Modern Americans are constantly bombarded with choices—local markets sell up to 25 different brands of water, media sources overload us with reports from the campaign trail, and college freshman opening a course catalog can be overwhelmed with options. Some people believe that choice rationally reflects desires, traits, and situations, and if we’re grounded in our beliefs and values, then making a decision should prove relatively easy.
PBS recently launched the Idea Channel, a bi-weekly series that examines the evolving relationship between modern technology and art. In the episode “Super Mario Brothers as Surrealist Art?”, host Mike Rungetta advocated for the game’s place in the canon of great surrealists.
Simon and Schuster published the first Little Golden Books in 1942. Filled with colorful illustrations and appealing tales, these inexpensive picture books hooked kids across America. Thanks to my cousin’s hand-me-downs, my childhood library contained a copy of the series’ Little Red Riding Hood. I confess, I forgot about this book until I began to work on a new display of Little Golden Books for Reading Adventureland at the National Museum of Play at The Strong.
Here is a list of cliché complaints that you likely hear on a daily basis:
- I was so worried about such and such, I couldn’t sleep.
- I got so bored running on the treadmill, I just wanted to slide off the back of it at full speed.
- I should not have ordered that ______ (fill in the blank) last night.
For most of my adult life, I have said at least one of these each week. However, I have found a few fun, innovative video games to help.
From Man Ray and Elizabeth Lee Miller to Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter, the story of an artist and his muse proves just as striking as the artwork itself. Today, video games both inspire art and serve as a muse. Three different video game projects recently caught my fancy.
Last month, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered aired a piece titled “Why Do We Hate The Sound of Fingernails On a Chalkboard?” Musicologist Michael Oehler reported that this sound produces a frequency that reaches the most sensitive spot of the human ear and creates an amplified “open ear gain.” He further explained that some of our reaction is also emotional.
When I was eleven years old, my dad took me to see the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge concert. The stage erupted with inflatable skeletons, giant Jagger-like cartoon lips flashed across a jumbo screen, and Mick Jagger strutted across stage. I was sold—it was rock n’ roll and I not only liked it, I loved it. I still do.
Zombies, witches, vampires, monsters, and other blood curdling creatures invaded pop culture centuries ago. While I’m not big on gory thrills, I am a fan of other ghoulish delights. I fill each October calendar day with some Halloween activity. With video game titles like Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ and A Vampyre Story, I have plenty of action to fill my free-time.
In college, I spent much of Critical Reading loathing the professor’s love of American Romanticism and wallowing in my disdain for his assigned texts. Many of my classmates held similar sentiments, but we kept quiet during discussions of titles such as “Bodily Harm: Keats’ Figures in the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn.’” However, I will never forget the rapid-fire conversation about how individual experience shapes varying degrees of reality.