Archive for November, 2008

Video Game Censorship

Recently, censorship has become an extremely controversial topic in today’s media.  Censorship is the exclusion from consciousness, usually to material that can cause harm our damage to people’s conscience.  Censorship can be used over a broad range of things such as movies, drawings or paintings, music, and many other categories. I am researching censorship in video games.  Video games are now one of the most argumentative categories of censorship.

 

With today’s rapid increases in technology, the gaming industry has become one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world.  With faster processors, and better graphics, gaming consoles are getting better and better, quickly.  Along with better graphics, comes more clear pictures that are not always child proof.  The pictures are often so clear that you can see every drop of blood, every trigger on guns, clear pictures of strippers and drugs, and other types of things that are not made for children to see.

 

 One of the more famous games is “Grand Theft Auto”, which is infamous for it’s gory violence, drugs, prostitution, vulgar language, and stealing of cars.  As one would expect, this causes a lot of controversy and argumentation.  Parents, of course, spark a lot of anger with these games because video game consoles main target are children.  Many people believe that kids that play this game and have fun doing the violent acts will, in turn, go out and do the same things in real life.  They may do these things thinking it is the “cool” thing to do, or because they do not even know they are doing the wrong things.  

 

I personally believe that censorship is not a necessary action for video games.  Video games have ratings like “mature”, making it illegal for people under a certain age to buy these games.  Of course, consumers find ways around that, and simply have their peers buy the games for them.  But, I think that the game ratings are enough for censorship on video games.  The video game companies set their laws, and if the public decides to take their chances against the law, then that is their choice.  From there, it is the parents, or guardians of the children to make sure their kids are not playing games they should not be playing.  

 

I feel that the ratings on the games are simply to warn the consumers that there is some adult content in the game.  The ratings give a sense of security to both the consumers and producers.  Without the ratings, the consumers may argue even more about the censorship.  Again, the argument is that younger kids who often play these games, will use what they see in the game, in their own lives.  I do not believe that this happens often, if even at all.  If they happen to go about using these acts in their own lives, it is the fault of the families that they are in.  The parents should take control of their kids and make sure they are not doing these things.  Video games are a big part of kids childhood and can keep them happy and lively with all of their other things they are obligated to do.  Without free time where kids can express themselves in a fun way, it would take harder tolls on more important things, like schoolwork.  I do not feel it is fair to punish the innocent children who enjoy playing these video games without any problem.  It is up to the victims that do act on the violence to fix their own problems.

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Heart Disease Tests May Become Routine.

            This week’s blog assignment was to analyze an online mainstream newspaper article on health or science.  We were allowed to choose any mainstream online newspaper, and I chose to research The San Francisco Chronicle.  On The San Francisco Chronicle website, I went to the health section and chose an article about heart disease testing.  The article was titled “New Heart disease test could become routine”, by Elizabeth Fernandez, a Chronicle Staff Writer. 

            The article I evaluated was about the chance that a new, low-cost blood test may soon become a routine assessment for regular medical exams.  If the test detects a high level of a specific protein, patients could choose to reduce their risks of heart disease by using a popular statin drug.  The reason for this new test’s arrival is because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 26 seconds, an American has a coronary event, and about one person every minute dies from it.  In that same study, they found that those taking the medication for over a year and a half were 54 percent less likely to have a heart attack, 48 percent less likely to have a stroke, and 46 percent less likely to require angioplasty or bypass surgery.

            Some doctors, on the other hand, say that these tests may not actually be necessary.  Some doctors say that the studies they made may not be completely correct because the only people tested were males over the age of 50 and females over the age of 60.  Others experts also stressed that it may not be worth the time and money when a lot of people forget about the standard public health guidelines to reduce heart and stroke risk, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, dieting, and exercising. 

            I think the coverage of this story was done well for a few reasons.  I liked how the sources used in the article were from high quality medical areas such as Stanford, and UC San Francisco.  I know that those are arguably two of the top contending medical schools in the nation.  I trust their words of health care and trust their studies that they run.  My parents were both medical students at UC San Francisco, and I know that they have a great school of medicine there,  giving me trust I need for giving the sources credibility.  I also think that this coverage is credible because the writer used many quotations from actual doctors, to help show real people’s opinions towards this subject.  I believe it helps when one hears an actual professional speak about topics that they know best and are most educated on.  Along with quotations and studies, Elizabeth Fernandez also gave great counter arguments against this new heart disease test.  Although it seems to be a good idea to test the public’s risks of heart disease, there are also downsides that she showed as well.  She expressed the fact that some doctors believe it is just important, if not more important, to concentrate on exercise and dieting.  The financial aspect of the test was brought up as well.  Is the test really worth the money?

            I feel that the reporter answered the questions that I have about the topic.  I chose this article because I was always interested in knowing more about heart disease because some people in my family have died due to heart attacks.  I personally had questions regarding the percentage of people who had heart problems, and if they are always fatal.  This reporter answered that question and helped me to obtain a better grasp on the topic.  

White Gold’s Branded Community

             For our third participation blog post, our class was to explore an online branded community and reflect on it.  In our last class session, we looked into a couple online branded communities, one being www.whitegoldiswhitegold.com/.  I found this online branded community to be interesting, so I decided to choose it and write about it. 

            I messed around on this website for a while and came across a lot of interesting gadgets, and links, to say the least.  When u first enter the site, it gives the sound of a static amplifier while it loads.  I found that interesting in that it grabs the viewers attention with a unique intro to the website.  Of course, the whole site is based off of the color white, because of the milk they are advertising.  It keeps the audience thinking nothing other than milk and uniqueness.  The website also makes random sounds when nothing is being touched to make sure that the viewer is still paying attention to their page.  I feel that the goal of this website is to be so extraordinarily unique that it keeps their company’s image in their mind’s as much as possible.  That is a common strategy that promoters use to keep their consumer’s awareness of the product as high as possible. 

            I personally found this site extremely engaging, simply because it was odd, to be honest.  It is like our professor said, “If you miss a question, you are more likely to remember it in the future”.  In this case, the question I missed was the website and how I have never seen anything advertised like that, and I am more likely to remember what is being advertised, milk.  The makers of this website made it even more engaging with flamboyant music, images, and colors.  It keeps the viewers that much more interested in clicking that next link. 

            After looking through almost the entire website, I can not say that it has affected my attitude and actions towards the milk product, but it has definitely put its image in my mind, and I am planning on remembering that image for a long time to come.  To me, it did not make a large affect on my decisions of whether or not I will buy that product over its competitors.  It did, on the other hand, tell me that they do put a great amount of effort into making the public aware of their product in a great way.  But who knows, maybe someone else out there took it a different way, and will decide that this website was just that extra push they needed when making their decision at their local market.