Category: Stuff to Buy or Do

Watch the first 4 episodes of Step Up: High Water here

Step Up: High Water is a new series which just debuted on YouTube Red this week.

According to the press release:

“Starring NE-YONaya Rivera and Faizon Love, with music by four-time Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter Jason “PooBear” Boyd and “Jingle” Jared Gutstadt, Step Up: High Water focuses on several ambitious young dancers in a contemporary performing arts school in Atlanta. The edgy and authentic new series touches on real issues around diversity and complex relationships — and of course, boasts some serious dance moves. The series is based on the STEP UP film franchise that grossed $650 million at the global box office.

“Executive Producers Channing TatumJenna Dewan Tatum and Adam Shankman, join producers Jennifer Gibgot andMeredith Milton, to bring back the flashback feels to audiences nationwide, reuniting after 11 years for this new original drama series. Holly Sorensen (Recovery Road, Make It Or Break It) serves as series Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner.”

WATCH the first four episodes free (PG-13):

CAST:

  • NE-YO (The Wiz, World of Dance) – Sage Odom, the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School
  • Naya Rivera (Glee) – Collette, a former dancer turned High Water administrator
  • Faizon Love (Couples Retreat, Elf) – Uncle Al
  • Lauryn McClain (Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little GirlsSpider-Man (animated series)  – Janelle Baker
  • Petrice Jones (iBoyPlay The Devil) – Tal Baker
  • Marcus Mitchell (High StrungOdious) – Dondre
  • Jade Chynoweth  (The Last Ship, 300: Rise of an Empire) – Odalie
  • Carlito Olivero (Bad SamaritanBlood Heist) – Davis
  • Terrence Green (Being Mary JaneAmerica’s Best Dance Crew) – Rigo
  • R. Marcos Taylor (Baby Driver, Straight Outta Compton) – East-O
  • Eric Graise – King
  • Kendra Oyesanya – Poppy

What do you think of this series? Comment below!

From Mandy Harvey:  5 most important tips for auditioning on AGT (America’s Got Talent)

You might remember Mandy Harvey, America’s Got Talent season 12 contestant who finished in fourth place despite being deaf. She made such an impression with her voice, story and her ukelele that the normally unfazeable Simon Cowell sent her to the live rounds fast track by pressing the Golden Buzzer.

With the final season 13 auditions coming up in Los Angeles, CA at the Pasadena Convention Center on Feb. 3 and Phoenix, AZ at the Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 24, we asked Mandy to provide some quick tips for those about to audition. 

Here’s Mandy’s tips!:

  1. “Stay true to yourself!”
  2. “Put your heart into your performance.”
  3. “Let Go! Don’t worry about the audience/judges/competition… just focus on what you have control over which is you doing your best!”
  4. “Remember that showing up is the hardest part and you are already pushing past that barrier! That’s something to be proud of no matter what happens!”
  5. “You are not doing this alone! We are cheering for you! You got this!!!”

If you are auditioning for season 13: GOOD LUCK! And if you want to be featured on Teens Wanna Know, shoot us an email to info@teenswannaknow.com

Mandy’s Social Media Links:

Facebook: @mandyharveymusic

Instagram: @mandyharvey

Twitter: @mandyharvey

Watch Mandy’s Golden Buzzer moment here (full segment):

Gigi Cesare: Actress & Singer Poised to Conquer 2018 and Beyond

One of the characteristics of a successful artist is “hustle.” Although some actors and musicians seem to become hits overnight, in truth there is a lot of work behind building their careers. This means years of acting and voice lessons, paying one’s dues in small productions, and generally “working it” for the love of the craft until hopefully, one day, success arrives.

12-year-old Gigi Cesare represents that level of hustle. This Imagen Award-nominated beauty with Uruguayan roots works on her acting and singing chops constantly, and has just released a music video for her first single, called Valentine. She also has several film projects in the works. With this amount of dedication and hard work, great success will surely come knocking on Gigi’s door sooner rather than later.

Let’s find out more about her…keep scrolling for her interview with TWK!

Hello Gigi, nice to e-meet you! You’ve just released a music video for your new single “Valentine.” Tell us what the song and video are about!

