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 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.
Once again, the top searches on this site have been inspiring enough to make a post about:
will vance astro be in the movie
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
Yesterday 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.
View original 890 more words
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.
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
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 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.
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)
It’s been a while since my last ByNS Stories post, so here’s one of the more solid ones. I barely had to edit this one to get it in top shape. Though its references are even more out of date than they were back last year when I wrote it…
The sparkling background was utterly captivating. To think that each one of these bright specks held a solar system of their very own – wow. What a wonderful universe this was!
Fantasies of alien worlds and places not yet known filled little Becca White’s head with glee and joy; how amazing it would be to journey to space, to venture out into the great unknown, for Becca herself to traverse the intergalactic highways!
But alas. The television screen flickered off as the bunker lost power once more. Berlin was once again under siege, and as time went on, the more and more frequent these blackouts had become.
“Mother,” Becca asked. “Is the power going to come back on?”
“Yes, dear,” her loving mother replied, her voice as sweet as a cherry on a bright summer day. “It always does. Do not worry yourself with the things you cannot control.”
“Okay.” Becca thought long and hard about that. Was her destiny something she could control, or was it too set, unable to be changed? “Mother, can I reach those stars someday? The ones from the television screen?”
“If we survive this,” she told her, “You surely can. Anyone will be able to, in the future.” Becca hoped more than anything that she could…
Another shell blasted against the roof above her. The power finally came back on. Becca really just wanted all this to end. So many friends and family were gone by this point. Flames drenched the city in ash and soot. It was all so sad. Becca decided that she wouldn’t ever let space be anything like this. She would become the queen of space and rule it, and force everyone to be happy.
Eventually, the enemy breached their fortifications. A seeming million soldiers rushed into the bunker at once, and chaos erupted. Becca searched around frantically for her mother as bullets rushed past her in every direction, but all the noise and all the blurry movements obscured her senses.
One soldier pushed Becca against the wall as he ran past her, and lobbed a grenade across the hallway, killing not only several of her own protectors, but noncombatants as well. Why did the man spare her, and not them? Even in the midst of this great battle, Becca felt an immense guilt for this, and tears came out of her eyes. They lasted until long after the gunfight was over, and the smoke had all but cleared.
“Mother?” Becca called out. She was still gone; where did she go? Looked and looked around the body-filled bunker Becca did, but she could not find her mother among the survivors. It was only when Becca looked down when she truly understood the magnitude of the carnage she had just endured, for her own mother was lying on the floor without life to her person.
The enemy conquered Becca and her people. Killed and captured their leaders. Did what they thought was free the terrified citizens within. They believed that they were the heroes of this conflict. But they were not. Becca’s mother was dead, and now she was alone in the great wide World. War was over, but so was her mother’s life. For some time, Becca went under the care of a foster home, but as soon as she turned sixteen, she left for good.
For a long, long time, Becca wandered the world. Saw the effects that the war had on it. Saw how the world recovered from the disaster, and prepared itself for the next. Saw many things, little Becca White did.
She discovered her spirituality during all of this, after meeting with priests and shamans and all types of leaders from all over the lands, across the entire planet Earth. Space was a glimmer of hope compared to her daily rituals. The worship of Nature as the highest power in existence consumed her life, if only for a short time before she gave even that up.
By the time Becca was actually an adult, though, there was no point in dreaming about space. It had already been done, by the Americans no less; all that was there to learn about the Celestial Bodies of the Universe was already learned. She still craved the stars, but she knew she herself could never reach them. It was impossible.
She would soon settle down with a man known as Hayden Black. Man was a vulture of a species, but Hayden was man enough for Becca to both appreciate and mate with. They did soon consummate their love in marriage, and lived for many years together.
Both soon expected their mating rituals to produce an offspring most quickly, and one came – for but a moment only. The baby disappeared into the Great Manaether as Nature took it, and it became an unborn entity. Sadness reigned supreme during these times. Space reigned supreme, as well.
The baby was space. Becca knew now that she had to reach the stars somehow. To meet her child, to whom she had never even been given the chance to speak. To fulfill her mother’s mission, to whom she promised she would reach the stars someday.
Hayden wanted to try again, to attempt to have another child, but Becca knew better in this respect. Their baby was already here, but also not here at the same time. It was all around him, and he didn’t even know it. It was all around all of them. It was space.
Another child did eventually arrive, but it would be many decades later, late in both Becca and Hayden’s lives. Becca did not even realize that she was able to bear children anymore, at the late an age, and this shock did not translate into happiness once Rebbeca Junior entered this world.
