Meghan Modafferi

Producer, The State of Things
A new study finds that video gamers' vision may be better than that non-gamers.
Rebecca Pollard via flickr, Creative Commons

Note: This is a rebroadcast of a show that aired June 4, 2014.

When many people hear the words “video game,” they think of a stereotypical geeky teenage boy. But that image does not represent the true industry.

Women account for nearly half of the gaming population and more than a third of gamers are over the age of 36. Video games have expanded into an art form that produces complex narratives, cultural critiques and symphony soundtracks.

Monika Johnson-Hostler

Note: Today's program is a rebroadcast of a program originally aired on July 14, 2014.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Monika Johnston-Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Wake County School Board Member.

It's A Beautiful World

Jul 18, 2014
Beauty World


Musicians Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson strive to never play the same show twice. The experimental duo, formerly known as Prypyat, recently embraced a new chamber pop sound along with a new name: Beauty World.

The band combines their classical training with a sharper, rock-fueled delivery. They perform at the Raleigh City Plaza at 6pm next Thursday, July 24th.

Rick Dillwood

When filmmaker Rick Dillwood agreed to donate sperm to his neighbors, he hardly knew them. Mel and Carey Downey-Piper had been seeking a known donor but not a good friend. However, after many months of celebration and hardship, the three became very close. Dillwood recorded their journey in a documentary called "Between Friends & Family".


Kid Finance

Jul 17, 2014

Children learn a great deal about money from their parents. But which aspects are parents wont to teach and which do they often conceal? Researcher Lynsey Romo sought to answer that in her new study, "Money Matters: Children's Perceptions of Parent-Child Financial Disclosure".

Meanwhile, an exhibit at Marbles Kids Museum aims to facilitate money talk in kids as young as five and the North Carolina Bankers Association works with middle and high school students.

Audio Under the Stars


Live storytelling events have increased in popularity recently, but audio listening parties are still relatively rare. A monthly event called "Audio Under the Stars" seeks to change that in Durham.

Its organizers see audio stories as vehicles to other times and occasions for social engagement. The latest installment, "Fish Out Of Water: Stories of misfits, oddballs, mariners and real fish", is Friday at 8pm at SPECTRE Arts in Durham.

Below is a taste of the kind of stories "Audio Under the Stars" showcases.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Monika Johnston-Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Wake County School Board Member. 

Michael Christian headshot

Former stockbroker Bernie Madoff and former New York Times journalist Jayson Blair share infamy for their unethical business decisions.

A new report considers the psychology behind these transgressions and shows that misdeeds tend to escalate into larger scandals over time.

Life's difficult choices rarely present themselves in one dramatic question or one big decision. Instead, our most important choices in life, including ethical ones, present themselves in small baby steps.

-Jayson Blair  

The von Trapps in front of mountain backdrop
Courtesy of the North Carolina Symphony

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp are the grandchildren of Werner von Trapp. He was portrayed as Kurt in the beloved film, "The Sound of Music." The young von Trapps learned to sing from their grandfather and have been touring together for 13 years. The foursome sang "Edelweiss" on The State of Things.

Alexandra Zagbayou smiling

Alexandra Zagbayou was born in Montreal but returned to her father's homeland of Ivory Coast when she was 4 years old. Six years later, her family fled because they feared political persecution in the tense years before the country's civil war.

"We thought we would be in the U.S. for a summer. The summer turned into 15 years," she said.

The family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Zagbayou learned English by reverse engineering her school's French classes.

Later, her parents returned to Africa while she and her sister stayed in Raleigh with their aunt and uncle. A few years after that, their uncle was killed.

Zagbayou's older sister became her primary guardian while she worked hard to finish high school and secure funding for college. 

One summer, Zagbayou taught dance classes to homeless and displaced youth. This was when she first began to process her own challenging life experiences. She realized not only that she related to her students, but that she had come out the other side. 

Today she helps run the Durham-based college-access organization, Student U. The program empowers students to pursue their own educational journeys despite diverse challenges.