The best stories told are the ones that manage to hold and keep your attention until the very end. All writers and lover of stories know this. It’s what separates a good story from a bad or mediocre one when it remains firmly imprinted in your mind for months or even years later. Playing video games with an emphasis on story and narrative is no different. You have to have a really strong plot and characters to keep players playing. What makes a story even better to play is when you have no idea what direction it’s headed in or it’s full of surprises you never see coming. Life is Strange is one recent example of a video game that manages to keep its players engaged and invested in the story and fates of their characters.
A few weekends ago, I went with a bunch of friends to a Renaissance Fair in upstate New York. It was my first time attending such an event and it was exactly how I’d expect it to be––jousts, archery, knights, pages, and lovely maidens dressed in their afternoon best. I was completely transported to another time and another world. While the workers running the fair naturally have to dress and act the part, many attendees are just as welcome to dress up and join in on the fun.
Many of the costumes I saw were impressive, even if most were bought from someplace else. Others just used what they had to create a modern day reinterpretation of what it was to live in that time period. As giddy as it made me feel to feast my eyes on all the amazing costumes I saw both men and women wear, and often finding myself daydreaming about wearing what other women were brave and creative enough to wear, I wouldn’t dare venture into cosplaying myself.
There’s always that one video game or series you’ll love and cherish until the end of your days. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health––you get the idea. When a game has more story left to tell, like RPGs, the current trend in video games is to release DLC. Regardless of what your feelings are with this business practice, if you love the game enough you’ll most likely drop down the money to extend your gaming experience with a game you love. But what happens when you’re halfway into a DLC you purchased and you can’t bring yourself to finish it? Does this mean you’ve fallen out of love with the video game? Not exactly, but it may indicate your game has made you too tired to play it.
Being an older adult anime fan comes with its own set of struggles you don’t really encounter when you’re a teenager or young adult college student. When you’re younger, you tend to have more time, especially when school is out for the summer, to binge watch a longer series. Attention spans, at least mine back then, aren’t too short to watch an entire series to completion. When it takes a good seven years to finally finish one season of an anime, I tend to think the issue may either lie with you or the anime itself. This is the problem I encountered with Season 1 of the anime Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle.
Challenges don’t really scare me. I take them on because I’m either trying to prove something to myself or there’s something I want to accomplish. Video game challenges are obviously smaller and won’t have a huge impact on my life, whether I finish them or not. Yet, I keep doing them because they’re a fun kind of challenge and it keeps me focused on completing one video game at a time. Unfortunately, I may have juggled too many balls in the air for almost two months to get my current challenge done.
Ever since the classic ’90s Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal animes have been streaming on Hulu and Neon Alley, I’ve been watching both series back-to-back. As far as anime watching goes, this has been the only anime I’m able to make time for these days. The benefit of watching these series side-by-side is the noticeable differences in how certain character and story arcs go. One particular story arc I found myself favoring one anime over the other would be how the story of the Specter Sisters played out during the Sailor Moon R season.
A key component in video games or any kind of media we enjoy to partake in begins with a writer and a story. The characters and the world they exist in wouldn’t be possible without one person or a team of people in the writer’s room brainstorming and building the kind of stories they wish to see. In order for a story to have life, you’ll need to know the history of the world you’re creating, the personal struggles and triumphs of your characters, or the current issues concerning their world. Playing video games tend to reveal most of what you need to know as you experience the game. The rest that isn’t central to the story often wind up in a game codex.
When flying back home to New York City after an extremely fun and whirlwind cruise around Europe, covering mainly the Scandinavian countries along the Baltic Sea, I came across this information board about Denmark’s most famous author Hans Christian Andersen at the Copenhagen airport. A quote from his own autobiography entitled The Fairy Tale of My Life was highlighted on this board which really resonated with me, “To travel is to live.”
My readers may already be aware of this, if you read my recent video game challenge post, but in case you aren’t, I’ll be cruising around Europe for about a week and a half starting this week. During this time period, my blog will be a little quiet until I return after the Fourth of July weekend. I should hopefully feel invigorated and a little less jet lag when you start seeing regular posts resume. For now, I’m going to take this time to address a shiny new blog award I’ve gotten not too long ago. Continue reading
Last month I saw one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movies of the summer––Mad Max: Fury Road. Directed and co-written by George Miller, who also co-wrote and directed the original Mad Max films starring a much younger and then unknown movie actor named Mel Gibson, it’s a sort of sequel to the films with actor Tom Hardy now in the role of Mad Max.
The plot of Fury Road is pretty much the same, set in a post-apocalyptic world in a barren desert wasteland, where corruption, totalitarianism, and self-preservation reigns supreme in this grim and harsh landscape. There’s little room, if any, for hope, compassion or goodwill towards men. Max Rockatansky introduces us to this world in the first few minutes of Fury Road’s opening, but the real surprise is when the viewer begins to realize this isn’t really Max’s story. It belongs to Imperator Furiosa. The following post will contain spoilers, so please read at your own discretion.