Inside the Succession Drama at Scholastic, Where ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Clifford’ Hang in the Balance
When the CEO of Scholastic died suddenly last year, he left control of the family empire to a former colleague—his ex-girlfriend. Now there may be a showdown brewing over billions of dollars in kids’ fare.
Story Mode: Video Games and the Interplay Between Consoles and Culture a book by Trevor Strunk
Once considered niche, fringe, and the hobby of only outsiders or loners, video games have rapidly become one of the most popular and influential artistic forms of this century. Their imagery is near ubiquitous--children, adults, and even professional athletes know what a Fortnite dance is without having played the game, and every conversation about violence in media eventually turns toward Grand Theft Auto. We've reached a point where, through streaming platforms like Twitch, games don't even need to be played to be enjoyed, as whole robust communities form around watching others play. Games have grown into more than just products; they're touchstones, meaning that they've become popular enough for something radical to have happened: even while culture shapes our games, games have simultaneously begun shaping our culture. In Story Mode, video games critic and host of the No Cartridge podcast Trevor Strunk traces how some of the most popular and influential game series have changed over years and even decades of their continued existence and growth. We see how the Call of Duty games--once historical simulators that valorized conflicts like World War II--went "modern," complete with endless conflicts, false flag murders of civilians, and hyperadvanced technology. It can be said that Fortnite's runaway popularity hinges on a competition for finite resources in an era of horrific inequality. Strunk reveals how these shifts occurred as direct reflections of the culture in which games were produced, thus offering us a uniquely clear window into society's evolving morals on a mass scale. Story Mode asks the question, Why do video games have a uniquely powerful ability to impact culture? Strunk argues that the participatory nature of games themselves not only provides players with a sense of ownership of the narratives within, but also allows for the consumption of games to be a revelatory experience as the meaning of a game is oftentimes derived by the manner in which they are played. Combining sharp criticism of our most beloved and well-known video game series with a fascinating discussion of how our cultural values form, Story Mode is a truly original examination of the unique space games now occupy, from one of the sharpest games critics working today.
The U.S. is losing an average of two weekly newspapers a week
The U.S. has lost a quarter of its newspapers since 2005 and is losing two a week (almost all weekly papers) on average, according to a new report from Northwestern University's Medill School. In all, 2,500 American papers have disappeared since 2005.
Penny Abernathy, the author of the report an…
It looks like Amazon will be allowing you to put EPUB books onto your Kindle devices. Historically, only MOBI formatted books were allowed on the Kindle, so this is an excellent (if not overdue) update. This change, as noted by 9to5 Mac, will still not allow you to put EPUBs purchased on the Apple Books Store on... Continue reading →
Twitter officially rolls out its long-form content ‘Notes’ feature – TechCrunch
Twitter announced today that it has begun testing “Notes,” a way to write and publish long-form content on the social media platform. The official announcement comes a day after TechCrunch reported that the feature would be launching soon. A small group of writers in the United States, …