It looks like they go together like peanut butter and jelly. courtesy

We Go Together Like…

The cliché sex sells is very relevant in this day and age with the media. Media and sex go together like peanut butter and jelly of the television circuit. From commercials all the way to television shows there will most likely be some sort of sexualized encounter, unless you are watching Disney, that will be shown. Take the new book turned movie Savages for example. Click Here and you will see a trailer with Blake Lively in love with two men. She is shown on top of one of them in a bath tub and sweetly caressing the other. Sex in the media is all around us and there is nothing wrong with this. However, many children are watching shows that will show commercials for movies such as Savages that will allow for them to slowly to be introduced to the sexualized media.


As a Child…..
For many children in America a television is considered to be part of their quintessential to any home and therefore, there is time spent in front of the television. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation “From babies to teenagers, most children spend an average of at least two hours, and as much as four hours for older children and teens, sitting in front of a television screen each day” Now many preschoolers do not have to worry about commercials that have sexual themes if they are watching educational programming. At this stage most advertisers are food companies, like McDonalds, and toy companies, like Hasbro, that are wanting kids to get out and play and then beg the closest adult for that product. However, even though most commercials are censored some of the toy products have not been.


There is no conspiracy behind this most toys are up front about the dolls clothing that seem to have short comings in many aspects. For instance, the Bratz dolls take a lot of criticism. According to USA Today report ““Media cited for showing girls as sex objects” says that “”Although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls or women than is seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality.” In many different Bratz commercials , the dolls are shown wearing very short skirts or shorts as well as a midriff baring shirt that accentuates their very tiny waist to the possible boys that they are trying to obtain attention from. The article mentions that other girls were beginning to have eating disorders. This could be related to the looking glass self. The looking glass self is how we perceive ourselves and then how we think others are viewing us from our perceptions. The girls in this study were having eating disorders partly due to the images the dolls were reflecting. Therefore, when the girls were having eating disorders they may have seen themselves as beautiful and fashionable and therefore, other people should see them as pretty and fashionable just like the Bratz dolls. Then the children move into their adolescent stages.


That’s For Babies…

Sometimes shows have underlying meanings. Courtesy

When children begin to mature into teens many things seem as if they are for babies. As children’s minds develop they want to explore the different channels that the magical television box has. Shows even on channels such as Cartoon Network depict very mature content before the ten o’clock cut off. Not all of the shows are bad but some are questionable such as Total Drama Island.

I personally enjoy the show from time to time because of the witty manor and adult jokes that are under the radar but if you Click Here it is a preview of a show designated to the youth crowd that takes a spin on many reality shows. Many of the relationships on the show build off of internal tensions, which are friendships that are from the stressful tensions. This is to be expected from a show that is a spinoff of a reality show. The show feeds into many stereotypes of average people and teenagers and how they would act but also shows off their bodies.


All of the women on the show except two have midriff bearing shirts, an over developed chest and skirts that hang almost below their hips. Than many of the men on the show except for two have extremely toned bodies that would be an ideal fitness man’s dream. Also, as in many reality shows a lot of the women are swooning over the men and will try different measures to obtain the men as well as vice versa. This show plays into adolescents emotions and“because of their ‘‘inexperience, vulnerability, and malleable values’’ adolescents are often seen as susceptible to sex-related media influences.”Some of the adolescents watching shows such as Total Drama Island are being exposed to sexual innuendos that are being thrown in for comic relief but it allows for the children’s minds to expand and soak in the information they are receiving. Once the media is related is supposed to be suitable for the audience.

The main character of the MTV show Awkward Courtest

I’m an Adult Now…or At Least Because I am Sixteen I Should Be Treated Like One,That’s What The T.V. Says…At a certain age we begin to try and see ourselves the way that we want to be perceived by society; we being to form a generalized other. The generalized other as defined in Interpersonal Communications: Everyday Encounters is “One source of social perspectives that people use to define themselves and guide how they think, act, and feel; our perception of the views, values, and perspectives that are endorsed by society as a whole.” For instance, when I watch a movie on network television, which has my one of my idols Gabrielle Union acting sophisticated and talking to men using her sex appeal I begin to soak this in inadvertently.The media has made her looks as though she can use her sex appeal to talk to any man that she pleases. Therefore, when I watch this I would think that society sees that it is okay for me to use sex appeal to talk to any man.

