Nerdwriter: Why Thanksgiving Should Be Redefined

Traditions like Thanksgiving aren’t natural, by any means. They’re invented, and at the time of their invention they called to a past that’s not really there. An imagined past; a constructed authenticity that serves the purposes of the present.

Top 15 Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make

Darious J. Britt (aka D4Darious) is a highly entertaining YouTuber and indie filmmaker with a ton of fun and informative videos for aspiring filmmakers. In this video he covers the top fifteen most common filmmaking mistakes beginners make from story, to lighting, editing, composition and more.

  1. Weak story
  2. Undercooked scripts
  3. Bad sound
  4. Poor casting choices
  5. Poor shot composition
  6. White walls
  7. Poor lighting
  8. Unnecessary insert shots
  9. Lingering
  10. Too many pregnant pauses
  11. No blocking (movement)
  12. Too much chit chat
  13. Action for the sake of action
  14. Clichés
  15. Generic music

(via)

Light-based media

Bartle’s Taxonomy

What Type of Player are You?

Bartle's player types

Extra Credits: Bartle’s Taxonomy was the earliest attempt to break down player psychology in a multiplayer environment. Richard Bartle, who created the first MUD in 1978, interviewed the players of his games about why they played. Their responses fit into four categories, which we now call Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers. Achievers focus on in-game goals like getting high scores or collecting gold. Explorers seek to discover new locations on the map or new ways to use the mechanics. Socializers come to meet people, often organizing guilds or collecting on social forums. Killers seek to dominate other players, usually by killing them in PvP. Bartle went further than creating these four categories, however: he also mapped them to a graph with Action-Interaction on one axis and Player-World on the other. This simple graph helps developers evaluate new content: what category does it fall into, and therefore what type of gameplay does it encourage?

Part too looks at how to get a mix of player types →

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The Hero’s Journey

Iskander Krayenbosch:

Since the beginning of time people are fascinated by stories of hero’s. But did you know there is a fundamental structure that’s lies beneath all these tales of fantasy. Joseph Campbell, a famous mythologist, was the first to discover similarities within all ancient myths. He called it the Monomyth. According to him there are 17 stages in which every hero has to walk through one way or the other. In the hero’s journey 12 of these stages are visualized by using iconic blockbuster movies that follow the same structure of storytelling.

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Nuclear Fruit, Part One: Mechanical Minds

Stuart Brown’s five part exploration of the Cold War’s effect on video games.

Watch parts two, three, four & five →

The Zipf Mystery

The of and to. A in is I. That it, for you, was with on. As have … but be they.

The Atlantic:

Every so often scientists notice a rule or a regularity that makes no particular sense on its face but seems to hold true nonetheless. One such is a curiosity called Zipf’s Law. George Kingsley Zipf was a Harvard linguist who in the 1930s noticed that the distribution of words adhered to a regular statistical pattern. The most common word in English—”the”—appears roughly twice as often in ordinary usage as the second most common word, three times as often as the third most common, ten times as often as the tenth most common, and so on. As an afterthought, Zipf also observed that cities’ sizes followed the same sort of pattern, which became known as a Zipf distribution. Oversimplifying a bit, if you rank cities by population, you find that City No. 10 will have roughly a tenth as many residents as City No. 1, City No. 100 a hundredth as many, and so forth. (Actually the relationship isn’t quite that clean, but mathematically it is strong nonetheless.) Subsequent observers later noticed that this same Zipfian relationship between size and rank applies to many things: for instance, corporations and firms in a modern economy are Zipf-distributed.

YouTube: The Medium Is The Message

It’s no surprise that the great triumph of television is the triumph of advertising. What could possibly be more attuned to the medium of television than commercials?

The largest ingredient of online video is the awareness that every consumer is a possible creator.

Angry Jack
Life on the Internet

Why Are You So Angry?

Ian Danskin (aka Innuendo Studios) has just posted the final part in his six-part series on the male gamer’s relationship to feminism.

Part 1: A Short History of Anita Sarkeesian

The internet is full of Angry Jacks, and Jack is not exclusively, but is typically, male. He’s also commonly white, and/or straight, and/or cis, and/or raised middle class. Which is to say, he usually looks like me.

To people who look like me, Jack is often a nuisance. To people who don’t look like me, Jack is frequently dangerous.

Part 2: Angry Jack

[…] And you’re thinking, or maybe even starting to say, “I shouldn’t have to have this debate right now. I just wanted to go to a fucking party. I’m normal! This is a normal thing to do!” And all she said was “no thanks, I don’t drink,” but that doesn’t matter, what you heard was “you’re a bad person.”

Watch parts 3, 4, 5 & 6 →

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“Slavery to Mass Incarceration”

The myth of racial difference that was created to sustain American slavery persists today. Slavery did not end in 1865, it evolved.

