Has an MFA, an M.Phil in ELT, learning about data analysis, strives to become a therapist, was a Managing Editor for Zelda Dungeon, and is a freelance editor and writer.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics


    What Makes a Good Video Game to Film Adaptation?

    From Tomb Raider (2001, Angelina Jolie) to Sonic the Movie (2020, Jim Carrey), there have been quite a few games likewise adapted into movies, though to varying degrees of failure or success. Tomb Raider was somewhat considered a flop when it first came out, and it currently has a 5.8 on Imdb: (link) a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics, and a 47% by audiences: (link) and a 33% on Metacritic: (link) though some consider it underrated: (link) By contrast, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie had a 6.5 on Imdb: (link) a 63% critic rating and a 93% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes: (link) and a 47% on Metacritic: (link) The success of the Sonic movie garnered it not one, but two sequels.

    The topic taker should analyze the trends of adapting a video game to a movie, including the history of it, and what makes so many of the adaptations fail. The topic taker should really dive into what made good video adaptations good and see what trends their analysis reveals. The topic taker may also consider the future of video game to film adaptations and whether they think there will be more successes or failures as well.

    To help the topic taker, consider looking into the following films to start forming trends based off their reception via reviews/to start forming the history of video game to film adaptation as they see fit:

    Tomb Raider (2018) in order to compare/contrast it with the 2001 film
    Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    Detective Pikachu
    Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
    Assassin’s Creed
    Super Mario Bros. (1993)
    The Super Mario Bros. the Movie (2023) to contrast with the 1993 adaption


      Shifts in YouTube and the Rise of Short Video Media Like TikTok

      Following the departure of the creator of channels The Game Theorists, Film Theorists, Food Theorists, and Style Theorists, MatPat, from YouTube, there has been discussion about the changes of YouTube’s platform and if viewers of the platform are going to see other long-standing YouTubers leave. In MatPat’s goodbye video, he references other YouTubers who have decided to leave the platform and notes that "the platform is changing". We have also seen the trend of short-style videos in the vein of TikTok rise in popularity. The topic taker should address what changes they see taking place, possibly using the host of recent goodbye videos as a jumping off point, for the web-video platforms and analyze what those trends might mean for others looking to get into the content creation space.

      The topic taker is free to include the psychological impact of content creation, especially with the constant stream of short-form videos, has on a person. In addition, the topic taker can compare and contrast the platforms of YouTube and TikTok on multiple levels, such as monetization strategies and algorithms if they wish in order to predict where the trends might be going and indicate what those trends suggest for viewers and creators alike.

      MatPat’s Farwell: (link)


        A Perspective on Banned Books in America versus Other Countries

        Recently, a lot of books have been making it onto the infamous banned books list in America, due to containing such themes as "strong female leader" in the case of Wizard of Oz, "racism", especially with children’s books that tend to point to the systemic nature of racism in America, and of course, "sexuality and gender" that basically gets slapped on anything that even remotely hints at an LGBTQ+ relationship or gender expression outside of the cisgender spectrum. Most of these entries to the ever-growing ban list seem to be coming from conservative areas. It might be good to take a small sample of the banned book list from the past 2 years or so and see how it would compare to, say a European banned books list, if the idea of a banned books list isn’t something that is wholly limited to America in the first place, and see if there are any overlapping topics between the lists to see what trends might exist cross-culturally.

        If this cross-examination is not possible, the topic taker could instead talk about whether or not book bans should exist, and the reasons why they do, and could choose to take a few selections from the banned books list and make an argument as to whether or not the themes presented in the literature truly merit a spot on a banned books list.

        Banned Books list for America: (link)


          Why We Play Video Games

          I think it would be interesting to see why we play video games on an intellectual level. What do the mechanics of the gameplay influence in the player’s surroundings and what influence does the setting of the game have on the story that may teach the player through the immersion process games tend to have? Sure, video games are fun, but what more do they have to teach us?

          I recommend looking up Game Theory on Youtube to see what is out there on this topic, though I’m coming at this topic from a more philosophical nature versus a scientific one.

