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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


Mom and Dad and Soundtracks

Mom and Dad is a polarizing movie, to say the least. But critics are focusing on the acting, and not enough people are talking about the over-the-top and louder-than-necessary soundtrack that plays throughout the film. Were the music/audio queues a miscalculated mistake, or a statement?

Write an article assessing the accompanying audio to the movie. Do the loud stereotypical mood sounds take away from the narrative or add to it?
I found the soundtrack an interesting element that added extra commentary to the narrative. Although the actors took their roles seriously, the audio’s juxtaposition to their struggles, highlights a lack of seriousness (especially when scary buildup music is playing in the beginning, constantly threatening danger before any is close to being presented). The situation the characters experience are dire and unfortunate, but the noise in the background continuously reminds audiences that the premise itself is still ridiculous.


    "Detroit: Become Human" and the Acceptability of Violent Depictions Across Different Media

    "Detroit: Become Human" is a video game made by Quantic Dream coming out in 2018. It’s a choice based game shaped by the player and there has been controversy over the acceptability of it’s brutal story telling/choice based outcomes. The main character may supposedly choose to act or not act in a situation that can result in the death of a child by her father’s hands or the main character killing the father instead. People are calling for the scene to be taken out from the game. Some say the former outcome will fuel abusers’ fantasies while others worry the latter outcome will put victims of abuse in danger by inspiring them to seek violence in return. Neither situation is unique, as in, such events have been written about and occurred in films and art before. People want to draw the line so harshly for video games and what they can portray because of the interactivity. Is it fair to treat video games so differently? Provide examples of highly controversial video games depicting violent or disturbing scenes from the past, and speculate on whether their reception will shape Quantic Dream’s decisions in addressing such concerns. Are these concerns valid?

    • This is an old debate, but still an incredibly important one. Something to consider would also be to look at academic journal articles of psychology studies that have been published around the link (or absence of the link) between gaming and violence. This is a great topic to discuss. – SaraiMW 7 years ago
    • I believe some people are so keen to start making standards now because once Virtual Reality hits mainstream and those experiences become something akin to reality, what will the psychological effects be? Can someone get trauma or PTSD simply from playing a war game? – Slaidey 7 years ago

    A Cure for Wellness Analysis of Inconsistencies

    "A Cure for Wellness" is a movie filled with loosely defined answers in need of a good article to analyze it’s potential hidden meaning. The movie is saturated with the presence of eels; why eels over any other aquatic life? A quick google search says seeing eels in a place they aren’t meant to be is a sign one is out of their depth (as the protagonist clearly is on multiple occasions) and the touching of an eel represents a missed opportunity. This fits well enough with the protagonist’s experience/character but that leaves the question, how often were these sightings real? The movie tries to throw watchers back and forth between believing whether everything is real or in the protagonist’s head. At the end when the Baron is confronted it’s assumed for a short time that all the strange happenings were real and influenced by a degree of brain washing, however, in the last frame of the movie the protagonist is seen smiling with a full set of teeth when earlier in the movie he lost two. When asked about this the directors remained ambiguous on the significance, if there is any at all. Can it be deciphered how much of the film is based in reality or illusion, or is the it an unanswerable question?

    • I believe the film is supposed to be a combination of reality and illusion, especially considering that the majority of it takes place in what appears to be some sort of institution. – Sarah Bish 6 years ago

    I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House: A Refreshing Change

    Write an article about "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House," a Netflix original. It’s format and creative choices in story telling, narration, and cinematics, leaves viewers surprised. It isn’t what most expect to find, as many have become accustomed to jump-scare and gore films when it comes to entering a movie with the mentality "this will be scary."

    Someone please write an article that not only examine the director’s choices and how it differs from other modern films (more resembling the re-telling of an old abstract horror short story) but an article that will also contextualize it. Does it have literary ties to another work or was it made simply to resemble such? How and which literary elements did it adopt and to what effectiveness?


      Why Minions Went Viral

      I’ve been asking myself for a long time what made minions from the movie series Despicable Me get so out of hand in merchandise and web presence. With the third movie soon coming out this topic could get a lot of attention. People tend to be in one of two categories: they love minions or they hate them. But, why Minions? There are plenty of slapstick sidekicks in cartoons but none have blown up to quite such proportions. There’s a lot of them, they aren’t identified as individuals, and they don’t talk, but until they became mass-produced cringe inspiring merchandise, they contributed a heartfelt dynamic to the family image in Despicable Me and that’s now been forgotten. Did they catch fame so quickly because of their central role in the movie or was it just their slapstick humor that caught people’s attention… or was it something more subtle? From memes to merchandise Minions are presented as androgynous. Is this what made them so marketable? A non-gender creature appealing to anyone? In a world with so much gender controversy, maybe Minions were the solution to a time full of uncertainty and a need for PC? Study the marketing strategies presented for Minions, and perhaps on a anthropological level, explain their success.