Narrated by Bryan Stevenson. Art by Molly Crabapple.

See also:

Kurzgesagt
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Kurzgesagt: Making educational videos entertaining

Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”) make entertaining educational videos, like this one:

See also: 3 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy Is Terrible! & Nuclear Energy Explained.

Philipp Dettmer and Stephan Rether gave a talk at UX Munich 2015 about how (and why) they make their videos.

The Kurzgesagt team is comprised of 8 people: Philipp handles script and design, Stephan does the animation and there are two other designers, a German and English voice actor, a translator and a musician who does a bespoke score for each video!

There are lots of great educational YouTube channels, but this is one of my favourites.

See also

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Mind Wizards – The Mystical Universe of Magic: The Gathering

Wizards, demons and goblins collide in the world’s first trading card game Magic: The Gathering, affectionately dubbed “cardboard crack” by its 10+ million diehard obsessives. From dank, wood-paneled basements to international big money pro tournaments, Magic continues to flourish since its phenomenal debut in 1993.

Magic is one of those things that theoretically I think I would love, but I’ve never gotten into.

The Fermi Paradox — Where Are All The Aliens?

The universe is unbelievably big – trillions of stars and even more planets. Soo… there just has to be life out there, right? But where is it? Why don’t we see any aliens? Where are they? And more importantly, what does this tell us about our own fate in this gigantic and scary universe?

What do the Rich really Want?

Imagine if oddly, wealthy capitalists didn’t primarily want money; but something odder and more hopeful: respect.

What do the Rich really Want? Prestige.

“The prestige should be enormous; a bit like winning the Nobel Prize, the Victoria Cross or the Pulitzer Prize. In other words, a fitting target for capitalists, the most ambitious and narcissistically craven and damaged people in any society.”

Ouch!

A video by The School of Life, produced in collaboration with Ana Stefaniak.

See also: This video will make you angry & The myth of race, debunked.

This Is Why You Overshop in Ikea

How IKEA gets us to buy more than we need, explained by TIME writer Josh Sanburn.

IKEA “When the question is why do we have so much stuff, one reason is because we can,” says Annie Leonard, executive director of the environmental group Greenpeace USA and the creator of The Story of Stuff, an animated video about excessive consumerism. “For a huge percentage of this country, there is no longer an economic obstacle to having the illusion of luxury. It’s just that this stuff is so cheap.”

The Story of Stuff →

Iconic Arms is a series by Stuart Brown on YouTube about legendary weapons in FPS history.

“In games, your gun is player agency made manifest.”

Iconic Arms looks at the history of famous weapons like the double-barreled shotgun, AK-47, M16, the Magnum, their place in popular culture and how their performance characteristics and functionality have been tweaked – sometimes radically – for more balanced gameplay.

Though I’m no fan of guns, I particularly love the graphics in this series with their flat colourful silhouette shapes, bold uber-tightly kerned Helvetica and fast diagonal wipes.

See also

Light-based media

Iconic Arms: Legendary weapons in FPS history

Stuart Brown’s series about legendary weapons in video game history.

Gallery

This Video Will Make You Angry

CGP Grey on how ideas spread as ‘thought germs’ (memes in the traditional sense) over the internet, how these ideas use our emotions to survive longer and how ‘opposing thought germs’ (divisive ideas) can survive indefinitely.


In a similar vein, here is a near-future startup promo video by Tom Scott:
The Bubble: imagine the web without trolls, or shocks, or spam

What if you could have a perfect filter for the web? Anything you’d regret seeing or reading: it’s gone before you even see it. Welcome to the Bubble.

How Green Screen Worked Before Computers

Tom Scott: For those of us who grew up in the age of CGI, green screen is just “a thing that computers do”. But how did effects like this work before the age of pixels? With the help of some suitably shiny graphics, here’s a quick summary.

Every Frame a Painting – The Quadrant System

Tony Zhou looks at Drive:

One of the many pleasures of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (2011) is that the shots feel both tightly composed and weirdly unpredictable. Even though most of the images follow a simple quadrant system, Refn puts plenty of subtle touches within the frame.

PBS Off Book: Typography

Typeface designers Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones outline the importance of selecting the right font to convey a particular feeling. Graphic designer Paula Scher talks about building identity in messaging, while Eddie Opara uses texture to create reaction. Infographic designers Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza map complicated data sets into digestible imagery, mixing color, graphics and type.

More typography videos

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”

(via Boing Boing)

“How do we know what is true?” Narrated by Stephen Fry

A short Humanist animation about how we learn what’s true through the use of evidence and science.

A super-simple guide to humanism, narrated by Stephen Fry for the British Humanist Association. (via Open Culture)

Watch other videos in the ‘That’s Humanism!’ series →