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  1. A Field Experiment on Gender Stereotypes and Video Game Interactions

    +2 CHA, -2 STR

    I have a soft spot for studies about multiplayer games. Partly, this is because games are my stomping ground, and I like to nitpick the things I love. But more importantly, such studies are often reflective of how game culture is inextricably tied to the real world. The values and beliefs we hold out here can’t help but trickle down into virtual environments as well. There’s a new study that illustrates this beautifully, with a focus on social norms and expectations. In other words, my jam.

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  2. Number Crunching Doctor Who Shows Reduced Roles for Female Characters in Moffat Era

    Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

    For her Media Research Methods course, Rebecca Moore and several other students did a bunch of observation and data analysis right along the lines of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Except instead of focusing broadly on television and movies, with is difficult and expensive enough, they narrowed their focus to Doctor Who, and even further to the first six seasons of the show's modern run. Specifically, Moore, et al., were focusing on a few quantifiable attributes of the treatment of female characters, in order to confirm or deny more anecdotal claims that the show's depiction of gender has become less progressive since the ascension of current show runner Steven Moffat.

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  3. How Much Money Can You Win in a Single Episode of Jeopardy!?

    ...and why it's unlikely anyone will actually win it.

    Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek appeared on The Nerdist Podcast recently. It's a really interesting interview, and if you have an hour and a half to kill, it's a great way to do that. At one point host Chris Hardwick wondered what the theoretical maximum a player could win in one episode was, so we did the math.

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  4. What Are The World’s Heaviest-Drinking Nations?

    Yay 'Murica, I guess.

    The World Health Organization has released its Global status report on alcohol and health 2014, and as the name suggests, it's kind of a bummer. Severity of alcohol related diseases aside, however, it does have some interesting insights. The United States didn't even make the "top ten", so good for us, I think?

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  5. Survey Says: At Emerald City Comicon, Men Were a Minority

    Gender Bendery

    After Emerald City Comicon's doors were closed for the weekend, it asked its attendees to fill out a survey about the event, to see what worked, what didn't work, and what they can do better or more of. In it, they gave folks a blank field to list whatever gender identity they felt most comfortable with, whether that be female, male, agender, "Wonder Woman," "man?," or “a nebulous glow cloud.” The results, once divided up, are quite revealing. More than half of survey takers identified as female. Even if (as is unlikely) all of the folks who identified as non-binary were guys doing so as some form of joke, women would still outnumber them: at the very least, you cannot say that women were rare or a minority in the community. You might also point out that a voluntary survey is not a perfect measure of the actual population of the con, as undoubtedly some folks chose not to take it, skewing the results. That's certainly true. All that this graphic might mean is that the folks who actually care enough about ECCC to want to help make it better were majority women. Previously in Emerald City Comic Con

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  6. Spurious Correlations Engine Generates Graphs for Bizarre Coincidences

    Correlation is not causation, unless by "causation," you mean "fun."

    If you like weird facts, time wasters and thinking critically, then get thee over to Spurious Correlations. Just because drownings from 1999-2009 correlate at a rate of 0.666004 with the number of films Nicolas Cage appeared in during those years doesn't mean the two are actually linked, but have fun trying to find a connection.

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  7. MPAA Statistics Break the Stunning News That Most of the People Who Go the Movies Aren’t White Men

    Every year at CinemaCon the MPAA releases statistics (report here) on the previous year's moviegoers: What percentage of them can be classified as "frequent moviegoers," how 3D movies do across various markets, whether the average ticket price has changed. Stuff like that. And, of particular relevance to us, demographic breakdowns. You might have to sit down for this, because it's shocking: Far more women and racial minorities see movies than there are women and racial minorities in movies. It's almost like there's not enough representation or something. I know. So weird.

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  8. On Average, The Top Women-Led Films of 2013 Grossed Higher Than Male-Led Films

    Oh Hollywood

    As we've previously discussed, of the 100 highest-grossing films of 2013, a whopping 15 featured female protagonists. This figure became popular knowledge through a report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, which compares the percentage of women working behind the camera with those featured on screen. Unsurprisingly, the numbers correlate. Vanity Fair's Bruce Handy had some questions about those statistics. Given Hollywood's focus on getting as many butts in seats as possible, surely they wouldn't ignore the preferences of their audiences. Could it be that the lack of women on screen was actually reflective of a purchasing trend? If we treat blockbusters like Catching Fire as flukes, is there economic logic behind the comparative lack of female-led films? Spoiler: No.

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  9. #FollowFriday: Fake Library Stats (@FakeLibStats)

    The stats are fake, but the jokes are real.

    It's that time again, Internet. #FollowFriday is our weekly segment where we recommend a Twitter account for you to follow. Usually we focus on people, but this week it's Fake Library Stats (@FakeLibStats).

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  10. Let’s Get Mad: Center for Study of Women in TV and Film Releases 2013 Findings on Female Characters

    Oh Hollywood

    Just a couple months ago, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film released their report on the gender ratios of Hollywood's workers, discovering that the ratio of women to men in various behind the scenes roles such as editors, writers, cinematographers, composers, and special effects supervisors has not changed more than three percentage points in sixteen years. That was pretty disheartening, but theoretically, men should be just as able to craft female characters that don't play to stereotypical tropes as women are at creating relatable male characters. So how did that go?

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