Oh yeah, one other thing setting Blood Vengeance apart from the auspicious ACG or Ace tropes is the horrifically holy moly brutal climax which you just have to see to believe. Saturday, June 22, The Oozing Horror. If you're like me, you probably also use the words "bark-encircled hideout" multiple times daily, so here's a spooky science freak-out that we can all eerily identify and merge with, from March issue of Web of Mystery Ace artwork by the ever reliable, Charles Nicholas. And speaking of mummy covers I don't know about you, but pouring human blood on anything to achieve something in return typically just seems like it's gonna be a bad idea.
And you, dear lady, might I add-- are no Indiana Jones! I've also rounded out today's rollickin' sadventure with a haunted one page quickie, also by Rocco. Sunday, June 16, Ghoul Crazy. It's Father's Day , and what's the one thing that most dads want on this day more than anything else? I mean besides money. More bowling horror! Thus, our research question is: Are there differences in visual form and content between Scary Maze Game prank videos produced in the United States and those produced in Germany?
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To better understand the phenomenon on online pranking videos, we conducted a visual content analysis of YouTube videos in online pranking videos originating from Germany and the United States. We excluded videos which showed only the maze game on screen but did not include visual evidence of a victim being filmed. Animations of a fictional character playing the game were also excluded. We made the assumption that the filmmaker is the YouTube user. We ignored videos that were clearly re-posted from other sources. Our sample includes only those videos which provided explicit or implicit information about German or American origin in the profile, e.
In the very small number of cases where country of origin was not explicitly provided in the profile, we looked for implicit evidence of English or German language in the description of the video and the language spoken by the individuals visually depicted in the video. Content analysis of our sample of YouTube videos was conducted by two coders. One was a native English speaker who spoke German as a second language and another was a native German speaker who spoke English as a second language.
We used a practice sample of 20 videos to develop and refine our codebook. After this, a sample of 20 videos representing 10 percent of the sample were coded by both coders to determine interrater reliability for all variables [ 11 ]. After viewing the videos and reading the comment threads, and after examining descriptive statistics, we performed t-tests and Chi-square tests to examine differences in the form and content of scare prank videos produced in the United States and Germany.
We were unable to develop a reliable way to identify the demographic characteristics of the perpetrator of the prank; only rarely was a perpetrator visually depicted. Sometimes we could infer the identity of the perpetrator as a result of visual or verbal evidence, but we did not feel confident about these interpretations in many cases.
Some videos revealed that victims were clearly anticipating or expecting a prank so we coded for visual or verbal evidence that the victim was aware of the nature of the prank. Other videos offer visual clues, as when a victim appears to be repeatedly looking directly at the camera, as if they were performing for the camera. Here we used a dichotomous variable to indicate the presence or absence of positive anticipation , which provided indirect evidence that the victim had assented to participate in the filming of the prank.
Victims of the scary maze game reacted in different ways.
Some displayed fear, while others responded with laughter, and a few displayed anger towards the prankster. In order to identify the emotional response of victims, we first distinguished between mild and extreme emotional reaction to the scare. We initially coded for different types of reactions including body movements that indicated verbal responses of anxiety scream, cry, gasp and facial fear and physical responses of anxiety hand and arm movements, small and large body movements, trying to escape. Coders then rated the overall intensity of the emotional state of the victim on a three-point scale for each of three variables: fear, laughter, and anger.
While many videos appeared to simply be one-shot documentary videos of the scare prank, taken with a mobile phone, other videos show evidence of post-production. We measured the number of viewers of the online pranking videos using the following features: days since publication , defined as the number of days since the video was uploaded, and views, defined as the number of times the video had been viewed.
These were used to create a popularity index by dividing the number of views by the days since publication. Taking advantage of the data available from YouTube viewers who watch and respond to these videos, we also created a viewer engagement index by creating a scale using evidence from the number of viewer ratings on YouTube, the number of video comments, and the number of written comments. In examining the identity of the victims of the Scary Maze game prank, men are slightly more likely than women to be victims of pranks 57 percent male but there were no cultural differences in the gender of the victim when comparing German and U.
However, striking cultural differences were evident when looking at the age of the victim. More than one-fourth 26 percent of the U. By contrast, only seven percent of German videos featured children 12 or under as victims. In many of U.
By contrast, a large majority of German videos feature teenagers ages 13—19 as both victims and perpetrators of the prank. As Table 1 shows, 73 percent of German videos featured teens as victims as compared with In most German videos, teens are shown as pranking their peers, with evidence of positive anticipation suggesting the playful, performance-oriented nature of this activity. Among the German videos, 17 percent feature positive anticipation as compared with only eight percent in U. In many of the German videos in particular, older teens seem to be amusing themselves by creating pretend-play imitations and performances, offering self-conscious performances of the role of victim and perpetrator.
This is primarily depicted visually through a sustained gaze towards the camera. How did victims react to the prank? For most, it was a mix of fear, laughter and anger. German prank victims also displayed more intense anger than U. For example, the post-scare reaction measured in seconds ranged from two seconds to seconds in the U. Statistically significant differences were found when comparing the mean number of seconds of post-scare reaction.
Table 2 displays these results. While some videos were low-quality productions shot with a mobile phone, others were highly produced amateur productions.
