culture or social media. If they choose the former, it would be worthwhile to discuss how role models, fictional characters, uplifting songs and films inspire people and make them feel more confident. However, these same things might also create an impossible standard, which most people are unable to attain thus making them feel inferior and less confident. If you go the social media route, you could talk about interpersonal connections fostering a sense of community that makes someone feel loved and/or respected in a way that's beneficial to self esteem. However, as AbeRamirez suggests, you could talk about cyberbullying. – IsidoreIsou 2 years ago
    0
  • I agree with the latter two comments. Targeting pop culture as it is would be too broad a topic. Since you've already funneled it down by using social media as an example, I suggest you just stick with that one aspect. My input on this is pretty much stating the obvious: more often than not, the effect is negative. More young people tend to compare themselves to others, resulting to low self-esteem and newfound frustrations. – Elizabeth Ruth Deyro 2 years ago
    0
  • This is a GREAT topic that is very prevalent in today's society. It seems as if one's self-confidence is becoming more dependent on the number of likes they receive. Bullying is also a growing issue here. – hmccraw 2 years ago
    0
  • I think social media is distinct from pop culture because the user is more directly involved with the former. When your post gets a like or a hit, it's a dose of dopamine, and when you go ignored, there's a sense of sadness, like you haven't been accepted. – ScottyGJ 1 year ago
    0
  • It sounds to me that you are blending social media and pop culture. Although they intertwine, there is a distinct difference. i think that you should talk about social media in reference, but focus on pop culture. – SamLuckert 1 year ago
    0
  • I agree with the former comments that pop culture and social media should be separated. In regards to the latter, I believe social media in today's society is largely tied to an individual's self-worth, which can be incredibly harmful. In measuring ourselves based on how many likes and comments we receive, we measure our worth based on others' opinions of us or attention to us. However, Isidorelsou raised a positive use of social media, which is when we can form friendships online that we might not form in real life, and how we build our real-life friendships through interaction on the internet. – melmollyrose 1 year ago
    0
1

The Enduring Three Stooges

Moe, Larry, and Curly (forget Shemp, Joe Besser, Curly Joe) made movies between 1934 and 1946 and still are popular today. Almost anywhere in the country a TV station is running Three Stooges short movies. A song called "The Curly Shuffle" was made in 1983. Sam in the TV series Cheers frequently referred to the Three Stooges. MASH had an episode in which three Korean doctors were referred to as Moe, Larry, and Curly. A movie was made in 2012 and one is scheduled to begin production in 2018. Why is there such an enduring affection for these three characters more than seven decades after Moe, Larry, and Curly made their last short movie?

    8

    The Failed Steampunk Era of Disney

    Treasure Planet and Atlantis are both two early 2000s Disney movies that both had a steampunk/sci-fi vibe going for them. However, besides their few loyal followers, they are largely unpopular compared with the more mainstream movies such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. Why did Disney’s era of "steampunk" animations seem to fail with their audience?

    • I'd highly recommend the video essay "Disney's Biggest Mistake" as it goes in-depth as to why Disney's own marketing, mismanagement, and meddling went to to destroy Treasure Planet's own chances at success. It's such a shame too, as I think both these movies are pretty good. Treasure Planet is genuinely so well-written and well-animated that it's really saddening to see it fail commercially. – Dimitri 2 months ago
      3
    • They did suffer from poor marketing and behind the scenes politics, true, but I think, while enjoyable, they also suffer from significant issues in content. I'd also look at Atlantis's "scandalous" PG rating, and how it effected box-office performance (similar to The Black Cauldron in the 80's). In general, the early 2000's was a rough time for Disney--maybe look at how the politics led to their problems, and whether the steampunk genre was something worth pursuing for Disney, and executives blamed the genre for their failure rather than the execution. – Allie Dawson 2 months ago
      0

    Film

    Infinity War: Consequences and The Times In Between
    Infinity War: Consequences and The Times In Between
    Mean Girls, Social Media and Adolescent Body Image
    Cinematic Vampires: From Shadows to Spotlight
    Stop Rewarding Abusers In Hollywood

    TV

    The Sexual on TV News: Lipstick Matters
    The Sexual on TV News: Lipstick Matters
    The Black Death and Sensationalized Medieval History
    How I Met Your Mother – Who Was Ted Really Meant To End Up With: Tracy Or Robin?
    The Hosts of Westworld: Human or Synth?

    Animation

    Isle of Dogs: Humanity in the Inhuman
    Isle of Dogs: Humanity in the Inhuman
    The 21st Century’s Most Meaningful Animated Shorts
    Samurai Jack: Exploring the Newfound Maturity
    The Double-Edged Stigma Faced By Western Animation

    Anime

    Queer Representation in Anime
    Queer Representation in Anime
    Is Sailor Moon a feminist icon?
    Are you a Sub or a Dub?
    An Isao Takahata Retrospective

    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

    Bad Boys, Bad Boys: The Persistent Presence of the Byronic Hero
    Bad Boys, Bad Boys: The Persistent Presence of the Byronic Hero
    Audiobooks: Do they Enhance or Diminish the Enjoyment of a Story?
    Lessons from Our Favorite and Least Favorite Fictional Teachers
    Harry Potter: The Importance of Antagonists

    Arts

    This is America: Exploring Lyrical and Visual Symbolism
    This is America: Exploring Lyrical and Visual Symbolism
    The Power of Social Media; Does It Enhance or Swallow Up Relationships?
    Perfecting the Martial Art
    The Truth About Cats and Artists

    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?