March 24, 2015

Let’s Talk About Media Literacy For A Second

Let’s have a talk about media literacy.

Media literacy is a set of skills that people need in order to properly comment on and analyze video games, movies, books, music and television shows. The four main focal points when analyzing media are production, language, representation and audience.

When analyzing or commenting on media, someone who has a high level of media literacy is able to make sure any comments made take into consideration:

  • the larger viewpoints of how and by who the work is produced,
  • the way in which the work has been produced in line with other works in the same medium,
  • how the work represents actual reality or the reality the producers intended it to portray,
  • and the audience for which the producers of the media intended it for.

When we write about stuff here on BuzzerBlog, we try our best to keep those four facets in the front of our minds as we talk about this medium we so treasure, and we ask that our audience does as well. It makes a lot of sense to take things in a larger picture, to avoid sitting in an echo chamber of “show more classics bring back Barker nothing’s good anymore everything is garbage” that more often than not appear in other game show communities online.

That being said, this article from the AV Club, reviewing an average episode of the Price is Right, is at this point, one of the highest points of game show journalism that I’ve seen come out of any publication. It discusses the different aspects of how the show is produced today, compares it to both a factual history of TPiR and the stereotypical expectations of game shows. Nuances of how the show is shot, the differences between how the show was, and how the show is, and the little things that host Drew Carey does that, no matter how much you hate the guy, mirrors Bob Barker’s hosting styles deeper than you think.

As I read through our comments, our Facebook posts, and our fellow game show reporting outlets, I notice a lot of people who “shoot from the hip” and comment without taking into any consideration anything outside of their own emotions or experiences. Other blogs, intentionally or otherwise, seem to refuse to put any thoughtful consideration into the current state of game shows. I’m not saying opinions are worthless—far from it.

Opinions are what drive the entertainment industry (albeit indirectly, through advertiser and ratings support). When you’re leaving your opinions online to read, you’re taken more seriously when you’re able to take your opinions about things and filter them through a thought process that’s thoroughly based in a reality that’s larger than your own. Giving things a nice bit of thought has never hurt anyone, and in fact increases the enjoyment of any kind of media, serious or not.