Vol. 2 Issue 42 | October 21, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 42 | October 21, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. Marvel’s IronHeart

What it is: Marvel Comics recently announced their new Iron Man will be a young girl (15-year-old Riri Williams as Ironheart). And while fans are excited about a black female superhero, they aren’t thrilled with how the character is depicted in sexually charged, age-inappropriate ways.

Why it's troubling: Students are bombarded with hypersexualized images of females everyday, but it’s especially troubling when it’s a young girl. Between Lingerie Barbie, Victoria’s Secret “Call Me” thongs for teens, sexy selfies, and risque Halloween costumes, it’s nearly impossible for teen girls to escape sexual objectification and the temptation to sexualize themselves in their pursuit of acceptance. Here’s one 14-year-old girl’s take on it. Research indicates that exposure to a hypersexualized female ideal leads girls to “lower self-esteem, eating disorders, negative moods, and depression.” Read Time’s “American Girls” article with your daughter or female students and confront the lie that their real value only comes from “being sexy.”

2. Are You Lost in the World Like Me?

What it is: A new song and music video by Moby that is convicting for parents and students.

Why it's good: First, watch it by yourself and ask these questions: What tech habits do I need to change? Is my technology use making me more free...or less? Second, watch it with your students and start an ongoing conversation about their own tech habits.

3. Contagion

What it is: Our hometown of Colorado Springs is facing an alarming cluster of teen suicides (more than two dozen in less than two years).

Why it's alarming: Student suicides tend to come in bunches because teens ages 15 to 19 are two to four times more prone to suicide contagion than people in other age groups, reminding us of the power of behavioral modeling. Also, if the media goes into detail about how a person died or glamorizes the person’s death, it “can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals.” But contrary to myth, talking with your students cannot plant the idea in their head. Here’s how to start the conversation.


Top Video Games Out This Fall

72% of teens play video games, and among boys, video games serve to create and foster lasting friendships. Students love gaming because it is challenging, visually immersive, story driven, and provides an escape from normal life. But we should remind them that like most things, video games are good only in moderation. Students who play video games sparingly perform better in math, science, and reading than those who game every day. Here are five video games your gamer will probably have on their Christmas list. And to keep you up to date on the games your teens will soon be begging to play, below is a list of big releases this fall.

Earlier this month:
Destiny: Rise of Iron--Players team up to fight aliens or compete against each other.

Mafia III--A gritty, narrative-driven game about revenge set in 1960s mob culture. It’s like an interactive Netflix original series: violent, sexual, and well-written with relatable anti-heroes.

Gears of War 4 (Xbox One only)--The next release in a sci-fi action series that encourages players to stick with family at all costs in order to survive.

Coming out soon:
Battlefield 1 (Oct 21)--Newest installment in the BattleField franchise, this time set in WWI.

Titanfall 2 (Oct 28)--Sci-fi, multiplayer sequel.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Nov 4)--A mainstay among competitive gamers and a major title for eSports, it’s one of the most profitable franchises in gaming history.

Dishonored 2 (Nov 11)--Father and daughter assassins battle corruption on their path to vengeance.

Watch Dogs 2 (Nov 15)--Players use hacking and disruption to combat a powerful and oppressive corporation.

Final Fantasy XV (Nov 29)--The next release in a long-running sci-fi/fantasy franchise that’s well known for its involved stories.

Dead Rising 4 (Dec 6)--Players experiment with creative ways to slay hordes of zombies.

Play with Them:
Research indicates that gaming with your children actually brings families together, creating opportunities to talk not only about their gaming habits, but other difficult subjects.

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