Hi TWK! I am so excited to be here with you. Thanks for asking, I am so excited about “Valentine.” This song is about anyon’e love story, it can be applied to any teen, tween, person really who has love interest in someone and wants them to know. Its about it being ok to say “I like you” and taking a chance. Its about not being afraid of rejection or looking silly if those feelings aren’t returned. Let’s face it, we have all been there, right?

What was the best part about making it?

Wow, that’s a great question….there are so many firsts in this process it’s hard to choose just one. I would have to say that hearing my own voice on a studio recording of my very own song is totally epic and the ‘what will happen next’ part is super exciting. I will never forget making the video. There are just so many artistic, incredible moments this process is giving me. I’m really humbled and grateful.

Do you have more music coming out after that? If so, tell us about it!

Oh my gosh I am so excited you asked, I have written a song called “Don’t Cry” that is such a special song written from a really raw place of sadness about my own experiences being bullied. My lyrics are now in the hands of the composer, the same songwriter who composed “Valentine” and he will begin adding music to them.

I want to sing great songs of course, that people enjoy but I also want to say something in the process. I want other kids to know I have been there and you’re not alone and well, there is hope. If you can take your sadness, anger, frustrations and channel them into something positive like writing your own music or go belt out a song, write a poem, wonderful things can and will happen.

Who is your biggest musical inspiration?

I was raised on so many musical genres and decades, it’s hard to choose just one. In current day, I would choose Sia. She makes the kind of music I love and she actually sings her own songs which is very rare, most singers are talking through their songs, she doesn’t use autotune and she can slay the high notes. I aspire to have a similar musical career because she is reaching kids with her lyrics too, not just talking about getting a new “Rolex.” Not that there’s anything wrong with getting a new “Rolex!”

You were nominated for Best Actress at the 2017 Imagen Awards, along with huge names such as Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, and Edy Ganem. Going back to the night of the awards
ceremony in August, which memories stand out the most for you?

Wow the Imagen Awards were literally a magical Cinderella evening. There were so many people in the room that I never thought I would meet, let alone be in their company as an artistic equal. Meeting Ricardo Hurtado from School of Rock was really cool. His parents were as cool as he is! Meeting Lin Manuel Miranda and Rita Moreno and Norman Lear, I mean these people are Hollywood and stage icons, it was just incredible.

I have seen a few clips of you working on your punching skills. Are you a martial artist, or is this preparation for a role? If prep, tell us about the movie!

Haha yes, that’s great you found those! I am taking boxing for my upcoming role in STREET II DEATH FIGHT. It is an MMA (mixed martial arts) film franchise I have been a part of since I played Jessy when I was age 8 in STREET I. I couldn’t love the producer, Lyle Howry, cast and crew more than I do. Long-time Hollywood Director Dwight H. Little has just signed on to direct, with the script being finished soon, this sequel is going to be an incredible, action-packed, adrenaline-pumping hour and a half of pure entertainment.

You’ve mentioned that Angelina Jolie is an inspiration because she uses her fame to promote important causes. If you were in her shoes which cause would YOU promote?

I think the work she does with clean water, building wells and attention to international human rights are all so important. I would definitely want to be part of those organizations and there’s one more cause I promote across social media platforms which is awareness on the fur trade.

Most people don’t realize how fur is farmed, how the animals suffer for long periods of time before a painful death. I just want to bring awareness to those who don’t know. Faux or fake fur is as genuine looking as the real thing nowadays, and when you think that an animal lost their life in a torturous way so you can have a pink fuzzy ball keychain or decorative fuzzy tassel hanging from your bag or boots, it could cause you to rethink those buying choices. If there’s no demand, those trades go out of business. Learn where your clothing is coming from, know your cosmetics – know if they are tested on animals and just share the word that cruelty is never ok.

I understand that your biological dad passed away when you were little. Can you tell us what happened and what your best memory of him is?

My biological dad, Fernando Marcelo Cesare de Matera (that’s a mouthful) was a professional soccer player from Uruguay South America, Canelones. He was a vibrant, funny, full of life person who was family oriented and I look just like him. When my mom was 7 months pregnant with me, he was taken to INS holding, held for several months then later deported. What we know is that he passed away around the USA border while working toward legal re-entry into the USA. We just don’t have many details. The whole thing is deeply tragic, he was so young.

