Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor II
The Age of the Observer
YouTube has become increasingly popular, almost like a "new TV" for younger demographics. On the platform, one can see a trend starting to happen where viewers want to watch other peoples’ lives through their vlogs and other content, such as unboxing videos and tutorials that the viewer never does but enjoys watching anyway. I call this "The Age of the Observer." This article would explore why this phenomenon is happening and explore just what kinds of videos people are watching. Some examples of channels creating this content would be Ryan ToysReview, both Jake and Logan Paul (where children vicariously live and envy the brother’s mansions, cars, clothes, etc.), and Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita (especially with Jenna’s DIY videos and Julien’s cooking videos).
Exploitative Explosion: The Game
This article would delve into the notion of exploitative game design. For example, game devs will make virtual products that can be bought with real world money (such as gems, crates, keys, etc.), yet these products have no actual value. Basically, the prices of these products are arbitrary, being made up based on the developers’ whims.
App games are notorious for such practices, trying to incentivize the player with the need to buy these products to get further in the game in terms of buying more time or status/rank. I mean, who wouldn’t want another chance to beat that insanely hard Candy Crush level or get that one super OP weapon/character in an RPG?
Do you think this is okay ethically? Does there need to be legal action? How can people be made aware, or do they know and just don’t care if they’re being exploited?
Monsters that Make Us Think
Within video games, we’ve met a whole host of monsters/villains, whether they are an individual consumed by a need for wealth, a mythical beast with an attitude, or a good guy turned bad. For this topic, one could come up with a list of monsters/villains that really made them think. Maybe it was a villain who actually had a point about his motivations to destroy a corporation, or a monster that was so vile and disgusting that we couldn’t fathom how they came into existence.
This article would likely focus on the morality and ethics of villains, as well as concepts to do with storytelling, backstory, and motivation.