John

Computer science major studying outside of Atlanta. Interested in video games, literature, and poorly made music mashups.

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    Double Entendres and Adult Jokes in Youth Programming

    Looking back to cartoons and animated series as an adult can be nostalgic, but it can often make you blush as a passing line of dialogue catches your attention. Animation studios are able to get away with double entendres and subtle adult humor since they mostly work with adult voice actors, and children aren’t involved until they consume the product. Is adult humor acceptable in youth programming if the children don’t get it? Is it a good way to snag the attention (and viewership) of adults? Or is it wrong to potentially expose kids to more mature themes and subjects? I suggest looking to SpongeBob SquarePants (pre-2002) as well as the Animaniacs, a cartoon that often tested its censors, and Ren & Stimpy, a cartoon that was rehashed for kids as some examples of adult humor in cartoons/kid’s shows.

    • If it's mostly expressed in dialogue, or in a way that children would never get unless they had context, then I think it's a clever thing to include for the adults who are also watching. It allows a show to grow and mature with you (in a juvenile way you could say). Although it's also better if the show is well written in a way that adults can appreciate on a critical level. For me personally, this kind of humor makes a lot of old shows I used to watch more entertaining because they can sometimes get a tad risque. Animaniacs was the king of this concept. Besides which, if any kid already does have context for certain dirty jokes, then letting them hear that joke wouldn't necessarily adversely affect them, because they already know what the joke means. Adult jokes can't teach kids anything outright if they're hidden intentionally to only resonate with adults who get the references. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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    • I think of it as a courtesy honestly. You grow up watching these shows for one reason, and when you grow up, you can watch the same exact program because you then discover new things to love. I don't think there's anything inherently bad about double entendres in children's programming since there are just as many shows out there without them. If a parent was worried about hidden meanings, they can always watch Sprout or Nick Jr. – moonkid 5 years ago
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    • As long as the dialogue is not too confusing for the children, then I think it's alright to add subtle adult jokes into youth programming. Children television series are usually watched with adults (whether it's a parent, relative, or guardian), so the creators like to make humour that can cater to both audiences as long as it fits. I think this happens more with programming catered to middle schoolers though, since I can't recall any double entendres in pre school. – YsabelGo 5 years ago
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    • I've actually had this conversation with my dad, and he told me the only reason he could stand me watching Toy Story almost every day of my child life was because of the more adult content in the dialogue. The way I see it, the dialogue we see like that was specifically designed to appease adults, because if they have to sit through a childish movie about toys, they might as well get a few laughs out of it. – brady672 5 years ago
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    • Going to the movies was once a family experience--newsreel for adults, a 7-minute cartoon for kids, and a feature for everyone. Animators like the Fleischer Brothers and Tex Avery tried to keep adults in mind in the 1930s (and '40s and '50s for Avery) when making the cartoons that distributors marketed to kids. – drchrisp 5 years ago
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    • Nickelodeon cartoons, for sure! And Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network! – Jaye Freeland 4 years ago
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    • I think about this a lot when my children are watching Teen Titans. The name itself suggests it's marketed toward teenagers, but I'm not sure that's true; the creators would know that a younger market would be interested, at least. The humor is also borderline - and it's not the language per se, but much of the physical humor - there is a lot of emphasis on the consistently thwarted romantic relationships (Robin and Beastboy longing for Starfire and Raven, respectively), kissing, butt shots, tongues hanging out and eyes bulging when Raven takes off her cloak; things like this make me a little uncomfortable when my young children are watching. Ultimately it is up to me as the parent to make this judgment call, but it's hard without knowing who they are actually trying to market to. – Katheryn 4 years ago
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    5

    The Decline of the Video Game Campaign

    For better or for worse, some game developers are leaving out single player campaigns in favor of multiplayer-only games. This comes from a trend of campaigns seeing less play-time, and multiplayer being the bulk of the play-time as well as the largest part of DLC. Examine the cause and effect in games such as Titanfall, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Rainbow Six: Siege, which were criticized by some for not having a campaign. Discuss whether or not this is a wise decision for developers who see that disinterest, and address game consumers that still desire a single-player campaign. Also, look at the rise of games with a competitive focus such as CS:GO and League of Legends and their role in boosting the multiplayer community in video games, including aspects of player interaction and maintenance of an online persona/character.

