Rather than examine the media as separate industries or technologies, Media Environments explores the media in their totality and provides models and theories for interrogating many universal themes that span media and global culture. Using films such as The Hunger Games, Fight Club and WALL-E as lead-ins, students are introduced to the works of well-known thinkers and writers such as Jean Baudrillard, Naomi Wolf, Neil Postman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Julian Assange, Kalle Lasn, Stephen Hawking, and many others. Chapter topics include:
The wide range of films, topics, and readings permits professors to tailor the models and theories to fit with their personal interests and expertise in teaching Media and Society or other media-related courses. With its intellectual rigor and thematic diversity, Media Environments is ideal for departments thinking about adopting a single text for their media studies courses. This anthology makes media criticism exciting, engaging, and enlightening.
[T]he collection of studies here certainly constitute more than the sum of their individual parts. Many of these individual pieces are in fact absolutely key to any effective understanding of what our media environments are now and are likely to be in the near future. … Vacker offers the student, reader and prospective course organizer an exciting excursion through a whole constellation of media environments, topics, issues, challenges, ideas, theories, experiences and problems.—John Blewitt, Aston U, Birmingham, England, in a review published in Explorations in Media Ecology, Volume 12, Numbers 1 and 2
This textbook gave me insight into a world of media I never even knew existed. I enjoyed the chapter breakdowns, the examples, and the way it was written. All of those things together made Media Environments one of the best learning experiences I've had from both a textbook and new course material.—Delane Moehring, Masters student, University of Texas at Tyler
This course opened my eyes and blew my mind.—Genevieve Gillespie, former student and now a contributor to the 2nd Edition, Temple University
In 2013, Barry was interviewed on Public Radio International about two of his recent books:
1. The End of the World — Again
2. Slugging Nothing: Fighting the Future in Fight Club.
In 2003, Barry was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN about the meaning of The Matrix and the role of media technology in our lives.