The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games

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Do video games cause violent, aggressive behavior? Can online games help us learn? When it comes to video games, these are often the types of questions raised by popular media, policy makers, scholars, and the general public. In this collection, international experts review the latest research findings in the field of digital game studies and weigh in on the actual physical, social, and psychological effects of video games. Taking a broad view of the industry from the moral panic of its early days up to recent controversies surrounding games like Grand Theft Auto, contributors explore the effects of games through a range of topics including health hazards/benefits, education, violence and aggression, addiction, cognitive performance, and gaming communities. Interdisciplinary and accessibly written, The…

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Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre: A Biography of the Doors

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Spanning the entire history of the Doors, this book will long remain the definitive biography of a band that forever changed popular music. But it’s not the story you think you know. Yes, Jim Morrison died in Paris in 1971—but not in a bathtub. The other Doors were saddened and shocked but had already fired him anyway. It wasn’t Jim who wrote the hits; it was guitarist Robby Krieger. It wasn’t Jim who saw a bright, acid-flared future for the band but keyboardist Ray Manzarek. And so, the band that started out as the “American Rolling Stones,” noted for their wildly unpredictable performances, their jazzy vibe, and the crazed monologues of their front man, ended as badly as did the…

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Billion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football

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Two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Gilbert M. Gaul offers a riveting and sometimes shocking look inside the money culture of college football and how it has come to dominate a surprising number of colleges and universities. Over the past decade college football has not only doubled in size, but its elite programs have become a $2.5-billion-a-year entertainment business, with lavishly paid coaches, lucrative television deals, and corporate sponsors eager to slap their logos on everything from scoreboards to footballs and uniforms.  Profit margins among the top football schools range from 60% to 75%—results that dwarf those of such high-profile companies as Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—yet thanks to the support of their football-mad representatives in Congress, teams aren’t required to pay taxes.  In…

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The Business of Broadway: An Insider’s Guide to Working, Producing, and Investing in the World’s Greatest Theatre Community

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If you’re trying to make it in show business in New York, Broadway is the ultimate dream. However, it can be difficult to navigate, with a set of rules that seems to always be changing, and some of the most fiercely competitive players in the game. Finally, this innovative guide demystifies the business side of the renowned industry to explain exactly how its system functions. For anyone interested in pursuing a career on Broadway, or who wants to grow a theatre in any other part of the world, The Business of Broadway offers an in-depth analysis of the infrastructure at the core of successful theatre. Through personal interviews with performers, producers, managers, industry experts Mitch Weiss and Perri Gaffney pull back the…

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Bits: A Comedy Writer’s Screams of Consciousness

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Anne Frank wrote her diary. A yawn. Alex Haley wrote about his roots. A snooze. The Bible. What a bore! But what do all these have in common? That’s obvious. They’re not funny and the people they wrote about aren’t current. Where’s Bieber? Jolie? Beyonce? That’s who people want to read about and laugh about. Celebrities! And not written by the celebrities themselves. What do they know? If they were smart, they wouldn’t have become celebrities in the first place. Who really knows their stories? It’s the writer! The guy who was there in the trenches, the guy who made them famous in the first place. Actors and actresses didn’t write their lines. It was the writer! Who knew these…

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DETOUR: Hollywood: How To Direct a Microbudget Film (or any film, for that matter)

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In “DETOUR: Hollywood,” Dickerson puts the making of his “Underground Hit,” Detour, on display for all to see. He will teach you what you really need to know about making a microbudget film, or a film of any budget for that matter, from the nuts and bolts of directing, to getting your movie made and out into the world, including: The Director as the sole defense for the story Understanding the two main ingredients of filmmaking: Subtext and Point of View Beating out a script The template for creating the perfect Director’s Binder Action Verbs: How to adjust performance through severity and mildness Avoiding the trap of style over substance The importance of Theme Detailed behind-the-scenes of the Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production…

