Contributing writer for The Artifice.
The Golden Age of Video Games
According to my brother, we are on the brink of a "golden age of video games." Analyze the progression of video games from Asteroids to Nintendo 64 to PS1,2,3,4, to all the Xboxes, and then into the future of virtual reality games that you can actively participate in by wearing a type of goggle. Do you feel the next few years will be as promising as he does?
Where is the Reality?
Scripted television shows have been struggling of late, most especially the sitcom. It used to be that shows lasted for six seasons or more (M*A*S*H with 11 seasons, Friends with 10, Seinfeld with 9, Will and Grace with 8 etc. etc.). These shows were clever and all of which, even a series about nothing (Seinfeld), have had re-runs playing since they went off the air. Now shows follow the same trite scripts: eventually all focusing more on relationships and/or unrealistic story lines. So what could be the solution? Reality shows? No. Even reality shows are not that realistic, having been dramatized by producers to get increased ratings.
So what can be done? It is important that viewers, especially the young and impressionable, see shows that can be simultaneously entertaining and educational. Television is so popular that it has the power to influence one’s perception of the events of their own life so it is important that at least some of the shows send positive messages and are relatable.
Monopoly: Too Real to Play?
My family cannot play Monopoly. It is not a fun game during which we can laugh and enjoy quality time together. Instead we become cruel, building hotels as quickly as possible and holding vendettas against each other when someone won’t trade/sell a property with us. The desire to win with the most amount of money takes over and we forget about familial loyalty… and the fact that it is just a game.
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Eighteenth Century Lit: Not As Boring As You'd Think
I have taken a number of courses in Restoration and Eighteenth Century lit, but remember a feeling of dread when I had to take my first one because it sounded so painfully boring. Imagine my surprise when I read the sex heavy plays, poems with many an innuendo (did you know that "to die" does not necessarily mean losing one’s life), and stories with a little bit of everything. It’s time to open people’s eyes to the fact that just because it’s not a modern story does not mean seventeenth and eighteenth century literature is boring!
There are many approaches to this topic. One can look into the genre of premature ejaculation poems, or into the plays and stories like The Country Wife by William Wycherley, The Lucky Chance by Aprha Behn, and Fantomina by Eliza Haywood.
I (obviously) feel the exact same way! I listen to Jim Dale’s readings constantly and always look forward to Christmas at Hogwarts because everyone is magical in the way that Christmas should be (not just because they are at a school for magic).
I think you misunderstood me. Obviously I think that children can appreciate the story, but what they can’t always do is relate to the desire for family and the love that can be formed between the family that you choose rather than your biological one.
I agree that the bravery of the trio and their ability to fight for what they love is Rowling’s acknowledgement of the power of children.
I do not discount anyone who thinks differently. I thought it was clear because of how much I appreciate Rowling’s work.
I had the same experience when I wrote about how Harry Potter has influenced my writing in a draft for my Creative Writing grad school application. My professor told me that no one would take me seriously and the letter would be thrown away as soon as they saw the name Harry Potter. I think it’s so unfortunate that people in academia believe that only books like The Sun Also Rises can be quality literature. If they removed their biases and eradicated the pretentious mindset, they would notice a lot of other amazing works they were missing with their noses so high up in the air.
Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite as well!
Also, I found out afterwards that the Rickman quote is wrong :/ but I still like it.
I would need an example of Rowling’s plot holes because I feel that she did a very thorough job tying things together. As for the diversity issue, I can understand why it could be perceived to be troubling, but I genuinely do not think that race was an issue in the traditional sense. After all, she proved the problems with being prejudiced against people who were not a certain way (Pure-bloods vs. Half bloods and Muggle borns). If people seriously want to downgrade the power of her series by counting the number of people representing each race, I think that they are ignoring the point of the stories. We have to look beyond skin color and realize that it is who we are as individuals that truly matters. I know that is not the case for the majority of the world, but it definitely was the point of the books, just look at Dumbledore’s quotes: “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we are, far more than our abilities”, “Differences of habit and language are noting at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open”, and so on.
I definitely agree with you and appreciate that you wrote it here for others to see, and hopefully agree, too!
I have been remiss! Hagrid also plays a huge role in Harry’s life and was his first father figure in the magical world. He becomes like a proud uncle after Sirius fulfills the role of a father for Harry.
I do think the later books are intended for children, but are also more appealing to older individuals because of they have more action. There is no inappropriate language nor are there scenes I would have a problem letting a child of 7+ read.
I would have a problem letting children watch the films because they are darker and more suited for adults, but those are rated PG-13 so kids shouldn’t be watching them anyway.