Chapter 10

Video Games

I would have considered video games a form of mass communication before I read this chapter. This is because of how big the industry is and how you are able to talk and communicate with almost anyone around the world through them. My line of thinking is that if music and movies are considered a form of mass communication why shouldn’t video games. I may be biased because I have played video games all throughout my life as they were my first love in regards to a media platform.

What makes them on this level of mass comm., in my opinion, could be part of the same arguments for other forms of entertainment on this same subject. Honestly, one could argue that they are more like a form of mass comm. then other forms of entertainment because you are able to communicate and interact with people while you playing them. For example, when I would play my Xbox 360 I had friends from Canada and Chicago that I would regularly talk to and play with. This type of communication for music and movies only happen when you go to a concert or the theater and usually happen less frequently. This doesn’t even mention the size and growth the video game industry has had over the years with multiple conventions and sales that rival ticket and record sales. They are a relatively new player in mass communication but they are definitely a form of it and seem to only be growing.

MJii: My Media Use

The first thing I noticed about my media use is that I am on my computer a lot. This is where I would say 90% of my media use comes from. Which after further thought is how it has been for me ever since I got my first desktop. I basically use it as my entertainment center. I go to YouTube for my daily videos, I listen to most of my music through it, I go to Netflix and HBO GO to watch shows or movies, and it is where I see basically all the other media I consume besides when I read my books. However, I don’t feel controlled by it. It’s just a means to an end and how I have adapted to this environment.

I noticed that there isn’t really a peak media day for me. It seems that I consume the same amounts just through different sources every day. Like if I have a class that will count for my media but if I don’t I would just be on my computer which would count for my media use. Although I did have some changes in my media use when I only had my phone. Because of the tediousness of recording it, I found myself avoiding using it in situations where I would have just used it to use it.

I think this is mainly because of my residence. Because I live on campus in Kays Hall I don’t have access to satellite television like I do at home which knocks off most of the channels I watch. Also, because only a few channels have HD and I mainly watch AMC or HBO so watching a movie in non-HD is not something I want to do. But when I’m on campus I can get almost all my entertainment from my computer so I don’t have a reason to watch cable TV. I think it is also because it is more personal and private or at least feels that way. I can just put my headphones on and my roommate doesn’t have to see or hear what I’m watching. It’s mainly just an access reason for me because I’m accessing the same things, I’m just using different means for it.

As for what this says about my family, I’m not sure. My parents have adapted to the new media world easily. They have their computers and use Netflix and streaming but most of the time they watch what is on TV at the time. Which is probably a habit from their media use over the years. So, the main difference is that I use YouTube as my TV. Which means I probably carried over their media habits to my “new media” platform. However, they both use about the same amount as me, but I will admit I use more.

Honestly, I don’t think that being a student has affected my use that much. It has just made it to where I would be focused on other things on my computer other than entertainment because most of my schoolwork is done through my computer. The only time I don’t is when I need to read my textbook which I get done quickly. I think that is the main thing behind my media use. I get my work done quickly. Nothing really takes me multiple days to do depending on the assignment. I sort of reward myself with my entertainment after I finish an assignment and I usually refrain from my entertainment until I am done with my assignments. But as a student, I use my computer for almost everything.

This also shows my hobbies are media related. My hobbies consist of movies, music, and books so I don’t usually “get away” as some would say. However, I strongly feel that it does not control me. I can stop using it anytime I want and whenever I want or have something else to do. It is easy for me to stop using it when I have a reason to (this probably sounds like an addict). So, a lot of my media use stems from not wanting to be bored because I am an introvert and feel more comfortable on my own. I don’t hang out and go to parties all the time to find my enjoyment. I find my enjoyment through the media I consume and that just happens to be when I am alone. I just feel like myself and can think about the world around me when I am in these situations of personal media use because I don’t see it as wasting time. Especially when I’m watching my shows or movies on Netflix and HBO GO. I’m taking mental notes for what I want to do as a Writer/Director seeing what works and what doesn’t. Even the things I watch on YouTube have, for me, an educational aspect to them. So, am I being controlled? I don’t think so. I think if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be able to go a day without it, which I’m 99% sure I can. But we’ll see about that.

Chapter 8

Movies

I go to the movies because they are my true passion in life. Film is one of the art forms I connect most with and wish to be a part of. Going to the theater to see a film by filmmakers that truly understand their craft and present these amazing stories to the world always draw me into the theaters. I also go to the theater to watch movies because most of the time that is the format that the creators made it for. The best Directors, Writers, Cinematographers and Producers know that the way the first people who will view their movie will see it in a theater and more than likely make it for viewing in a theater. That’s not saying movies have to be viewed in a theater. All I’m saying is that you get the full experience when you view a movie in a theater with a large screen. It’s like watching Lawrence of Arabia on your cell phone. You definitely aren’t doing that movie justice watching it on a small screen like that.

