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Wednesday Rundown: Adventures in the Upside of Fear

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These topics air Wednesday October 29, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Finding Fun in Fear

Halloween is a great time of year to be a thrill-seeker. Many people search for an adrenaline kick of fear in haunted attractions, horror movies and pranks. But why? What makes a good scare so thrilling? And do other cultures enjoy recreational fear in the same ways? If you’ve visited Scarehouse recently you may have been part of research which explores these questions. Greg Siegle, Director of the Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience (PICAN) at the University of Pittsburgh and Sociologist Margee Kerr talk about their Ecological Emotional Experience Protocol (EEEP!) experiments and Kerr’s forthcoming book, “Scream: Adventures in the Upside of Fear.”

Supernatural PA

How haunted is Western PA? From the ghost of Slag Pile Annie to fog that engulfs Blue Mist Road, we’ll explore the region’s haunted history with Thomas White, author of the book "Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania."

Gamergate and What Can Be Said About Cultural Change

Video games -- as well as the people who play them -- have changed a lot in the last 10 or 20 years. With improvements in gaming technology and a host of new video game platforms, more people are gaming than ever before. The old stereotype of video gamers as straight, young, white men has been challenged by a growing diversity of gamers, especially women. The recent Gamergate controversy, however, shows that some hardcore gamers are not happy with the diversification of the video game culture. Joining us to talk about Gamergate and what it shows about how video games -- and society -- are diversifying, are Max Parker, video game journalist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Susan Rohwer, a Providence, RI-based freelance journalist who has been following Gamergate.

To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here