      • I think either Ralph Sepe or IHE (Youtubers) may have covered this in their Minions videos. It's partially based on the simplicity of the character design that emphasizes 'cuteness,' and the nonsense-speak achieves a similar result (I know they speak Spanish occasionally, but they also say fruits or whatever; it's not a language). Gender....really has nothing to do with it. Lightning McQueen was pretty marketable, as was Frozen's Olaf, and both were clearly male. And I doubt the Minion-loving crowd cares about anything being PC or not. [They have traditionally-male names/mannerisms anyways, I don't know how you drew the androgynous conclusion?] I'd definitely like to hear the gender-argument you're proposing, but I don't think it's built on solid ground so far. But like, definitely prove me wrong because I love analyzing kids' movies (Sorry if that sounded aggressive; if so, it was unintentional). – m-cubed 7 years ago
      • I agree with m-cubed that I don't feel like their lack of stated gender really did much. I also agree with the points the aforementioned Youtubers made about simplicity both in design and in their nonsense speak. I think "mass-produced cringe inspiring merchandise" might be a little too heavy-handed since it veers on personal opinion (even if I agree). I think looking at why they inspire so much hatred in particular might also be interesting. If I had to wager I believe it's a counter-culture attitude. When something is so all consuming in products, media, and, in the minion's case, social media it generates an over-exposure annoyance. This "annoyance" I think was made worse due to the fact that their content is rather culturally base. It's nonsense speak and slapstick, which are pretty low on the cultural totem pole and thus easy to hate if you are outside the common denominator. By distancing themselves from this cultural phenomenon, it was seen as a statement of having higher standards and taste above the lowest level of the "cultural totem pole". – LondonFog 7 years ago
      • Yes, you are both really informed on this (as I'm not, I didn't look into it ahead of time and just threw this up because of the trailer). Anyone who takes this article shouldn't get caught on the androgynous thing, it really was just a call for an article going into why they were so mass-marketed and why the reactions to them were so strong in either direction. Taking already analysis into synopsis and adding to them would make a fine easy piece of writing to get views for the upcoming film. – Slaidey 7 years ago
      • I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Kevin is a male minion. – Tigey 7 years ago

      ME!ME!ME!'s Imagery as a Warning

      ME!ME!ME! is not a new video but I recently stumbled across it and was taken away by it’s imagery and symbolism. Normally watching such blatantly sexual animation is deterring, but it’s underlying message shone through. Other critiques have been made on the video but I feel the Artifice’s community especially would appreciate another thorough analysis. Pick apart ME!ME!ME! as a warning for the destructive powers of the protagonist’s lifestyle (becoming overly obsessed with anime characters). You can find a light analysis on youtube by Gaijin Goombah, but he also makes it quite personal in the end. Write a more professional and organized article on the theory, hopefully starting with something close to his main thesis, followed by specific imagery in the video to solidify the stance. Perhaps address various case studies on the reality of being addicted to such fantasies; statistically how many lives are ruined by this fascination and is there such thing as rehab?

      • Hi Slaidey, I think there is a typo for "quiet personal">>>>>"quite personal." – Munjeera 8 years ago
      • "The crux of the proposed article is not clear. Are you suggesting an article that argues against the use of violence in viodeo-games, utilizing Me!Me!Me! as a case study? What is the underlying message that you mention? Be clear, because even if I'm familiar with the game (which I'm not), individual interpretations of texts (like this game) are not universal. Overall, I would like to see some clarification regarding the argument that you're proposing."- AnaMRuiz. I wish there was a way to reply to revision suggestions. ME!ME!ME! is not a conventional AMV from any anime/show/game. It could be considered an animated short film since it is animated and sound-tracked with originality (to my knowledge) but is often referred to as an AMV because it intentionally follows that style-- but with a specific message and point in mind. Individual interpretations of it may vary in some degree but it was animated with an intended message that should be easy to notice, so it's not a case study imposed on any external media. I would suggest watching it first, to understand what it's going for. It's the story of a young man who became over obsessed with anime and ruined his real social relationships because of it. – Slaidey 8 years ago

      Where Did All the Editors Go

      Where do you go for your news? Somewhere renown for legitimacy like The Huffington Post and The New Yorker, or perhaps somewhere mainstream like Buzzfeed? No matter the reputation of the site I’ve noticed one recurring thing: errors. Grammar errors, spelling errors, syntax errors. These are all extremely popular media sites, used by millions of people every day, and yet there seems to be no one taking the time to proofread or edit their articles. Where did all the editors go? Are media sites cutting editorial costs or is the flow of content too great for them to handle? Do popular sites even have editors?
      Have we reached a point in our society where language standards are lacking to the point where it doesn’t matter? Do people even care? As a writer, this is a topic near and dear to me and I’m sure to a great many others on the Artifice because we aspire to self produce worthy content. Give me an article with a definitive answer about the decline in quality writing for various magazines/newspapers and whether it’s worth our time to try so hard? Has there been a recoil from dedicated readers over the decade or have such practices actually opened up their client base?

