Off Book

Bad Behavior Online: Bullying, Trolling & Free Speech | Off Book

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The internet is a powerful tool for communication, but it can sometimes be a double-edged sword. As most of us have seen or experienced, the internet can bring out the worst behavior in people, highlighting some of the cruelest and most hurtful aspects of humanity. Issues such as bullying online and trolling have garnered a lot of attention recently, prompting questions about who does, and should, regulate the internet, and what free speech means online.

The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

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The growth and complexity of online economies surprises many outsiders to the world of gaming. With millions of players around the world, in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars. Real-world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real-world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But, with exploitative practices such as gold farming, are these systems in need of more regulation?

The Art of Portrait Photography | Off Book

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Humans have been creating likenesses of each other for thousands of years but, with the introduction of photography, a new medium emerged for capturing the human image. Photography creates opportunities not just for biography and documentation, but also depth, empathy, and experimentation. Many modern portrait photographers transform their work from mere photo to art: communicating ideas and capturing the human subject with dignity.

Retro Media | Off Book

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Off Book looks into vinyl, cassettes, and other retro media that have made a surprising revival in the digital era. We live in a digital world that gives us all the content we could possibly dream of at the click of a mouse, yet many people miss the old-school physical formats from our past. The challenges these retro formats present to capturing and experiencing media actually enhance our appreciation for the sound or image, making the art we love a bit more intimate and real.

The Beauty of Space Photography | Off Book

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Off Book explores how images of space display the grandeur of the universe. Space presents a fantastic mystery to human life. Unfathomably large with characteristics that defy our understanding, the stars have perplexed and amazed humanity for millennia. In the present, astrophysicists and astronomers are aggressively studying the universe in an attempt to solve critical scientific and philosophical questions.

Evolution of Music Online | Off Book

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As the 90s came to a close, the business of music began to change. Technology allowed artists to produce their own music, and the internet became a free-for-all for musicians to promote themselves. The result was an influx of artists, and audiences were left wondering how to sort through them. In this episode we reveal how music blogs and websites have arisen as the new arbiters of quality.

Art in the Era of the Internet | Off Book

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The Internet has created connections between people across the planet. In this episode, we take a look at the impact of this new interconnectivity on the art world. Traditional funding models are dissolving, new forms of expressing ownership have arisen to accommodate for remix culture, and artists are finding ways to connect physical art experiences and traditions to the Internet. In the digital era, the experience of art from the perspective of the artist and the art audience is shifting rapidly, and bringing more people into the creative process.

Light Painting | Off Book

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Light has been an essential element in artwork for centuries. Light painters create electrifying images that blend photographs of the real world with layers of color and kinetic light. In the premiere episode of PBS Arts: Off Book, artists Aurora Crowley and Patrick Rochon demonstrate their light paint methodology, show off their electric works and describe the process that anyone can do at home.

Competitive Gaming and E-Sports | Off Book

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Off Book takes a look at the world and culture of competitive gaming, which is now claiming a space similar to traditional sports. As games have increased in sophistication, they have become a medium for expressing human skill and brilliance. The result is a tier of the gaming world filled with disciplined, talented, and highly competitive players. Born out of arcade tournaments and LAN parties, the world of competitive gaming is now entering a mature, global phase.

Are Emoticons the Future of Language? | Off Book

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At times, computers and technology seem to dictate cultural norms. We increasingly use written language in place of face-to-face chat or phone calls. But the advantages of email, chat, and text in speed come with limitations in communicating emotional tone. Enter emoticons and emojis. Not just a playful supplement to language, these new tools allow for complexity in tone and emotion rarely possible in written language and provide new opportunities for creative expression.

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