Ypulse Essentials: Using Video Games To Millennialize Education, MTV Movie Award Noms, Is ‘Hipster Racism’ For Real?

Check out the rest of today's essentials on one teen's crusade against airbrushed fashion magazines, Pepsi's live-streamed Twitter concerts, JCPenney's Cosmo collab, and more

A new magnet school opening its doors this fall plans to prepare students for the job market (by giving them the ultimate tech education. Students at Florida’s iTech Academy may be studying video gaming, but they’re learning science, technology, math, and engineering, prepping them for career tracks that are in high demand. That’s one way to Millennialize education! In other gaming news, tween girls are gamers too, according to a new study. Girls’ video game interests differ from boys’ in that they’re more into creating avatars and take advantage of social gaming experiences. Millennial teens have never lived without technology, making them true “digital natives.” 

The MTV Movie Award nominees list is out (and looking at it you might think only three films were made in the past year. “Hunger Games,” “Bridesmaids,” and “Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part Two” are nominated in nearly every category. Speaking of movies, the young sci-fi fans in our office can’t stop talking about the trailer for “Prometheus,” which some critics are already suggesting may be the best of director Ridley Scott’s career) (MTV) (Hypebeast)

We have to admit the concept of “hipster racism” (made us think, even if it sounds a bit ridiculous. The idea refers to hipsters adopting and adapting other cultures — think Navajo prints and trucker hats — and reminded us that Millennials are the most multicultural generation in history. They don’t feel the need to categorize everything like older generations. They just know what they like when they see it) (Chicago Tribune) (MTV via @MTVInsights)

We’re super impressed with 14 year old Julia Bluhm, who is tired of seeing airbrushed teen magazines (so she’s started an online petition to get Seventeen magazine to publish at least one fashion spread a month with…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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