Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music and Games

Who doesn't like music or games? Who listens to music while playing games? I know that I do. Maybe it is because music helps me focus or come up with new ideas and games just give me something to focus on or work at overcoming a new challenge. Some games help on improving certain skills like driving a car or figuring out a certain problem. Games can basicly teach us new and developing skills that we could use in later life. I look forward to nearly every Sunday to play a card game called Hand and Foot with my parents and husband. I know that Hand and Foot isn't a very common game like War or some kind of video game but for some reason we end up enjoying ourselves, even if we are not winning. Video games are something that I know very little about. I do enjoy the Wii games that involve movement like Just Dance or the Wii Sports. Those are the only ones that I really take the time to play.
Games like the Sims or Farmville are very popular. Sims allow you to create a lifestyle that you wanted and live it out while Farmville shows what it is like to live on a farm and go about taking care of animals or crops by allowing them time to grow on the game. Many games, either online, video, board game, or a game of cards will allow us to enact with other people. People can get together for a board, card, or Video game just for fun while online gamers can chat with friends and other players while playing a favorite game.
Music seems to add something to video games by playing dark music when the game takes a turn in the dark direction or playing happy music when you beat a certain level and move on to the next challenge. Music in real life has an impact on everything and everyone. People are always listening to it on their way to work or school in their car or listening to it on their Ipod while at the gym or taking a walk. There are so many videos on Youtube where people go and mash up different types of music or videos, making them very interesting to watch. A lot of these type of videos are illegal to do.
Many are deleted off of Youtube due to copyright or some other reason. Other times, the mash up videos are seen as few advertisment that makes viewers go onto Itunes and download a very similiar piece of music because they heard it on Youtube first. Both games and music have a long history of keeping people entertained for many reasons. We are seen as a Bootleg Culture when it comes to music or TV. We like to mix together new ideas like putting a popular pop song to a favorite show. We will take a certain show and change the audio to it, making a mash up. Again, those are illegal but people still do them and for some reason it is helping the music and movie industries.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Violence and Masculinity

As I sit here and watch my husband play his new video game 'Batman: Arkham City, I can't help but notice all of the violence that is taking place in it. I have to laugh some about how much of it can related to what we are learning in Popular Cultures about how men are taught to be seen as those tough guys. In a way, I'm marching it up against my hubby, the game, and how every time he can't beat a super villian like Mr. Freeze or the Joker, he just keeps on trying kind of like how men should 'never give up'. Now I really don't see my hubby as a tough guy, more like a big soft teddy bear, but he may say differently.
So what is the deal with men and violence? Why do men like things that go boom at the end of every movie? Here is a simple and yet a somewhat stupid answer, they just do. Men want to be seen as tough people and not as 'girls'. Men like to walk around, appearing tough and like to be in control of things. What we really need to think about is how women can be violent as well but it doesn't cause a reaction as much as it would with men.
I'll use another example towards my thoughts on that. A few years ago, I work at a local HyVee in the not so great part of town, when two young black women had an all out catfight over some guy in the parking lot in my line. That being my second week of just starting there, I was a little shock about how those two women behaved and was a little rattled by it all. I have never seen anything like that before, having come from a small town and never really knowing what life in the big city was like. Since then, I have quit that job after two years of working there and not really happy with it, I ended up getting married and moving. 

Anyway, men and violence. They are taught to behave like tough guys and even see women as the 'weaker sex' though beating women down, either though words or hitting them. I believe that this is both true and untrue. At a young age, boys are taught to act like tough guys. This could lead to violence in schools and school shootings like the most recent one in Ohio. Many of the shootings always had a male student or at times, there were male teachers who would cause the violence.