He was from Uruguay – what part of the Uruguayan culture do you like or feel proud of most?

You know my dad spoke 5 languages and its not unusual for most people there to speak several languages. I love that aspect of South America. When you see how simply my family lives in Uruguay you can’t believe it. The focus there is not on material possessions, its on food, family, love and laughter. Its on building memories. They have these big open backyard outdoor pavilions with fireplaces bigger than you’ve ever seen. They are really into barbequing and roasting on open flames. It’s really incredible. And all the families live on connected plots of land where they can just walk next door and spend their days together. It’s incredible. The sense of family closeness is in all they do. I wouldn’t have minded some street lamps at night, but let me tell you with no streetlamps and lighting to interefere, the skies light up like diamonds at night.

If you could clear up just ONE misconception people have about young performers like yourself, what would it be?

Maybe a big misconception is that we are spoiled and live fabulously 24/7. The reality is it can be lonely, working as an actor, young performer or musician requires a tremendous amount of time dedication, preparation and perseverance and thick skin. If the audition or filming interferes with your plans – a dance, a prom, a party, the biz waits for no man. They will move on without you, so you must be present and available at all times. So sacrifices are big. Sure it looks like fun when you watch someone’s Instagram life, but that is not reality until you’re in it for years most of the time. They say “overnight success” but really there’s five or ten plus years what were part of that “overnight” no one talks about. And there’s bullying. I get it, I know it’s a gift that I get to do what I do. I think if the kids who want be an actor or performer were to ask me for help / guidance I would help in a nanosecond. I am always here to lend advice or guidance when someone wants to know how to enter the biz.


Photographer Natalie Warr @natwarr Photography. Styled by @howardveronika. HMUA by @coconicole.artistry

Biggest pet peeve?

Being mean to others. Mean people. Just be nice. And it always comes back to you. It always will come back to you.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

Hmmm, I write stories… I keep something with me at all times so I can write. I am always writing. Oh a fun fact that I have an Auntie in the biz, Brooke Hogan who isn’t just my aunt but a female power force and super positive role model.

Future goals?

To work on some amazing indie films, maybe something in Europe or an awesome NETFLIX series. I am hoping to carve out a career kinda like Hailee Steinfeld. She is multi-dimensional actress who can do drama and comedy and is on fire with her new music career. And of course once I have a platform, to shut down as many fur farms as I can get my hands on.

What other projects are you working on in the near future?

I am partnering with Spreading the Love 101, cause for Autism awareness, which is a cause close to my heart. I will be performing “Valentine” at their event on Sat., April 7th in Burbank with Party Bash for Kids and many other young performers organized by founder @madisynsblog Madisyn Alexis, a young celeb blogger with Asperger’s who is pioneering breaking the stigma on autism spectrum awareness. She’s incredible.

I just wrapped WITHIN AND WITHOUT playing Emily in an emotion-fueled drama piece about a family who loses their mom. The STREET franchise is going to keep me on my toes for years to come thankfully, and I am also cast in THE KING’S PROPHECY as Exandra, the lead in this awesome medieval fantasy tale of cousins, murder and survival. I understand that my film THE KIDS FROM 62-F (I play Nina with an ensemble cast of 4 youth actors) will debut on NETFLIX in early 2018 with a sequel in the works as well. And who knows, maybe one of my stories will make it onto a screen!


Gigi Cesarè as Emily and her on screen dad played by Robert Sciglimpaglia rehearsing a scene on set of film Within and Without. Shot in Connecticut 12/10/2017

Can we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing right now?

Oh my gosh, ok here goes! Thank you Willie and TWK! I love your vibe and what you do for teens everywhere. Thank you for this fun chat sesh!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Teens – Plus Giveaway!

Okay, its time for this year’s last minute gift guide and giveaway thanks to a few brands who have sent us some swag. We have a few unique goodies to feature, most of which you can still order and have shipped in time for Christmas. If you are hispanic, well then you have even more time because you can give these as Reyes Magos gifts! To enter our giveaway, scroll down to the bottom for details.