For some adolescents they are learning certain behaviors that are being portrayed on television as the norms of society. For instance, take the new MTV show Awkward now on its sophomore season. The show is quite excellent and depicts a young lady trying to make it in high school even though she has had some sexcapades. The television show is rated TV-14. , which essentially means parents should be aware of what might be shown on this network however, with this digital age of more and more children having the television in their bedroom it is harder to control what adolescents are watching. Especially since David Janollari says he targeting his programming skills at the 12-to-34 demo – and even more narrowly, 18-to-24 millennials – with the mission of reflecting their experiences back to them with entertainment. More shows are slipping through parents viewing guides. If Suzy from Illinois, who is 13, looks up to the main character she might find it okay to be able to explore some of the sexual habits that are portrayed on the show. Suzy may that society says this is okay and the norm and this is where the generalized other comes into play again. Her relationships may morph and change upon watching the show because she is soaking in the relationships from the show and judging her own.

An excellent point brought about from Dan Savage in a NPR Talk of the Nation segment. He says “..are going to be different when they grow up – they – kids are talking to each other about sex. And if they’re talking to each other without any input from adults, without any decent sex education, they’re going to be making stuff up that isn’t true that will be accepted as fact.”This is what may be happening when adolescents are forming a generalized other opinion form television on how the world of sexuality should be and are

The Crumbs To The Sex Sandwich…
In conclusion, when it comes to media and sex I am not trying to say that all children are going to run around and become sex crazed individuals because of the shows they watch. However, I am saying that these shows are portraying an image to the youth and the youth are then soaking it all in and trying to process this information according to their life. Adolescents are seeing an image thinking it is the norm and aspiring to be that image self consciously. However, as an adult if we take the time to sit down with the adolescents and answer puzzling questions they might have then shows might become slightly more suitable. Remember media is not the enemy and we are not the victims just take control of the situations.



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Ravynn Sykes on July 5th, 2012

It Was An Accident And Now There Is Conflict?

The clip shown above is from the highly acclaimed HBO show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Shown here is Larry David, the main character, who trips basketball star Shaquille O’neal and receives some negative feedback from the audience as he is leaving with his “friend”. Now I am sure many of you have not tripped a basketball star such as Shaquille O’neal but I’m sure many of you have been in a situation where there is a conflict that started that you did not see coming. Sometimes conflict can cause stress in many situations and it can end in many different results. Therefore, let’s think of this clip as an open ended book that could come with many different conflict resolutions,which will be discussed later in this article.

Oh So Your Mad At What Exactly?So now that someone is mad at you what do you do exactly. Some people may just walk away completely from the conflict for their safety, just as Larry David did, or some people may try to stick around and figure out a solution. Every situation is different and requires individual attention. Sometimes the situation can be resolved with a simple yet cliché “I’m Sorry”but sometimes the situation needs a deeper ending. These situations are called conflicts and effect everyone at anytime during anyone’s lifetime.Whether it is from financial woes or because a loved one has ended a long time relationship we are surrounded with conflict.  These endings could be win-win-,lose-win and lose-lose.

Everything could have been prevented if Larry David wasn't spread out. Now What?

So We’re In This Conflict How Do You Want To End It?Alright,now back to Larry David’s conflict, a strong disagreement, which could possibly end in a win-win,win-lose or lose-lose situation depending on how he can handle the conflict.If the situation ended in a win-win,when both parties are satisfied with the end result, then Larry David might be able to apologize to Shaquille O’neal and maybe Shaq would give him more court side seats.According to Julia Wood, author of “Interpersonal Communications:Everyday Encounters”, Sometimes,win-win attitudes result in compromises that satisfy enough of each person’s needs to provide confirmation and to protect the health of the relationship,which means that Larry David might also be able to salvage the friendship of his friend that he went to the basketball game with as well. The situation could have also ended in a win-lose,one person is satisfied while the other person is not, if Larry David was permanently kicked out of the arena and therefore, Shaq wouldn’t have to worry about Larry David having his feet spread out. Lastly, the situation could have ended in a lose-lose, both parties are dissatisfied with the end results, by Larry David and Shaquille O’neal getting into an altercation after Larry David tripped Shaquille O’neal and that would not have made the situation any better.


Keep calm in the situation and it could end in a win-win!

So I Can Determine The Fate of My Conflict?


