Piper CJ

Piper CJ

Piper CJ: M.A. Folklore, Commander of the Normandy, contracted digital media guru helping with the new age of archiving during the day and a full-time RPGer by night.

Contributor I

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  • Featured
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  • Ext. Comments
    10
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  • Revisions
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    7
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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

10

Nostalgia as a Genre

In the three days after its Netflix release, "Stranger Things" rocketed to number 26 IMDB’s top 250 shows. Marketed across the internet as a well-casted, spooky, nostalgia-perfect program, the description inspired a cross-internet search for movies, television shows, and assorted media that has been marketed for its "nostalgic" value and their close ties to the 80s and 90s. The majority of the hits were produced in the past 20-30 years (Clueless, Grease), but many instead are recent productions taking place in that time period (It Follows, Stranger Things), falling into decades not old enough to be considered "period pieces" but also clearly not modern age.

Examine this category of film and television, its cultural appeal, its widespread success across the western world, and determine whether or not "nostalgia" is being appropriately applied to these very specific decades, or how media of these categories might be alternatively described.

  • Excellent topic! You allow for a multitude of avenues to be explored. I also appreciate your own inquiry into the use of the word "nostalgia" when referring to works from these decades, and the categorization of such titles. Who is to say what is and what is not able to conjure up feelings of nostalgia? Great choice...I look forward to reading this, as I believe someone will pick up this topic. – danielle577 9 months ago
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  • This is a great topic and I think many readers will be able to relate to it. I myself find that I am a part of the nostalgia generation and I think it's because there are too many sitcoms out there today. Back in the 90s and early 2000s there were only a handful of sitcoms. You watched Friends, Party of 5, 90210, and you felt a connection with the characters. The shows were simple and offered viewers a place to go and just enjoy the story lines. I think this topic can be picked up with ease and I look forward to commenting on it. – iwrite 7 months ago
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  • Love this topic as a fan of "Stranger Things" and the 80s iconography it pays tribute to. Part of the appeal of nostalgia stems from those who grew up during those specific periods as well as those who just have a fondness for those eras in general. I do wonder if younger audiences for "Stranger Things" enjoyed it as much as I know older millennials did. If they did, I suppose the appeal for them is that it has elements they can relate to, i.e. the group of kids and their adventures with Eleven. For teenagers, it had the Nancy, Jonathan and Steve storylines; Gen-Xers have Joyce and Hopper.I thought nostalgia was cleverly applied to "Stranger Things," because, while the show is bursting with 80s love, it also flips 80s tropes on their head at the same time, such as the Final Girl trope and the love triangle twist. Thus, it is upgraded to modern times while still remaining nostalgic.I think nostalgia has such crossover appeal because older people may introduce kids to the things popular in their era, and it gets passed on. I think its appeal is also in part due to an ironic yearning for the pre-Internet life. Interesting questions you have; hope your topic gets picked! – cebalo 6 months ago
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  • It's interesting as someone born mid-90's to see such a resurgence of classic "80's" nostalgia. I'm faintly aware, as an observer and less as one who's experience ATARI or the other trials of the 80's, and it's interesting to see how the Duffer brothers brought back to life a world so naturally, despite the ever-changing time and our own modern aesthetic of conscious dystopia. I think this is a very keen topic! – bbartonshaw 2 months ago
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Published

Tattoos as Art

From traditional Folklife tattooing to the evolving methods and styles of tattooing (watercolor, biomechanical, pixels, dot work), tattoos are the unsung contributions to the world of art.

In 2013, Buzzfeed compiled a listicle of 13 brilliant tattooists who are contributing to the new artistic stylings: (link)

The Smithsonian Center of Folklife and Cultural Heritage held a 2012 exhibit on tattoos, and the New York Times profiled a 2013 Highbrow Ink exhibit regarding the artistry of tattoos.

In what ways do tattoos conform to artistic norms and practices, and in what ways are they still regarded as culturally inferior expressions of art? Examine the bias (and growing acceptance) to tattoo culture, and draw parallels to how similar bias existed regarding modern art, living art, and various other forms artistic expression throughout history.