Pyro Pet $35

Pyro Pets are cool, long-lasting candles with a surprise: when they melt, they reveal a cool aluminum skeleton inside! They last about 20 hours, and each is approximately 5 inches tall. Varieties include dragons (shown), cats, wolves, and more!

Nostalgic Candy Club $19.99/month

Nostalgic Candy Club is a monthly subscription service offered on CrateJoy which gives you 6-8 candy choices per month, with a lot of throwbacks. The box we got had candy cigarettes, wax lips, Smarties, Pixie Sticks, and more! Watch our unboxing video above to see what you get in a sample box.

Artifacts of a ’90s Kid $16.99

Are you crazy about the 1990s? Maybe you were too young to remember those days (or weren’t even born yet), but trust us: the days when acts like Ashanti, Nelly, Ja Rule, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. ruled the airwaves and shows like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, X-Files and Friends were the highlights of TV were pretty dope.

You can relive some of the 1990s through Artifacts of a ’90s Kid by Alana Hitchell, a scrapbook/journal of sorts which takes you into the mind of a Millenial as she grows up during one of the best decades EVER.

“She reminds you what it was like to grow up during an era that consisted of playing countless hours of Nintendo, reading Lurlene McDaniel books, and wearing Esprit T-shirts and Yoyo jeans. With no real responsibilities to worry about, a typical day involved playing board games, eating junk food, and obsessing over the latest Lisa Frank stickers.”

FUNimation Anime Subscription $5.99/month

gifts for teens

Japanese anime fans love FUNimation, the leading anime distributor in the US. In addition to licensing and selling DVD/Blurays of the best titles, they also offer a streaming service with features ad-free unlimited streaming for only $5.99 per month.

You can get two titles as part of our giveaway: Shonen Hollywood: Holly Stage for 50: Season Two and One Piece Film: Gold Movie!

JT Spencer Key Fobs $20

Looking for something cool for a friend who doesn’t really need anything? How about a unique, high quality key fob? We didn’t think we needed one either, but we love the one J.T Spencer sent us (and you can win the one pictured as part of our giveaway!).

  • Designs cover everything from the time-honored American Flag to quirky designs. J.T.Spencer makes an effort to offer unique motifs on timeless and classically styled products that appeal to everyone.
  • Available at JTSpencer.com as well as fine retail outlets, prestigious golf, yacht, athletic and country clubs along with universities and colleges across America

Battlefield Earth MP3 Audiobook USB $35

Sci-fi legend L. Ron Hubbard’s New York Times best-selling sci-fi novel, Battlefield Earth MP3 audiobook is available on a 8 GB USB flash drive. Okay, the movie sucked big time, but the book itself is pretty great, and this audiobook does it justice with high production values and great acting from 67 voice actors performing 198 characters.

“In the year AD 3000, Earth is a barren wasteland, plundered of its natural resources by the millennium-long regime of taloned, gas-breathing, nine-foot alien conquerors from the planet Psychlo. Fewer than 35,000 humans survive in a handful of communities scattered across the face of a postapocalyptic Earth. From a desolate village in the Rocky Mountains near what once was Denver, Colorado, a courageous young man named Jonnie Goodboy Tyler embarks on a hero’s journey to challenge the fearful myths of his people. Enslaved by the sadistic Terl, the Psychlo security chief of Earth, Jonnie and a small band of survivors pit their quest for freedom against Terl’s ruthless ambition for personal wealth and power in a rebellion that erupts across the continents of Earth and the cosmic sprawl of the Psychlo empire, with the fate of the world, of mankind, and of the galaxies beyond in the balance.”

• 47½ hours of entertainment and adventure in high-definition sound.

• Cinematic-quality soundtrack with more than 150,000 sound effects.

• Convenient to listen to in your car, on your device or on your computer. Plays on any MP3 enabled player.

Devil in Ohio $17.99

Just because its Christmas, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good spooky book. And Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin fits the bill, with some great reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.

“When fifteen-year-old Jules Mathis comes home from school to find a strange girl sitting in her kitchen, her psychiatrist mother reveals that Mae is one of her patients at the hospital and will be staying with their family for a few days. But soon Mae is wearing Jules’s clothes, sleeping in her bedroom, edging her out of her position on the school paper, and flirting with Jules’s crush. And Mae has no intention of leaving.