Try Independent Minds free for 1 month to access this feature. Thirty-two percent of U. Jaylee: Your relationship is so new, and it's the first time your character and the love interests have ever experienced big romantic feelings like this, so every time you come together, it's so magical. How might children, young people and their families interpret pranking videos? Let's sink our teeth in and get the inside scoop from the brains behind the book: Now spill!
Table 2 shows a statistically significant difference in the length of the productions, with U. Thirty-two percent of U. American scare prank producers are more likely to create an edited instant replay loop of the emotional reaction of the victim of the prank so that viewers can witness again sometimes in slow motion or with a laugh track the fear, shock, or distress of the victim. Eighteen percent of U. American scare prank videos also tend to be more likely to use editing, sound or music that has been added in post-production, titles, slow motion, and other post-production techniques as compared with German videos.
Most German videos were not so highly produced — they were short one-shot productions where the camera is in a fixed position. Since the scare prank phenomenon began in the United States, it has become a global phenomenon, with YouTube viewers from more than 50 countries viewing scary maze game videos at the time of our sampling.
Naturally, differences in audience size reflect differences between populations. The most popular video in the U. It is likely that many German YouTube viewers participated in creating a scare prank video as a result of the inspiration provided by the U.
Similar differences of scale in popularity were evident in the number of comments and ratings. Not surprisingly given the population differences, the most popular scare prank videos were produced in the United States. Although the scary maze game is a global phenomenon, few of the German videos reached the popularity of those produced in the United States. As Table 2 shows, YouTube users were far more engaged in viewing and responding to U. The number of comments, favorites and ratings signals the popularity of U.
The viewer engagement index shows statistically significant differences between U. Although we did not conduct a comprehensive content analysis of the many thousands of comments generated by viewers of the Scary Maze video pranks, a review of comments does reveal wide disparity among viewers concerning the social acceptability of pranking young children. Comments reveal that the potentially transgressive nature of videos that feature children as victims is clearly a source of continuing interest, popularity and appeal. Of the 40, comments responding to Scary Maze Game — The Original , 17 were less than one month old on 13 July , eight years after the video was first posted to YouTube.
In an effort to explore cultural differences in online video pranking, this study examined the form and content of scary maze game videos created by American and German users of YouTube. Because traditionally the most intense forms of humiliation involve a low-status person humiliating a person of higher rank, it is therefore surprising that U.
We also found that while German prank victims display somewhat more emotional distress, U. Online pranking is alive and well on YouTube, as part of the dark side of participatory culture. Bad pranks are highly visible online because their transgressive nature makes them popular. The volume and popularity of these pranks may contribute to perceptions of normativity.
But a content analysis of pranking videos cannot unpack the motivations of YouTube filmmakers or the interpretive response of viewers. Further research is needed to understand the pleasures of filmmakers who videotape people being pranked and the pleasures of audiences who view such pranks.
Further research will be needed to understand why these cultural differences in the representation of online pranking are evident. We can only speculate that there may be differential levels of investment by German and American YouTube filmmakers who exploit the representation of intense emotional behavior for sheer dramatic appeal. Perhaps as well, U. YouTube filmmakers, steeped in the power messages emanating from Hollywood, recognize the transgressive ethical dimensions of pranking children but also know that representing the transgression will make for a good, emotive, popular video with strong responses from viewers.
The use of children as victims is a well-established trope in television, news, Hollywood cinema and other media Cavender, et al. For these reasons, it could be argued that video makers who do not make use of children as victims are simply ignorant of the ways to make a popular and powerful video that challenges people to feel something and respond.
One of our concerns, after watching these videos, is that some of these videos are not mere representations of cruelty, fear and potentially humiliating responses, but are likely documents of real cruelty, fear, psychic pain, and humiliation. Furthermore, we are documenting a visual aesthetic here that takes pleasure in the possible real suffering of others. Perhaps there is another psychological layer of this aesthetic, as people may want to represent an actual transgression in order to garner strong responses and take delight in transgression.
Such issues deserve further inquiry. Similarly, little is known about how children experience humiliation in the context of playful pranks conducted informally at home by family and friends, with or without an online viewing audience. When video depictions of such pranks circulate online, it is possible that these videos serve diverse complex emotional needs for viewers.
What are the social consequences of bad pranks that feature young children as unwitting victims? Might people normalize or glamorize the victimization of children? How might children, young people and their families interpret pranking videos? What are the psychological consequences of being featured in a popular YouTube pranking video? More research on these questions is needed. Controversial online videos that activate the need for discussion and opinion-sharing may advance media literacy competencies.
Pranking videos may be used as an effective starting point for launching conversations about larger ethical issues concerning the social responsibilities of the filmmaker, the subject, and the witnesses, including and especially the audience members who view these videos. Discussion of cultural differences that exist in how and why people use the Internet for pranking may support the development of digital and media literacy competencies that promote critical thinking about a wide range of humorous but disturbing media content.
Renee Hobbs is an internationally recognized authority on digital and media literacy education. Direct comments to: hobbs [at] uri [dot] edu. E-mail: silke [dot] grafe [at] uni-wuerzburg [dot] de. Cavender, L. Bond-Maupin, and N. Jurik,