Michelle Parnett-Dwyer

A Video Game I Quit Playing

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.

Little Golden Books and Little Red Riding Hood: The Better to Read with You, My Dear

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.

Video Games for Your Health

Here is a list of cliché complaints that you likely hear on a daily basis:

  1. I was so worried about such and such, I couldn’t sleep.
  2. I got so bored running on the treadmill, I just wanted to slide off the back of it at full speed.
  3. 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.

Video Games aMuse Me

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.

Do You Hear What I Hear in This Video Game?

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.

Video Games for Halloween

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.

Been Here Before: Same Landscapes, Different Stories in Video Games

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.

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