Then things get weird.

Jules walks in on a half-dressed Mae, startled to see: a pentagram carved into Mae’s back. Jules pieces together clues and discovers that Mae is a survivor of the strange cult that’s embedded in a nearby town. And the cult will stop at nothing to get Mae back.”

Christmas Bluetooth Speakers, Tumbler Santa Claus $25.99 (Get 50 PERCENT OFF USING OUR DISCOUNT CODE — WATCH VIDEO TO GET IT!!!!)

This is a pretty cute little gift. It plays Christmas music, some other childhood songs, and functions as a bluetooth speaker. It also lights up! Check out our review above for our review and a 50% discount coupon code!

Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide $25

Break the stereotype of the helpless girl who needs a guy to change her tire, or otherwise work on her car, by educating yourself on the ins and outs of maintaining your whip. Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide by Patrice Banks shoudl be in every girl’s glove box!

“Patrice Banks was once like most of us: a self-professed “auto airhead” who was clueless about car maintenance, yet convinced that mechanics were taking advantage of her. Now she’s an auto pro devoted to empowering women to learn basic car repairs and knowing what to do in an emergency. So whether you get a flat tire when you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, your car overheats, or a mysterious dashboard light suddenly starts blinking, help is just a reach-in-the-glove-box away.”

GIVEAWAY!

  1. Follow @teenswannaknow on Instagram http://instagram.com/teenswannaknow
  2. Like the giveaway picture below on our Instagram account, and tag or mention a friend in the comments.
  3. We will pick a random winner on Wednesday, December 13th from those who followed directions correctly.
  4. Winner must live in the U.S.

 

Milo Manheim from Disney Zombies – Interview Podcast

TWK speaks with Milo Manheim, who plays lead zombie Zed in Disney’s upcoming movie Zombies (slated for release in 2018). He talks about his theater background…including what happened when his scene partner went to the bathroom and left him all alone on stage in the middle of a play, his circus performer days, and of course about his new role and movie for the Disney Channel.

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

DJ and Singer Chloe Jane is a Rising ‘Superstar’

Chloe Jane is on a roll. The pop singer, YouTuber and DJ released her debut single called “Superstar” just a few months ago, which was written by Meghan Trainor and The Elev3n (video embedded below) and recently deejayed at one of the most famous nightclubs on the planet: Amnesia on the Spanish island of Ibiza.

And, she’s only 14 years old!

Born in New York into a family of professional musicians, Chloe Jane learned piano at age 9 and started singing and dancing at the age of 10. Summer holidays with her parents in Ibiza and a special friendship with the legendary DJ Jellybean Benitez (who remixed and produced some of Madonna’s early music) inspired her to go to the DJ school Dubspot in NYC. She started her professional DJ career by performing at the age of 12 at Le Ti and Do Brazil in St Barth. During the Summer of 2016 she spun at KM5 in Ibiza as well as a string of charity events hosted by Paris Hilton.
We got the chance to do a written Q & A with Chloe for TWK, and she also recorded a quick cover video for you guys, our lovely readers! (Video is embedded at the bottom of the page)

Hi Chloe, nice to e-meet you! Tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up.

I am 14 years old. I sing, DJ, play piano, write songs and dance. I grew up in New York City.

What made you get into DJing and how did you learn how to do it?

My parents met in Ibiza, Spain and Ibiza is the biggest music island in the world. Every summer I went and watched DJs play. I watched them perform and wanted to learn how to DJ myself. A family friend of mine, Jellybean Benitez is a legend in the DJ/music industry. When I was 12 years old I told him I wanted to learn to DJ. He taught me all his tricks and that is how I started DJing.

How would you describe the style of music you play?

I play all different types of music. Depending on where I am playing, and for which crowd, I play different tracks. When I play for teenagers at my Glow Parties at Amnesia in Ibiza, I play a lot of EDM and pop.Which deejay has made the biggest impact on you and why?

I love Martin Garrix because I admire how much he has accomplished at such a young age. I love the music he creates and I love the shows he puts on.

What is the best piece of advice you have gotten from a fellow DJ or mentor?

