Vol. 5 Issue 50 | December 13, 2019

Vol. 5 Issue 50 | December 13, 2019

Three Things This Week

1. Year in Swipe

What it is: Tinder released their annual stats report, revealing that Gen Z (defined as 18- to 24-year-olds) became their largest demographic in 2019, as well as a lot about their interests.

Why it’s illuminating: Gen Zers don’t just want someone “to match with, but to march with too”—meaning they were more likely to list causes they care about in their profiles (top causes: climate change, social justice, environment, and gun control) than their Millennial counterparts (who were 3x more likely to list travel than causes). They also found that, “if there’s one thing younger generations bond over today, it’s a shared sense of Facepalming at what’s happening in the world.” The facepalm emoji saw a 41% increase in usage in bios in 2019. Though their stats only represent users of the app, many of them seem to reflect trends for Gen Z as a whole. Check out the report with your teens and ask them if and how the stats reflect them and their friends.

2. Being Alive

What it is: Netflix’s new drama, Marriage Story (R), has Twitter in a meme frenzy. And for good reason. Adam Driver (aka Kylo Ren) breaks into song, and now everyone can’t stop crying.

Why it’s real: Contrasting Hollywood’s idealistic portrayal of love and relationships, Driver’s character captures both the agony and euphoria of loving commitment as his song about marriage moves from bitter criticism of the institution itself to a hopeful prayer that one day he will find somebody who will “hold me too close; somebody, hurt me too deep; somebody, sit in my chair and ruin my sleep.” Relationships are hard. Marriage is often even harder. Yet that’s typically not what’s portrayed on screen, giving younger generations unrealistic and unhealthy desires for their relationships. Consider watching the song scene with your older teens, letting them feel it. Then ask them how this is different from what they normally see, if they think it’s realistic, and if they would want this kind of love and why.

3. Bitmoji...Enhanced

What it is: Starting Dec. 18, Snapchat users will be able to edit their faces into videos and GIFs with a new feature called Cameos.

Why it’s cringey: It’s deepfake technology for the masses, allowing users to overlay their faces on videos, like cat GIFs and Bitmojis. Deepfake capability comes with a lot of skepticism because of how difficult it is to detect, making truth even harder to discern. As one writer at TechCrunch put it, “Deepfakes can be used as powerful weapons of misinformation or abuse. But by offering only innocuous clips rather than statements from politicians or pornography, Snapchat could turn the tech into a comedic medium.” Take a moment to show the new feature to your teens and get their reactions. Do they think it will be fun? Cringey? Weird? Will they use it? Could it be desensitizing them to the more serious ramifications of the tech?

The Axis App! Our dream is to serve one million families in 2020. To do so, we’re creating an Axis App featuring new audio channels for on-the-go listening (The Culture Translator Podcast anyone?), a discipleship curriculum, AxisTV, and personalized parenting content. Our year-end goal is to raise $82,000 to create and launch this app. Will you join us by making your tax-deductible gift today? Click here to make your year-end gift now! Thanks!

The Video Game Oscars

The Game Awards, i.e. video games’ biggest night, aired Thursday, honoring the achievements of the year while also giving a glimpse into gaming’s future with several new game announcements. Your gamers may not have watched, but they will be impacted by what occurred (just as many avid movie fans don’t watch the Oscars, even though they massively influence the industry and its future). Here are the biggest things to know from the event.

  1. The newest Xbox, previously known only as Project Scarlett, was unveiled as Xbox Series X (because apparently there are no other letters?), with its release set for “holiday 2020.” The new controller will have a Share button, making it easier to capture screenshots and game clips for sharing.
  2. The Best Esports Game Award didn’t go to Fortnite, but instead went toLeague of Legends. Along the same vein, the Best Esports Event went to the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, not the highly anticipated Fortnite World Cup.
  3. The first game for the yet-unreleased Playstation 5 was revealed to be Godfall with another Holiday 2020 release...so gamers anticipating the new Playstation are expecting a release date for the console soon as well.
  4. Fortnitewill be showing new footage from the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker during an in-game event at 2pm ET Saturday, December 14—meaning to see it, one must join a Fortnite arena. But those who do will be rewarded with an exclusive TIE Whisper Glider. So if you were already worried about your kids playing too much, Fortnite isn’t going to help you win that battle.
  5. So many of the new games announced were just sequels or more games in already-established franchises or based on films or comics. Very few were truly new ideas, reflecting what we see in the film universe.
  6. With brand new consoles a year away, we’ll start to see new games have an increased capability to show the heights of human achievement and the depths of human depravity. Video games want to grapple with significant topics and issues just like movies or TV shows, and as the technology around the games improves, the conversations they create will become deeper and more vital.

Ask your gamers what they’re most excited about, how they feel about the winners, how they felt about the number of ads, what they thought of the performances and presenters, etc. If they didn’t watch, ask them what their gamer friends said about the event. You’ll probably learn a lot!

Keep the Faith!

The Axis Team

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