News and Public Affairs

Idea Channel

Here's an idea: a PBS show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology, and art.

Can Video Games Become the Next Spectator Sport?

8m 54s

As our South Korean friends can confirm, video games can most definitely be a spectator sport. But will they ever catch on in a huge way in the good ol' U.S. of A?


  • Why Do We Love Zombies?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why Do We Love Zombies?

    7m 32s

    Zombies are EVERYWHERE!! Wait, don't panic- we mean in pop culture, not outside your window. But why is that? Bad guys and monsters seem to go through phases: one decade there's a dozen movies about aliens, ten years later it's vampires. And right now, it's zombies. There must be something that makes us fixate on one antagonist trope. So what are we afraid of now? It might just be technology.

  • Does Math Really Exist?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Does Math Really Exist?

    8m 44s

    Math is invisible. Unlike physics, chemistry, and biology we can't see it, smell it, or even directly observe it in the universe. And so that has made a lot of really smart people ask, does it actually even EXIST?!?!

  • Is the Universe a Computer?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is the Universe a Computer?

    8m 9s

    The universe is made up of information, similar to a computer, and physics (you know, the basis of the universe) certainly is based on computational principles. But is it running some grand program? Will the answer be 42? Make sure you have your towel, and watch the episode!

  • Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical?

    7m 7s

    From R2-D2 to the Jetsons, our future robot companions promise to be helpful and handy! But many people have their concerns: will the development of artificial intelligence end up REPLACING humans in the work force, pushing already high unemployment through the roof?!?!

  • Is Sad Music Actually Sad?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is Sad Music Actually Sad?

    7m 18s

    Be it Elliott Smith or Queen, classical or dub step, there's usually a clear understanding that some songs are sad, and some songs are happy. But what is it about the music that makes us feel these feelings we're feeling?

  • A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class

    4m 15s

    Every week, Mr. Monfre's class in Milwaukee, Wisconsin watches Idea Channel, has a great discussion and posts an awesome comment. We were lucky enough to surprise them with a visit to their classroom!!! So come watch as Mike meets the illustrious Mr. Monfre and hangs out with his amazing students.

  • Is a DOS Attack a Weapon?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is a DOS Attack a Weapon?

    8m 32s

    Denial of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks take down servers by distracting them with meaningless traffic until basically they can't take it any more. The way we talk about the result of a software program reflects the way we view "online", and the value we place on its content. But what does it do to our comprehension when we lump violent acts online with real life?

  • Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?

    7m 40s

    If you play video games, you've shot a gun. And those guns are REALISTIC. So real that many are actually LICENSED by IRL arms dealers. Which means that when you buy a video game, you're also putting money in the pockets of those gun manufacturers. That's fine and dandy if you're a fan of guns, but if you are someone who considers themselves anti-gun, this creates quite the moral quandary.

  • Is Community a Postmodern Masterpiece?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Is Community a Postmodern Masterpiece?

    8m 27s

    Though the TV show Community has never achieved huge ratings, it has a passionate cult following, including us here at Idea Channel. The show plays with genre and narrative in such a creative way that it brings to mind the cultural and artistic theory of Postmodernism.

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