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Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014
Source: Nielsen

Fall is here, and the falling temperatures remind us that the holidays are fast approaching! So what are topping people’s wish lists this year? For gamers, it depends on the device.

“Destiny” recently took the gaming world by storm when it was released last month, and now it tops the list of the most coveted games on the PS4. Meanwhile, perennial crowd-pleaser “Call of Duty” holds the top spot for Xbox One with “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and “The Sims 4,” the new entry to one of the biggest franchises of PC gaming in recent years, tops the list for computer gamers. The two new versions of Nintendo’s popular fighting franchise “Super Smash Bros.” top the lists for Wii U and 3DS. Finally, the building block empire of “Minecraft” tops the list of titles for Vita.

The No. 1 coveted games illustrate a trend we see among the top 10 anticipated games across devices: People like what they know. Apart from “Destiny,” the only other new properties in the top 10 for any of the six platforms examined were “Watch Dogs,” the fifth most anticipated title on Wii U (the title released earlier this year for PCs and PS and Xbox platforms, but is releasing in November for Wii U), and “Freedom Wars,” the sixth most coveted title on Vita. Even “Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed” (the third most wanted Vita game) is technically a sequel, though the original title released only in Japan.

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Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVES:
To assess desensitization in parents’ repeated exposure to violence and sex in movies.

METHODS:
A national US sample of 1000 parents living with at least 1 target child in 1 of 3 age groups (6 to 17 years old) viewed a random sequence of 3 pairs of short scenes with either violent or sexual content from popular movies that were unrestricted to youth audiences (rated PG-13 or unrated) or restricted to those under age 17 years without adult supervision (rated R). Parents indicated the minimum age they would consider appropriate to view each film. Predictors included order of presentation, parent and child characteristics, and parent movie viewing history.

RESULTS:
As exposure to successive clips progressed, parents supported younger ages of appropriate exposure, starting at age 16.9 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.8 to 17.0) for violence and age 17.2 years (95% CI, 17.0 to 17.4) for sex, and declining to age 13.9 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.1) for violence and 14.0 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.3) for sex. Parents also reported increasing willingness to allow their target child to view the movies as exposures progressed. Desensitization was observed across parent and child characteristics, violence toward both human and non-human victims, and movie rating. Those who frequently watched movies were more readily desensitized to violence.

CONCLUSIONS:
Parents become desensitized to both violence and sex in movies, which may contribute to the increasing acceptance of both types of content by both parents and the raters employed by the film industry.

Hat tip: PW

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media (PDF)
Source: Michigan Technological University (Keranen)

Posttraumatic stress and PTSD are becoming familiar terms to refer to what we often call the invisible wounds of war, yet these are recent additions to a popular discourse in which images of and ideas about combat-affected veterans have long circulated. A legacy of ideas about combat veterans and war trauma thus intersects with more recent clinical information about PTSD to become part of a discourse of visual media that has defined and continues to redefine veteran for popular audiences.

In this dissertation I examine realist combat veteran representations in selected films and other visual media from three periods: during and after World Wars I and II (James Allen from I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Fred Derry and Al Stephenson from The Best Years of Our Lives); after the Vietnam War (Michael from The Deer Hunter, Eriksson from Casualties of War), and post 9/11 (Will James from The Hurt Locker, a collection of veterans from Wartorn: 1861-2010.) Employing a theoretical framework informed by visual media studies, Barthes’ concept of myth, and Foucault’s concept ofdiscursive unity, I analyze how these veteran representations are endowed with PTSD symptom-like behaviors and responses that seem reasonable and natural within the narrative arc. I contend that veteran myths appear through each veteran representation as the narrative develops and resolves. I argue that these veteran myths are many and varied but that they crystallize in a dominant veteran discourse, a discursive unity that I term veteranness. I further argue that veteranness entangles discrete categories such as veteran, combat veteran, and PTSD with veteran myths, often tying dominant discourse about combat-related PTSD to outdated or outmoded notions that significantly affect our attitudes about and treatment of veterans.

A basic premise of my research is that unless and until we learn about the lasting effects of the trauma inherent to combat, we hinder our ability to fulfill our responsibilities to war veterans. A society that limits its understanding of posttraumatic stress, PTSD and post-war experiences of actual veterans affected by war trauma to veteranness or veteran myths risks normalizing or naturalizing an unexamined set of sociocultural expectations of all veterans, rendering them voice-less, invisible, and, ultimately disposable.

UK — Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014
Source: Ofcom

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as detailed information about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The report is a reference for industry, stakeholders and consumers. It also provides context to the work Ofcom undertakes in furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media

October 15, 2014 Comments off

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Children, Adolescents, and the Media
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Media, from television to the “new media” (including cell phones, iPads, and social media), are a dominant force in children’s lives. Although television is still the predominant medium for children and adolescents, new technologies are increasingly popular. The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to be concerned by evidence about the potential harmful effects of media messages and images; however, important positive and prosocial effects of media use should also be recognized. Pediatricians are encouraged to take a media history and ask 2 media questions at every well-child visit: How much recreational screen time does your child or teenager consume daily? Is there a television set or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom? Parents are encouraged to establish a family home use plan for all media. Media influences on children and teenagers should be recognized by schools, policymakers, product advertisers, and entertainment producers.

Are Aggressive Cartoons Really Funnier? A Replication

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Are Aggressive Cartoons Really Funnier? A Replication
Source: Sage Open

Research has found that more aggressive cartoons are perceived as funnier. The current study (N = 106; 16 cartoons) examined this finding in more detail by additionally including painfulness and cleverness rankings of cartoons, and by examining possible moderating effects of different humor styles, self-esteem (explicit, implicit), and social desirability. Aggressive or painful cartoons were not perceived to be funnier, but were rated as having a cleverer punch line. Effects were only weakly correlated with participants’ humor styles, but were independent of self-esteem and social desirability. This suggests that aggressive cartoons are not in general perceived to be funnier than non-aggressive ones, and that there may be other moderators influencing this effect (e.g., the type of cartoons, definition of aggression and funniness, cultural aspects).

Who’s making money on the Internet? Comparing ROIC across Internet sectors

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Who’s making money on the Internet? Comparing ROIC across Internet sectors
Source: American Enterprise Institute

One of the background questions in Internet policy debates concerns what and who contributes value to the overall system and who extracts profits. In a perfectly functioning market, profits will reward innovation, investment, and the creation of value for users; unfortunately, there exist very few perfect markets. A number of things distort market efficiency; government policy is certainly one such thing, and market power is another.

Return on invested capital (ROIC) is a very good way to evaluate competition, profitability, and leverage in capital-intensive industries.

According to Morningstar, firms with 15 percent or more ROIC for a number of years are most likely have a “moat” that protects them from competition.

So let’s look at three sectors: content creators such as Disney and Viacom, who create the movies and TV shows that we stream into our homes; network services firms such as Comcast and AT&T, who provide us with broadband networks; and Internet “edge services” such as Netflix and Google, who connect network users with content and services.

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