Hi readers,
Over the weekend I had a new post published over at Third Spaces, which is the group blog of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at CU Boulder. The piece explores the relationship between national identity and video games. Please go check it out and share it with anyone you think might find it interesting!

You can read “Gaming the Nation” here.

That’s all for now. My follow-up to the last post will be out Friday. Have a great week!

This week Note to Self podcast (the tech show about being human) is launching their new interactive project called The Privacy Paradox, which is exploring the relationship between our desire for greater privacy yet our collective actions as a society that strengthen surveillance capitalism.

If you haven’t done a Note to Self interactive project before, they’re typically an insightful way to spend a week reflecting on the role of media in our lives through both theorizing and experimentation. (Past projects were “Bored and Brilliant” about rethinking our relationships with our smartphones and “Infomagical” about information overload.)

The project kicks off today and you can join thousands of people across the world participating. (And me!)

Sign up here: https://project.wnyc.org/privacy-paradox/

It is almost the end of a long semester and the end of a long year. Thanksgiving was a welcome moment of respite, but now that I am back, the reality of what I need to accomplish in these upcoming two weeks is daunting. Two significant research papers to write, two Ph.D applications to complete, a fellowship application to submit, and several large work projects to finish. So much writing! Breathe in, breathe out, take one step at a time.

The hardest part is that I can already imagine life on break. My lists of books, TV shows, and films to read and watch have exponentially grown. (Not to mention the personal projects I want to work on at home.) I’m also excited because winter break heralds Oscar season–the months when the best films of the year are released.

Winter Break Goals on my Trello board.
Some of my Winter Break Goals on my Trello board.

In short, I am faced with the constant question our generation encounters: with so much great media content out there, how do we sift through the options and decide what we wish to engage? Historically, one often found that large sections of a population were watching the same shows together or reading roughly the same literature, but the Internet and other technology has loosened the limitations of distribution and production, resulting in widely varying habits of content consumption. No two people are watching, reading, and even playing (to loop in video games) exactly all the same things. How does this change how we think about and choose our media?

I’ve been having a similar conversation with some of my students, and they’re also feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of content out there. We agree that each individual will have to figure out their own system for determining what to engage, and while I have been formulating my own philosophy on personal consumption, I am really curious as to how you decide what to watch/read/play.

So this week, I am asking for you to contribute to my blog. Send me a private message or comment below! I am especially interested in those of you who work in some branch of media production or education, where you are expected to “keep up” with what’s popular.

Here’s your question: how do you select from the cornucopia of incredible content what you will watch/read/play, and how do you manage your time accordingly to maintain a healthy balanced life?

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