Video Games–The New “Playgrounds of the Self?”

Just a couple of years ago, I was talking to a group of college students–mostly young men–about pressures, temptations, and challenges that come with living in our postmodern world. Predictably, many of these students mentioned challenges related to technology, such as the availability of internet pornography. What took me by surprise was their near-unanimous judgment that video games represent a persistent pattern of temptation they often find very hard to resist.

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A Common Culture in the Age of Blogging?

The rise of the blogosphere continues to change the face of American culture. According to observers, the internet is now home to millions of web-logs (more commonly known as “blogs”), and something like eleven million Americans claim to have started blogs themselves. All this adds up to a major shift in our national culture and a massive threat to the dominance of what is now nostalgically called “mainstream media” (or “MSM”). Now, art critic Terry Teachout offers this observation: “The simplest description of this change is also the starkest one: the common culture of widely shared values and knowledge that once helped to unite Americans of all creeds, colors, and classes no longer exists.”

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