Due to their having her so late in life, little Rebecca was stricken with severe autism. She was immensely intelligent, able to solve almost any problem of academics or logic presented to her before she was even ten, but it came at the cost of her life outside her own mind. She was utterly dependent on her mother for almost all needs, and would barely even make contact with even her closest relatives, She could not speak to Hayden himself until she was seven.
At the start, Becca was not appreciative of this new life brought into her personal world. She had room enough with her first child, and this second one was much more of a pain to bring up, due to her special needs. In time, however, the mother and child developed a bond closer than any other in the universe. It was the universe itself.
In the eyes of little Rebecca, her mother was the star. It was her. And for the first time in a long time, Becca truly felt love and compassion towards another being. Even after Hayden passed on when Rebecca was around twelve, Becca still felt happiness within her heart.
A few years later, the time came when Rebecca was going to have to leave to go off to college. She was only fourteen, but she had already graduated high school through her intensive home schooling program. Becca needed her daughter to come out of her shell, though she knew not a way to get her to do that.
Fortuitous actions took place very soon after. A knock on the door. The door was opened. It was a large black man, explaining to Becca that he was a famous music producer, and that he needed a young girl for his next big hit song. He explained that he wished to use Rebecca as this young girl. He wished to make her a star.
This whirlwind brought back all the old memories in one sweeping flood; those of space and of the stars and of the planets that swarmed around them. It seemed that her childhood dream would indeed be fulfilled… through her daughter. She would finally be able to become reunited with her baby, so long gone that it was a distant memory to most. But not to Becca.
The first music video that Rebecca was to be in, she was actually to be the lead singer. It was then when her mother truly realized Rebecca’s hidden talents, lost due to her handicaps in life. Her voice truly was the most beautiful that Becca had ever heard; she would truly reach the stars.
Released that next Friday, the song was an instant hit, and racked up millions upon millions of views in just days! She was going to reach the baby now. She had to. Rebecca was now a celebrity, known all over the world for her music video!
Then the commentary on the song was released. The reviews. Becca realized why it was so popular now. People on the internet, the vultures that the species of man truly was were making fun of the music video! They were even making fun of her poor daughter! Did they not realize that her daughter was so disabled? They probably did, and simply did not care!
The scorn eventually reached Rebecca herself, the internet-savy little girl she was, and it utterly destroyed her spirits. She would never speak a single word for weeks after the music video came out. It was just too hard. Her mother found her on the bathroom floor a few days later, having taken almost an entire bottle of Becca’s glaucoma medicine.
She lived, but she was trapped even further within her own mind, as she was now stuck completely in a coma. The music producer quite easily replaced Rebecca with a look alike girl, but Becca could not do that. This was the second child she had lost to the stars, and still she had not gone herself. It was almost heart-wrenching for this situation to be occurring in the first place.
The plug was pulled a month later. Rebecca was pronounced dead soon after. Becca woke up at 7 AM that next morning, ate some cereal, and stood at the bus stop, waiting for her missing family. It was night before she even moved from that spot. When she finally did, she merely stared at the night sky for hours.
Becca now saw the constellations for what they truly were; her family. Her mother was there, and her husband, and her children. The great and mighty Ares, and the fair and judicious Libra—they were, in fact, Becca’s children, she realized suddenly, as she continued to stare.
This scene was beautiful, like the most happy Thanksgiving dinner she had ever had; a reunion of all her favorite family members for a glorious meal, and no in-laws to deal with. None whatsoever. Becca could even smell the turkey, as if a charming incense had been release into the air. Becca was hungry.
There was a pie shop nearby, ran by Becca’s friend from Spain, and it was a life-changing experience, but Becca had no desire to change the current track of her life. She just wanted to go to space. So, instead, she went to the local observatory across town. It was a ten minute trek, but it was very worth it.
Few to no other people were in the observatory tonight, despite how clear and sweet-smelling this summer night was. Only Becca, and her two children. She sat down in a chair next to her husband and gazed at the stars once again; the best dinner to be had. She shared some with her daughter, as she too looked famished after a long day’s work.
It was then when Becca realized why she could never reach space, reach the stars, reach her family—she was space. This revelation made more sense than she could possibly fathom, and was quite maddening, if not enlightening. And now she was happy, because she had not only reached the stars, but had become them. She had always been the stars.
Forever and ever, the stars.