Sound of Silence – Overwatch’s Lack of Gamer Accessibility

Sound of Silence – Overwatch’s Lack of Gamer Accessibility

Pop Culture Uncovered

Gaming and accessibility is an important topic that comes up all too often. The subject is big enough there was an entire panel on it at PlayStation Experience. The topic even came up recently here at PCU, when discussing some irritation at Pokémon Sun & Moon. While Nintendo received the brunt of criticism for that faux pas, they are not alone in their inconsideration.

More recently, some gamers among the Deaf communityhave shown their frustration with Blizzard and the ever-popular Overwatch. While they praised the game for its visuals, character design, and mechanics, they noted the use of audio prompts and voice communication make things more difficult for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing players. While this could be mostly annoying in Quick Play or Arcade Mode, this design can be downright dangerous in Competitive mode where everyone needs to be on point at all times.

The biggest barrier apparently is the…

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Gamer Accessibility – Has Nintendo Still Not Learned Its Lesson?

Gamer Accessibility – Has Nintendo Still Not Learned Its Lesson?

Pop Culture Uncovered

Gaming – you’d think it would be for everyone. After all, what’s your stereotypical gamer? Creative, open-minded, intellectual, geeky, outcast, “different,” etc. I’m not saying gaming hasn’t become mainstream or that everyone should be pigeon-holed, but like much of geek culture, the “gamer” cliché exists for a reason. Even in the face of some loud mouthed groups and Internet assholery, gamers (and geeks) are often an inclusive and supportive community.

Despite this, millions of gamers continue to struggle at their hobby even in the tech-savvy 21st century. People with disabilities or differences, who don’t move, see or hear the same as most discover obstacles when presented with regular games or controllers. This difficulty isn’t something new, as gamer accessibility has been a concern since the dawn of computer games. The fight for equal access continued throughout the end of the 20th century, with increased awareness of…

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Current Events and Geekdom – A Reason for Apathy and Anxiety

Current Events and Geekdom – A Reason for Apathy and Anxiety

Pop Culture Uncovered

I’ve been absent for a bit to do a little reassessing of life and goals. Recent political events have certainly been a cause for concern for some and outright fear for others. This anxiety has nothing to do with whining, crybabies, or being weak-willed and over-sensitive. From promises to roll back social progress by decades to flagrant hate crimes committed even by children, many people have a legitimate reason to worry about what the future holds.

Of course, you may ask yourself how this has anything to do with pop culture and geekdom. Wouldn’t most geeks be content to lose themselves in their fantasy worlds and hobbies? In fact, some gamers would prefer if real-life social issues never appeared in their favorite escapes.

I’m going to go all psycho-babble on you now, but I’ll try to keep it simple. It’s all about Needs, their priorities, and why it’s hard to bury…

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The White Washing of the Ancient One – Doctor Strange’s Biggest Failure

The White Washing of the Ancient One – Doctor Strange’s Biggest Failure

Pop Culture Uncovered

Doctor Strange has become a blockbuster, pulling in over $332 million on opening weekend and becoming the top IMAX opening on record. Reviews have been positive with high praises for its visuals and mystical themes that set it apart from other Marvel movies. Even the cast, despite its controversy, has been hailed for their performances.

We’re not here to discuss the positive reviews (again), however, but instead the controversy. Don’t get me wrong; I liked the movie! As an avid Doctor Strange fan, I’ve followed the character from its origins in Strange Tales #110 in 1963. I’ve watched him move from 60s mysticism (and Orientalism) to 70s Lovecraftian villains; from the street mysteries in the 80s to his low points during the 90s . Although I have low standards in movies, this was one of my “sacred cows, ” and I approached it with trepidation. I…

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Multicultural Horror – Scary Movies Beyond White Hollywood

Multicultural Horror – Scary Movies Beyond White Hollywood

Pop Culture Uncovered

Most Horror films find origins in American and European folk tales. Even as cinema evolved and America became a melting pot, these tales often fell back on the same Euro-centric tropes and fables. When PoC roles were included, at best they played the same part as others, completely ignoring their ethnicity or culture in a white-dominant script, setting, or cast. At worst, they fell victim to numerous racially-charged tropes, including the First to Die, the Mystical Minority, or the Racial Stereotype.

Not that there haven’t been Western movies focusing on these other perspectives. Unfortunately, like much of representation in Hollywood, the selection is small and doesn’t exactly fit current audience demographics. Luckily, times have changed, and slowly the amount of Asian, Latin, and African-American films have been growing.

That’s the point of this article, to discuss these other types of Horror movies and to expose the…

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Luke Cage and “Blackness” – Why Race is Important

Luke Cage and “Blackness” – Why Race is Important

Pop Culture Uncovered

Netflix’s Luke Cage has become a phenomenon, like its predecessors Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Many people are talking about it, and while not everyone enjoyed the show, the overwhelming majority appear to be pleased. This isn’t a review of Luke Cage, though, as there are hundreds out there – this is a discussion about a different type of reaction. The response to the show’s “blackness,” or (more accurately) mentioning the show’s “blackness.”

Less than a day after its public release, articles appeared discussing the racial aspects of the show. One writer declared Luke Cagethe unapologetically Black superhero show I’ve been waiting for”, another called it “unadulterated, bulletproof, kick ass, Wu-Tang blackness, with a Marvel twist”, and most recently a group of fans discussed how the series “uses blackness” and whether it lived up to their hopes. There was no denying the…

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Video Games – Latest Scapegoat for Unemployment?

Video Games – Latest Scapegoat for Unemployment?

Pop Culture Uncovered

The 21st century has certainly been a divisive and worrisome era, from politics to social issues to finances. The best minds in the country have been working hard to explain the problems in society – one of those problems being the growing unemployment among today’s young adults. Well, one group claims to have found the culprit: video games.

According to a joint study involving economists from Princeton, the Universities of Chicago, and the University of Rochester, video games are the cause for  unemployment among millennial men. The study’s authors, Mark Aguiar, Kerwin Charles, and Erik Hurst, were concerned with the amount of men (age 21-30) who weren’t employed full-time despite increasing job markets. In fact, unemployed and part-time workers with minimal college education had increased 132% in the past 16 years, from 9.5% to 22%.

What could cause this increase in uneducated, unemployed young men? According to the study, these experts…

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