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The Evolution Revolution

Shutting down the Backblog


As you may have noticed, I have made close to zero posts on this blog this year. My interest in blogging has severely dwindled in the past year or two and rather than leaving this site on an empty note, I decided I would give it a send-off. Obviously, I’m not going to be deleting the site or anything, so everything already on here will stay up, but I won’t be making any new posts. The Backblog is a relic of my high school life, really; I started it a week before I started high school, and it was about the end of high school when I stopped making regular posts. So even if I ever did want to blog again (very unlikely), it wouldn’t feel right to make it on this site.

Thank you for all your support over the past five years, you anonymous readers. It was fun!

Farewell to Robin Williams…


Originally posted on Dante Basco: My take on life...:

Today Robin Williams past away and it’s been so surreal, it felt like it came out of nowhere… A text message from a friend made me aware of the news and frantically I jumped online to see if it was true. Sadly, I found out it was and even more sad, I read of the circumstances. I couldn’t keep reading the stories online for it’s too sad.

At times like this, I get very reflective and being a writer, I guess it’s best to write and what better place but my blog. It’s surreal because I haven’t seen Robin for many years yet in he’s so connected to me due to his close involvement in the biggest role of my career in “Hook” where he played Peter Pan and I played the punk kid who took over as leader of the Lost Boys when he left Neverland… Rufio.

Although working…

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New Madoka Fan Fiction – Puellus Plebius Kyosuke Iusto


New Madoka Fan Fiction – Puellus Plebius Kyosuke Iusto.

 

I posted a new thing on the 365-Story Challenge blog. It’s a new Madoka fan fiction series, only tangentially related to My Big Fat Madoka Wedding.

 

Read it here if you don’t want to click the above link to read in more detail.

I don’t understand these Top Searches


Once again, the top searches on this site have been inspiring enough to make a post about:

will vance astro be in the movie

yuri furry

little mac ssb4 sprites sheet

black man with willy stuck in xbox 360

This is simply astounding. I know why the first one is a search result, the other two I have no idea, and the last one? Not even going to try to guess.

 

QUICK EDIT WOAH WAIT. “black man with willy stuck in xbox 360″ was IN MY PREVIOUS ONE. That means, not only are people searching this on Google and finding my blog, they are doing it consistently for months at a time. This is horrifying.

Commission Me (if you want)


As I’ve started to get into college more I’ve been writing a lot more (though not things that you are seeing on the 365-Story Challenge blog, unfortunately), and I think I want to try my hand at commissions, if anyone is interested. Visit my Commissions Page at the link at the top of the page, or click right here if you want.

A Discussion on Casual and Hardcore Gamer


I was asked an anonymous question on Tumblr earlier today, in response to this post I made.. I ended up writing an essay about it.

http://thedude3445.tumblr.com/post/75544115916/reddit-did-a-poll-on-dark-souls-out-of-around-2400

I’ll post it here so you don’t have to click that (you will have to click the first one for context if you need it though)

Anonymous asked: “Reddit did a poll on dark souls, out of around 2400 people, only 66 were women. Those polls of “45%” and “55%” were made using games played during childhood and stuff like Angry Birds, facebook games played once a year, etc. as making you a “gamer”. I’m not sexist, but I can be angry when people mess with statistics, fuck them. Women need to WANT to play normal games, it’s not a sexism problem, it’s an education problem, which I guess is the same, but not my fault.”

Now this is where we can have some interesting discussion unrelated to gender representation in media. Tumblr’s all about that shit, but fuck that I want to talk about video games.

Now, my question to you (you being the collective readership of this post), what is a /normal/ video game? Is there a specific definition of what makes a game casual, or hardcore, or any other terms? Can a game cross a certain threshold and “evolve” into a different category? When you say the word casual, you immediately think of a mobile game, something that your kid cousin or your uncle would play; Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Brain Age, Wii Sports Resort, among many others.

