Adam crashes the last day of summer by revealing that extended vacation makes you dumber, and that iconic rodent Mickey Mouse has made a mess of our copyright laws. Adam also dives into the world of video games and unveils a surprising gender bias that's forever changed the way we play.
On a summer day, a kid wakes up from bed, happy that his vacation started. He turns on the TV to watch Huey's Place, starring a bear named Huey. Hiey says that summer is the best time of year. But Adam appears and corrects him, saying it is the worst time of year. The kid changes the channel, but Adam appears in live-action form, and reveals Huey is actually a puppeteer. The kid is warped inside the TV show, and he is shocked to realize that nothing is real.
He tells Adam that he will never convince him that summer is aa bad thing. But Adam tells him that he is a kid and he needs to learn. The kid tells him that vacation is there so that farm kids can work in the farm.
An actor dressed up as a farmer says that he does his harvesting in the summer. But real farmer Jerry Potter appears and says he harvests in fall and plants in the spring. The man leaves angrily.
Adam reveals that schools close in the summer because of the heat, and that, in the past, they didn't have air conditioners. During summer, schools would be unbearably hot, and they closed down and sent kids to the countryside.
Adam proceeds to tell the kid that summer vacation actually makes him dumber. Kids lose a month of instruction in the summer. It is easy to forget when you spend three months doing nothing. This phenomenon is known as the "Summer Slide."
The kid scolds Adam telling him that he isn't a teacher. But Tony Brown, who works in Heart of Los Angeles, appears telling him that the Summer Slide is a problem for kids. Tony tells him that some kids in LA live in unsafe neighborhoods, so they stay inside watching TV. The kid asks him what they do to help, and Tony says they have summer programs and activities to help them stay safe.
The kid says he still has cartoons amd videogames. Adam asks him if he likes cartoons and Mickey Mouse, to what he says yes. Adam proceeds to explain to him how Mickey Mouse drastically changed America's copyright system.
An artist can create a work and exclusively claim it for 56 years, earning him money for all his life. The work then enters the public domain, which allows another person to use it. Adam also explains that recreating past works is an essential way of creating the characters and stories we know and love today. Those were created many years ago and now are in the public domain.
Adam proceeds to explain that Mickey Mouse was almost in the public domain, but Disney made the Congress extend the copyright for decades to keep owning him, leaving him and other characters as private property. The kid is scared at this, and Adam tells him that the copyright issues are more serious.
James Doyle, in the form of a bird, explains to them about works that have not entered the public domain. He also discusses orphaned works, which are protected by copyright but nobody uses them. Until 50 years, the people had free access to the creativity of the past, but now it is locked away. Adam says that, ironically, nobody knew better about it than Walt Disney.
Adam and the kid are warped out from the TV and return to the kid's bedroom. Adam agrees that Disney's cartoons are fun to watch, but are protected by a company that benefits from cultural heritage.
The kid is angry. Now he can't even watch TV. Adam asks him if he wans to play videogames, and shows him a magazine that reveals he used to be a gamer. While playing Assassin's Honor, Adam tells him that gender culture has distorted video games.
The kid, fed up with Adam's ruining, doesn't want to learn anything about video games and just wants to play. Jake's sister Megan appears and asks him if she can play, and he says that video games are for boys only. Adam tells that all of the gender ideas are actually very recent and didn't become norms until today. Adam then proceeds to explain that, during World War II, boys and girls used to wear the same outfits.
In the mid 80s, gender norms came into play, specifying blue clothes for boys and pink clothes for girls. The norms expanded to not just clothes, but also toys and, eventually, video games. Adam snaps his fingers and warps himself amd the kid inside the TV once again.
Inside Pong, Jake becomes the ball and Adam is the paddle. He explains that early video games, like Pong, could be played by both genders. Inside Pac-Man, Pac-Adam tells the kid-ghost that games were marketed to the whole family. Ms. Pac-Man then chases the kid. Adam also explains that there was not just a female audience, but female programmers too, like Carla Shaw, and Donna Bailey.
But everything changed with the Video Game Crash of 1983. Programmers started making bad games, like the infamous E.T. for the Atari. This caused people to stop playing games, and the video game market had fallen. Until Nintendo, with their NES, developed a marketing strategy to save the industry. They wouldn't sell games in Electronics, but rather, in Toys. But the aisles were separated by gender, so they marketed games which appealed to boys. Other video game developers followed suit. It stayed like this until today, and now people think of video games as being for men only.
Adam and Jake go back to the kid's house, where Megan tells him that she always liked games, but he kept listening to those "stupid ads", and pushed her away. Adam explains that video games are one of the greatest forms of art of the new century, and the whole "just for boys" concept is pointless. It only makes them worse and makes the industry lose money.
Now Jake is angry at Adam, and now thinks that he ruined his summer. He doesn't want to talk anymore.
Adam then snaps his fingers and transports himself, Jake and Megan inside a virtual world. He tells the kid that when Nintendo found out that limiting games to boys didn't tdo any benefits, they hired a female director, who created Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Jake says that he loves that game. The game broke sales records, and, with the rise of indie games, more female developers are starting their work. Like Kellee Santiago, creator of Journey. While creating journey, Kellee and her fellow developers wanted to make a game that would be relatable. So they worked upon the idea that games could be something more, and could be enjoyed by everyone. The idea worked, and Journey became a success.
Adam concludes by saying that video games are about letting our imagination flow, without restrictions. Same goes to copyright laws. If we let the public domain flourish, many succesful works can be made. Also, if the educational system is looked upon with the needed attention, kids can enjoy summer the way Jake does. People don't need to do things the same way they did it in the past, and by learning, they can improve the world.
Jake and Megan return to their house. Jake notices that the last day of summer is almost over, and asks himself how will he have fun now. Megan invites him to play Journey, and they play together. The kids' parents arrive, and are shocked after seing Adam.
During the credits, Adam picks some snacks, but Puppet Adam tells him some are bad for him.
- Issac Ryan Brown as Jake
- Artie Esposito as Fancy Boy Rabbit Pupper / Count Numberla / Lunch Monster / Additional puppets
- Roberta Hanlin as Rich Lady
- Terence Bernie Hines as Dad
- Alex Hughes as Camera Operator Bob
- James Austin Johnson as Farmer Jed
- Michele Love Santoro as Sandra
- Benjamin Siemon as Rudy / Ben / Additional Puppets
- Allan Trautman as Count Numberla / Lunch Monster / Additional puppets
- Zamani Wilder as Megan