Idea Channel

Is William Gibson a Modern Day Oracle? | PBS Idea Channel

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The science fiction writer William Gibson has not only written some fantastic scifi novels, but in the process predicted the internet, Miku Hatsune, reality TV, and a crazy amount of other technological and societal developments that have come into being. His impressive rate of accuracy seems almost mystical. Is he a modern soothsayer?

Do Knock-Offs Prove the Value of a Brand? | PBS Idea Channel

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Living in the consumer culture that we do, we've learned that specific brands can carry very different meanings and values.  The counterfeit industry is huge and isn't going anywhere, and companies spend huge amounts to dissuade people from buying "fakes". But are knock-offs really a negative for the brand?

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | PBS Idea Channel

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Video games, like Minecraft, may be good for more than just fun. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

Is Diablo III Turning Virtual Economies Into Real Ones? | PBS Idea Channel

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The U.S. economy may be in the dumps, but you can find solace in the fact that your Second Life avatar is living the life of the 1%.  What if the economies of video games could be transferred to the real world? We're actually already seeing this in Diablo 3, where axes, swords, and other awesome gear have taken on real world value at the Diablo 3 Auction House. People are buying and selling them with real US dollar bills!

Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? | PBS Idea Channel

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We've all seen and shared a few LOLCats and Internet Memes in our time, but is it possible that these images and videos are actually a new form of art? It may seem strange, but Rage Guys, Advice Dogs, Trollfaces, and Philosoraptors are ways for people around the globe to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with others - and isn't that the core principle of art? We think some of history's greatest philosophers and artists might be inclined to agree.

Did HIMYM Earn Its Ending? | PBS Idea Channel

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Are you a fan of How I Met Your Mother? Beware for spoilers! This show is a popular sitcom that has been running for nine years, teasing its audience the whole way with the riddle of the identity of "The Mother." But, with its recent finale and the mystery resolved, the reaction was mixed. Did Ted end up with who he was meant to all along? Or, did the creators pull a fast one and produce an ending that was unearned? With TV audiences notoriously fickle, TV producers must consider a responsibility to the fans and balance that with making the show they want. Was the ending of HIMYM ultimately a success or failure? Watch the episode to find out, and tell us what you think!

Does It Matter What Evangelion's Creator Says? | PBS Idea Channel

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Neon Genesis Evangelion may be the ultimate anime. More than just Mecha, NGE is dark and emotional, taking on serious topics such as depression, free will and a host of other intense material. But, creator, Hideaki Anno says that we're all reading way too much into it. Are his words the final say on this piece of media? Or, are the author's ideas of his own work equal to the interpretations of anyone else?! 

Is A Thor By Any Other Name Still Thor? | PBS Idea Channel

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Female THOR has brought about some controversy. But, gender issues aside, people seemed most perturbed with labeling someone other than the male THOR as THOR. Chris Hemsworth even somewhat cemented his THOR character in The Avengers as the modern incantation of THOR, so how could the new comic book THOR not be Thorina or Lady THOR? Why just THOR? Join Michael Rugnetta on this episode of PBS Idea Channel as he investigates what the labeling and naming of someone or something actually means.

What's the Deal With Amiibos? | PBS Idea Channel

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The insane popularity of Nintendo's Amiibos, Amiibo Hunting, and Amiibo Hunters (both in stores and on places like the Amiibo Reddit) proves that people can't keep their hands off of them. But are Amiibos simply be the next big thing in a long line of product/game crossovers? The world was previously infatuated with Skylanders, followed by the Disney Infinity characters, but something about Amiibos seems different. They're interactive in a way that gives them value outside of the object itself, blurring the line between consumer and ardent collector. How does the existence of Amiibos challenge our idea of what play is? 

Are Your New Year's Resolutions Bound to Fail? | PBS Idea Channel

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New Year's Resolutions are incredibly hard to keep. Watch this special episode to find out why, and tell us what you think!

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