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This website is dedicated to examining socially influential messages present in fictional story-telling in pop culture, as told through various forms of traditional and modern media.  Our objective is to encourage critical thinking about media messages and to promote education in Media Literacy.  The Stories We Tell is an archive of exapndable, point-by-point, semiotic analyses that anyone can contribute to.  These analyses also function as an evolving open-letter to all of those involved in creating modern stories (writers, directors, producers, designers, developers, artists, actors, etc) for the purpose of improving the quality of implict content in future fictional works.

The power of story-telling is something we must strive to use responsibly.  This requires an on-going examination of how certain elements of story-telling might help or hurt any and all members of our society. It's difficult to imagine all the possible ways that a story may be influential. That's why it is important to think critically, voice our concerns, listen
to other's concerns, and engage each other in compassionate and critical discourse.

Nothing in fictional story-telling is incidental.  The creators of a fictional story have 100% control over everything that exsists and takes place within the unique universe of their construction.  While, many of the messages might not have been consciously constructed by the creators, the intention or non-intention of the creators does not mitigate the end result of the messages.

Our analyses focus on how aspects of a story might influence broader social and cultural thinking and behavior, for better or for worse.  In each analysis we first discuss what is socially helpful about the story. This is because we feel it is very important, as a foundation for change, to acknowledge what is being done right.  Then we tackle the aspects that are socially harmful in each piece, and suggest how it can be corrected, balanced, or improved on.

Latest Analyses

Sword & Sworcery
Video Game

The Last of Us
Video Game

More Coming Soon.

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