#BoycottStarwarsVII, Racism and Classroom Responsibility

Thursday, October 22, 2015 Comment group of storm troopers marching with weapons

I don’t want to be “that guy,” but we need to talk about “Star Wars,” race, class, gender, and sexuality today. Apologies in advance. In particular, we need to talk about who gets to be in “Star Wars,” who gets to make this decision, and what happens when nerd culture is removed from the vestiges of historically primarily white, male space. If you avoided the spew of hate that was #BoycottStarWarsVII on Monday, then let me briefly fill you in: On Monday, Oct. 19, a handful of tweets surfaced accusing the new Star Wars film of advancing an

A Call for Increased Critical Media Literacy in Schools

Monday, September 28, 2015 Comment screen shot of abc 7 news reporting ahmed mohamed arrest at school

The racial profiling and racist treatment that followed Ahmed Mohamed’s clock, and the intense media punditry that buzzed and died out in typical fashion highlighted many powerful lessons for young people. And, while I’ve appreciated the ongoing dialogue about racialized perspectives of the maker movement and who gets to be seen as an innovator and who is profiled, the entire exchange: from a viral photo of young Mohamed in handcuffs to a trending hashtag to Obama’s invitation to the White House has been a crucial case study in the need for increased critical media literacy within

The Value of Social Media and Counternarratives

Monday, August 17, 2015 Comment large group gathering for black lives matter march vigil

As I write these words, St. Louis County has just declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of protests marking the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson. When word began to spread that night that protests were taking a violent turn, I did not immediately turn to The New York Times, CNN, or any other traditional news source to learn more about what was happening. Instead, I turned to Twitter. There, I found first-hand reports from people on the scene in Ferguson about what

Avengers, Privilege and Internet Nerdrage

Thursday, May 14, 2015 Comment Avengers movie poster

I want to complain for a minute about a certain Hollywood superhero blockbuster. Then, I want to complain for a minute about people who complain about superhero blockbusters on the Internet. Hypocrite? Probably. (A brief note on the general plot of the film before moving on: there is another DML Central post that should be written about Hollywood’s depiction of evil artificial intelligence, mustache-twirling robots, education and Marc Goodman’s recent book, “Future Crimes.” However, I’m hoping someone else will write the ultimate Skynet et al., kiss-off instead of me.) Shortly after seeing “Avengers: Age of Ultron,“ I

Role-Playing Racial History through Digital Games

Monday, November 07, 2011 Comment illustration drawing character game story of Jane role playing racial history

Teaching historical empathy through gaming is an important area in digital media and learning, but collaborations between university professors and game designers aren’t always easy.  Nonetheless, UC San Diego Theater and Dance Professor Emily Roxworthy, who leads a National Endowment for the Humanities funded project about Japanese American  internment camps in the American South during World War II that also used resources from the San Diego Supercomputing Center to bring the action to life, argues that the challenges are well worth the rewards. In the prototype level of Drama in the Delta that is currently available,