Tech Tuesday: The Joys and Potential Strife of Discord

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discord

WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger, etc. etc. We’ve seen seemingly scores of free chat platforms that offer personal and corporate access to online conversations via text, voice and video. You can’t flip a digital coin without hitting at least a couple chat apps in the virtual ether. But if your kids are into videogames (and how many […]

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Pokémon Goes to Sleep

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Three years ago, something of Wailord proportions hit the gaming world: Pokémon Go launched on smartphones. And not only did that release reinvigorate and revolutionize Nintendo’s gotta-catch-’em-all franchise, it pretty much singlehandedly put augmented reality on every gamers map. In a heartbeat, there were kids and adults walking around looking for Pokémon in their school […]

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Culture Clips: Apple Deletes iTunes

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Once upon a time, we bought CDs. (And before that, cassettes, vinyl records and, yup, even 8-tracks for a hot minute in the mid-’70s.) But that list illustrates an inescapable reality: Music formats eventually become obsolete. CDs, while not technically extinct, have given way over the last two decades to digital music-streaming platforms such as […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: The Influence of Social Media

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This is the third part of a three-part series examining the connection between our entertainment/media culture and mental health, the latter of which is a growing problem for America’s youth. Last week, Paul Asay unpacked the ways that movies and TV depict characters struggling with mental illness. This week, we focus on what researchers are […]

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Is This the New VR We’ve Been Waiting For?

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vr new tech

Virtual reality is still a relatively new technology. But let’s face it, VR gaming systems such as the Occulus Rift and the PlayStation VR set have been around long enough that they’re starting to feel kinda old hat. They’re cool, and all, but we’re really wondering when that next big thing will happen. When do […]

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Culture Clips: Endgame’s Epic Entry

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culture clips endgame

Endings are hard. They’re hard to write. Hard to film. Hard to watch. (Just ask the creators of Lost, for example.) That’s because the more beloved a fictional set of characters is, the more investment we have in them. The more we have at stake. Which brings us to Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 11 […]

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‘What Is Real?’ Reflections on The Matrix 20 Years Later

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The Matrix

Hundreds of new movies come and go each year. Some have theatrical debuts. Some stream online or are released direct to video. All feature stories that someone, somewhere, thought were interesting enough to warrant the trouble of making them. Most of these movies vanish, metaphorically speaking, into our cultural memory. Functionally forgotten, as if they’d […]

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Culture Clips: As the Jussie Smollett Case Turns

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jussie smollett

We live in a strange, confusing and unpredictable world. Need proof? Look no farther than the Jussie Smollett saga. First, we heard that the actor, who’s both black and gay, was attacked by two folks with some apparent racist, homophobic leanings. (Oddly, both attackers were black, too.) Then we were told that Smollett actually knew […]

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Culture Clips: When a Shooter Streams a Massacre

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New Zealand

The world was horrified last week when news spread of the horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 50 people at two New Zealand mosques on March 15. And though similar mass shootings around the world have become a terrible recurring story over the last couple of decades, such wanton carnage increasingly has a disturbing […]

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Culture Clips: Happy Birthday, World Wide Web! Time To Grow Up!

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happy birthday, internet

Yes, it’s time to trot out the cake, light the candles and sing happy birthday to something we all know and, sometimes, love. That’s right, the World Wide Web turns 30 this month! But its father, while proud of his techno-progeny, thinks his creation has a little growing up to do. Tim Berners-Lee, who proposed […]

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Culture Clips: Leaving Neverland Leaves Viewers Disgusted, Conflicted

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Not in doubt: Michael Jackson was a pretty talented guy. And all that talent helped Jackson and his posthumous reputation (the singer/dancer died in 2009) weather lawsuits, accusations and rumors about his alleged sexual inclinations. But perhaps no more. HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland, focusing on two men who allege that Jackson molested them as young […]

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