One of the things that we can learn from Larry David’s mistakes in this situation is that he can take the reigns of his fate and make a resolution to the conflict that he caused with Shaquille O’Neal and his fans. He can apologize and hope that all will go well and not one with hate him permanently as long as he puts forth some effort. Realize that this conflict can happen to anyone, a conflict that just appears and can have an open ending. If you would like to take a high road in a situation and shoot or a win-win not a lose-lose.

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Ravynn Sykes on June 26th, 2012

Have you ever heard someone call you a word that seemed to completely feel as if it has stripped you of who you were? Did you seem as though you were at a lost for words and had no clue what to say? Well for many people worldwide this has or will happen to someone at least once. Every person deserves to be treated as a person in our everyday society unfortunately this does not necessarily happen.

Negative epithets given to people from society. Courtesy



Many people carry on their everyday lives without even realizing some of the epithets that they say. For instance, at the University of Pennsylvania there was a case where some women were making noise outside of a student’s dorm. He yelled a racial slur outside of his window towards the woman and faced possible charges for demeaning these women. This is just one of many examples of hate Speech that is present in the United States.


Asher Brown commited suicude after harassment. Courtesy of:



All of these words and epithets can be related back to Hate Speech. Hate speech, defined in Interpersonal Communication:Everyday Encounter is a “language that radically dehumanizes members of a particular group.”This means that if I were to use an epithet such as “faggot” to someone who is a homosexual; I would not only be disrespecting them immensely but also using a language from hate speech. I would be affecting them emotionally and I would be making them seem as if they were less of a person in society by my choice in words. An example of this would be in a recent article called “Cyberbullying hits LGBT youth especially hard” produced by writer Elizabeth Moore. She did a survey to see how teens were being affected online due to epithets that were being posted. Some of the results showed that some teens “Among the LGBT respondents, 45 percent report feeling depressed as a result of being bullied, 38 percent embarrassed, and 28 percent anxious about simply going to school. One in four report having suicidal thoughts.”



This is just one example of hate speech in current day’s society. There is a wide range or words that are used to hurt many people. Here are some more examples if you would like to explore these stories further.

Facebook, Racial Epithets, and a Killing Spree Oh My.


Recently on CNN there was an epithet that was used and is explained further in the self explaining article CNN’s unedited epithets raise questions about when to use unfiltered hate speech”The article describes how there were two men who killed five African Americans in a spree and had posted epithets prior on Facebook about their hate. The lady does apologize for the words that she says before she says the epithets. Also, they were not her words and therefore, relieve some of the tension. However, the network has repeatedly since then said the words to talk about the case which raises the question how many times can you say this before CNN is accountable for hate speech.If you would like to view the unedited video please click here.



There are so many cases of hate speech throughout history and modern day times that it is hard to count. We are gradually becoming more aware as a society; there is work that still needs to be done. Therefore, the next time that you have a spare minute to sit down take the time to watch a news segment or listen to someone’s conversation in the store and think to yourself are you hearing the language called hate speech?





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Ravynn Sykes on June 21st, 2012


A Doctor Cannot Always Hit Someone With Their Cane.

Scalpel.Check.Sponge.Check.Hot Doctor.Check..wait,excuse me. Every time I watch a show such as Greys Anatomy, House, Scrubs or Private Practice I want to become a doctor. The lifestyle looks fast, funny, exhilarating and action-packed with grueling surgeries alongside many beautiful people. Thanks to all these attributes who would not want to become a doctor. These shows exemplifies some of the tasks a doctor would perform with none of the boring paperwork or down time that a doctor would have in reality. Thanks to shows like these why wouldn’t I want to become a doctor.


Thanks to the shows listed previously I feel as though I find myself pondering if my doctor’s visits at local physician’s office will end up like these shows? Will I overhear a piece of gossip about the doctors or nurses? Many people know that these shows are for recreational viewing purposes but some people treat these shows as if they were Web Md and every situation that happens in the show will be the same procedure for a patient. According to Playing doctor: Medical TV isn’t always right by Allison Van Dusen. writer for Forbes many of these shows do not list an accurate portrayal of roles.”If you want to learn how to treat your kidney stones or your kid’s rash,” says Bob Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, “you should no more watch a medical drama to get accurate information on how to treat symptoms than watch ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘Married With Children’ for clues on how to raise a child.”” This is very true because as I stated previously people are treating these shows as their virtual doctors and therefore creating an idea of symptoms in their head. Also, while watching these shows some people are even creating an image or category that these doctors and nurses should fall under. People are creating a prototype.