But what about Call of Duty? It’s one of the best-selling franchises of all time. Men in their 40s and 50s are active fans and have already played the newest in the series more hours than I played any game in the year 2013 (for the record, I played 394 hours’ worth of games on my 3DS, and my rough estimate for other systems is probably another 75 onto that, and with PC games another 15 onto that.). My uncle, my father— they have all expressed great interest in the franchise. And it’s a First Person Shooter, the most prevalent genre in modern gaming. It would hardly be considered casual. And for another example, Assassin’s Creed; it’s nearly as celebrated as Call of Duty, and yet its broad appeal has surprised even me in the past. My cousin almost exclusively plays Assasin’s Creed games on her Xbox, rarely turning it on any other time except at family gatherings to play Just Dance. I don’t think that would be considered casual, would it?

Now I have to ask the most important question— what does a casual game even mean? If it means something that can broadly appeal to the masses, the people who do not regularly play their game systems, then why are we calling them casual games? Why not call them simply successful games? Popular games? To one person, Angry Birds can be just as fun as Heavy Rain. Sure, it doesn’t have a story, and it’s a simplistic game, but they are both interactive experiences that can captivate and enthrall the player. To use a more relevant comparison, how are Angry Birds and Portal different? They are both physics-based puzzle-action games, and they are both fun in their own way. Sure, Portal’s got nice and shiny graphics and some clever writing, but gamers are always the ones that want to make the case for visual style over graphics, and I would definitely have to say Angry Birds has a good visual style, one that has been able to spawn an entire media franchise.

If you wished you could make the argument that causal games are ones that you don’t have to put any effort into, that you can sit back and relax while playing. Then you’d immediately realize that games like Mass Effect, Super Mario, and God of War hold your hand the whole way through, at least on lower difficulties, and games like Battlefield serve the same purpose to some people as would Where’s My Water; to help you unwind after a long day of school or work.

And if we’re going with the Casual = Popular distinction, does that mean unpopular games are automatically hardcore? Is Toki Tori 2+ a hardcore game? Is Nidhogg a hardcore game? Is Touhou a hardcore game? The only real distinction you can make about these games is that they aren’t well-known to a wide audience, but each of them is a completely different type of game, and ones that have direct analogues to very popular games. Toki Tori is a puzzle game, a favorite of mobile gaming, Nidhogg is a multiplayer dueling game, which is essentially a simplified version of something like Super Smash Bros. that sells tens of millions a year, and Touhou, the most hardcore of them all, is not entirely unlike the Dash genre of games that have permeated the mobile market in recent years. And if a game truly is hardcore based on popularity, does that mean once a game sells well enough, it becomes casual? Fire Emblem Awakening was the first in the entire series to pass one million copies sold. Its quotes and jokes have become memetic for a large segment of the online gaming community. But could a strategy-RPG with dating sim elements actually be considered casual? Could it?

Now, to figure out what we actually want to refer to as a casual game, we must also figure out what to define as a hardcore game. This I suspect will be even more difficult. What first comes to mind when we think of the phase “hardcore game”? We think of Batman: Arkham Asylum. We think of Dark Souls. We think of Baldur’s Gate. We think of Fez, we think of Spelunky, we think of Touhou. In reality, what do these games actually have in common? I myself cannot think of anything to unite them. A game like rymdkapsel, on my smartphone right this moment, has just as much appeal to me as my copy of Super Hexagon. I’ve played Spelltower just as many hours as I’ve played the new Bravoman, or Star Wars Tiny Tower. And I cannot say that any of these games are casual or hardcore.

Each of the potential separations between a casual and hardcore game falls apart almost instantly. Free-to-Play vs Paid? League of Legends. The Old Republic. Pick-up-and Play or Large amounts of time investment? Hell, any 3DS game on the market today lends itself to playing in quick bursts. The only reason I couldn’t finish Project X Zone is because I burnt myself out trying to play it all at once. Popular vs. Unpopular to the population at large? The many examples I have already provided.

