Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Media Literacy

The media has a huge impact on our lives by how we are influenced to how we perceive things. There are five elements of media literacy such as awareness of the impact of media, understanding the process of mass communication, developing strategies, using media to understand contemporary culture and ourselves, and enhanced appreciation and enjoyment of the media. Media literacy is all over the TV from prime time shows to commercials.

We have to be aware of the media and its impact on us because if we’re not it could take over and we would have no thoughts for ourselves. Understanding the messages that are coming across our television screens is very important also. It also can teach us about different values and beliefs. Young people are the most influenced by the media since they are very impressionable. We receive a lot of information through the media and it is up to us to differentiate the truth from the fiction. Between the subliminal messaging and the outrageous lies we have to be able to understand to not be sucked in and realize what is going on.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So the movie Gamer reminded me of Existenz because there was this same out of body/mind experience. In the beginning it was a bit confusing to try and understand what reality was and what was in the game. It was also graphic and gory. The main character Kable was one of the guys that were actually in the game. The people in the game were mostly convicts, including Kable. Kable’s only goal and sense for life was who he left on the outside, his daughter and wife. All he wanted to do was to win the game and see his family again. A 17 year old kid, Simon, was the one controlling Kable’s moves in the game and in order for him not to die Simon had to release him and let him fight on his own.

Without giving away most of the movie I’ll stop there, but all in all it was an ok movie. It sure was interesting and a bit confusing at times. There was a lot of blood and extreme violence which I could have lived without.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Super Mario

Finally I picked my game thanks to Victoria, Super Mario 64. In the beginning of the game the princess is talking to Mario telling him to come to the castle because she baked him a cake. Right off the bat it’s sexist that a girl would be baking a cake. Also kind of stereotypical since Mario is Italian stating that he likes to eat. In Whomp’s fortress there is this one part where Mario has to catch a ride on an owl and after he has flown for awhile the owl gets tired and tells Mario to lay off the pasta since he is heavy.

I feel that there is also a parallel to drugs. The princess lives in a mushroom kingdom and a mushroom gives you an extra life. Mario has to go through these hologram paintings that can seem kind of trippy which leads into another world. There is also all these mythical and inanimate objects that come alive and talk to you.

The Connections: Life, Knowledge, and Media

This article was excruciatingly long and I think gave me carpal tunnel after I got through with the notes. Besides that it was a pretty decent reading. One thing it talked about that stood out to me was that Christians see Christmas as the ‘norm’ holiday in December. Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice are looked at as the majority and don’t even consider them. Personally, I didn’t even know that Winter Solstice was a holiday; I’ve heard of it before but I just thought it was a fancy name for the winter season. Sometimes even the ‘minority’ groups relate to Christmas; my mom’s good friends are Jewish, they celebrate Chanukah and go to the temple and everything, but during Chanukah and Christmas they put up a Christmas tree with decorations and all.

We discussed social learning theory in class the other day which is a repetitive reward. We use this theory all throughout our lives from baby to full grown. When were babies we probably got a cookie or something for doing something good, school age we received stars for good work, and now its praise. Getting these kinds of rewards makes us recognize what good we did and how it made us feel when we got praised, so we continue the good work because we want that good feeling again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prince of Persia

The other week in class we played the video game Prince of Persia. Right off the bat it started to seem stereotypical; there was a prince killing the bad guys who seemed to look like terrorists wearing their religious headdress. The prince has all these amazing capabilities such as wall running and defining gravity. It seems almost too easy for the prince when he comes up against the villains who are destroying Persia. It was a fun and intense game; so intense that everyone was really getting into it and getting mad at each other for ruining the game.

At first the game was confusing and hard to figure out what to do or where to go, but then you figured out there was some kind of set pathway to follow. Also, with the assistance of the walkthrough we were able to understand what to do next and how to do it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Race & Ethnicity

The race and ethnicity article was educational a kind of interesting. It defined the clear difference between the both since there is always confusing between the two. They are completely different from each other; however, there are some commonalities. Race and ethnicity has a common usage and they are held in the natural category. Also at the end of this article they briefly touched upon nationalism. It talked about how ethnicity and nationalism are related but there is a difference but are often tie together.

Video games can portray race and ethnicity as one in the same. I know in some games there is zombie like people cursing at you in a different language and you have to kill them. So just because they are of a different ethnicity you have to slaughter them. Also there might be a large amount of ‘other’ races but they are the bad guys and die in the end. It is very interesting to see how these articles can tie into video game analysis.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Culture of Power

The Culture of Power is an article about people in power and how much they affect society and don’t recognize those who are in the marginalized. If you are a white male in today’s society the truth is you have the most power more often than others. People that are in the “norm” or culture of power don’t realize what the people in the margins go through or feel like in intimidating situations. When someone is comfortable in a certain situation their minds often get fogged to how other people feel or what is really going on around them. No matter what your race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation is at one point of time you have been marginalized.
At least once in your life we are in either the margin or culture of power group. Even if it’s only once when you are in that group of power it is important to open other people’s eyes to what is going on and to influence change. Sometimes it takes someone to step out of their group to realize how others feel and live; we have to step into each other’s shoes to fully understand and change how we view life.
Personally, I have been in the marginalized group plenty of times as well as in the culture of power. For example, in a classroom environment there might be thirty some students in a room and only one professor but the students are still in inferior or marginalized people. We dominate in number but definitely not in authority no matter how old the students or how young the professor. This article really posed some good points and opens your eyes. It was very interesting and inspirational.


Existenz, or should I say eXistenZ, is a movie about a game designer, Allegra Geller, who is testing out her newest reality game but little does she know her life is in danger. She is fearful that her game is in danger and in order to save it she has to go inside the game with her bodyguard, Ted Pikul. This movie is so intense and confusing even the cinematography is bizarre. There are so many different aspects to this movie from drugs to sex to universal fears.

Most people fear the unknown and want to know everything ahead of time. We need to know the who, what, where, when, and why before it even happens. People are hesitant to make a move if they don’t know the outcome; like in this movie Ted Pikul is afraid to get a bioport installed into his spine. He’s afraid of what might happen as in will he become paralyzed or ever come out of the game the same. All these questions and no answers is frightening; even at the end of the movie there’s this one guy that doesn’t know and wants to know if they are still in the game.

There was even mention of the indirect messaging of the use of drugs. Drugs are addicting and people can’t get enough of it just like in the game where they can’t get enough of it and people get peer pressured into getting a bioport. Also with the sex how they are constantly probing each other with their bioports. This movie was very uncanny and will leave you wanting more and asking questions.