College-level English and Creative Writing tutor | Running on coffee and sarcasm | "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…" ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: Analyzing the Pros and Cons of Prequels
Suzanne Collins’ newest book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy, is set to release May 19th, 2020. This prompts the question: What benefits do prequels provide for a story? The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes supposedly takes place in Panem 64 years before the original trilogy. By backtracking, not only do audiences lose favorite and well known characters, but any world-building that existed needs to be restructured and changed. On the other hand, it does provide significant details to the history, as well as the opportunity to flesh out backstories. Collins isn’t the only author to do this; J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, and then Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, going back 70 years in her timeline. So, analyze the potential benefits and possible drawbacks to prequels for beloved novel series.
Analyze the Evolution of the DOOM Franchise
The release of Bethesda Softworks’ DOOM Eternal this year marks another milestone in what has become almost three decades of video game history for the franchise. For 27 years, the franchise has been a pioneer in FPS multiplayer games, and their fan base has witnessed an ongoing evolution of characters, graphics, and narratives. But this begs the question, why has a game that began as shareware endured with such longevity, outliving other games from the ’90s? So, analyze this evolution of the DOOM franchise, from the original DOOM (1993) to the recent 2020 release. Look specifically at the graphics, gameplay mechanics, lore, and storytelling. Question what exactly makes the franchise so popular, and what has maintained this popularity through the decades. Although the franchise includes films, comics, novels, and more, this article would seek to analyze the video games specifically.
Determining the Pitfalls to BioWare’s Anthem Conundrum
Anthem, the newest action RPG by BioWare and EA, was released in February this year to mixed reviews. After a massive hype and marketing campaign, gamers were on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the open-world adventure. But in the wake of the Fallout 76 backlash, this loot shooter type gameplay has also fallen flat. PC Gamer has called it “deeply flawed” and BGR said it’s “an Iron Man simulator”. But why is this so? This article would compare the pros and cons to the new open-world game including elements such as: game mechanics, graphics, story line, and dialog. It would compare Anthem to similar games such as Destiny 2 and Fallout 76. Finally, it would suggest ways that BioWare could improve on the game overall, including: an improved loot system, a broader map, a stronger story line, a more thoroughly developed history, and additional, varied missions.
Exploring the Morals behind Vigilante Archetypes
The vigilante archetype in superhero movies push the boundaries of societal rules and morality. Last year, audiences were treated to the release of Marvel’s Venom, Deadpool 2, and DC’s Arrow season 7, and these all have strong vigilante archetypes. These characters regularly circumvent the rules to enforce their own type of laws in the name of justice. But does rectifying violence with more violence solve anything? Does bypassing the local law enforcement when they fail to protect the city make a hero? When an antihero blurs the line between good and evil, serving their own form of justice, where do audiences stop and say “this isn’t heroic anymore.”? Characters to analyze could include (from both Marvel and DC respectively): Venom, Batman, Green Arrow, The Punisher, Deadpool, Wolverine, etc. The article could explore: what makes an antihero, what makes a vigilante, and where heroics breech the boundary of evildoing.
Writing through History; how Writing has Impacted America
Through the centuries, writing has been a powerful form of communication. Whether be it a political pamphlet, a provocative essay, or a news article, writing was an important way to translate individuals’ ideas and viewpoints. Analyze how writing has helped to empower and shape American history. Compare and contrast historical speeches and/or important, influential writers, authors, or essayists. Simply put, writing helped shape our country.
Prosody; the Real Struggle for Poets
Prosody has become almost a dying art in poetry, both on and off the age. With a rise in spoken-word, modern writing styles has kind of thrown the traditional rule-book out the window. But is proper meter and rhyme scheme a thing of Shakespearean past? Perhaps, by reviving the techniques behind the art form, we can reach a new level of creativity when it comes to poetry.
Kindle vs Print; Spanning the Digital Divide
How has the rising popularity in Kindle and ebooks hindered the print medium? Will physical hardcover and paperback books someday go into extinction? While Kindles appeal to the younger, hipper audience, paperbacks still seem to retain a sort of traditional class. Why? Even though they both have their arguable pros and cons, what will become of printed works in the near and long-term future?
Keeping Banned Books on our Reading Lists
The words ‘banned book’ can tend to drive people away from good content. But there are many reasons why everyone should consider reading at least one book that has been challenged or banned. This article would explore the benefits of reading such books. What kinds of lessons do works such as "The Lorax" or "Go Ask Alice" have to teach us? Has some of the books on this list been falsely accused (for example the Oxford Dictionary)? In short, banned books still have a lot to offer us, and are vastly under-appreciated.
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