May is over, and we are now in the last part of the first half of the year that is 2020 Bonus Round. What’s been happening on the blog?
As the Game Pile has matured, there have been a lot more articles about games that are contemplative or not about just plowing through my Steam archive. I’ve come to abandon the idea that every game in my Game Pile should be talked about – not because they don’t deserve it, but because there’s a lot of stuff where I don’t have anything interesting to say.
I did finally make a video about Hyperintertextuality as expressed by Hyrule Warriors, something I’ve been intending to do for a few years now. The video itself was reasonably easy to make – I wish I’d dedicated a little more time to it, to trim out some sections of the background imagery that aren’t interesting. There’s some menu-ing in the video that I would have cut out, and in the later half I might have made more diagram overlay if I’d thought about it more.
I wrote about Usurper, a game that I can’t in good faith recommend because I can’t give you an opportunity to buy it, and therefore, I had to look at as a game design teacher. I also looked at Pixelmon, a mod for Minecraft just because Fox is playing it. Finally this month, I got to look at Hard Wired Island, a game made by a couple of friends of mine that I was planning on skipping entirely.
See the thing with Hard Wired Island, is, I don’t actually think I want to play the game. It does not interest me. It has never interested me. I backed it in the kickstarter to support my friends, and figured that was it. I was going to let this game that did not interest me let go, and that be that. Except then Discourse started around this game and it was fucking boring. The discourse was ‘hey, is this huge book with lots of work and well paid contributors worth its price tag of about as much as a D&D book?’ and like… even if you don’t think it’s worth it, that conversation is really dull. That conversation wants to reduce the things the book is saying to a kind of word sludge, like alphebitising all the text in it and determining ‘too many es.’
Thus, a conversation about the game that isn’t about its price tag.
Weirdly, it was a sour month for Story Pile stuff. I talked about Moneyball, which seems to be a movie about a pretty cool moment that decides to centre itself on just a total dickhead, on Tenchi Muyo, the Star Wars Merchandising of anime, Toy Story being boomer reconstructionalism and The Detectorists, which sucks. And I also talked about BNA, focusing on the way that media chooses to create villains. My take didn’t land for everyone, though; I still like the series, but it’s definitely possible to read the narrative of a secret shadowy culture of elites pulling all the strings as playing into antisemetic tropes.
Thing is for me if you mention ‘posh elites who pure breed themselves for superpowers’ my natural inclination is to see European Royalty, not Jewish stereotypes.
What about other May articles?
I made an article explaining the way I made my unscripted videos. I used my Heretic video as a template to work as an example. There’s also a month’s worth of Daily Cephalid Card Design, a piece on the wonderful Australian animal now known as a Rakali, and a piece on Mind Control in D&D, specifically as it relates to 4th Edition’s better way of handling it. We looked at Megatron and the bodies he’s had, and ways to manipulate tests when you know you are being tested. I even went out of my lane and made fun of Star Wars a bit! And while I am making fun of the House of Mouse, I looked at the way I reacted to the Simpsons episode about Whacking Day.
This month I made a shirt because I wanted it. It’s about a pair of Pokemon I really like – Gligar and Gliscor.
I hurt my leg late this month, which sucked basically all the energy out of a whole week. That sucks! It does mean that I feel like this month just kind of blipped past me, which I may be a sign of something else going on – like as you get older, you start to notice the time flowing faster?
Oh lords, I hope not.