    • I don't play games with anyone. I personally dislike engaging in multiplayer games. Or at least, I don't go out of my way to engage in them. I don't even have many friends around who could play along with me even if I wanted to. I'm a Skyrim, Shadows of Mordor, Half-Life 2 kind of guy, and none of those games, to me, would be better if I was playing along with other people. I like forging my own path, and not waiting around for others to catch up. Not that I don't understand the benefits and enjoyment of playing a game in a group. But it's definitely not a first or even second choice for me. Depending on the environment and the situation, I would be more inclined to do it. So with all of this stuff about single-player campaigns dropping from new games, it worries me that I'll have less options as new games come around each new year. Bloodbourne thankfully is still a single-player focus game, and I've been looking forward to that for ages. And there are still indie games like SOMA that are single-player only. So I guess I'm not too worried about it. But it is concerning. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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    • With videogames becoming more popular among a wide variety of people, is it possible this new competition based lens for videogames is trending towards it becoming seen as a competitive sport? Starcraft is a national sport in S. Korea, and ESPN already aired a "Heroes of the Storm" tournament. Couple that coverage with the emergence of twitch, and it would appear very obvious competitive gaming is quickly becoming a huge economic force. With the influx of what seems to be a very neo-liberal idea in competitive gaming (both in the nature of competition and the economic implications), I worry that we might see the end of artistic "AAA" games. I really like this topic idea, and I think one more direction it could go in is whether or not this now puts the onus on indie developers to keep the 'heart' of gaming, if you will, beating. – Ftelroy 5 years ago
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    • It's a fairly dismal outcome of the past several years, with more games eschewing story for favor of a vast multiplayer experience. While I assume this serves to cut down on costs and build a bigger community faster by devoting more resources to a comprehensive multiplayer network, this approach seems to have backfired on the developers as much as it's slighted the consumers. Quite a few people I know bought games such as Titanfall and others of its non-campaign ilk, and although they reveled in the the multiplayer for a short time, they came to tell me that it felt weak and baseless because they had no idea who they were, what they were fighting for, or why they even existed in the first place. What many developers seem to be ignoring is that campaigns help give players a foothold in the story world of the game, something an online database or quick summation in the Users Manual cannot do, at least not to the extent of an eight-hour single player story mode. Without that foundation, players flounder because, again, they have no idea why they're even doing what they're doing. Now, some games can survive on this lack of campaign, such as Battlefront--which is buoyed by its ties to the Star Wars Franchise--and MOBAs such as League of Legends or Counter Strike which have garnered reputations for their online experiences. So, obviously, the sans campaign system works, and quite well, it appears--for PC Gamers, where it's easy to install a mod or download new third-party content, affix it within the game files, and find yourself playing an entirely different game. Console games such as Titanfall are incapable of the more sophisticated modding communities PC Gamers are privy to thanks to the design of the consoles themselves. This hindrance prevents any kind of new community-driven development from taking place in most console games, and is therefore why console developers should not be so swift in their shirking of campaigns. – JKKN 5 years ago
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    Should zombie flicks be more than gorefests?

    For all of two hours, our job is to suspend disbelief and take in a story unfolding before us that portrays the dead walking the earth once more in an apocalyptic scenario. At the same time, we are supposed to believe these characters on the screen are falling in love, spiraling into hatred, and developing these complex emotions and stories while zombies try to eat them. Should zombies (and apocalyptic settings in general) continue to be used as a framing device, or otherwise sidelined in favor of focusing on the human experience? Or should zombie flicks focus on the main attraction – the guts, the gore, the death and destruction? Perhaps examine the reception of movies that are clearly placed in one category or the other.