The job is always switching.

Essentially what these shows have given us is a prototype of what people think doctors or nurses will be like. A Prototype is an example that we give ourselves that allows us to compare other things in life according to Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters For example, every time I go to the Doctors I am hoping that my doctor looks like Eric Dane of Grey’s Anatomy. Not because he is gorgeous but he is also witty and well trained as a fictional doctor. However, for the most part I receive an average kind man who diagnosis my symptoms with out a trail of drama following him.That is what these medical drama shows at times are creating for their viewers a prototype. These prototypes are creating unrealistic expectations in people. Also, since the medical shows show off the quick and fast route they never show the hours of paperwork people need to complete or even the number of mal practice law suits that happen. According to an online news article 15,000 and 19,000 mal practice law suits are filed every year. The number of mal practice suits shown in a season of Grey’s Anatomy is at most 3.

Comedy is always the best remedy.

In the end, if you pick your vice there is a show out there for you that has allowed you to create a prototype for yourself on that particular subject or person. I am not going to lie I have a guilty pleasure for all of these medical shows and therefore, have created an idea of what a doctor is in my head. However, I will not underestimate the work that many nurses put in or the

stress that doctors are under. It is not a necessarily glamorous life filled with steamy get together or love triangles but it is a life that doesn’t necessarily need unneeded prototype.

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Ravynn Sykes on June 18th, 2012

Hello Everyone  my name is Ravynn Sykes. I am a junior Communication Studies major with a concentration in mass media and I am also a Sociology minor. I reside in the very interesting yet very lively Virginia Beach. I am currently involved in Alpha Phi Omega which is a national community service fraternity and I am also involved in The Longwood Show. I hope that one day after finishing my academic career at Longwood  I will either take a year off and travel or head straight into graduate school in New York.

My expertise in the communication field is both professional and personal. In the professional stance of communications I am a customer service  desk clerk at a local grocery store and take care of many different customer. I learn a lot of people’s different names and a lot of people expect me to know their names when I talk to them. Also, I have learned how to handle situations where people become irate and  have learned not to use words that will trigger them any further. However, on the personal stance of communications I have many friends that do not live in Virginia Beach or who go to different school. Therefore, I like to stay in contact with them either through Skype or text message. However, being so far away, understanding how all of my friends communicate differently helps me immensely. Some friends don’t like to text but like to call so I may not expect an answer back right away. That is because we all communicate differently.

Lastly, being a sociology minor one of the many things that I have studied is the way that people interact with each other. I have learned that different cultures communicate in different ways some are more timid and others are more outgoing. There is no right way or wrong way to communications because everyone may communicate differently in their culture. I hope to learn some more ways other people communicate and where the roots of their communication methods came from. I hope to also better understand people and not only apply these methods to my workplace environment but also my everyday personal environment.


Ravynn Sykes on April 25th, 2012

Have you noticed that many newspapers writers write not only for their company but also have a personal blog? In this day and age taking advantage of technology is the best way to stay ahead of the curve. Many people do not believe so but many newspapers are transferring to online sources, as stated in my previous CritNews1 blog. This may be easier but what happens when people can receive news from more than one source. What happens when bloggers become the new source for people to receive their news? If the facts are correct does this make them reporters or just people with opinions?

Technology is a wave that has essentially swept into every Americans home. With that being said that means that there are more ways that people will be able to receive news. This also means that with third screen technology people can also take reporting into their own hands. Smartphones and apps such as instagram allow for people to post pictures to coincide with what their blog is talking about. This allows for people to connect to the audiences senses and become very popular. Plus it allows for audiences to receive the news as fast as a person can produce it with a different edge than many conglomerates would put on it. For instance successful blogger Jonathan Lasner in Newsonomics states “ This is Short –Form journalism.I don’t know that what I’ve been doing is that different.It’s back to the future.“ And then he goes on to state “ …Too many people are lost in the romance of the eighties,when we had time to publish[longer] stories.” He is an example of how bloggers can be very successful he writes one column a week and then goes on to write blogs for Real Estate in Orange County. He has come out on top because he can deliver the news quickly.