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Three Breaking Bad Books

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If, like me you’re a fan of television’s Breaking Bad, times are good. The series, which we may have referred to in this space as “the most thrilling, gripping, exhilarating, suspenseful, jump-out-of-your-chair-and-scream-holy crap! television series ever broadcast,” has concluded its run. But thanks to Netflix, the adventures of Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, Skyler, Hank, Gus Fring, Tío Salamanca, and all of the show’s famous (and infamous) characters will live forever. And thanks to Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and producer Peter Gould, the show’s spinoff series, Better Call Saul, has become one of cable TV’s biggest hits (and one with no shortage of “Holy Crap!” moments of its own. Did you see those flashbacks to Mike Ehrmantraut’s checkered past in Philadelphia? HOLY CRAP!). To read the…

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Saturday Night Live

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Forty years ago, Saturday late-night television was a wasteland, the realm of bad movies and sports highlights and Johnny Carson re-runs. If you were home watching TV late on a Saturday night, it was because you had no life and literally nothing better to do. That changed on October 17, 1975, when shortly after 11:30 p.m., an unknown comedian named Chevy Chase looked into a camera in Studio 8H in Rockefeller Plaza and exclaimed, “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” To read the full article and to enter to win a copy CLICK HERE

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Of All the Gin Joints

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True tales of celebrity hijinks are served up with an equal measure of Hollywood history, movie-star mayhem, and a frothy mix of forty cocktail recipes. Humphrey Bogart got himself arrested for protecting his drinking buddies, who happened to be a pair of stuffed pandas. Ava Gardner would water-ski to the set of Night of the Iguana holding a towline in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Barely legal Natalie Wood would let Dennis Hopper seduce her if he provided a bathtub full of champagne. Bing Crosby’s ill-mannered antics earned him the nickname “Binge Crosby.” And sweet Mary Pickford stashed liquor in hydrogen peroxide bottles during Prohibition. From the frontier days of silent film up to the wild auteur period of…

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Silver Screen Fiend

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Patton Oswalt may not exactly be a household name—not yet, anyway. But if you watch late-night TV, or Comedy Central, or Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in which he plays Agent Billy Koenig—or is it Sam? Or Eric?), or if you’re active on Twitter (where he has more than 1.8 million followers), you know that Oswalt is one of the keenest minds in show business today. (Don’t believe us? Check out his eight-minute “Star Wars Filibuster”—totally ad-libbed—on TV’s Parks and Rec.) To read the full article and to enter to win a copy CLICK HERE

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And Give Up Showbiz?

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In the early ’90s, Big Tobacco was making a killing. There was no entity more powerful, and national tobacco-related deaths numbered in the hundreds of thousands each year. The economic loss from smoking-related illnesses was billions of dollars. And yet, Big Tobacco had never paid a nickel in court. Until one Southern, small-town lawyer figured out how Florida could sue Big Tobacco to reimburse the state for health care costs. The end result? Beyond the $13 billion settlement, hundreds of thousands of American lives have been, and will continue to be, saved. Meet Fred Levin. Called by his own son “a philanthropist and a cockroach,” Fred Levin is no ordinary attorney, and his remarkable story is far from squeaky clean. In And…

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Remembering the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in his Final Days

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Hounded by the tabloid media, driven from his self-made sanctuary at Neverland, Michael Jackson spent his final years moving from city to city, living with his three children in virtual seclusion—a futile attempt to escape a world that wouldn’t leave him alone. During that time, two men served as the singer’s personal security team: Bill Whitfield, a former cop and veteran of the security profession, and Javon Beard, a brash, untested rookie, both single fathers themselves. Stationed at his side nearly 24/7, their job was to see and hear everything that transpired, and to keep everyone else out, making them the only two men who know what 60 million fans around the world still want to know: What really happened…

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Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community

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The form is so elemental, so basic, that we have difficulty imagining a time before it existed: a single set, fixed cameras, canned laughter, zany sidekicks, quirky family antics. Obsessively watched and critically ignored, sitcoms were a distraction, a gentle lullaby of a kinder, gentler America—until suddenly the artificial boundary between the world and television entertainment collapsed. In this book we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne; from Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm; and from The Larry Sanders Show to 30 Rock. In twenty-four episodes, Sitcom surveys…

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Minecraft

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A completely unique and in-depth look at the creator of Minecraft, Markus “Notch” Persson, and his rise from unknown computer programmer to multi-millionaire international gaming icon. Minecraft, the “virtual Lego” game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact. It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in. Here Markus opens up for the first time about his life. About his old Lego-filled desk at school. About the first computer his father brought home one day. But also…

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