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The Accidental Podcaster: We The People
Sep 13th 2016

Last week, as I prepared materials for our campus resource room, I got into a discussion about why schools across the United States at all levels have to have activities and discussions centered around Constitution Day. It was a valid question, and I explained about how the observance came about because so many people didn’t have a good understanding of what the Constitution was and the importance of the framework the document provides. “Right,†my fellow conversationalist replied, “I get why it’s important and people should know about it, but really, how often do they use that in their day to day lives?â€
The question threw me a bit, because if you’re an American citizen (as we are), the answer is “all the friggin time.â€
The Accidental Podcaster: I Am The Greatest Detective
Sep 6th 2016
Today, we learned I am the World’s Greatest Detective.
In Borderlands, we’ve been playing through the various side quests and things and having an insane amount of fun with it, even though I’m pretty certain I have to be about the most frustrating co-player ever for someone who knows what they’re doing (I still fall off of things a lot). Today, the web ninja seemed very excited about a particular side quest because he knows I like mysteries and puzzles, and this was supposed to be a classic, logical whodunnit. The premise is that there was a murder in Sanctuary, and there were four identical-looking suspects. The player (in this case, me) was supposed to ask questions of the townspeople to kind of piece together what happened (what kind of shots, did he get injured, etc) and rule out suspects until only one remains. What actually happened was that the foot I had tucked up underneath me in my chair was falling asleep, and when I shifted during the instructions, I accidentally hit the button to accuse one of the suspects as being the killer (whoops). As stated, we weren’t even through the instructions yet - I technically hadn’t even seen the body. Poor Hax was flabbergasted, but more so after it turned out the accused was in fact the killer! Clearly, this makes me the World’s Greatest Detective. I’m so good, I didn’t even need the facts of the case to nab my man.
The web ninja will dispute this, of course. In his view, accidentally nudging the keyboard in such a way as to make the game think you’re issuing your verdict before it’s even completed the instructions does not constitute detective work, even when it turns out the accidental accusation was, in fact, correct. He calls it “cheesing it.†I say my skills of deduction are just so advanced I have no need of wasting time interviewing “witnesses†and gathering “evidence.†I should also point out that this isn’t an isolated incident, either; my playthrough of Portal contained some of the most amazing accidental bank shots that I’m fairly certain I gave Hax at least one headache trying to contemplate how I managed to keep doing it.
The Accidental Podcaster: Welcome Wagon
Aug 30th 2016
My sister is about five paces in front of me, her blonde pigtails waggling behind her as she runs up to launch herself into the next puddle. I frown at her, partly because I know Gram will be angry with us both (her for jumping in the puddles, me for not stopping her) and partly because pink saddle shoes are even less good for puddle jumping than her My Little Mermaid sneakers. And I really like puddle jumping. Puddle jumping would be just another tick on my list of what made up my Best Day Ever: I found a quarter on the way to school, I had an egg salad sandwich in my lunchbox, we got a new Weekly Reader, and the school librarian said if I wanted to, I could start borrowing books from the big kids section AND still get books from the little kid section to read to my baby brother. For a seven year old, this was very exciting.
But the most exciting thing was we had a new girl in our class today. She arrived at the end of the day, brown eyes peeking from behind her mother’s skirts while Mrs. B announced we would form new learning pods on Monday. At one point I made eye contact with the girl, but she just blushed and ducked out of the way.
We manage to make it up the street to our house without my getting splashed (though lord knows my sister tried). My mother is home early, and I excitedly tell her about my Best Day Ever and my new book privileges (she seems sufficiently impressed, which pleases me). Then I tell her about the new girl joining our class, and she asks a question that gives me pause:
Aug 27th 2016
It has been many months since my very public declaration to destroy RivalCast Media and those associated with it. Your offensiveness, particularly in the slanderous though somewhat accurate chronicles published by the girly one, reached levels heretofore unseen in the internet. I have been triggered so hard that I was forced to take a step back, reassess my plans for world domination, and relax for a while with the relative stress relief of reading the misinformed, highly charged political comments that appear under any news article thread posted anywhere ever.
Negative Headlines Give Undeserved Bias
Aug 24th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. For August, they were asked to write about whether they feel the media has a more positive or a more negative slant regarding gaming culture. Ray's essay is the fourth installment in this four-part series.
When it comes to gaming culture, media tends to have a more negative than positive view. Whenever media gives a positive view to the world about gaming, it then turns right around and presents a negative approach to gaming. This immediate contradiction gives a heavier weight to the negative side and overshadows the positives.
Of course, gaming culture is seen as fun, and interactive. Media keeps gamers updated on the latest news about what is happening in the gaming world. While media does a good job of pushing people to play games and become gamers, it contradicts itself by then shifting focus to the negative. Whenever there is a news broadcast or article that is about video games, there is always a negative connotation about what it is doing to young kids. For example, games such as the Grand Theft Auto series and Call of Duty series show kids violent images such as murder, weaponry, and sexual images, which media deems as harmful to children. Also, media depicts video games as distractions that keep children in a fantasy world away from reality, which prevents a child from learning and growing up which keeps them in a childlike state.
Extremes In Reporting Hides Diversity and Joy of Gaming
Aug 19th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. For August, they were asked to write about whether they feel the media has a more positive or a more negative slant regarding gaming culture. Emily's essay is the third installment in this four-part series.