Blogging in many ways allows for audiences to leave the television screens and gaze upon the screens of computers. Blogging and the “Cultivation Theory” could coincide because the more people watch television the more they are afraid of the world that is out there. Many people end up watching the same scary news or show over and over because they lost the remote or are cooking dinner and listen to the news on a repetitive loop. Thanks to blogging many people can control what they are seeing because people need to go to a computer screen to view the material. Bloggers will have all the same sources but it isn’t necessarily pounding into their viewers minds. According to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, “I submit that someone can be a “real” reporter if he or she is accurate on the facts and fairly represents the positions of subjects; if he or she has a decent sense of what’s newsworthy and important to readers; and if readers come away from his or her stuff feeling more informed than they were before.” As long as the blogger stays as non-bias as they can blogging can be just as beneficial as the news that is delivered on our television screens or on our doorstep. Also, free speech is a part of our first amendment. This is where some bloggers can lose the line between journalism and opinionated rants. However, blogging also allows for many citizens to also get their opinions heard on the internet.

In conclusion, it is hard to say that blogging is always considered journalism. With cases such as Hernandez vs. Ohio blogging brings up the question “With the Internet increasingly serving as the dominant source of information, a national debate has been taking place asking the question, who is a journalist? Legal scholars, journalism academics, and First Amendment advocates all have their opinions and, as expected, there is little agreement.” No one may ever agree on this topic however, one thing people can agree on is people love to have their voice heard and need their news to know what is going on in the world. Therefore, if your facts are correct blog on journalist and take advantage of this new wave of technology.


Ravynn Sykes on April 20th, 2012

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you try and tell them a story and they tell you they have already heard the information on a social media site. For many younger adults the social media sites of Facebook ,Twitter and other readily available mediums allows for many people to get their news at a faster rate. However, how does this affect many newspapers across the nation, since readers can access other websites at the click of a button?

Many people can share a story online a lot easier through social media sites because all the person has to do is click share and billions of people worldwide can find what that person is saying. Many people can also attach articles related to the topic they are talking about. Therefore, if a newspaper is not jumping the digital divide then they will be left behind in the digital frenzy. This does not mean people will not read newspapers all together it is just stating that people will want to go to a source that has the story already posted with multiple opinions. In “Newsonomics “ by Ken Doctor he discusses that “The reading revolution is not a rejection of newspaper content.The newspaper is simply an anachronism.Why would you cut down all those trees,put gas in a truck to deliver the papers,and then have to settle for old news,when you can transport yourself to any news or opinion source on the globe at the click of a mouse or by tapping a few words into the ubiquitous Yahoo or Google search? “ We are in an age where people want instant gratification, therefore, people want their news and stories right away once a story is developing. This is also why search engines are helping with news. Sadly, “overall newspaper readership declined in spite of an increase in the number of people reading online newspapers: 14% of Americans said they read a newspaper online yesterday, up from 9% in 2006.“ Which leads into how semiotics is tying into the newspaper industry.

Semiotics “is the study of signs, symbols, and signification.” The newspaper can relate to this because the signifier is the print paper and the signified is the fact that newspapers are becoming outdated sources for people to receive their news. The print newspapers is can take advantage of the digital divide by creating websites for their newspapers because it is more economical. For example, my hometown newspaper the Virginia Pilot takes advantage of the web and also has advertisers labeled down the side of their website. When breaking news happens they are able to produce a story even if it is just a paragraph long. Plus they can build a fan basis because even if someone cannot afford to have the paper delivered they can still receive news from the websites. Click “here for an example of newspapers being delivered to people’s homes.

In conclusion, many social media sites help newspapers that are online because people can easily share those stories through the social media sites. There are many facts throughout this article that prove that it is very economical for newspapers to change to the media platform and spread articles faster. However, some people do not want this change to happen because of the nostalgia of the hard print and therefore this is a hard topic to tell someone to strictly change over to digital media only and lose the traditions such as the New York Times Crossword puzzles. However, if the newspaper does then they might be able to pay their staff better and the bills on time.


Ravynn Sykes on April 13th, 2012

Havoc can cause fear. Fear defined by is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” Fear was created on April 20th,1999 when two men, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, committed the crimes of a shooting at Columbine. These two boys were not only the main victims of bullying but were also submerged into the world of violent video games. The media always exclaims that violent video games are poor towards an adolescent’s health. However, could video games act as a double edged sword? Is it possible that if the boys had not had their video games taken away from them that they may have had an imaginative therapy to escape from the world going on around them.