PRACTICE and always keep looking for new music and remixes.

You are only 14. What was it like DJing at one of the most famous nightclubs in the world, Amnesia in Ibiza at such a young age? Were you uncomfortable at any point?

I loved having my own Teenage party at Amnesia because it gave the kids an opportunity to have a party and have fun as there are really no places for them to party. I always have fun when I DJ and sing. When I am on stage I have so much fun and I get to interact with the crowd.

What do you like to do besides spinning?

I sing, write songs and dance.

Get this EDM Trucker Hat at Zazzle now!
AD: Click pic to buy this EDM Trucker Hat at Zazzle!

What are your goals in show business/DJing—where would you like to see yourself in 5 to
10 years?

In 5-10 years I would like to see myself releasing music throughout the world, touring in large venues around the world and appearing in major movies and television shows.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

My mom and aunt are from Australia and my aunt was Ms. Australia.

Can we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing right now?

 

Chloe Jane on Social Media
Snapchat: Chloejanesworld

Is MMO Toxicity Simply a Reflection of Real Life?

As an MMORPG enthusiast who enjoys peeking into human psyche, I’ve often found that MMOs are perhaps one of the greatest platforms for conducting experiments and observing the many personalities humans possess. Quite frequently, I’ve heard it suggested that MMOs harbor toxic environments, rife with trolls and bullies, especially in guild culture. In this article, I’d like to examine any truth to those statements, and whether MMOs are uniquely conducive to toxicity, or simply a medium of extending our true-life personalities into virtual worlds.

Multiplayer games provide an astounding look into sociodynamic behavior – players who are thousands of miles apart, bonding or dividing over common creeds and goals. For example, players in MMOs can form groups called “guilds”. The actual mechanic name may vary depending on the MMO — they’re called cabals in The Secret World, for example — but guild is the general term. Generally speaking, they’re simply a way for players to form permanent groups, and often revolve around common causes – related to gameplay or not. I’ll explore that latter scenario later in this article.

The size of guilds can range from a handful of players, to several thousand – the largest corporation in Eve Online has 11,880 members as of writing. Interestingly, online games didn’t have guilds in the early days, because there were too few players. The earliest online games, known as MUDs, did have them; but the concept was seen as just another differentiator, in the same way that idiosyncratic healing strategies or the presence of currency were. There weren’t friends lists: the games were so small that you knew everyone anyway.

Today, guilds serve to divide the player base into smaller organizations. However, it’s been posited that they may hinder game immersion – owing to drama, elitism, and a general level of toxicity. Because there are real people behind the screens, real life biases can and often crop up in these social environments. I’m not speaking simply of online bullying, though this is often a major contributor.

Take for example Houses in the online game Achaea. Because Achaea is highly role-playing enforced, the guilds revolve around in-game fantasy concepts, such as protectors of Nature, or evil knights in service to Lord Sartan. Players join these guilds to expand their character’s story, to take part in enhanced roleplay, to leave real life behind and engage in a fantasy world. Yet more often than not, players complain of elitism, bullying, and out-of-game communication channels where players gossip about each other’s personal lives, and then bring these biases into the game itself.

Now what’s truly fascinating is that in games without hardcoded methods of forming player-organizations, people do it anyways. Take a look at Agar.io – an extremely simple yet popular online game. It is fairly devoid of plot, storyline, or any sort of hardcoded mechanics that would reward player groups. The goal of the game is to grow your cell, represented on screen as a colored circle, by feeding on pellets and smaller players. It is a literal free-for-all, with no mechanics for player grouping.

Ironically, players found ways to divide themselves into teams – through online names or cell colors. In fact, Agar.io became a center of political advocacy during the 2015 Turkish elections. Players were naming themselves according to political affiliation, and grouping up to battle players on the opposing spectrum. This highlights an obvious, yet intrinsic value hardcoded into the instinct of mankind – the desire to form like-minded communities. As Plato suggests, unless human persons congregate in groups, they could not survive, or if they could survive, they could not go beyond a minimal, animal kind of existence.