Video gaming as a platform is no stranger to criticism in mass media. Since the creation of Pong, there’s been no shortage of critics complaining that games are too violent, too distracting, too inappropriate for anyone but adults to play. It doesn’t help that there’s been article after article perpetuating negative stereotypes of those in the gaming community; off of the top of my head, there’s the violent teenager who gets his kicks murdering others in Call of Duty, from the middle aged man child playing World of Warcraft in his basement, and, more recently, the app addicted millennial more focused on Candy Crush than where they’re walking.
The Accidental Podcaster: Good.
Aug 17th 2016
It’s late spring, 2010. Summer’s heat is still a few weeks away, yet the uninsulated brick and black roof of my top floor apartment already have the place unpleasantly warm. I am lying on the floor of my living room, staring at the pockmarked ceiling and intensely aware of both the coarseness of the shabby carpet underneath me and the clacking of keys coming from the room at the end of the hall. Both are driving me insane, but I’m rooted to my spot, frustrated. I hate my job. I hate that the recession and the resulting lack of jobs means the job I hate is the only thing we have to pay the bills and not go hungry. I hate being broke while we finish grad school. I hate that we can’t afford to live in a building with air conditioning, or at the very least even scrounge up enough to get one of those cheap floor models to stick in the bedroom. Something.
I especially hate the furious clicking that emanates from the back room every time a rejection letter arrives in the mail, the slumped shoulders, the dejected “what am I doing wrong?†Nothing, I say, you just haven’t found the right person yet, but it falls on deaf ears as the fingers are already clacking, editing, refining, changing perspectives and narratives and plot in an attempt to find that magic formula that will make an agent finally say “yes.†Today had brought two of those rejection letters; he was obsessing over what to change before he’d even gotten out of the elevator. That alone made me want to cry.
But at this moment, what I hate more than anything else, the reason I’m on the floor digging my nails in the cheap carpet and staring at the nubs in the ceiling while the eight-dollar window fan tries to suck some cool night air into the baking room, is the email that’s still displayed on the ancient laptop above my head. Weeks before, I had written to a number of small publishers with a simple request: I was looking at making a move to publishing, and had some experience as a reader and editor already, but wanted to expand on those skills. My dream was to dually work with a publication like mental_floss (indeed, what little extra cash we do scrounge is spent on maintaining my subscription and collecting the books they release) and coach writers who had promise but weren’t quite to the point of being ready to publish. I had the education, but the problem was showing the publication experience to make an editor even look at me. I was willing to work for free in exchange for the experience to help balance out my resume, and touted that in my pitch: whether it worked or didn’t, it wouldn’t cost the publishers anything except a recommendation if they liked my work. I just wanted the experience and the chance to help others out of those sweltering back rooms, blindly clacking away without any real idea of why their work didn’t make the cut. I wanted to give feedback rather than form letters. I wanted to help them find that right person to see their work.
A Shift In Media Leading To a Shift In Perception
Aug 10th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. For August, they were asked to write about whether they feel the media has a more positive or a more negative slant regarding gaming culture. Elizabeth's essay is the second installment in this four-part series.

Gaming culture has struggled with its public image almost since its beginning. One of the first gaming controversies started right at the start of gaming’s rise to popularity in the late 1970’s. It concerned “Death Raceâ€, a game where the player won points by mowing over pedestrian-resembling ghouls, and sparked a debate about violence in video games that plummeted gaming culture’s reputation, turning the public’s perception of games as a fun family pastime into the gateway to a life of violent crime. This first condemnation of gaming was far from the last, as Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto followed, sparking controversies about violent and sexual themes in gaming that still continue to this day. Mainstream media has tended to drag gaming culture through the mud, focusing on stories that only show the ugly side of games. To me, mainstream media such as Fox News or CNN tends only to focus on games when the subject centers around a negative aspect of gaming culture, such as gaming addiction, sexism within the industry, or their long-time tirade of whether games encourage violence or not. Gaming culture has not had it easy; the consensus by major news outlets is that games encourage bad habits and unsafe ideas, and are mostly played by fringe weirdos. Nowadays, after the integration of gaming to mainstream pop culture, this pedaling of negative aspects of gaming could be attributed more to the overall tendency for news outlets to prioritize negative news over positive because it brings higher ratingsâ€"â€"but regardless the reason, gaming culture is still not spoken of very highly.
The Accidental Podcaster: Pomp and Circumstance, Part 2
Aug 8th 2016
It is a June heat wave, a few years ago. The asphalt along Euclid baking and reflecting its warmth off the skyscrapers and office buildings of downtown Cleveland. I am in a full skirt suit, stomping down East 17th under a muggy sun. I am hot. I am tired. I am stressed. And I am beside myself with fury as we maneuver around destruction work randomly chunking up or blocking the sidewalk. A mistake has been made. A vital piece of information about a student’s needed accommodations were not relayed, and that paired with massive renovations at the venue meant I was the only person who knew how to navigate the student in the back way - through the crowd, out of the theatre, around the corner, down the street, and in through the delivery entrance. It didn’t help that we are close to showtime and the radio at my waist constantly chirping to ask where I was keeps slowing us down. However, my job is to think on the fly and make things work, and that’s what we’re doing. I’m not even mad about that.
What has me hot is that this is the second time this same issue has taken place to the same student.
“I’m telling you, Miss D,†I say as we skirt around another set of scaffolding, “this is not normal for us. At. All. And I’m very sorry this is the second time we haven’t been ready for you.â€
Media Perceptions of Gaming Through Social Media
Aug 4th 2016
This summer, the RCM Writing department started its first Summer Writing program with four college interns from around the US. For August, they were asked to write about whether they feel the media has a more positive or a more negative slant regarding gaming culture. Ruby Re's essay is the first installment in this four-part series.

When I think about the media’s role in society, I think less of traditional media outlets such as TV, newspapers, and radio. Instead, I think of social media. With sites and apps that are easy to use, social media has become one of the fastest ways to transmit information, sometimes presenting new information before it can be picked up by traditional media. For all topics, including gaming, this allows for a real time reaction to new information. However, this instant consumption of information can lead to unfiltered reactions, both positive and negative.