Many people usually associate violent video games with deteriorating effects on adolescent’s brains but what if these games could potentially release rage for many overly stressed

adolescents. These violent video games could be working as a very tricky double edged sword. According to Mike Nizza of the New York Times,he states that “They “relied on the virtual world of computer games to express their rage and to spend time, and cutting them off in 1998 sent them into crisis,” . This article talks about how Eric and Dylan played video games and released the rage they had for many classmates and students out on their video games such as Doom. Possibly the video games might have produced a therapeutic state for the boys to express their rage without harming anyone immediately. The boys had many issues however, and were planning on building bombs and breaking into vans. Therefore, in no way shape or form am I saying violent video games can sure someone but it does help expend some anger that may be pent up. Even though these video games were not healthy at least they could contain their rage to the computer screen.

As said earlier the boys video games were taken away and this may have affected their Hierarchy of needs. The boys created levels as intricate as the hierarchy needs themselves in the video games. They also felt as though they could release rage inside of the video games. The video games also contained their rage because it would allow for them not to realize all the social interactions that were going on around them that according to a journal entry they were not included in. According to USA today “According to Cullen, one of Harris’ last journal entries read: “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don’t … say, ‘Well that’s your fault,’ because it isn’t, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don’t let the weird-looking Eric KID come along.” Therefore, Eric and Dylan may have found peace in the violent video games that they loved so much. Many people believe that not only the bullying provoked these incidents but also the fact that the video games fueled their minds. Many people did not know the true news of what was happening. When they did attack on the school there were many inaccuracies. In Newsonomics, they talk about how the press needs to produce the story right away therefore inaccuracies are produced. An example of the inaccuracies is the title that said “According to Cullen, one of Harris’ last journal entries read: “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don’t … say, ‘Well that’s your fault,’ because it isn’t, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don’t let the weird-looking Eric KID come along.” Press usually has a topic they must focus in and then report on as fast as they can so that they can be the best, fastest and have the most explosive stories. This relates back to the video game dilemma because many video games throw in violence to be the best, bloodiest and most successful. Therefore, in a way violent video games are their own greatest downfall if they are being blamed for violence. Many parents do not usually take the time to realize what their kids are playing. Therefore, ” One of the questions parents asked after the Columbine shooting was: “How could it be that the parents did not know their children were playing such heinous video games?” The answer is that parents are not familiar with video games because they don’t play them.”
The violent video games allowed for Eric and Dylan to explore and create and even let some of the rage out that they had inside. Even though video games have negative consequences on the youths mind they may also act as a diversion for peoples anger to be channeled in the games they are playing.
In conclusion is it possible the violent video games may help adolescent cope with their violent addictions. No one can be sure about this except the people who actually use it. Therefore, monitor your children and see how the video games may be affecting them it may just be a double edged sword no one wants to experience.

Ravynn Sykes on February 25th, 2012

When I was younger when I would come home from school all I would want to do is relax. However, I was not allowed to relax until my school work was done for the night. Therefore, as a treat I would be allowed to go on the computer until dinner time. My favorite sites consisted of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. However, the true treats would be if an advertisement popped up on the side bar for either Kellogg’s or Froot Loops because there would always be games associated with these products. The games were always just challenging enough to have me coming back but simplistic enough not to overwhelm me. Only later in my life would I find out that this technique would be called advergaming. Advergaming poses a threat because it provides a reason for children gain an in-depth level with their food besides than with just the taste buds.

Children love having their minds engaged with games and also love food. Children with advergaming can get the best of both worlds because they can be exposed to their favorite food while also being exposed to a sugary coated story. Online advergaming sites, to be effective, must encourage not just prolonged visits but also repeat visits. Therefore, that’s why advergaming sites must keep updating story lines to keep children addicted. However, advergaming addictions do not help children’s obesity rates. Many children are gaining such an in depth level with the game they will crave the food then crave to play the game creating a nasty addictive cycle.

One of the theories advergaming uses is a bandwagon technique. By allowing people to log in and create avatars,virtual player, they are not only allowing people to save their score but also show others how many other people are playing. This will make many children feel it is okay to be playing on these websites because many other children are also playing these games. Also, with all these kids playing games also is allowing them less time to exercise. During the period 1980-2008, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% to 19.6% During that wide gap of time there was many technological advances happening. Meaning that kids would be spending more time inside and therefore less time outside getting fresh air. New interactive digital media have become an integral part of children’s lives. This is why advergaming is an issue in smaller children because advergmaing is targeted to children before age 12 and that is one of the most impressionable age groups. Once Froot Loops , Lucky Charms or etc can get their foot into the door of homes then they are instills in the children’s mind as an item they must have.

