Mobile Gaming: Are You Really Having Fun?

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Smartphones are pretty amazing. Seriously, I only just got one a few months ago after having the same dumb phone for 5 years, and it has changed my life. And by “changed my life” I mean “it’s made me waste a whole bunch of time.” Some of this time is wasted on YikYak, some is wasted watching Whose Line clips on the toilet, and some is wasted swiping right on every single human being on Tinder. But all of those pale in comparison to the time I’ve wasted playing games on my phone. As we all know, the gaming and smartphone landscape has been transformed by the emergence of mobile games, but why are these games so popular? No doubt their price, easy access, and simple play mechanics–but I would argue that there is one more element not usually considered. These games trick us into thinking we enjoy them.

Quite an accusation, right? Trust me, I can back it up. I spent this semester helping Prof.…

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Ms. Marvel & The Power of Tropes

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Bursting on the scene with the exuberance of youth comes the new Ms. Marvel, superhero extraordinaire. Premiering from Marvel comics in February of 2014 the story starts with sixteen-year-old Muslim Kamala Khan living in a New Jersey where spandex heroes are commonplace celebrities. She spends most of her time writing stories about them. Or hanging out with her friends at the 7/11 EXPY. After sneaking out for a night on the town, Kamala acquires shape-shifting and healing abilities. Now instead of only having to balance her identity as an American teenager with her Pakistani background and her faith, Kamala also has to balance it with new superhero responsibilities. Naming herself in honor of her favorite superhero, the blonde Captain Marvel who can lift cars over her head, Kamala decides to actively help her community, in the same way that the heroes she admired from behind her computer screen do.

Though not the first Muslim superhero in the Marvel universe, Kamala Khan is the first to have her own title.…

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