It’s worthwhile remembering this when considering whether or not guilds in multiplayer games are responsible for toxic environments. This piece on MassivelyOP, titled “Dealing with Toxicity in MMO Communities”, reached out to game developers, asking how toxic behaviours could be minimized in MMO games. The majority of responses focused on different aspects of the root causes of toxic behavior – competitive gameplay, the anonymity of the internet, and ultimately human nature. The responses seemed to reach the same conclusion; that humans are inherently toxic towards one another, and only extreme community moderating can begin to solve the problem.

The idea of competitive gameplay as the root of toxicity is an interesting theory, however. Because competition is indeed ingrained into the very cores of evolution. Without competition, there would be very little reason to evolve as species – and while “peace on earth” may be a desirable dream for mankind, it’d make for extremely boring gameplay. In fact, real world history remembers the conquerors – the Genghis Khans, Alexanders, and Napoleons of the world. Were Genghis Khan an MMO player today, he would certainly be accused of “trolling” and “toxic attitude”, as he raped and pillaged his way across game servers, with his guild of Mongolians. And yet, isn’t that the point of MMO gameplay, to a degree?

I know I’ve seemingly veered off into a separate subject than the sociodynamics of MMO organizations, but perhaps not – because as long as we retain that “conqueror” gene, that basic human instinct to categorize ourselves into like-minded groups with the goal of expansion, organizations will always be an element of multiplayer games, hardcoded or not, for better or for worse.

Thus, I posit that MMOs are not uniquely conducive to toxic environments, because toxicity already exists all around us in the real world. It’s simply that it’s easier to notice toxicity in virtual worlds, and we expect someone, like the administrators, to do something about it. Because when MMOS are seen as an “escape” from the real world, yet simply offer a mirror reflection of the real world in virtual form, it’s a very real reminder of the harsh world we live in, and thus the point of playing these games as a form of escapism becomes severely moot.


Bio: Katie Green is a passionate video game millennial with a background in writing. Currently working at CrazyGames, one of the fastest growing browser game websites in the World.

Funimation Brings Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry to North American Theaters

Funimation, America’s leading licensor/distributor of Japanese Anime, held a VIP premiere of Fairy Tail:Dragon Cry at the Ricardo Montalban Theater in Hollywood Thursday the 10th of August.

In attendance were plenty of the cast of the English dub, including Todd Haberkorn (Natsu Dragneel), Cherami Leigh (Lucy Heartfilia), Nathan Sharp (Gapri), and Christina Vee (Swan). Also spotted were Power Rangers Dino Charge’s Brennan Mejia and a selection of cosplayers.

Guests were treated to a screening of the movie, as well as snacks, beverages, a performance by a contortionist, and a magician.

Film Synopsis:

In the new film, based on the Hiro Mashima’s manga, Natsu Dragneel and his friends travel to the island Kingdom of Stella, where they will reveal dark secrets, fight the new enemies and once again save the world from destruction.

The movie will screen in approximately 300 U.S. and 12 Canadian theaters during its limited theatrical release which opens on August 14th across North America.

Enjoy the slide show of some candid shots of the event!

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5 Cool Ways to Enjoy Your Favorite Movie

There’s nothing better than relaxing with your favorite movie. While watching the movie itself is pretty great, there’s also plenty of ways to make the experience even better than it normally is.

Movie theaters are cool, but they have become pretty expensive lately. Factor in the price of a ticket and concessions, and you are spending almost as much as it would cost to buy the movie. And what do you do when your favorite movie has left the theaters?

A Drive-In Experience

Drive-in movie theaters have become a bit of a relic in modern times, but for those who got to experience them in their heyday, it was an experience like no other. While traditional drive-ins might be all but extinct these days, you can mimic the experience from home. Simply set up your projector in front of a large wall on your house or a garage door, grab your friends, and park in front of it. You can even get your neighbors in on the fun, too.

Watch Parties

Themed watch parties with friends are a great way to take your viewing experience up a notch. Movie series with a cult following, like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, are perfect for a long movie marathon with your friends. Or choose a theme and vote on movies that fit the theme. Depending on the movie you’re planning to watch, you can match the decorations, food, and even costumes to go with it. Seeing everyone get so into the mood will only help you enjoy things more. You can even make a contest out of it and award people for the best costumes if you want to take it even further.