  • As someone with numerous tattoos--many of which, if not all, are inspired by literary and poetic works--I love this topic! There is always a debate regarding whether or not tattoo artists can truly be considered artists. This is asinine, especially due to the amount of time and skill implemented in the sketches for tattoos. Great inclusion of the exhibit featured at the Smithsonian! I know a few people who went and said it was amazing. I do hope this topic gets picked up...great conversation piece! – danielle577 9 months ago
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  • There's currently an exhibit on until September at the ROM in Toronto called "Tattoos. Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art.", which explores the history of tattoos (and highlights how so many traditions were destroyed by colonialism...). It was fascinating, and I would highly recommend checking it out for sources. – tmorand 9 months ago
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  • Interesting art form that combines the traditional and the avant-garde! – jcsart 5 months ago
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Mainstream Acceptance

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a genre or franchise gaining mainstream acceptance? For instance: in what ways does Marvel benefit from being mainstream? How does grossing popularity damage Star Wars (or does it?). How does the MCU gain artistically from its mainstream appeal? What sacrifices must it make? Are the monetary benefits worth the trade of artistic integrity?

A game writer might focus on the social benefits gamers receive from the de-stigmatizing of video games vs. the "selling out" of catering to the main stream. The writer of this article could focus on any medium of entertainment, from television and movies to games, examining both privilege and hipster-esque shunning that comes with the main stream.

While I’ve provided an overly-broad range of ideas for medium, the writer of this article would focus on only one aspect of entertainment (film; television; games), not all three.

  • I think audiences are more sophisticated nowadays. Movies and TV shows used to be at the level of an 11 year old boy back in the 70s and even the 80. I don't think it was until the early 90s that movies really began to take off and franchises such as Star Trek after TNG the TV series really began going mainstream. Especially Sci-Fi. I think Terminator started that trend. – Munjeera 8 months ago
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Remaking High Culture: Popularizing Art

From "Romeo Juliet" to "Oh Brother Where Art Though", reworking classic stories like Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet" to Homer’s "Iliad" and "Odyssey" with popular appeal is either a fun and creative on-taking or crass money grab, depending upon who you ask.

Examine similar instances in film where classic plays and literature have been given a new breath and identity through popular appeal, modernized sets, and creative directing. Are there instances where this process has succeeded in maintaining the artistic integrity of the original work while making something visionary? Are there instances where this process was a disaster? Does this act successfully cater to a new generation, or is it pandering/talking down to an audience that would prefer authenticity?

  • The plus sign was lost in publishing, and I'm embarrassed that I neglected to proofread the "Though" to a "Thou", but other than that, good luck to whoever might take this piece! – Piper CJ 9 months ago
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  • This is a great spin on a topic that has been broached but never approached in as "heads on " a manner as this. This is great. I look forward to seeing the examples used. There have been times when I've watched a television show of film and someone mentions it being based on a shakespearean play, and as a literature professor, I am embarrassed and then amused by the fact that I hadn't realized it. Now, my question is, how to handle when one sees a connection that hasn't been explicitly stated by the creators? Kurt Sutter, of Sons of Anarchy has mentioned the Hamlet theme numerous times, so that is easier, but as for Breaking Bad, what about Macbeth? Just throwing some ideas out there...Great topic, Piper CJ...might have to pick this one up myself!!! – danielle577 9 months ago
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  • Almost everything nowadays is reused. The trick is to reuse it in a new way – Riccio 8 months ago
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  • I think remakes are helpful because they keep classics relevant to a new audience in the next generation, especially if they are done well with contemporary actors who are skilled at their jobs. – Munjeera 8 months ago
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  • Clueless is far and away my favourite example of this topic. With every update given to these sort of classic stories, it's interesting to see how the general point of the story applies to different settings, and how the characters can still be recognizable in alternate times and places.Also, if whoever writes this mentions Carmen: A Hip Hopera, they will be my favourite person. – chrischan 8 months ago
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  • I think it depends on the approach of the remake. Some tongue and cheek adaptations can be really subversive and critical in their seemingly low-brow, kitsch or more pop-culture approach. Shakespeare is of course one of the most parodied authors, I'm thinking 'She's The Man'. – Treva 8 months ago
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Cross-Platform Development

Movie adaptations of books is nothing new, but in this upcoming wave of entertainment we’re seeing behemoth projects being applied to development. Patrick Rothfuss’s "Kingkiller Chronicles" isn’t the first, but may be one of the largest undertakings of the new trend of multi-platform/cross-platform development.

