Media Studies

The semester is at an end and its hard to say just what I liked and did not like.  Overall, class was enjoyable and the professor was funny and made lessons fun and engaging.  One of my favorite concepts covered in class would have to be the lesson of the digital divide.  The digital divide is very interesting as I never really thought about just how many people do not have internet.  I always kind of just assumed everyone had access to the internet.  This is clearly not the case.  It is important to recognize the digital divide because people without internet may communicate differently with others.  A lot of people might not even know what Facebook is or how to search something on Google.  Therefore, it is important to recognize this difference and see people as having different communication styles because of the technology we use.  Also it gives me a greater appreciation for having what I have.  A lot of people take the internet for granted and the digital divide concept really brings out a new perspective.  I didn’t really have any concept or lesson that I did not enjoy.  Overall, this class was a pleasant experience and I’d gladly take it again.


Old Boy

Old Boy is a korean mystery thriller directed by the great Park Chan-Wook and stars the very talented and famous Choi Min-sik as the leading character, Oh Dae-su.  It is the second movie in Park’s epic revenge series, “The Vengeance Trilogy.” The setting takes place in South Korea although it doesn’t seem like any specific city is mentioned or revealed.  Overall, this movie is a cult-classic and just as good as the other two movies in the trilogy which I also recommend.  The movie draws on a lot of symbolism throughout.

One such symbol is the television Dae-su had while in confinement for 15 years.  The television represents an anchor for Dae-su’s sanity.  It was everything to him for those 15 years.  It was his best friend and his lover.  Without it he would surely go insane, at least more than already shown.  Also the television is like a symbol of his room.  The room is his jail, while television is sometimes represented as a prison as well for the mind.

Another symbol seen are the ants.  The ants represent a desire for group.  Dae-su is all alone and the ants are a collective species representing his desire for human contact.  We also see a single ant on the subway in Mi-do’s dream.  The ant is a mirror image of her as we see them both sitting alone in an empty train car.  This implies that she too knows the horrors of loneliness.

A third symbol seen is Dae-su’s weapon of choice, a hammer.  This hammer is a crude and simple, unconventional weapon.  This shows exactly what Dae-su is after his confinement, crude and unconventional.  Leave it to him to use such a weapon when there are plenty of better options.

Another symbol I didn’t notice at first but saw more of after reading notes from the director online is the relation of Dae-su to Oedipus in Greek mythology.  Oedipus is a character that gouges out his own eyes to avoid seeing the world after committing incest.  Dae-su gouges cuts off his own tongue so he can’t speak of his sin of sleeping with his own daughter.


Video Games

I decided to analyze the video game Rogue Galaxy for my look into the way men and women are portrayed in video games.  The game is about space pirates and is a classic for the Playstation 2 system.  The game focuses on adventure and fighting game play.  The game is also an RPG which stands for role-playing.  In this type of game, players can choose and customize their characters which in turn allows for some diversity in their characters, both male and female.  Overall, the male characters of the game wear clothes that show off a rugged sort of flashy look.  They are pirates so their outfits tend to be adventurous.  This also goes for the females of the game.  The male models also have a sort of rugged look about them in order to show off the adventurous fantasy that is the story.  The female outfits are also adventurous but also a little more revealing and show more skin while the females themselves tend to have large breasts and big eyes, most likely to attract male gamers to play the game.  Overall, the males and females are similar with the exception of the females having certain emphasis in their bodies.


Campaigns surround us in our day to day life.  Many advertisers everywhere are reaching out to the masses in order to inform and influence people.  I decided to analyze this advertisement for Donald J. Trump’s campaign when he was running for president.  This campaign is a pretty common example when one hears the word, as it is very relevant today still with all the political tension that has arisen.  I am going to evaluate this campaign ad according to its informational, motivational, and behavioral objectives.  The informational objective of this ad is to inform people of Donald Trump’s plans to “Make America Great Again.” People will see this ad and get a clear message of what Donald Trump’s dreams and goals are for his campaign and what will happen if he wins.  According the ad, the motivational objective is very similar.  The motivation for the ad is to essentially, “Make America Great Again.” People want to see change and this ad helps bring them that emotional need they were looking for and inspires them to go and join Donald Trump’s campaign.  The next objective to look at, is the behavioral objective.  The behavioral objective is to get people to vote for Trump and win him the election.  The campaign is aimed at getting this behavioral support.


I decided to analyze this advertisement from McDonald’s.  This advertisement shows off several delicious burgers at the famous fast food restaurant.  On the advertisement we see three different burgers.  One of the burgers is a Big Mac, McDonald’s most famous food item, sitting in the middle of the advertisement.  The other two burger items on each side of the Big Mac are the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese on the left and the Angus Deluxe Third Pounder on the right.  At the top of the ad we see the words in bold, “big.beefy.bliss.” On the lower right hand corner we see the famous golden arches along with the McDonald’s logo “I’m lovin’ it.” The ad targets consumers who are hungry and who may have a craving for McDonald’s.  The ad is designed to make people hungry when they see this ad and want to go purchase a McDonald’s meal, most likely one of the burgers advertised.  The ad entices people to buy McDonald’s food in exchange for a few dollars.  Hungry consumers with money will see this ad and preferably want to exchange the cash they’ve earned for the food they perceive on the ad as delicious.  McDonald’s will get business and the consumers will fill their stomachs which the ad convinced them was empty.


