“Japanese animated films and anime series are weird. But the release of the classic Ghost in the Shell over 20 years ago drove the genre both upwards by reaching adults, and outwards, reaching the West’s mainstream unlike other previous efforts. It did this while blending sci-fi elements, cyberpunk visuals and deals explicitly with mature themes and ideas.
The film starts with a mysterious woman removing wires from the back of her head as she observes buildings and traffic from dizzying heights. She soon descends into a building by crashing through the window, killing a high-level diplomat and escaping right in front of everyone else using some nifty high-tech camouflage…
Ghost in the Shell was originally told through serialised Japanese manga in 1989, by the visionary Masamune Shirow. Numerous films, anime series and computer game adaptations have followed ever since. Hollywood will attempt a live-action adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson, scheduled for release next year. The production has been heavily criticised for whitewashing all of the main characters when the film industry is under fire for failing to allow black and minority ethnic talent to break through…”
“SAN FRANCISCO — For many male scientists, the high-tech hook was set by Star Trek and Star Wars. Now Google hopes to increase the number of future female hires by counting on the appeal of a math-savvy cartoon character named Loretta and a code-loving foster kid named Mariana.
As tech continues to fuel economic growth here and internationally, there’s a growing need for employees who are fluent in the digital language of the trade. In fact, by 2020, there will be a million more computer jobs than students with that degree, according to Code.org.
That’s led to a push to get more people of color into the computer science pipeline — and women of all races into the field.
Which is where Loretta and Mariana come into play. They’re characters in two Disney-ABC Television Group shows — Miles from Tomorrowland and The Fosters — who, with Google’s assistance, have embraced computer science in order to cast a positive light on girls who code.
“Our research shows that for girls when it comes to focusing on a career, perceptions of that profession rank second in importance only to parental encouragement,” says Julie Ann Crommett, who headed diversity efforts at NBC Universal before joining Google in 2013 as program manager for computer science education in media. She recently was part of a tech-meets-Hollywood panel at SXSW in Austin called Decoding Percepciones: CS, Latinos and Storytelling.…”