In a statement from Lionsgate, who just won the rights to development:
The deal sets up the simultaneous development of movies, television series and video games with the goal to adapt the many stories across the mediums at the same time.

Is this beneficial as it enables fans and audiences to explore the story in ways that film alone could not? Is it a cash grab? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this new trend of development?

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    Nerd Cred: The Chasm

    Explore the tensions between Table Top (think: Warhammer; D&D) and Live Action gamers and role players (fantasy real-world experience, think: your banker in a local park decked with with swords and cloaks). Why is one group often disparaging of the other? What credence does one community have for this divide? How often does overlap occur? Does this tension foster a stronger sense of one’s own identity?

    • I like to think of the rift in various "nerd acceptance" is natural and just goes to show how large and evolved the community has become. I mean, look at sports fans. If someone likes one sport they sometimes reject those who like another better and it's kind of the same thing. Overlap and division will occur based on the individual people but it is a good question as to which activities most overlap and why? – Slaidey 11 months ago
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    Subway Syndrome: The Drawbacks of Choice

    Explore a phenomenon I’ve dubbed "Subway Syndrome" (Yes, like the sandwich), as it relates to the choice-heavy model for gaming.

    Subway, Chipotle, and choose-your-own-ingredients restaurants give you so many options that you’re bound to make a mistake. Add jalapeños and mustard to your tuna? Sure! Sounds great! Throw some ranch and honey on your tortilla soup. Eventually modification leads you to mistake and regret. "Why did I choose this? I should have gotten the BBQ. Why did I add this? I shouldn’t have put so many weird flavors here."

    How does the potential for regret affect the multi-choice gaming model? In what ways does modification and the opportunity to customize your experience create drawbacks or detract from what could be a solid core/well-crafted story/canon/writing? How does it impact your experience as a user?

    Much has been said (even by me) of the benefits of choose-your-own adventure games. Can someone play Devil’s Advocate?

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      Latest Comments

      Piper CJ

      Modern art is timeless? Duchamp’s “Urinal” is timeless? Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” Is timeless?

      Nah, it can be art and be present and be relevant for today’s society.

      Graphics, Pixels, and the Art of Video Games
      Piper CJ

      Thank you so much!

      Graphics, Pixels, and the Art of Video Games
      Piper CJ

      I’ll leave that to the hard-hitting journalists. I don’t put my articles through the test of “will this make the world feel hopeless and change society” test.

      But I’d urge you to consider that sometimes what’s important is that which makes people want to stay alive in this bleak and terrible world, and value is found in that which makes us smile.

      Graphics, Pixels, and the Art of Video Games
      Piper CJ

      Thank you for this insight, I absolutely agree with your parallels!

      “Bro Games” and the Gamer Divide
      Piper CJ

      Well I *do* call myself a gamer, not because I’m a casual gamer but because it envelopes most of my personal time, a portion of my professional time, and steered my educational pursuits. So absolutely, the title isn’t for everyone, and no one needs a label, but if you feel like the shoe fits, wear it.

      “Bro Games” and the Gamer Divide
      Piper CJ

      I’m going to have to disagree. I think your same logic could be applied to “Hipster” since the term has lost its original meaning and drifted from intent, yet the word still successfully conjures a specific image and communicates an idea, making it a successful term. “Gamer” may be broad, general and not accurate to its original definition, but the title functions in its ability to communicate an idea.

      “Bro Games” and the Gamer Divide
      Piper CJ

      Thank you for your comment! It means a lot! And I tried to address that these are broad generalizations, but it’s definitely a phenomenon I (and people in my circle) feel and experience too, and which made it feel worth opening a dialogue.

      “Bro Games” and the Gamer Divide
      Piper CJ

      There will always be exceptions to every rule, but if we never generalize we’ll never further knowledge, opinions or discussion.

      “Bro Games” and the Gamer Divide