Games 2 Win, That Make Us LOSE.

Message to Mr. Alok Kejriwal,

Thirty Five. That’s the number of games on your homepage. Thirty two of which I feel are highly offensive. Your webpage G2W advertises online gaming for boys and girls. These online games perpetuate stereotypes. Even games that seem innocent such as Escape the Dentist features a kid that must act badly in order to elude the dentist. This is encouraging bad behavior and even rebellion.

These games are unsuitable for children. Young children are at risk of desensitization to sexuality. I found a short supply of positive images – either male or female. And when these images were found they were not as strong as the negative images.

As a society, there are certain things we have decided universally aren’t appropriate for kids – alcohol, cigarettes, pornography. This site is pushing the envelope.

Your website is extremely narrowed minded. I am reminded of Bruce Springsteen song 57 channels and nothing on. In his case he was referring to satellite television. In my case I am referring to the fact that you have over 100 flash games on your website that all show similar images in a slightly different package.

You have a game titled the “Perfect Date.” As an adult I would like to know what that is. This game is marketed totally towards girls. A young girl must dress a certain way and prepare a meal to satisfy her date. Make the wrong choices and you receive an undesirable response. Make the correct choice and your date appears on one knee. In short he tells you that he is impressed and that he loves you.

There is no ESRB for online games. Even if there was, the ESRB is not perfect. Movies, music, and video games, have all been restricted. I feel you are taking advantage of the internet which has not introduced safeguards yet. As a concerned individual I find your web page offensive. I urge you to stop these practices.

Very Respectfully,

John M Barr Jr.

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Consumer Education

Shopping may be a sport to females and just a hobby for guys but at some point in life everyone will make a purchase. Some of us are predisposed to spend less money calling ourselves thrifty, while others are fortunate enough to spend more living a luxurious lifestyle. Regardless of the way you spend your money everyone can agree that they want it to be worth while.

My personal opinion is that consumer report blogs are highly beneficial. They often give you real life accounts on what you can expect to receive from the object you purchased. With that being said not all blogs are cut from the same cloth.

For example, lets take a look at Engadget. Do you remember when you were a kid and instead of coloring inside of the lines you attempted to use every color in the box making the picture unrecognizable?

Well this website is only a stones throw away from that. With gaudy pictures and a home screen that will have you scrolling on for days, this page lacks a sophisticated layout.

Some blogs contain less than 200 words, much of the information seems to be tidbits from the New York Times and every now and then the blogger will insert a joke. The major upside to these blogs is that during the 30-minutes I visited the website, two blogs had been posted.

From one end of the spectrum we now travel to the opposite end and take a look at Consumer Report.

I’m not a stock broker so I do not bother to read the Wall Street Journal. The truth is that the Wall Street Journal contains information that is useful and relevant to everyone. So why don’t we read it?

I would say because it is boring, just like this website. All of the blogs are uniform in design. You load a page that features a white background and only one or two photos. What this page lacks in aesthetic it makes up for in content. It’s not pretty but it does get the job done.

So finally we come to what is a perfect marriage of content and context and we call it cnet. I am pleased with the literal and figurative color of the titles. With text that wraps around embedded images that appear on both sides of the blog, what more could a reader ask for? 

I believe that all three of these sites are unique and offer their audiences exactly what they want. In the end they all serve a similar purpose and that is to inform consumers making us smart buyers.

If I was planning on blogging beyond this course my target audience would be college students because I can easily relate to them. I would focus on gadgets and gizmos that affect us, making our terrible life as struggling college students more manageable.

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Modern Day West Coast Miami Vice…but Better

TNT does “Know Drama”. I tune into TNT every Tuesday night at 10 pm to watch Southland. This intense police drama takes us on a roller coaster ride from the Hills of Beverly to the numerous beaches that pepper the San Pedro Bay. We peek into the lives of criminals, victims, their families, and the Los Angles police force. Every week I am impressed with what I believe is the most realistic look into the world of law enforcement.

The Southland website is well-organized. Its home page loads almost instantly. The home page length is adequate and does not require a lot of scrolling. This makes it easier to scan the page instead of reading it. 

It features a slide show center screen, and is bordered by links to the left and advertisements to the right. The links are easily understandable and the advertisements subtly gain your attention but do not distract you from the web pages content. I appreciate the simplicity and clean page layout.

This shows website is pretty useful. The website features Drama vision. This part of the website contains riveting video clips that immediately gain your attention and stir up emotions inside of you.

The website also includes an episode guide, photo gallery, and an online game called Crime Wave. Once I was on the website I found myself exploring for a while. What made me stay? I believe this was partly because the website is so easy to navigate.