I analyzed this music video on the internet of the popular Korean boy group Exo.  The music video is about this song called “Monster,” and based on lyrics and appearence, seems to try to show itself off as a rough, manly song.  The first striking fact about this music video is that they show off a side of men that is rarely thought of when thinking of such terms as “monster,” and “man.”  When people think of guys, they usually think of masculine features.  Muscles are shown off and usually show a rough/rugged look on the man’s face.  The word “monster” is also usually associated with such features and give us an “ugly” idea of what to expect.  The video however shows a different story.  Despite trying to appear dark, the members have makeup on and are not very muscular.  The first term that comes to mind to describe them is metro-sexual.  They are “pretty boys” and contradict what viewers might first expect.  The words “monster” and “men” give us a different view in our imaginations then what comes up in the music video and surprises us.  It’s important to realize that these are myths we have created for ourselves and now the idea of “men” is changing.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is becoming more and more intelligent every year as technology makes advancements through time.  And while we make improvements on artificial intelligence and it grows smarter and smarter, our society is greatly effected.  The effects are small and hardly noticeable at first because they come naturally and as slowly as our technological advancements.  But looking at the overall picture and our day to day activities, the changing effects are there.  One such artificial intelligence example is Siri.  Siri is an artificial intelligence designed and created by Apple.  Siri can be found in iPhones almost everywhere as smartphones have become a norm in today’s world.  Siri is designed to help answer questions a person might have as well as to pass time.  Siri does not have a specific gender but has been refereed to as a “she” in a general consensus.  Siri is able to help navigate, share new ideas, and respond to people in an almost human response.  Siri still has some obvious signs of not being human however, such as her robotic voice or her sometimes inaccurate responses.  A lot have people have found Siri to be almost like a friend in their phone.  This shows just how impactful this AI is.  As artificial intelligence increases, I’m sure Siri will take on an even more human role and affect society on a much deeper level.

Serious Games

The game that I decided to play and analyze in the free game “FreeRice.” FreeRice is a game that focuses on giving to charity by donating ten grams of rice when you answer a question correctly.  You can choose from a variety of different school subjects and can set the level from basic to more challenging questions.  This game not only hopes to feed starving children, but also to educate people.  Let us look at this game from both the Cognitive learning model and the Affective learning model from Bloom’s taxonomy of learning.  Starting with the Cognitive model, this game helps us in the first step of remembering.  As we answer questions, its like answering flashcards, we remember answers.  Following this, we gain understanding from each question.  Now this is where the game seems to stop in the Cognitive model.  The next step would be applying but because the game is only about answering questions, we cannot exactly apply our understanding so the rest of the Cognitive model fails to be reached.  Next is the Affective model.  The first step is receiving.  We receive questions from the game and in turn, respond to them by answering.  This leads to valuing the game.  Since each time we answer a question correctly, rice is donated to hungry people so we value our answers to these questions and the effects it has outside the game.  Overall, the game was pretty good and left me wanting to answer many questions in the hope of helping someone out, and I even learned some new knowledge while doing it.


The article I analyzed was from the New York Times.  This article is about United States president Donald J. Trump and his talk with Chinese president Xi Jinping.  This article uses a lot of framing to focus on Donald Trump and characterize him as a person to be taken lightly.  The article mentions repeatedly how Chinese officials view Trump as someone who backs down easily and cant be trusted.  Trump supported the “One China” policy when he previously inclined towards being hard on China about the issue with Taiwan.  Now that Trump has backed down, conflict has been avoided and yet the article and China seem to frame Trump as weak simply because he agreed with Xi Jinping.


The Big Six Eisenberg and Berkowitz model helps to understand the process of information literacy.  The six different steps are task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation.  The biggest step that I struggle with in this information literacy process is the second step, or information seeking strategies.  I struggle with this step because I frequently find it difficult for me to figure out whether or not a certain source is credible.  Its very important/critical to cite sources correctly and make sure they are credible so that you are not lying to the public and your process of the information goes over smoothly in a strategic manner.  Statements of fact versus statements of opinion are sometimes hard to notice for me and I sometimes worry about getting biased viewpoints mixed into my list of sources.  Another challenge to step 2 of the information literacy process is that is hard to figure out which sources are best for me to use.  Sometimes I find myself questioning search results when doing research.  I am always curious if maybe the top results aren’t really what I am looking for and want.  Information seeking is not where my strength is but hopefully within realizing this, I can improve.