      • I have often been wondering the same questions and thoughts that you bring up myself. – Kevin Mohammed 8 years ago
      • I wonder if it's related to the amount of students engaged in cyber cheating. – Tigey 8 years ago
      • My local town newspaper let go of the editorial staff in order to reduce costs. Now the writers have to proofread their own articles, and naturally they miss errors. We tend to miss our own mistakes because we see what we meant to write. It's a shame that rising costs have driven smaller journalism outlets to eliminate staff, but the reasons behind bigger name outlets may be similar. – Lexzie 8 years ago
      • What a relevant topic!! I cannot believe the amount of typos I find in articles, as well as grammar, spelling, and the lack of concision in these publications. I think this is an excellent topic, and I do hope someone picks it up. I would be curious to see what one does with this particular subject that is especially relevant in this "digital reliance," age. – danielle577 8 years ago
      • I think it could (like you mentioned) a cost-cutting measure to let writers edit their own work, or maybe many sites want their writers to use as much of their voice as they possibly can without hindrance. To me, it doesn't really matter though, as no written work is as good as it can be without another set of eyes looking at it. I wish there was a more definitive answer out there. – jlcook42 8 years ago
      • This is a super important topic! As someone that aspires to be an editor, I think it would be really good to know what's leading to the lack of editors and where the problem really lies – LilyaRider 8 years ago
      • News production has taken on a 24-hour cycle which lasts three days. This time frame is how long the audience is interested in a topic and the follow up. Depending on how much money a cable news network can make and in these times of being cost effective, everything depends on the almighty dollar. Many in the press corps are concerned about their traditional news coverage declining even the Washington Post. On line news is taking over and it is likely that given the speed of technology that news in real time has trumped fidelity to concerns about traditional grammar rules. What is taking over is talking points and sound clips. Remember Marshall McLuhan's "the medium is the message?" That certainly has become true. – Munjeera 8 years ago

      How Do Public Beta Environments (for ongoing MOBAs) Benefit Gamers?

      There was a massive overhaul to League of Legends’ "Rift" after Riot’s mid-season patch. Every new patch usually comes with some controversy but this one takes the cake. Players are complaining about "RNG" being added to the game with new random elemental spawning dragons. People feel that changes to the Rift Herald which now gives a twenty minute long buff (which in some cases is essentially the entire game) to one player that cannot be lost during death is unfair. And of course, there’s the running saying that any newly released champion is overpowered (which marketing-wise is probably intentional, it gives people incentive to buy the character right away since it will be nerfed later).

      Many players have access to the PBE and some youtubers make a living off of releasing the newest PBE content before it hits the game. With so much potential feedback it leaves me wondering how some obviously un-liked and controversial updates come to fruition. Though it need not focus on Riot I think it would be great to see an article focusing on the process of decision making that happens behind the scenes. What is the company structure? I’m sure gamers would like to know how much of their input goes into certain gaming companies’ decisions. Perhaps it could even serve to relieve some tension from between the two parties. Are more direct and preemptive quality feedback strategies necessary for any variety of gaming companies; are PBEs enough?

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        Latest Comments


        Wow! Such a thoughtful comment, honestly, I’d much rather read your article on Yu-Gi-Oh now! With so much commentary you should turn this passionate insight into something to shake the fandom. You also have be 100% convinced!

        Yu-Gi-Oh!: Terrifying or Inspiring?

        It’s lovely getting commenters that find this article so many years later! Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed and to have shared a bit of strange introspection with you lol

        What Can We Learn from a Lobster?

        I didn’t know about this documentary, that’s really neat! I can’t remember the name of it but I came across a short story once that was just an entire website, and it was an interactive scroll with simple text and moving background. It’s interesting seeing story telling shaped by new media possibilities!

        The Emergence of New Media Writing

        Reading through the problems with intertwining tv shows and the movies was eye opening. As many films as it took to culminate in Infinity War, there would have been no place for the tv shows or other material to have an impact. It’s a real dilemma, and while watching Agents of Shield, I always felt like they were being held back.

        Infinity War: Consequences and The Times In Between

        Upon reflection, I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the ending, and I thoroughly enjoy that you wrote this article to help viewers just finishing the series now to sort out their feelings. It is a nice equilibrium that is reached between the relationships and the story as a whole.

        How I Met Your Mother - Who Was Ted Really Meant To End Up With: Tracy Or Robin?

        Great article and points, it was a very positive take away. I respect the message Isle of Dogs presents and am glad you’ve shared it with others.

        Isle of Dogs: Humanity in the Inhuman

        Darn, these are all games I have yet to play and don’t want to get spoilers. *Adding them to the long long list.*

        Video Games That Ask Deep Philosophical Questions

        I also really enjoyed that being a spy was never the idealized end goal, and we saw in Sarah the want for relationships over the profession. It was all so wholesome, despite being executed with some slight flaws.

        Chuck, the Anti-Spy