The distinction between casual and hardcore seems to be arbitrary; something that gamers use to seal themselves away and block outsiders. And that is what creates a niche audience. The video game industry is the most rapidly-expanding section of the entertainment industry right now; do you really want video games to become like comic books, where the stories are mostly catered to longtime readers with heavy nostalgia, or anime, which relies so heavily on otaku and their love for moe that most shows won’t be renewed if the CDs don’t sell well enough? By creating a barrier between what you perceive to be a threat to what you have claimed as your community, and yourself, you are creating a culture of toxicity and hipsterism.

Twenty years ago, the base of the video game audience was children and teenagers. The best-selling games were Mario and Sonic and Earthworm Jim, things easily marketable, yet still very fun. Now, once again, the video game industry has reached this point. The newest generation of children, those who were born in the post-9/11 era, those who can barely remember a time before the iPhone, are becoming the new base for the industry, and what trends they latch onto will dictate how the industry moves. Their lives are different from yours— While you may have had fond memories playing Clayfighter Sculptor’s Cut, rented out from Blockbuster, while you waited for your dial-up to load the Buffy fansite you wanted to visit, these children are creating fond memories of their own, but with a completely different life perspective. When they enter high school and college, what type of video games will they want to play, having spent their formative years with Disney Infinity and Flappy Bird, rather than Luigi’s Mansion and Sly Cooper? What will we be able to call a hardcore game in ten years, when the vast majority of games are free-to-play? Will you reject their games as casual once their preferences become the dominant force in the industry—and they will—, and be that 45-year old Marvel fan who sends death threats to Fox because they are making Johnny Storm black in the new Fantastic Four?

So, can you really say a woman is not a gamer because she doesn’t play normal games? No. Because there’s no such thing as a normal game at all. They are simply video games, that all serve the same purpose— to entertain, to impress, and to generate positive memories.

Please feel free to discuss this, debate this— I like discussion, not just back-and-forth rants. I want to see other peoples’ opinions! Tumblr is often a place where dissenting voices cannot thrive, and where one will automatically overshadow the other. But I hope that is not the case here. So please, do comment if you want. Even about the gender representation part that I barely discussed.

—-

Of course, that last paragraph applies here too. If you want to comment on how wrong I am, go ahead! I would like to hear what you have to say, regardless of what it is (unless it’s like “Go fuck yourself and die in a hole”; that’s kind of stupid and pointless).

 

 

 

JJ Abrams and the Quest for Canon


Thedude3445:

The effects Star Wars Episode VII is having on the Expanded Universe are interesting to say the least. I am worried for all my favorite books and comics, but I’m also somewhat excited for the new stories that will be coming our way in 12 months, whatever they may be. All I want is for the Jedi Prince series to be canon, okay?! :P

Originally posted on Roqoo Depot:

jjYesterday Leland Chee Tweeted that the Story Group at Lucasfilm has full control on what is and isn’t canon in the Star Wars Universe.  That in and of itself has spawned a plethora of stories across the interwebs today.  But I’m going to take you farther down the rabbit hole, I’m going to show how what Leland Tweeted yesterday opens up a whole new can of worms.

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bensmathcatastrophe.txt


This is a story I wrote way back in 6th grade, for a math class I was only in for 4 weeks before being transferred to the honors class. We had to write about how an error in math could cause something bad to happen, but we weren’t allowed to write anything about actual deaths. Needless to say I probably crossed that many times, but she never said anything about it because I left the class just days later. It’s not any good, but it’s still fun to see a little 11 year old trying to make a cool story about a big war.

My story:

One afternoon, a scientist launching a missile in Washington DC, to probe Pluto for life, typed in the coordinates
code: 00074857558+ 45869= 74003427. But, the first 0 in the code was supposed to be a 9,not a 0, so the missile launched but hit the Washington Monument. The man looked out and saw it explode.
“BLOODY MURDER!” the man screamed. The explosion was so catastrophic that it hit the White House, and all surrounding museums
in the area.No one died, but thousands of injuries had to be treated.