The website is relevant. By this I mean that it is not just a tool to advertise and promote the show but it is also an extension of the show. It connects viewers with producers allowing for feedback without spoiling upcoming episodes.

I will revisit the website in the future and this is because the information is up to date and most of all free!

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Disney Culture: From The Playground to the Water Cooler.

In the late 80’s every little girl wanted to be Ariel the little mermaid. I have seen home video of my sister dancing around in front of the television as if our living room was underwater. In the mid 90’s, when I was about 6,  wanted to be Simba. I would have told you over and over again that I was going to eventually be king. Even in school as a young child the question on the playground that everybody wanted to know was “What would your three wishes be if you had a genie?”

Rationally we would expect this to go away sometime before adult hood because we grow out of them, but in all actuality this does not happen. Here is a commercial that aired prior to the Pittsburg Steelers 2006 Super bowl Victory.  From our newer cultural forms of entertainment such as American Idol to more traditional forms such as sporting events, the conversation around the water cooler usually involves the question “did you see the Disney commercial?” 

As an adult I can see that Disney has made movies that kids love and that adults can relate to. For example, we can look at the movie Wall-E.

A computer animated movie about the ills of environmental degradation and thoughtless consumerism. Children enjoy a movie about intelligent robots that interact with humans and parents watch a movie about how life could end up being in the future.

I intend to continue watching Disney movies in the future. I believe that the shared family experience they create is valuable to our society today because it brings generations together. Parents do not have to worry about children seeing immoral movies and children enjoy seeing their parents happy. I am looking forward to  watching Disney movies with my children.

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Or Not To Be used

It would be impracticable to not voluntarily consume media for two consecutive days in a five day school week. So to say it can be done entirely is nearly impossible. In my mind this is already prevalent information to all of us, so my goal so to speak was to limit my usage practically.

So the major behavioral changes to my schedule was that when I came home from class I did not turn the TV on, instead I slept. Each day when I woke up I would eat, and instead choosing something to microwave, I would cook something that took time to prepare.

So the first day I made a grilled chicken Cesar salad with Italian dressing and the second day I made Chicken & broccoli skillet which is a combination of grilled chicken Velveeta shells and broccoli.

Usually when I do cook I also blast my music. This time the music wasn’t playing but that didn’t stop me from rapping all the songs in my head and dancing around in the kitchen.

With the abundant amount of time I decided to do some reading for homework. This is usually another chance where I get to multi-task by listening to music. So choose to read Plato, which I don’t ever listen to music with because it is so confusing. Instead I read it out loud to myself.

Over this two day period I wrote two emails, made and answered one phone call, and made 25 text messages. The only music I listened to was during the three hours of TV I watched. The toughest part by far was giving up my cell phone which i was not able to do.

I actually felt restless both days. I felt like I had a lot more energy than normally but that could be because of the extra sleep or you could contribute it to the break of my normal activities. I believe the reason this was a difficult task is because humans are creatures of habits.

This assignment has already been but in to perspective for me. I spent my spring in Afghanistan, where mass media was not very accessible. At any given time there is 2 hr waiting limit to use a phone, computer, or gaming system.

More recently I lost my phone during our first snow back in December. It took about a week to get a new one sent to me. Once I did receive it I was in up-state NY where I don’t get service or don’t have access to the internet.

Media in our society is all-encompassing and I am glad this is over!

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Media: To Be used

I have a Motorola Cliq. This is a great phone. It is advertised as “the phone with social skills.”

It is pretty much a handheld computer with its touch screen and QWERTY keyboard that I use often. My average text messages sent and received are approximately 3380 a month which is just under 115 daily.

This does not included the picture messages or personal emails my phone is able to receive. It seems like they pop up just as fast as I am able to read, reply, and delete them. Much in the same way of the advertisements on cars, buildings, and video screens I see on my way down York road when I travel to and from school.

Of the 13hrs I spend in my apartment 6hrs is spent watching various programs on ESPN, TNN, CNN, TBS, MTV, HGTV. I watch highlights from the previous night on Sports Center, reruns of Law & Order, Ricks List’s & Anderson Cooper 360, The House of Payne, MTV Jams, Property Virgins & My First Place are all the regulars.

I usually don’t listen to music unless I am strictly using my laptop which I do for about 7 hrs. They do overlap when I am multi-tasking obviously. I try to play at least 1 game of madden (PS3) online, but if I lose horribly I attempt to redeem myself. This was not a problem because I won the first game each day I played.

 None of this data really jumps out at me. I’ve realized that I prefer a steady intake of something in any form whether it be, information, entertainment, physical activities, or social interactions. I guess the thing that I learned is that technology has advanced media. I think that my media habits show an increasing trend of digital involvement with the world around me.

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