Table of Contents Chapter 1: Her first bomb threat When Anita Sarkeesian tells the bleak story of her “first bomb threat,” she turns it into a joke, like she’s recalling a cherished memory. It’s a bitter gag about a difficult time in her life, but she pulls it off, and I can’t help but burst out laughing. She’s a practiced raconteur, good at self-deprecation. She swears a great deal and seems to relish the dark absurdity of her life experiences. It’s difficult to square this cheerfully fuck-’em-all Sarkeesian with the serious person familiar to viewers of her hit YouTube series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. In the most popular first season of that show, she delivers her detailed script — the grim evidence of industry-wide sexism — without much in the way of humor. But that was a time and place when she was on a mission, deep in dangerous territory. She could not afford to be flippant, could not afford to be anything other … [Read more...] about The Anita Sarkeesian story
Teacher rapes student
Bigger Thomas, regardless of the decade and the audience, has never known much rest. As the haunted, and hunted, protagonist of Richard Wright’s classic 1940 novel “Native Son,” he is raised in poverty on the South Side, murders and rapes and finally, goes to the electric chair for his crimes, having struggled every day of his 20 years to express himself. He is, to the high school students who still read his story, a literary manifestation of hard-won compassion, or the inevitability of a racist, classist Chicago.He is also, to generations of readers and critics, a product of social conditioning, a crude stereotype of black men, or an intentional caricature, built to spur social reform.Wright intended Bigger to lead a “test-tube life,” to exist primarily as an idea. He had moved to Chicago in 1927 as part of the Great Migration, and drew from his own experiences (as well as racist coverage in the Tribune of a 1939 murder trial). “Life had made the … [Read more...] about ‘Native Son’ filmmakers will have to contend with book’s complicated legacy
In the wake of renewed debate about violence and video games, I suppose I should put that sociology degree to work and explain, roughly, the academic state of play. It’s worth noting that there’s next to nothing that supports what I like to call the “monkey-see-monkey-do” model of media influence. That is: a piece of media shows a violent act, and viewers/players go out and commit the same act. The heart of the debate in the social sciences is, instead, about “aggression.” And, indeed, in the words of the American Psychological Association, “all existing quantitative reviews of the violent video game literature have found a direct association between violent video game use and aggressive outcomes.” But what, exactly, are “aggressive outcomes”? As I often tell students, the simplest words are the most devilish in science (consider how a sociologist might have to confront the idea of “love” and you’ll see … [Read more...] about Opinion: So what *does* the science say about games and violence?