The man hid out in the mountains in Virginia so nobody would arrest him. The public didn’t know that it was a probe missile failure
and thought that terrorists were to blame. They impeached President Bush for not having enough security, and another election was held.
The winner was Kentucky Hugo Hues. Really, he and his entire cabinet were people of Fidel Castro, evil dictator of Cuba.
So, Castro now was under control of US, and he was willing to go to war with every South American country.

A year later, a new scientist launched the second missile, but the night before, the President snuck in and sabotaged the missile.
He launched it, but it went towards China. Citizens screamed in terror when they heard this, because China would launch hundreds of nukes at the US and kill them all. It kept going past China though,
and actually hit Mt. Everest, causing thousands of avalanches, destroying mountain, after mountain, after mountain, until
the avalanches buried 300 miles of Russia and 130 miles of India. The President of Russia caught a new disease called Goryhraxahethenoin or Goryhrax for short
and died. He went to investigate the avalanches the day before,so everyone thought it was a radiation disease. The new President declared war on China (because
that’s where the missile came from) and India did too. India’s untrained military force was defeated by North Korean forces backing up China, and that’s when
Vietnam and South Korea got in a war for a classified(at this time) reason. South Korea defeated Vietnam and attacked North Korea, violating their treaty.
No other thing could go wrong more than what is just about to happen.

The US forces in Iraq just get back when they find out that Castro declares war on all countries of Africa for no reason whatsoever. They don’t know that
Castro’s goonie is President and go off to war. They are taken by surprise, and most people don’t even have 1985 technology, and they give up immediately.
The big mistake is when he declares war on Russia. Now fighting two countries, Russia asks that South Korea, who won against North Korea to be an ally.
South Korea(Now just Korea) accepts, and they fight against the US. Then the US launches a missle at Russia but it malfunctions and hits the English Channel.
France thought that England did it, and launched a war threat against England. England blames France and they do go to war.Finland tried to stop it, but is taken
over by France. Sweden secretly allies with England and aids them in taking over Greenland. It is very easy, and they then build missiles that hit Africa and
France. France responds with the allies of Germany and Austria, but Germany refuses. They had their sights set on a much bigger prize. They attack china by blocking out all supply
routes coming through to China. They next attack Hong Kong with four stealth fighters and then attack Japan, but make it look like China did it. They go to war with
China.

The men in Greenland have now built 400,000 war factories to destroy France with, but the help of Austria and Finland territory is too much. So they team up with
Russia and Japan to annihilate both France and China. The US cuts in and blows the forces of South Korea into tiny bits of dust. They attack China but China steals tons of weapons from Iran and&
Pakistan. The two countries attack China and win, but then attack each other. Pakistan wins but Iraq helps the US defeat them. The US thanks Iraq by taking that country too.
The England/Russia/Japan forces defeat France. Japan fights the US for China territory, while the leaders of England and Russia argue who gets France. Silently but
effectively, Germany has taken over Austria, Kazakhstan, and Indonesia. They settle Russia and England’s argument by launching warheads at Russia. The President
surrenders and Germany takes over Japan. They are merciful to Japan though, and take over China territory. They too will make a huge mistake.

They launch a missile at Australia to take it over, but it had a tiny error and hit a smaller island instead; Cuba. Castro is outraged and attacks Germany with all of its might.
England launches ten hydrogen bombs at a Central American country(evacuated ahead of time) and South America is separated from America. England fuses countries with Germany,
and then launches one at the US and Africa. Castro gives a direct order to his last 1,000,000 troops and they find out who the leader really is. They all join Germany,
and the citizens do, too. Only he and the President are left and they run to the mountains of Virginia like that scientist did. Germany remakes the world back into the right
way, but it probably isn’t enough to fix the new allies and foes made from this humongous war.

THE END?

2013 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

New page – Donate Bitcoins to me


Donate Bitcoins to me.

I have set up a page where you can donate Bitcoins to me if you want. I suspect this will never once be used, but being the impoverished college student I am, I would be overjoyed at any amount of generosity. (And probably make you something cool)

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