Running Your Own Drug Cartel Isn’t Entertainment

Somewhere in a bubble are a group of sanctimonious parents convinced that every activity, every game, every minute their precious child spends should be uplifting, enlightening, and helping them become future peace-loving citizens of the world. In the real world, however, parents have long since realized that while it’s smart to encourage kids to play … Continued


A Defense of Pokémon Go and the Pursuit of Hyper-Reality

Who would have thought that in such a short time Pokémon Go could redefine reality? Not even a month has passed since the mobile app became the most talked-about craze of the year, and already a significant number of Americans have allowed the game to dominate their waking lives, leaving the remainder of the population … Continued


The Virtues of Pokémon GO

I’ve always caught Pidgeys on a Gameboy screen. But now, I can catch them in the forest behind my house. Pokémon GO, a new game in Nintendo’s massively successful Pokémon franchise, was just released in the US last week. From what people are saying about it—and from all the weird stuff that’s happened because of … Continued


Why Brushing Your Teeth Doesn’t Need to be “Gamified”

Like every other parent in the throes of summer vacation, I wake up every morning vaguely panicked about how to meet the biggest challenge of the day ahead: how to get more screen time for my children. In between the video games and the television, the smartphones and the tablets, with the occasional Super Smash … Continued


Why Do Feminist Video Game Critics Want to Ban Male Fantasies?

It seems increasingly evident that Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist critic of alleged sexism in video games, wants to ban men from having sexual fantasies. Male sexual fantasies have been the main focal point running through Sarkeesian’s video series, “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.” In her latest video, Sarkeesian explores what she calls the “Women … Continued


God, Guns, Masculinity, and the New Promise Keepers

In 1990, a Colorado football coach named Bill McCartney founded an organization meant to encourage men to live honorably. Within two years, Promise Keepers was no longer a group but a movement, and in 1997 it attracted more than a million men to the Washington D.C. mall for a “sacred assembly,” a massive pep rally … Continued


Why Gamergate is Really About Political Correctness

I don’t think Anita Sarkeesian knew what she was getting into. Sarkeesian is the thirty-two-year-old feminist who has gained notoriety through Feminist Frequency, a website and social movement that criticizes violence and misogyny in video games. Sarkeesian has become a lightning rod in the gaming community. After raising over $150,000 on Kickstarter in 2012 to … Continued


Monument Valley: A Game Worth Praising

Here at Acculturated and elsewhere, I usually take a negative view of just about everything in our culture. I admit that I’m a pessimist. How much greater this makes my joy, then, when I discover a cultural artifact worth praising. Monument Valley is not a new mobile game, but it’s new to me. It’s been … Continued


Could a Tennis Ball Have Stopped Elliot Rodger?

Hitting a tennis ball against a wall. That’s the way we used to deal with it. If you were frustrated about a girl, or angry about something, or even just bored on a summer day, my father would walk up and present you with two objects: a tennis ball and a tennis racket. He didn’t even … Continued


Gaming: The Least Virtuous Pastime

Imagine a room with four able-bodied men standing before four screens, flickering intensely as silence engulfs them—but for the clicking of keys and an occasional grunt. The men are in the midst of a challenge, and each is avoiding eye contact with the others due to the intense focus required by the battle being waged … Continued