'Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.' - Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz

Videogames and agency

The Guardian’s superb Keith Stuart wrote a great article about ‘agency’. Agency¬†is arguably one of the reasons for the popularity of videogames, almost certainly above narrative.

keith stuart agency

And here’s an excellent video on the concept of agency by narrative expert Janet Murray.

janey murray agency video


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Posted: January 25, 2016

Violent videogames create violent players?

Benedict Carey has a great article on the New York Times website about violence and videogames. The issue is a perennial one and although videogames are the favourite of those seeking to blame something for the ‘decline’ in society it’s worth remembering that most other media has come in for attack at different times.

videogame violence

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Posted: February 14, 2013

Music videos: dangerously sexy?

Are music videos part of a broader media landscape that is damaging to children as a consequence of the sexualised content?

Would age-ratings help to better regulate music videos?

Is it pointless when Ofcom issues warnings about music videos on TV when younger viewers especially are online consumers of music videos?

Are music videos ‘like soft porn’, or do they just reflect the broader reality that popular music is driven by an interest in sexual relationships?

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Posted: June 8, 2012

Visual shorthand or plain racism?

The European Commission has attracted criticism recently for its advertisement to promote the benefits of expanding the European Union. See what you think:

You can read more about the withdrawn European Commision video on The Guardian website. The commments below the main article are a very useful illustration of the audience theory relating to oppositional readings.

There’s also plenty of intertextual fun to be had – the video is a pastiche of martial arts films. How many can you spot?

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Posted: March 6, 2012

Shock Tactics

If you’re interested in charity advertising, there’s a useful comment piece on Peta’s recent campaign encouraging veganism on The Guardian website.

As the article says, getting the balance right when using shock tactics can be tricky. The link to the ASA’s page on charity advertising is well worth a read:

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Posted: February 16, 2012

Alternative readings of film posters

How’s this for some audience reception theory in action:a gallery of reimagined film posters.

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Posted: February 6, 2012