The animated series “Adventure Time,” now entering its sixth season on Cartoon Network, is the kind of cult phenomenon that’s hard to describe without sounding slightly nuts. It’s a post-apocalyptic allegory full of helpful dating tips for teen-agers, or like World of Warcraft as recapped by Carl Jung. It can be enjoyed, at varying levels, by third graders, art historians, and cosplay fans. It’s also the type of show that’s easy to write off as “stoner humor,” which may be why it took me a while to drop the snotty attitude, to open up and admit the truth: “Adventure Time” is one of the most philosophically risky and, often, emotionally affecting shows on TV. It’s beautiful and funny and stupid and smart, in about equal parts, as well as willing to explore uneasy existential questions, like what it means to go on when the story you’re in has ended.
So it’s been awhile. Mostly cause I finished the course that was the inspiration for this blog but I still care about the topic. I’ve made a new blog for a new course on IDM Marketing and so if I could just direct
your attention to Amelia Learns
I’m pretty sure all my posts will just go there soon but I hope an
actual archive for Princesses and other fictional characters of colour
does pop up one day soon.
Anyways Disney announced a new Princess will be hitting the screen
soon via an appearece on Sophia the First. I’m not sure if you remember
the PR nightmare that was Sophia the First and her ties to Latin America
but it was brutal. The show itself turned out to be really good so
check it out. This New Princess is Elena of Avalor. She will get her own
series /spin off and we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in 2016.
I hope we see great things from Elena,
I would also like to send you to a classmate’s blog (she is also setting it up for our class assignment): An Alien Princess, I think she has an interesting perspective on the media (and it’s inclusion of race) in general.
If you haven’t already heard, last week Taiwan amended the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act to include regulations on the use of electronic devices by children under 18. Basically Taiwan is trying to limit the amount of time children spend on ‘screens’ by threatening to fine parents up to $1595 if their children’s use of electronic devices “exceeds a reasonable time”. The specifics are left vague at best. A “reasonable time” is never numerically defined, and there has been little mention of how the government plans to enforce this law but it has been globally interpreted as harsh and excessive. Many are saying that by including this regulation in the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act, the government is comparing the use of screens to addictive substances like drugs and alcohol.
The inclusion of screen time into the act, at the very least, gets parents thinking about how much time their kids spend on the screen and maybe, about what they’re seeing during that time. It often feels like we’re so worried about how social media might stunt children’s social development and there is a lot of hysteria over digital media’s ability to influence Youths’ behavior regarding sex and violence but very little attention is paid to their exposure to advertisements. Think about it, people everywhere are trying to reverse the effects years of marketing have had on our self-esteem (via magazines, television, etc.), heck even the effects it’s had on our parents’ self-esteem. Meanwhile, online marketing is everywhere.
Not to say that advertising and the media today, is necessarily more harmful than it was in the past.
Kids today are getting at least double the exposure to ads than we had when we were kids. Advertisements are all over the screen. On Facebook profiles and homepages, before games on the phone or tablet, they are found in everyday conversation through trends and hashtags.
Sure, children under 13 aren’t supposed to be using sites like Facebook, so we have some way of limiting their exposure at an earlier stage …except we all know that’s not true. Kids under 13 are all over Facebook and nowadays some parents go as far as creating accounts for their babies before they’re even born. We know this, Facebook knows this, and so do marketers.
Even Han knows it:
So kids today are exposed to more ads and ads that are targeted specifically to their individual interests based on their logged use of the internet.
I wouldn’t go as far as perhaps the Taiwan Government and compare the use of digital media to drug or alcohol use but come on, there is a reason a lot of these sites use blue colour schemes. These sites are designed to keep people scrolling (and staying online) for as long as possible and they’re hoping they can throw as many ads at you as possible. You, kids, everyone. I don’t believe in censorship and besides, unless we introduce some crazy and also peaceful global governing body to monitor the internet, it is somewhat impossible to make the internet completely ‘safe’ or even within “reason”.
Maybe one day, when Brain finally succeeds, he’ll control the internet…but I don’t think he cares about your kids:
I do believe we have some sort of duty, at the very least, to be weary of exposure to so many ads at such a young age. Rather than fall on a tirade against internet content, monitoring children’s use seems like a better alternative. Not the best alternative. I should mention, a lot of schools in Toronto for example, teach Media Literacy to children at a young age (at least schools with the funds/means) and this is probably a more effective way to combat the potential dangers of constant online advertising but I don’t believe this new law is the worst thing to happen to human rights. At least not so far…
This PSA is part of a campaign by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. I am a big fan of the GDIGM in general, and this PSA definitely has some really great features, as well as some surprising ones. The choice to begin the ad with a blank white screen and then the sound of heels walking on the ground is particularly interesting. It definitely captures the viewer’s attention and tells him/her that this ad is going to feature a female. Typically the sound of walking heels is associated with women (not girls) who are either powerful or objects of affection- two conflicting images. I think this is actually quite fitting for the ad, because despite being more about girls than women, per se, the sound of heels could be associated with any type of woman of any profession, shape, color, background, etc. Following the footsteps, we see a young girl, and the remainder of the ad is presented with a young girl’s voice for the voice over. This also seems quite fitting, because it grounds the ad in the child’s perspective and elicits feelings of childhood and innocence, feelings that often stir people’s emotions, while remaining a PSA targeted to adults in the field of media. What I find most surprising about this ad is the use of the “cookie-cutter” style for the boys and girls presented. While each girl is shown to be slightly different, in terms of the shade of the skin tone (not color, because the colors are not skin tones), hair style, and accessories (such as glasses), they are all the same basic shape and are all wearing skirts/dresses like a stereotypical paper doll. For an ad that is communicating the need to show women and girls in media in all different lights, using this stylistically attractive, but seemingly contradictory style seems odd and out of place. Nonetheless, the PSA worked on me… I went to the GDIGM website to check out what they’re doing—you should too (and look, now they got ME to advertise for THEM too!).
Hulu Takes On Netflix With “Hulu Kids,” Brings Commercial-Free, Kids’ Content To Hulu Plus Subscribers
On Thursday ovemeber 8th, Hulu announced a new section called “Hulu Kids,” which, as the name implies, organizes all the kid-friendly content in one easy-to-access section within Hulu’s video library. The section is available online directly at Hulu.com/kids, and it can also be found in the “Kids” section of the “Browse” menu.
All the videos in Hulu Kids are commercial free, says the company, and here you’ll find content like “Thomas & Friends,” “Caillou,” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” from places like PBS, Lionsgate, and Viacom-owned Nickelodeon. Within the section, shows are further organized in other categories, like “Dino Time” for videos featuring “Barney” and “Dinosaur Train,” and “Cartoon Favorites“ for shows like “Arthur” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Shows can also be browsed in a grid format, which is more accessible for even younger viewers to manage, as they can select titles based on pictures instead of text. Yes, even kids who aren’t reading yet can probably manage it. (Don’t laugh, any toddler can operate Netflix for iPad these days)
"Island collected dust until 1975, when Vermont Crossroads Press, a publisher looking for innovative children’s books, picked it up. The press was headed by R.A. Montgomery, a former high school teacher who saw the educational value in game structure. “Experiential learning is the most powerful way for kids, or for anyone, to learn something,” Montgomery says.
“I got really excited,” says Delbourgo, who also worked in Bantam’s educational division. “I said, ‘Amy, this is revolutionary.’ This is precomputer, remember. The idea of interactive fiction, choosing an ending, was fresh and novel. It tapped into something very fundamental.” “