          • I think you could focus upon games where there is emotionally-invested storylines involved, such as The Last of Us or Red Dead Redemption, which make gamers think about their own morality. – Ryan Errington 9 years ago
          • It's been suggested that essentially, the consistent popularity of video games is due to the artificial sense of accomplishment they offer. That's more of a scientific idea, but it might be interesting to explore how video games invite that sense of accomplishment on a story level. – Mariana 9 years ago
          • To add to what Mariana said, I also think it ties in to the idea of faux freedom but covertly reliquishing control. Many people play to relax, and it is relaxing because even though you have this open map, you are not having to make the big decisions that real life asks you to - you get limited choices (3 answers to a question, 4 endings to the game, it's all been decided by someone else.) And there is no real consquence to your choices - you can reboot if you need to. It is like being a kid - it's all a game! I don't know if there is a real theory out there for this, but that is my theory. – Francesca Turauskis 9 years ago
          • Video games can also make the player feel more confident. I know that when I beat a challenging boss or complete a level, I feel good about myself, though I don't know if that confidence translates into the real world. – S.A. Takacs 9 years ago
          • On the point of morality and emotionally-invested storylines as mentioned above, their also all the Telltale games that not only let you choose your actions but the way in which you converse with the characters as well. Those games make people reconsider their actions on a second play through. – Tyler McPherson 9 years ago
          • You should read "Reality is Broken" by Jane McGonigal. She may be a good source to draw from as you research and write. – AnnieVos 9 years ago
          • I will only play for the most part RPG games that A) have a good gameplay system and don't require me having to avoid being seen, and B) RPG games that have a beginning, middle, and end, in essence, a good story. This is probably why I tend to only play Square Enix video games. – Travis Kane 9 years ago
          • In addition to well-paced risk/reward systems, another compelling issue is player involvement. Video games allow the "audience" to participate in the story (usually) as the main protagonist in a way that passively watching television or movies does not allow. In a world where fan involvement is increasingly an aspect of entertainment, this is a powerful but often overlooked motivator. – Monique 9 years ago
          • This would be a good topic, that have been many studies conducted asking this very question (usually game developers doing it to see how they can hook players). – bbazemo2 9 years ago
          • There seem to be two converging questions here: what makes us approach video games (concepts of escapism, etc); and what makes us 'stay' in the game (more towards your question of game setting, learning from games, etc.). These things are related but if you wrote about this I think you could use a different approach for each topic, or at least make clear that there is a difference between between them. – Landon 3 years ago
          • Video games are defined based on their platform, which include arcade games, console games, and PC games. More recently, the industry has expanded onto mobile gaming through smartphones and tablet computers, virtual and augmented reality systems, and remote cloud gaming. Video games are classified into a wide range of genres based on their type of gameplay and purpose. – uphonic 3 years ago
          • Great topic! A focus on the positive points of why video games are essential and how it could impact one's life/emotions will be interesting to read. – GabiBellairs 3 years ago

          Writing and Health Benefits

          I would like to see what writing does to people on a psychological, emotional, and mental level. I know of a study that suggests writing about an issue we are facing in life helps us heal, but I’m wondering about writing in the realm of fiction and creative nonfiction, rather than just journaling about the issues in life. I’m also wondering if other studies exist on this subject and encourage any takers to go deeper than the surface for this topic.

          • When I write, I frequently go into my character's mind, to the point I feel like I'm in another mindset completely. This helps to understand multiple points of views and how may different types of characters might think. – SpectreWriter 9 years ago
          • Therapeutic writing as non fiction vs fiction would be a fascinating study! I find journaling helps one work through pent up emotions but fiction can help express abstract feelings. Maybe a little section could address the difference in benefits between therapeutic writing and therapeutic art, it would be very interesting to see how effective those two modes of expression are at helping someone cope. – Slaidey 9 years ago
          • One of the reasons I describe myself as a writer is that I've found that if I'm not writing regularly, I'm not as mentally healthy; I seem to need the outlet. The effect is very specifically fiction-centric -- academic and non-fiction writing doesn't provide the same release. I would love to read some psychologically-based research on why that's true. – Monique 9 years ago
          • Writing can really help people deal with trauma because it allows one to communicate inner thoughts and self-reflections free of judgement. I think this would be a really cool idea and that you should pursue it. I love the idea of writing in the realm of creative nonfiction and, in a way, conducting your own case study about the psychological, emotional, and mental affects writing has on people. – Morgan Muller 9 years ago
          • There are studies that I've seen that expressive writing helps with depression, anxiety, mood stimulation. If you look things up online you can see the studies created for that. Just taking 15 to 30 minutes out of each day is even enough to change a person's mood. I think it's important to get into your character's mindset and I think it can really change a person's mood good or bad as the situation is written out but you feel satisfaction in the end and the outcome. I believe if a person is feeling a specific way or dealing with something, writing it out and fictionalizing it can give them a way to cope and look over it and see one of the many possible outcomes written before them to put their mind to ease just a little bit.But as Slaidey said, it would be fantastic to see just how the difference is between non-fiction and fiction writing and the mood changes of the writers afterwards! – shelbysf 9 years ago
          • I looked into this a bit during my degree and some studies I can suggest are... Mcardle, S. and Byrt, R. (2001) ‘Fiction, poetry and mental health: expressive and therapeutic uses of literature’, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 8: 517–524. Sexton, J.D. and Pennebaker, J.W. (2009) ‘The healing powers of expressive writing’, in S.B. Kaufman and J.C. Kaufman (eds.) The psychology of creative writing, pp. 264-274. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. If you look up therapeutic writing / therapeutic reading / narrative therapy some more relevant studies may come up (especially if the ones listed above are difficult to access, apologies if they are!) For more general stuff about narrative and therapy/psychology: Riessman, C. and Quinney, L. (2005) ‘Narrative in social work: a critical review’, Qualitative Social Work, 4 (4): 391-412. Kleinman, A. (1998) The illness narratives: suffering, healing, and the human condition. United States: Basic Books. Harre, R. (1997) ‘An outline of the main methods for social psychology’, in N. Hayes (ed.) Doing qualitative analysis in psychology, pp. 17-37. Hove: Psychology Press. Hayes, N. (1997) ‘Introduction to Part I’, in N. Hayes (ed.) Doing qualitative analysis in psychology, pp. 11-16. Hove: Psychology Press. Emerson, P. and Frosh, S. (2004) Critical Narrative Analysis in Psychology: A Guide to Practice, revised edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Hope this helps! :) – Camille Brouard 9 years ago
          • When I write, even if it's not about my life, I find it very therapeutic. – kendalld 8 years ago
          • As Kendal said, writing for me is also very therapeutic and also a creative release. – Munjeera 8 years ago
          • What interests me above all of this, is what writing does to memory and ultimately who we are / become. (i.e. how important is writing in the formation of self?), which also plays into our mental--and maybe even physical--health. – AKulik 8 years ago
          • I think it would also be interesting if the article explores why so many great writers struggled with mental health issues. Not that there is necessarily a connection, but the contrast has always been a bit for me: writing being therapeutic and writers struggling with life. This article from The Guardian might shed some light on the subject: – faezew 8 years ago
          Write this topic

