Adam Ruins Summer Fun

Nov 29 2015

In this episode, Adam revealed that summer vacation makes you dumber, everyone's favorite animated rodent has altered our copyright rules for the worse and the only reason we think of videogames as being for boys is because of decades of marketing. Here are his sources.


"Classrooms got so unbearably hot during the summer that rich parents would take their kids to the country for months, essentially shuttering the schools."

Melker, Saskia De, and Sam Weber. "Agrarian Roots? Think Again. Debunking the Myth of Summer Vacation’s Origins." PBS Newshour. PBS, 7 Sept. 2014. Web.

"Kids lose on average one month of instruction every summer. Educators call it the summer slide."

Cooper, Harris, Barbara Nye, Kelly Charlton, James Lindsay, and Scott Greathouse. "The Effects of Summer Vacation on Achievement Test Scores: A Narrative and Meta-Analytic Review." Review of Educational Research 66.3 (1996): 227-68.Duke University. Duke University, 26 Jan. 2011. Web.

"Six out of seven kids eligible for summer lunch programs never receive them."

"Summer Meals: Summer Meals Survey of Parents." No Kid Hungry, Center for Best Practices. Share Our Strength, n.d. Web.

"In other countries like Japan and England, students get multiple short breaks throughout the school year."

Lyons, Linda. “Can We Learn From Year-Round Schooling?” 12 November, 2012. Gallup. Web.

"Back in the 20s, our copyright system worked the way it was supposed to. An artist who created a new work could claim the exclusive right to it for 56 years."

The Association of Research Libraries. “Copyright Timeline: A History of Copyright in the United States.” 2015. Web.

"Remixing the works of the past is an essential part of how we create new culture. And this same process brought us so many of your favorite characters: Frankenstein, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Hercules, Pinocchio, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo, Paul Bunyan, Tarzan, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Moby Dick, and many, many more."

Lessig, Lawrence. Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock down Culture and Control Creativity. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.

"In 1998, Mickey Mouse was about enter the public domain. To stop that from happening, Disney and other companies lobbied Congress to extend the term of copyright by decades, just so they could retain ownership of him and other characters."

Lee, Timothy B. “15 years ago, Congress kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. Will they do it again?” Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. 25 Oct. 2013. Web.

"Dozens of Disney characters were taken directly from the public domain."

Khanna, Derek. "50 Disney Movies Based On The Public Domain." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 3 Feb. 2014. Web.

"Before World War II, little boys and little girls wore the same outfits, pretty dresses."

Maglaty, Jeanna. "When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?" Smithsonian Institution, 7 Apr. 2011. Web.

"Early games like Pong were totally unisex. In fact, the game was marketed to the entire family."

Lien, Tracey. "No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys." Polygon. Vox Media, 02 Dec. 2013. Web.

"Pac-Man was so popular with women, that when it came time for a sequel, the developers gave it a female main character: Ms. Pac-Man."

"Electronic Games Magazine." May 1982: n. pag. Internet Archive. Internet Archive. Web.

"Because all of that changed thanks to the videogame crash of 1983. Greedy publishers started flooding the market with shoddy titles… [and] most adults stopped playing games entirely, and the videogame market cratered."

Gratzer, Karl, and Dieter Stiefel. History of Insolvency and Bankruptcy from an International Perspective. Huddinge: Södertörns Högskola, 2008. Web.

"More adult women play video games than teenage boys do."

"Essential Facts about the Computer and Videogame Industry." Entertainment Software Association (2015): n. pag. Entertainment Software Association, Apr. 2015. Web.

"Animal Crossing: New Leaf... broke sales records, and 56% of the people playing it are women."

Hudson, Laura. "Nintendo’s New Key to Creativity: More Women." Wired. Conde Nast, 28 Mar. 2014. Web.

For More On This Topic

School's In: The History of Summer Education in American Public Schools: Kenneth Gold’s insightful analysis of the history and policies that shaped summer school.

The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind: in this free book law professor James Boyle argues that every informed citizen needs to understand the basics of intellectual property law in order to better defend the public domain and by extension our shared cultural legacy.

No Girls Allowed: Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys: Tracey Lien’s long-form journalism exploration of the video game gender divide.

Watch Adam reveal why people still think video games are just for boys and how copyright laws hinder creative progress.