Issue 13 | May 1, 2015
SUMMARY: Issue 13 covers Shut Up & Dance, Minecraft, and 4Chan.
WHAT STUDENTS ARE LISTENING TO THIS WEEK
- “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa Ronson feat. Charlie Puth (Tribute to Paul Walker; What happens after you die)
- “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars (Partying and identity)
- “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap (“Bad girls” are good)
- “Earned It (50 Shades of Grey)” by The Weeknd (Love must be earned)
- “Sugar” by Maroon 5 (Relationship based on sex)
- “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding (Identity-defining relationship; codependency)
- “Shut Up And Dance” by Walk the Moon (See below)
- “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran (Unconditional love)
- “G.D.F.R.” by Flo Rida ft. Sage The Gemini & Lookas (Partying, sex, identity)
- “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo (Relationship based on sex)
SHUT UP AND DANCE: DESTINY RULES
Among the top 10 this week, one of these songs is not like the other. Misfit “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon is surrounded by pop and rap giants, names well known in the music world, so indie fans everywhere are delighted by its success. Although the song’s sound may be a breath of fresh air for some, it too packages dangerous ideas into catchy sounds and a somewhat humorous ‘80s throwback music video. Some key lyrics (with emphasis added):
? We were victims of the night, the chemical, physical kryptonite. Helpless to the bass and the fading light. Oh, we were bound to get together, bound to get together. . . . Don’t you dare look back. Just keep your eyes on me. I said, “You’re holding back,” She said, “Shut up and dance with me!” This woman is my destiny . . . ?
This message, that we’re simply destiny’s pawns with no control, is everywhere today in different forms. The best example: we fell in/out of love—it just happened, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve seen first-hand the dangers of this belief (families torn apart), but it’s also dangerous because it breeds generations who believe they are not responsible for their choices and actions.
Ask Your Students: What is the message behind this song? Is that idea consistent with God’s Word? Why or why not? (If they don’t know, it can be a great opportunity for discipleship and guiding them to relevant Scripture.) Can you think of an example of when this idea had negative consequences? Why do you think God doesn’t want us to have this belief? (See Colossians 1:9-10, Matthew 12:33-37, 1 Corinthians 14:20, Ephesians 4:11-15
A QUICK GUIDE TO MINECRAFT
Minecraft is a hugely popular game, especially with kids. But as with many new technologies and video games, adults everywhere are left wondering what it is, why so many hours are gladly spent on it, and if they should be concerned about it.
Lightning-Fast Overview: Minecraft is a “sandbox” game (meaning there’s no set objective or mission) that focuses on creativity and exploration, is frequently updated, and allows for players to work together.
The Appeal: Its limitlessness. Because there are no direct objectives, players continually explore and build on their own, with no obvious stopping place. There are also so many potential things to do that it’s easy to start thinking about what you’ll do next, even when you’re not playing. Kids can be especially prone to this, resulting in “binging” and being distracted while doing other things. You can also play with other people online, which brings in issues of Internet safety—though single-player and small games solely with real-life friends are safe workarounds.
How to Deal: First and most importantly, stay informed. Some good places to start: Youtuber PaulSoaresJr is a dad who plays Minecraft with his kids. He has a series on the basics of Minecraft and his family’s games together. MineMum is a mother from Australia who has great perspective for parents looking to understand Minecraft. This guide, written by a parent whose kids play, is a useful, more in-depth look at the game. And for those who already know a little bit, the Minecraft Wiki is a great database of everything within the game.
Second, take the opportunity to have conversations with students about Minecraft. The game offers some really cool possibilities for learning, so it’s not all negative. And it’s also a powerful chance for you to help them understand why playing too much could be a problem. Equipping students to enjoy video games within healthy boundaries can have enormous impact for the rest of their lives.
<strongSOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: 4CHAN
What is it? Start with this video (Warning! Contains a bleeped-out profanity.) If a celebrity’s phone is hacked or they have images stolen, 4Chan is the online image-based discussion board where the info will most likely be published.
How it has evolved: Still anonymous, it now includes boards for 35 different topics, ranging from sexuality to origami. Users of the site have been linked to activism and subcultures, as well as been responsible for creating and propagating memes. The “Random” board (aka /b/) receives the most traffic and has few rules for posting content.
How it’s used poorly: Unsurprisingly, 4Chan contains pornography and other adult content. Though the site makes the effort to label such content as NSFW (Not Safe For Work), users can still access it, regardless of age. In addition, the site has been used for harmful pranks, threatening violence, propagating lies and slander, child porn, and even posting photos of an abused cat and a murder victim.
Why you should understand it: Most people who enjoy 4Chan fit into two categories: those who only use it to keep up with a recent scandal, and those who want to find anonymous community for something that isn’t “cool” or socially acceptable. For that reason, most people who use 4Chan usually don’t publicize their support of it. Most students will know what it is, but are unlikely to be warned of its dangers because of the general misunderstanding by adults of what it.