Home Theater

A good home theater system can take your viewing experience for anything – whether it be movies or regular TV – to the next level. Powerful speakers, a huge screen, a clear projector, and an expansive home media server full of all your favorite movies give you that authentic theater experience at a fraction of the price and double the comfort. There’s really no comparison.

Camping

Camping might not be for everyone, but movies sure are. Putting them together can make even the most ardent homebody relent for at least a couple hours. Bringing a projector and screen along on your next trip into the woods gives you a unique viewing experience unlike any other surrounded by nature. Just make sure to properly steel yourself if you pop in a horror movie, and invest in a camping hammock to cuddle with your crush or BFFs!

Fake Reviewing

They say everyone’s a critic, but very few of us actually want to put our money where our mouths are. The next time you and a group of friends watch a movie, pretend you’re making a riff track in the style or your favorite review show. If you’ve never done it before, you’ll be surprised how much tossing out your best quips can improve the experience of watching a film (particularly the bad ones).

Watching a movie on its own is always a treat, but you can use these tips to make it even better. Dim the lights, grab some snacks, turn on the projector, and assemble your friends for the best viewing experience you can have.

Top Essentials for Easy, Chic Travel Dressing

Packing for a long trip or a weekend getaway isn’t easy for everyone. On top of making sure you have the right clothes for different types of weather, you also have to think about outfits for a variety of occasions, like a day of sightseeing or a night out on the town. But have no fear — this blog is here to be your travel style guru and help you look chic and effortless while on the go! If you want to look fashionable while traveling, these are the top essentials that every gal should definitely pack.

  1. Packing the Basics

For a three-day or week-long vacation, start by packing a pair of denim jeans or leggings in a neutral color, like black, blue, or white. There are so many ways to mix-and-match different tops, shirts, and blouses with the same pants, which gives you countless options from just a few basic pieces. While a pair of jeans takes up a considerable amount of room in your suitcase, t-shirts and tank-tops can be rolled up and fit easily into side pockets, or even slipped into a pair of shoes to save even more space.

 

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  1. Monochrome Fashion

You may think that Monochrome sounds boring, but it’s actually a great strategy for putting together your outfits when traveling. The monochrome trend is all about picking one color that looks best on you and then combining it with different shades and tones of the same hue. If you always look fabulous in blue, then pick out pants, tops, dresses, and shoes that are either dark blue, navy, light blue, periwinkle, cerulean, or aquamarine. Also, consider colors that pair well with blue, like black and white, or are close to the hue on the color wheel, like purple and green.

  1. Day to Night Transitions

Dresses and skirts are lightweight, can be worn with leggings underneath, and are one of the best ways to switch a casual, daytime look to a more elegant, evening ensemble. Simply pair a dress with sneakers or sandals when out exploring during the day, and then change it up at night by wearing a pair of heels and adding some jewelry. When you shop dresses online, you can stock up on travel wear easily, and turn a single outfit into two with a few small adjustments!

  1. Accessories are Essentials

Accessories can make or break an outfit, and it can be hard to know what to take with you while on vacation. The best things to bring are eye-popping, stylish accessories that serve multiple purposes. Every girl needs one or two colorful or patterned head scarves, which ensure you look great whether you’re on a guided boat tour, relaxing at the pool or taking a selfie in front of a historic monument. Wear these scarves as a headband or a hair wrap when out to dinner and pair them some flashy, gold or silver hoop earrings for a cute yet classy look.

Other dual-purpose accessories include slip-on sneakers or sandals, hats, inexpensive and designer sunglasses, and a small purse or shoulder bag in an eye-catching color. Even if you’re rockin’ a blue-inspired monochrome look, you’ll stand out if you add a pair of bright red sneakers, a crimson patterned head scarf, and a pair of red hot shades.

Look Chic Every Day!

With these few simple tips, you can see why Hollywood starlets and other fashionistas always look great while traveling. Packing the basics with a few different types of accessories ensures you always look fresh while on the road. Try these tips today and discover how easy it is to look amazing all the time! For more such packing and travelling tips head over to Savvy Expeditioner. The site has the latest content on new destinations, travelers tips and multitude of things relating to travel and living.