So, I guess you could say I’m a little biased but I do think that the experience is worth the cost depending on the movie. I say this because some movies aren’t made with the big screen in mind and forget about that aspect of it so it wouldn’t really warrant going to the theater to see it except for the communal experience of it. However, I will always say it is worth it because I want theaters to survive. I don’t see anything wrong with streaming services because of the number of movies you are able to see no matter your taste. I just want more people to go see movies in theaters that aren’t just blockbusters because a lot of movies that released warrant a trip to the theater that isn’t Marvel or DC. Just go watch movies. Anyways, if you ever hear of a film directed by Christopher Nolan go see it in theaters, period.

Chapter 7

Independent Artists

I listen to a mix of independent artists and big recording stars. Although the big recording stars may not be popular with everyone they have had international acclaim. This includes artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, The Doors, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and much more with a similar style. With this said, I do listen to quite a few indie artists. This includes Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Volcano Choir and Local Natives. I found all of these artists through a Google Play Music “radio station” that had these artists in it and enjoyed them so much I added them to my library and have been on the lookout for more artists similar to them ever since.

I think what interests me with independent artists is how raw their music sounds. This also draws me to more famous bands and artists. I just don’t like to listen to music that doesn’t have a creative edge to it. It’s hard to explain. I just don’t like music that sounds absolutely perfect or is packaged perfectly without an original or different sound. There’s just something about that sound that I like and with indie artists, they are almost all like that. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say I like them better.

I do think the long-tail distribution makes it harder to find their work because unless you are actually looking for them or something related you more than likely won’t find them. However, once you do find them it easier to keep up with them and you feel more connected to them because of this distribution that almost gives it to you right away.

Chapter 5

Magazines

The magazines I read the most often are The Atlantic and The Hollywood Reporter. I like both of these because I feel like they provide an in-depth analysis of the topics I care about. The Atlantic provides me with news in the U.S. and around the world while also providing essays on these topics that are, in my opinion, well thought out. The Hollywood Reporter provides me with the information I want about the movie industry and the people involved. With this said I don’t read these with a subscription or anything. They are just the magazines that I go to online.

With this being said the characteristics noted by Rhodes they share would be; building a relationship between the magazine and its readers, providing information readers can’t easily find other places, adapting to social changes, and adjusting to economic changes and limitations.

Honestly, I haven’t read these magazines that long so I don’t have a full grasp on how they changed. However, a magazine I used to read monthly, Gameinformer, has changed quite a bit since I was reading it. They have now adopted a more digital approach to their content almost like The Atlantic. I think this is because of who they were trying to appeal to. This magazine provided news and stories about video games before most of this audience was online all the time. Since most of this audience can get this information online now, I think they are trying to appeal to that by giving the same content but just making it readily available with an internet connection. Sadly, I don’t think this made it better because one of their main characteristics was the artwork in and on the magazines. They would always have a big story about a certain game and the front and back cover of the magazine would be filled with concept art from the game. By it being online, it takes away from seeing that and feeling like you’re reading a well thought out and respectable magazine rather than an online article. Also, there wouldn’t be any ads on the covers and hardly any inside the magazine.

Chapter 6

The Future and Newspapers

I think the future for newspapers will be completely electronic. Instead of it being physical and delivered to wherever, they will be completely online with a paid subscription based on the paper. I have already started to see this with myself and my parents. I never read the newspaper but I do follow all of my news, local and national, through the internet. My mom already reads the Newspaper on her Ipad with her subscription. She just opens it up and has the whole paper in one small device. This is not to say that Newspapers today are pointless but I think that especially, the younger generation, won’t see a need in reading the Newspaper when they can get all of their information on their phones. However, I don’t think that they will be replaced. I think they will adapt and become more accessible to online users. This may mean a lot of layoffs at Newspaper companies but I think it is inevitable with how fast technology is advancing today. However, a lot of different mediums have been said to be threatened to die off but haven’t yet. They have merely adapted to the future which I think ultimately will happen for Newspapers. So, the hope for papers everywhere continues.

Chapter 4

Parents and Books

Books are one the main parts of our society and our learning. Especially when it comes to the classics like Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn, 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. Without these types of books, our society would become mindless, in my opinion. But, what makes these books classics are their content which sometimes is seen as controversial and not fit for school readings. Which I can understand to a certain degree. You wouldn’t want a six-year-old to read some of these because they wouldn’t understand. However, some parents try to keep their children from reading them in middle school, junior high, and high school just because they have controversial content in them and not the message based on that content.

I think this is wrong and parents shouldn’t be able to remove books for this reason. I think this because I would bet that almost half of the parents that are wanting these censorships haven’t read the books in question. So, if you haven’t read the book you shouldn’t be able to argue against it, in my opinion. Also, the reason the books are so controversial is because they bring out the important and hard topics that we all must deal with in life. If we don’t start talking about these issues at a young but reasonable age then when we will be able to learn and grow? Then one of the shallowest arguments is that these books have bad language in them and our children shouldn’t be exposed to that. Yes, I agree that we should be careful what children see and hear but if it is not gratuitous and is used in the context of the characters and the story then I see no problem with it. It’s like when people say crap or shoot instead of shit. It still has the same connotation behind it but, for some reason, it is more acceptable. Finally, I think that keeping our children in a closed off world only makes it worse for them later on, so if we expose our children, the right way, to these ideas and language I think it will better our society as a whole.