          Are web-based cartoons/shows successful?

          I would like to see an article on whether or not web-based cartoons or shows like "Bee and Puppycat" and "Video Game High School" are successful, and if they will mean anything in terms of competition for TV cartoons and shows in the future as a result of their success/fanbase, etc.

          • By web-based do you mean just you-tube or sites like Crackle, Netflix and Rooster Teeth all who provide original content in some form or another? – Tyler McPherson 9 years ago
          • I meant YouTube. Thank you for asking and allowing me to clarify. – BethanyS 9 years ago

          LIfetime and Featured films

          Lately, Lifetime has been trending films about women and kidnapping. What I want to know is why is this a trend, and why would the network choose to focus on this genre? What is the writer’s opinion of the choice to air these films? Do the films really empower women, or are they sending a degrading message to the viewers?

          • Another interesting factor to look at might be how these films tell us to think of men: that they should not be trusted, or that one should do anything in order to attain a husband. I found a couple articles that might be interesting to look at: – Nicole Wethington 9 years ago
          • You might also consider the financial reason lifetime chooses their topics. – LaurenCarr 9 years ago
          • Lifetime is a network targeted towards woman. Specific types of women. Do these lifetime dramas function as a sort of "women level" horror film? I know people of minority demographics who can't take many horror films seriously because as it is often said "No [minority] person would do that? Why are they doing that" in which cases these tropes become part of their story about the majority community. You can relate this so writings by feminist writer bell hooks who wrote an article "Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination". You can consider the differences between traditional American horror movies and Japanese horror movies as an example. The tropes in Japanese horror movies are different the terrifying little girls for one. How different would horror movies be if they were targeted towards people who don't enjoy horror. People who were stereo typically housewives who took care of their families. I think you can make the argument that Lifetime's women and kidnapping films fill that role for these women. Or at least Lifetime would like them to. – wolfkin 9 years ago

          Short Film as Stories

          The idea kind of speaks for itself, but I think the thing I would like to know is: How does the short film allow for story to be told? What are the pros and cons of short films? Do they have limitations as a medium? A few examples of shorts to look into are Dark Tales of Japan, Escape (may be found under Princess in Another Castle), Luna, and, of course Pixar shorts.

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            Latest Comments


            Love seeing this on the site! Such an engaging article, and it was a pleasure to edit! Great work, thank you!

            Corner Office: The Danger of the Isolation

            Great article! It was a pleasure to edit, and, it’s great to see it live! Very in-depth and thought-provoking! Thank you for the enjoyable read!

            Male-Female Friendships in Anime: Can We Really Be Just Friends?

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            From Mythology to the MCU: Egyptian and Norse

            Awesome job incorporating my revision suggestions! Great read, thank you!

            Click: A Tragic Tale Exploring the Importance of Family

            This was a really good analysis of something that I never really got about superheroes like Superman, mostly because I haven’t followed his story that well across multiple mediums. Thanks for making me think about this subject more deeply. Great article!

            Superman, Alienation, and Evil

            Great work! Thought provoking piece! I was happy to be a part of the editorial process! Thank you for a wonderful piece!

            Alienation in "There will be Blood"

            As someone who revised this, it’s great to see how the article changed over time. It’s great to see it live on the site! It definitely made me think!

            1984: What Does it Tell us About The Purpose of Life?

            This is a fair, and sad point, and I wish it could be different, because kids really do just want our love and attention a lot of the time. And, it can be so enriching to be able to engage with them, instead of stuck trying to make sure everyone survives with the basic necessities for life.

            Time Out Features in Video Games and the Effect Too Much Screen Time Has on Gamers