Vol. 2 Issue 5 | February 5, 2016

Vol. 2 Issue 5 | February 5, 2016



What It Is: Zayn Malik (aka the One Direction defector) released his first single and music video (43+ million views and counting), as well as a 7-second preview of another.

Why It's Important: Many students grew up with the boys of 1D and will be highly influenced by his music. So the single’s popularity is a good indicator of how much influence the entire album (due in March) will have. What’s his first-ever solo single about? Duh, sex (lyrics here, f bomb warning!). Malik said in an interview, “Everybody has sex, and it’s something people want to hear about.” Whoa. Talk about underlying assumptions. Work through the lyrics with your students, helping them to see how it can shape their imagination regarding sex and the good life. (Note: We do not recommend watching the music video; it is soft-core porn.)


What It Is: Nintendo moves into the mobile realm with its first app, Miitomo, available in March.

Why It’s Important: Traditionally, Nintendo games and consoles have appealed mostly to kids and younger teens. The company says that Miitomo “users will be able to interact with their friends in an entirely new way that transforms communication into a form of play,” so this is basically a gamified social network for tweens. Though interactions between users will be through users’ Miis and with (seemingly) pre-set questions, it could present issues of privacy and security inherent in any network that allows one to interact with strangers. Parents need to be proactive in dealing with these issues if they choose to allow their kids to use the game.


What It Is: YouTube’s paid streaming service, Red, will unveil its first original content starting Feb. 10.

Why It's Important: YouTube is capitalizing on its users’ massive audiences by teaming with them to create shows. For example, PewDiePie (YouTube’s most popular channel), who gained popularity from his commentary on video game play, has a series in which he lives video games IRL. It’s yet to be seen if Red will become the new Netflix, but if this 20-year-old’s opinion is any indication, there’s a good chance: “YouTube is a part of my everyday routine. . . .I pay for Netflix every single month, but I use it way less than YouTube.”

Bonus: #BeforeFacebookI started trending this week thanks to Comedy Central’s show Midnight. People use it to reflect on what life was like before they joined the social network. Ask your students to say one positive and one negative thing...if they can even remember.


1. FIFA 16

2. Tom Clancy’s The Division

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops III

4. Fallout 4

5. Far Cry Primal

6. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers

7. Star Wars: Battlefront

8. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

9. Madden NFL 16

10. Street Fighter V