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Mike Rugnetta

  1. What Are Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants, and Do They Exist?

    Those dern kids with their Snapchats and their Youtubes!

    Critics love making this distinction between digital natives -- those born after 1980 who grew up with the Internet and are supposedly fluent in its use -- and digital immigrants -- those born before 1980 and who have to manually learn how to use these technologies, but is that distinction useful or accurate? PBS Idea Channel investigates.

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  2. PBS Idea Channel Looks Inward to Answer Viewer Questions with Double Episodes

    Q: Is Idea Channel one of our favorite things? A: Yes.

    The latest episode of PBS Idea Channel is a two-part behind-the-scenes look at the show, how it's made, and how it came to be. They put the word out that they wanted to answer questions, and viewers responded in a big way. Watch host Mike Rugnetta explain some of the inner workings of one of the best shows on the Internet.

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  3. PBS Idea Channel Explores The Symbolic Significance of Doctor Who For Its 50th Anniversary [Video]

    What are we going to be excited about after this Saturday?

    Doctor Who is all anyone's been talking about for the past two weeks, and PBS Idea Channel is no exception. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary this weekend, Mike Rugnetta takes a look at the history of the Doctor over the years, and how he might be less of an individual character and more of a series of symbols.

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  4. Could Seeing Ender’s Game Be Considered a Political Action? [Video]

    Yes? No? We're very conflicted.

    Ender's Game has been out for about a week now, and whether or not audiences should go see it if they're opposed to Orson Scott Card's politics has been a hotly contested issue over the past few months. Mike Rugnetta and PBS Idea Channel decided to take a look at whether money should be wielded as a political "upvote."

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  5. Is Slender Man The Internet’s First Crowdsourced Folk Tale? [Video]

    No matter whether this is true or not, the correct response is definitely NOPE NOPE NOPE

    Slender Man might have been invented on a Something Awful forum in 2009, but as Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel explains, since then he's taken on a life of his own. Protip: Do not watch this new video with the lights off while you're working from home alone in your apartment early in the morning. Just... um, just don't. Trust us on this one.

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  6. What’s the Difference Between “Being” and “Controlling” Your Video Game Avatar? PBS Idea Channel Explains

    Living in Tron-world makes this whole thing a moot point.

    When playing a video game are you simply controlling an avatar, or are you being that avatar? It's a complicated distinction without a true binary, but that's not going to stop PBS Idea Channel from tackling it. When does a game's avatar cross from being controlled into simply being? Watch and learn.

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  7. Is Spam The Native Art Form Of The Internet? [Video]

    Everything happens so much!

    Like us, Mike Rugnetta was pretty bummed to find out that Horse_eBooks hasn't been a real spambot for the past two years. However, it got him and the rest of the crew at PBS Idea Channel thinking about the true nature of spam and whether it might, when done well, even be considered artistic. Huh. Well, that's an odd twist.

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  8. Can You Really Enjoy Breaking Bad?

    It is growth, decay, then sadness.

    A we all know, up until about two weeks ago Breaking Bad had been ripping the hearts out of us on a constant basis and stomping all over them, and we loved every second. Or did we really? In the latest episode of PBS IDea Channel, Mike Rugnetta suggests that our enjoyment doesn't necessarily come from the show, but from the relief we feel when it's over.

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  9. How does Welcome To Night Vale Confront Us With The Unknown?

    Good night, listeners. Good night.

    Part News from Lake Wobegon, part Lovecraftian horror, Welcome To Night Vale has been getting a lot of attention lately -- it's now the most popular podcast on iTunes, even moreso than This American Life. Why are we so fascinated with this quiet radio drama? Mike Rugnetta and PBS Idea Channel have some thoughts.

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  10. Are the Titans in Attack On Titan Really All That Evil? [Video]

    They sure are creepy. Ick.

    Full disclosure: none of us have seen the new anime Attack on Titan yet. We know, We're sorry. We've all heard really good stuff about it, if that makes it any better. Mike Rugnetta of PBS: Idea Channel has seen it, however, and he has a lot of real interesting... well, ideas! That's kind of his thing, and he sure is great at it.

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