Game of Tomes: Embedded and Emergent Narrative in Video Games

Whether we like it or not, playing, discussing, and creating video games is an ever popular past time being enjoyed by an increasingly wide range of the people. This medium tends to be disregarded as without intellectual or cultural merit, unlike books and films that are highbrow, because of the negative image of those who game. It is important to appreciate just how significant video games are to our culture, as they are increasingly becoming the way in which many individuals consume stories. This essay will explore the current standard of video game narrative, the appeal of these games for those who consume them and the future of game writing and development. While there are only a few scholarly articles written on this subject, there is a high level of conversation on the subject among gamers and much of the information in this essay comes from those who engage in games the most.

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Netflix the Puppeteer

The amount of data Netflix has access to is overwhelming, but building a picture of the average user does not allow for the intricacies of human interest.

“How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets” was written in 2013 by technology journalist Andrew Leonard. The article addresses the Big Data accumulated by Netflix on the ways in which users interact with the service. Netflix utilised this data to develop a show that they knew would attract a number of viewers, banking on the previous success of the star Kevin Spacey, and the director David Fincher to create House of Cards Forbes attributes this turn towards utilising Big Data to the “new entertainment battlefield” in which competition for users attention is fierce. Additionally, the amount of data they are receiving is only increasing as Netflix is reaching even more countries  changing the way that Netflix appeals to a wide variety of audiences. As Leonard predicted, Netflix did well with creating a show that people would enjoy as much as any program that was traditionally developed. Since this article was written in 2013, a number of original Netflix shows such as Orange is the New Black have done very wel, but are still just one part of the entertainment industry.  

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Terms and Conditions Apply

We are becoming less surprised to learn of the control that Facebook has over our information, in an ironic twist many use the site to lament its rule but little is or can be done against them. We accept the control of Facebook as a necessary evil to use a service that provides us with the ability to communicate with family and friends who may be oceans away. All too regularly it is revealed to us that Facebook has once again taken control of our data for its own means without properly informing us, these controversies are quickly forgotten until the next update. A Wikipedia page dutifully lists the controversies, but to no real end.

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The Case for Interactive Children’s Books

Children today are more adept at technology than their parents, having more familiarity with devices that they have been exposed to since birth. Much is written on the dangers of screen time for children; however, in reaction to the reality of almost constant and unavoidable media exposure, investigating bodies have reevaluated this stance. With children having access to books within the palm of their hand, there are an increasing number of ways in which publishers can appeal to a new generation of readers. Interactive reading can change the manner in which children learn and is something that publishers must fully take advantage of in order to build new readers from a young age upwards. In accordance with research, digital reading in this essay will refer to reading of fiction, non-fiction, and news on portable devices both within the classroom and at home.

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David vs. the Goliaths?

Mike Shatzkin wrote “Publishing is living in a world not of its own making” in 2011, at the crest of the ebook wave. The concept of digital publishing is one that Shatzkin is passionate about, having written numerous articles on the subject, and founding a company based on publishing strategies, particularly how they relate to the digital.

The article discusses the oligarchy of e-publishing, specifically the power that Apple has over the apps of competitive ebook companies such as Nook and Kindle and the battle for consumers was between Apple and Amazon. He argues that publishing companies have to adjust their strategies to ensure that their books are reaching the intended audience, and that they are still able to operate among increasing competition. What changed the game at the time of this article, was Apple’s iBook. With this they effectively had a new ebook reader with every purchase of an iOS device. If a consumer wanted to read an ebook, they would turn to the device already in their hand and use an app that is similar to other iOS apps that they use on a daily basis. Continue reading “David vs. the Goliaths?”