In the final hours of the week, I bring you What I’ve Been Reading. Enjoy.
- Jody Macgregor of Zed Games explains that media reports about violent video game studies lack nuance, and they often gloss over studies that report zero effects. This kind of publication bias exists in the academic world as well.
- KC Schmitz of Polémique explains the problems with the feminist critiques of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” contending that they amount to slut shaming and demonising male sexuality. I think I agree with Schmitz’s take on the song’s lyrics, but I still think the music video is highly problematic.
- Daniel Fienberg of HitFix discusses the problem with FOX’s anti-critic ads for their new sitcom “Dads.” I haven’t seen the show, so I can’t judge for myself. All I know is that the cast probably deserves better.
- Hamish Todd of Rock Paper Shotgun analyzes how Portal’s level design teaches the player about its ‘fling’ mechanic. Portal really is a masterclass in game design.
- Finally, as a person of colour who has South Asian roots, this hits close to home: David Brothers of 4thletter! explains why the public shaming of extreme racists is problematic. I saw a lot of my friends exchanging articles that collected the most ridiculously racist responses to Nina Davuluri’s winning the Miss America pageant. And I just wanted to tell each and every one of them, one by one, that they didn’t get it. That all this does is reframe racism in people’s heads as something that “other people” do. That ridiculous racism verging on satire can’t be hurtful because it comes from people who deserve pity, not scorn. That what really hurts is the numerous microaggressions that people of colour face on a weekly basis. But instead, I think I’ll just share this piece with them.
That does it for this week. As always, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.