A college senior from New Jersey in love with writing, art, and thinking about media's roles in society.
gamesWrite this topic
Anxiety-Inducing Video Games: Fun, Frightening, or Both?
During this month’s annual Steam super sale, I, letting my curiosity get the best of me, purchased "Five Nights at Freddy’s." I first tried to play it at night, thinking that that would make the experience better, but I panicked and quit after the first level. The next day, I realized that the game creates so much anxiety for me that I can’t even play it during the day with my TV on and my dog sitting comfortably at my side.
Long story short, it would be interesting to explore anxiety-inducing video games (particularly those of the survival horror genre) and why/how they are enjoyable to play. I can’t even begin to imagine how some people play "Outlast" wearing noise-cancelling headphones with all of the lights out in the middle of the night. What makes these games enjoyable? Is the anxiety that they create a fun sensation for some? Maybe they’re not enjoyable at all, but there’s something else to them that keeps people playing.
Family Dynamics in Popular Sitcoms
Many popular sitcoms in recent memory prominently feature families (Modern Family, The Middle, The Goldbergs), and networks like ABC frequently roll out new family sitcoms (Blackish, Fresh Off the Boat). What is it about the family unit and family dynamics that makes the family such a popular subject in sitcoms? What do these shows attempt to say about families? What does this say about families within our culture, in general?
What Gives a Show Rewatch Value?
Some shows and movies are rerun over and over again on popular TV networks (like ABC Family’s Harry Potter Weekend that is repeated a few times per year and AMC’s "The Walking Dead" marathons), while others are hardly ever replayed. Networks seem to choose shows that viewers want to see multiple times. What gives certain shows and movies rewatch value? What qualities do they have that makes viewers want to see them numerous times?
The Evolution of MTV
MTV has evolved over the years from a channel exclusively devoted to music videos to one that features documentaries and reality TV shows in addition to music and celebrity-related news and programming. Nevertheless, it has remained a beloved pop culture phenomenon. It has also made a point of featuring programs that are centered around conversations about race, class, sex sexuality, unique lifestyles, and the like. Explore the evolution of MTV. How has its programming changed? Why have these changes occurred? What does this say about our culture, how our culture influences TV programming, and conversely, how our culture is influenced by TV?
gamesWrite this topic
Gaming and the Advent of Virtual Reality
Explore the coming of age of virtual reality as a technology with the potential to revolutionize video games. What is virtual reality? How will virtual reality affect gaming and the gaming industry? How does the technology work, and how close is it to becoming a household item? What are some of the major companies that are working on virtual reality technologies right now?
literatureWrite this topic
From the Page to the Stage: Adapting Writing for Performance
This summer, Broadway has brought to life two beloved texts for the first time: Mark Haddon’s novel "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" and Alison Bechdel’s tragicomic graphic memoir "Fun Home."
What goes into adapting a text for the stage? How do playwrights manage to reimagine text-based works into something visual, and what are the results? How is a text selected for stage adaptation?
writingWrite this topic
Are Creative Writing Courses Ineffectual?
Last March, Hanif Kureishi, teacher of creative writing at Kingston University, dismissed creative writing classes as "a waste of time," calling "99.9%" of his students "untalented." Some, like Kureishi, would argue that creative writing is a skill that cannot be taught; however, these courses are more popular now than ever. Does this argument hold up? Or can creative writing indeed be taught to some degree? If it can’t, is there another way in which these courses can be beneficial to those who enroll?
Moral Ambiguity in Popular TV Shows
Many of today’s most popular TV shows prominently feature morally ambiguous characters and situations. Characters like Breaking Bad’s Walter White and The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes are cast as the shows’ main protagonists ("good guys"), but do they always do "the right thing?"
Explore the idea of moral ambiguity in popular TV shows. Does this mark a departure from what has been popular on TV in the past? What is moral ambiguity’s function on TV?
Such a compelling take on a season that, in my opinion, was rather lackluster. Thanks for this! If I were to go back and rewatch this season of the show after having read this article, I would likely enjoy it more, knowing more of the historical background of freak shows and how they’re hidden in plain sight today.
I like how you explored the possible implications of Deanna as the leader, Rick as the leader, and both as leaders together. I wrote a paper last year about shifts in survivor group morality with the progression of The Walking Dead, and it was interesting to explore how different ethical methodologies stand up in the post-apocalyptic world.
That’s your opinion. It’s impossible to definitively say.
That’s like comparing the plays of Shakespeare to “50 Shades of Grey.” Stieglitz is one of the greatest photographers in history and arguably the greatest American photographer to ever live. He is considered as such by pretty much everybody who knows anything about art.
You can’t make a comment like that without backing it up and expect to be taken seriously.
As do I.
Thank you for that! I’ve never heard that story before, but I’m so so glad that I do now.
There have been so many different takes on the “zombie apocalypse” theme in movies, books, games, etc. Many of them are ambiguous when it comes to explaining how the epidemic started, so it’s refreshing to read about one that’s grounded in some sort of reality.
A lot of people have made that observation. Her mother has insisted that she wasn’t looking to disappear, but it’s really difficult to say for sure.
She certainly is fascinating!