    • Hm. Really depends on what subgenre of 'zombie flick' we're looking at here. I don't think I've ever seen a film where zombies are the MAIN attraction except for that wonderful recent oddity of a rom-com 'Warm Bodies'. Which of course is far from the usual norm. But yeah, from the Romeros to 'I Am Legend', to 'The Walking Dead' to 'Shaun of the Dead' the human quantity has always been most crucial. Maybe you could explore how filmmakers could possible film something from the POV of the zombie's themselves, I'm thinking kind of like the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, wordless and primal. – CalvinLaw 5 years ago
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    • I think using "zombies" to force a setting that then focuses on the human experience is a way to reach wider audiences. For example, there are probably a lot of people out there that would not have started watching the walking dead if the plot was more like 'watch these people in no danger have a bunch of drama.' There are plenty of people who would watch that, but I think adding zombies attracts other people that may not have watched this otherwise. Another issue is that the people need SOME sort of issue that puts them in this predicament to give them a reason for their interactions. So shipwreck? Well we've done that one too already... so might as well use zombies. – Tatijana 5 years ago
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    • See this is a really interesting idea, but I definitely think that zombies should and could be more than just gore and more gore and unrelenting gore. Zombies actually have a rich history in ancient religions, plays and poems, and I really think that someone could reinvent the way we look at the dead. Take the movie "The Book Of Life" an animated film about the day of the dead in Mexico. Obviously this is a cultural take on the living dead or zombification, but I think a movie could really come out with zombies, but instead of focusing on the whole "I'm going to eat you thing" maybe making their existence more a philosophical question or an existentialist crisis. Of course that is just my two cents from philosophical perspective – alexhim 5 years ago
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    • It might depend on what type of zombie. Old school zombies move slow and probably have less to do with guts. All the new age modern zombies can run and actually look more likely to shred something. – Nori 5 years ago
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    It’s always hard, as a book reader, to watch the movie adaptation. When I read, I imagine the movie in my head as I believe it will go. I develop how the characters look, I develop how the locations look, how everything sounds and smells, and it’s almost like creating a world that you associate with the novel. This world (for me) is hard to separate from the book.

    It gets worse for me when I see a BAD movie adaptation, and what I experience in the movie theater weaves itself into my world. After watching Eragon, it diluted my world and hurt what I felt about the book series. On the other hand, after watching Lord of the Rings, it greatly enhances my reading of the series because I absolutely love the world that Peter Jackson made for the viewer.

    There’s also the issue of taking the book’s general concept and running in a completely different direction with the movie. Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, made World War Z, an adaptation of the book of the same name. It was not similar at all in regards of plot, background, and zombie physiology. It’s easy to see that the rights were only acquired to use the title as a cash grab, to monopolize on all the zombie-horror fans who hadn’t seen a good zombie movie in years.

    I know that movie adaptations will never be 100% faithful. They will never be what I had in mind, and they will never be something I’ll 100% agree with in regards to its translation of the book’s contents. One thing I try hard to practice is separation of the book and movie – purposefully develop two universes.

    How 'By the Book' Should Literary Adaptations Be?

    There’s nothing that warms my heart more than hearing that “The Splat” has taken off. Growing up between generations is always difficult, especially when it comes to television. “The Splat brings back a lot of content from the 90’s, which was arguably only consumed in full by kids between 1985 and 1994 – the true 90’s kids. Being born in 1996 left me unable to truly get the full experience of All That, Rugrats, CatDog, and Hey Arnold.

    I caught the tail-end of what’s considered classic Nickelodeon content, but looking back at it now as a college student does nothing but warm my heart and conjure thoughts of nostalgia. I was there to see the end of All That, and the re-runs of CatDog, and I remember watching GUTS, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and other features higher-up in the cable channels. However, I saw the beginning of Drake and Josh, Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, and Ned’s Declassifed School Survival Guide. These series are some of the true classics for me, and I think that in another ten years we could see a resurgence of the 2000’s generation of programming as a second incarnation of “The Splat.”

    Nickelodeon’s The Splat: Bringing Back Classic Content for Millennials

    One of the things I’ve failed to realize after all these years is how expansive the world of Ocarina of Time is – and how far the lore is spread across the land. Casual video game consumers will not catch on to many of the subtleties and untold stories of the game. Many of the stories you can find are out of the way and, to an extent, are left up to interpretation.

    The biggest story (outside of the major storyline) is the Biggoron’s Sword quest – where Link is sent all over Hyrule doing tasks and carrying items for people that all have a connection to the person before them, and the person after them. The second biggest story is how non-Kokiri humans that enter the Lost Woods are cursed to become Stalfos – the skeletons that wander Hyrule Fields at night, and the same creature that teaches Link various techniques in Twilight Princess. Many speculate that this Stalfos warrior in TP was actually Link from Ocarina of Time, who had been transformed after getting lost looking for his fairy.

    A lot of games seem to have a plot on a rail. It is determined you will do X, and X will happen every time. You can’t go out and find Y because there is no Y. What Ocarina of Time offers is the ability to go out and explore, and find these stories if you look hard enough.

    Does Ocarina of Time Still Hold Up By Today's Standards?