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Random Thoughts

Youthful Problems

Have you ever played Rise of the Tomb Raider? If not, no worries, there are plenty of examples of what I’m about to talk about in other media. Anyway, in this specific game the main character of Lara Croft talks about a MacGuffin that can unlock the secrets of immortality for humankind, talking about how it would change everything, stop sickness and disease, and all the usual nonsense people think up in these situations. So let’s think for a moment about why this line of thinking is naïve and catastrophically flawed. First, yes, the basic premise Lara is discussing here …

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Probably My Last Post for a While + 2 FREE Books

If you use WordPress, chances are you’re aware of the recent change to how the editor works. I won’t bore you with excessive details here, but suffice to say they’ve completely screwed the pooch and ruined my workflow, both here and on other sites I maintain. For some more comprehensive posts on the issue of the new Gutenberg editor WordPress rolled out to everyone way before it was ready, and without bothering to consider the massive impact it would have on existing sites, check these out: Gutenberg Editor Review: Please Don’t Include This in WordPress Core WordPress Gutenberg will be …

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Post-Apocalyptic Lesbians

I have an odd relationship with post-apoc settings. I love the general idea, the concept of post-apoc, but often find the execution to be lacking. For every Mad Max, there’s at least one Aftermath or New Gladiators. Some nice ideas in the lower budget movies, sure, but the obvious issue is the ‘lower budget’. By nice, I do of course mean awful, because… you know, post-apoc. Similarly, for every Fallout: New Vegas (one of my top 5 games of all time), you have… well, something like Fallout 76, which completely misses the point of the franchise it’s aping off, exactly …

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Do You Read Visual Novels?

A long, long time ago I read my first ever visual novel. I think it was around 2007, maybe? Alas, my memory isn’t what it used to be. But I remember the visual novel itself, it was a drama-heavy high school romance called Yume Miru Kusuri. It was your standard ‘boy meets several cute girls, ends up with one of them’ story Japan very much likes to tell in this particular medium, but I enjoyed it well enough. It wasn’t until much later that I finally found a few good examples of Japanese yuri (百合, lit. ‘lily’, the Japanese term …

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The Masks We Wear

Have you ever played the Persona series of games? If not, I’d highly recommend checking them out. Persona 4 The Golden is an excellent starting point, but if you don’t have a Playstation Vita (which wouldn’t be surprising, considering how quickly that console died), you could start with Persona 5 on PS3 or PS4. Why am I suddenly recommending you Japanese RPGs? Simple, because one of the things I adore about the series in question is its exploration of—what else?—personae, the different metaphorical masks people wear. As a series, it delves heavily into Jungian psychology, including the titular persona, but …

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Is Conflict Essential to a Story?

  Most writers will tell you that conflict is essential to a story. Some would even go so far as to say a story can’t exist without conflict. And sure, depending on the medium involved, conflict is pretty crucial to a story. But is it essential to a story? Short answer: nope. The longer answer is a bit more involved. There are several major exceptions to this rule. The most prominent examples I can think of would be humour and slice of life. In both instances, something else takes the place of conflict. For humour it’s the concept of set …