For example Kellogg’s has branded Tony the Tiger for younger children. The commercials will always show Tony the Tiger playing all types of sports with the kids and everyone eating a big bowl of the cereal. Then at the end of every commercial it says go online and check out games and for moms to check out online coupons. However, in reality even though the kids are playing sports they are sitting down taking more time eating the sugary bowl of cereal. The cereal in general will make all of them incapable to perform at their best because the cereal is nothing but sugar. According to Consumer Reports , There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and 10 other rated cereals as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Then when they go online they will be consumed by the games therefore, creating more obese children.

Therefore in conclusion the only way to stop this nasty cycle is not to stop children completely from using these games. The games are wholesome stimulating fun for the children. The only true way to stop this problem is to make out kids aware of these issues. Therefore, the children are not becoming mindless zombies to the advergaming market. The only way to help a problem is to make someone aware of it.


Ravynn Sykes on February 8th, 2012

Have you ever had the urge to leave your house and chase a car but realized you could not because a) you are not fast enough and b) you are out of shape. Maybe you have never had the urge to chase a car but maybe the thought of exercise has made you realize that you are not in the best of shape. The 2012 Volkswagen commercial “The Dog Strikes Back”. focuses on the age old battle of losing your physique and trying to get back into shape. The commercial aired during the XLVI Superbowl and had two parts. They showed the story of a male dog named Bolt which will be explained later and the second half reminisces on their successful Star Wars .themed commercial last year. However, I will mainly focus on the themes in the first part of the commercial.
The story of Bolt in the 2012 Volkswagen commercial is the average “comeback story” .The commercial starts off with Bolt laying on the bed and he suddenly sees a fast paced Volkswagen race past the window and Bolt has the natural instincts to chase the car. However, just as Bolt reaches the dog door, he unfortunately cannot fit through the door. We find Bolt afterward looking at himself in the mirror re-evaluating himself and we understand that he has an epiphany that he must regain his physique. Therefore, Bolt takes small steps in regaining his confidence and shape. He does everything the average human would do in regaining their shape all the way from running every day in the winter, working out to exercise videos and also avoiding snacking. His dedication allows for him to lose the previous weight and allows him to be “beach body ready”.
Volkswagen has created very family friendly advertisements for the past two Superbowls and their family oriented approach has gained them much popularity in the past years. This allows for them to reach out to an audience geared more towards women who are caring mothers, the end of the commercial allows for Star Wars,male fans ,between the age of 20-45 to also enjoy the ad, also adults who enjoy Rick James would also enjoy the commercial. Therefore, “The Dog Strikes Back” focuses on a family friendly approach to losing weight, supposed to sexual desire, to reach their audience while also using the plain folks pitch.
In the past many commercials that involve weight loss and fast cars there is usually at least one scantily clad woman, especially found prevalent in the Go Daddy commercials. According to professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, he states in his article Image based culture that “The need for a commercial to stand out to a visually sophisticated audience drove the image system to a greater frenzy of concentrated shorts. Again, sexuality became a key feature of the image-system within this.” .The age old saying of sex sells is very prevalent in our American society therefore that is why advertisers will use an attractive figured human to market their products not only to show results but to also gain the attention of the masses. However the Volkswagen commercial instead uses Bolt to tell the story of zero to hero in gaining weight and catching a fast car.
The positives of having a family oriented fast paced car commercial is because while it is a very cute and pleasing commercial it also speaks to many mothers with the scene of an upper class mother feeding her baby in a suburban home. This shows that this is a car that is for classy people and even though it appeals to women with the baby and losing weight aspect. Volkswagen may also be trying to appeal to men with the red beetle, which is the color of speed, and the “Star Wars” reference was important to the advertising team. .This draws the attention of many male admirers of Star Wars. Therefore this empowers many Star Wars fanatics that feel as though they were put down in society for liking Star Wars which is shown as a “geeky” movie to like in many other shows in society. The commercial also empowers many people who feel as though it is hopeless to lose weight because a dog was able to do it with a little bit of work and dedication.
The plain folks pitch was an ingenious way for Volkswagen to get into the hearts of many Americans with the story of Bolt and Star Wars. They did not have to use sexual measures in order to tell the story of weight loss and fast cars. This ad was one of the very few excellent advertisements during the 2012 Superbowl. It is very important to realize that sex does not necessarily always sell.