I have a busy evening ahead of me so I was hoping I’d find something suitably quick and straightforward to write today. And wouldn’t you know it? Just as I was thinking that, a community award nomination popped into my inbox.
Anyway, as always with this sort of thing there’s a bunch of things to talk about and questions to answer, so hit the jump to find out more.
1. Display the logo
Boom! I think this is the right one. I’ve seen a couple of people share a couple of different ones recently, but this is the one I recognise from other people’s sites.
2. Thank the bloggers for the award.
Thank you Lumi!
3. Answer the questions from the one who nominated you.
In a minute, hold your horses.
4. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers.
5. Ask them 7 questions.
We like our lucky sevens huh? All right then.
What book has upset you the most?
I must confess I don’t read as many actual books as I used to; any reading I do tends to be either online or in the form of visual novels. I can probably still answer this, though. Let me think…
In terms of actual books, the philosophy textbook I had to endure for an English module I was obliged to take at university upset me a great deal for being full of waffly bollocks from men with beards, but I feel that’s not really what’s being asked here.
If we’re talking “book that made me Feel Things”, then I reckon The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. I never actually read this when I was a kid; I only read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (multiple times) because I knew that well from the various adaptations. I read it for the first time as an adult and it really hit me hard. Not in the way I expected, either; I was expecting dramatic action, steel on steel and all that swort of thing, but instead I got a rather more contemplative, melancholy affair that really affected me.
If we’re talking visual novels, I’d say probably The Fruit of Grisaia. Particularly Michiru and Amane’s bad endings, which are both just horrendous in completely different ways — but rather than feeling like a “fail state”, they present interesting, plausible “what if” scenarios that are important to the experience as a whole.
What character in fiction’s story arc left you the saddest?
Johnny in To The Moon. I’d cried at video games before — Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy VII was the first time — but I’d never had a full-on uncontrollable breakdown like the one To The Moon’s finale provoked in me before I could stop myself. I still cry every time I hear that game’s music; this made getting through a friend’s wedding, where they used it as music in the ceremony, rather challenging!
What do you feel about escapism in fiction?
It’s absolutely essential. One of the most wonderful things about fiction is the ability for it to transform us into someone else and to transport us to another place. Through fiction, we can explore aspects of ourselves we can’t explore in any other way; through fiction, we can come to understand other people in whole new ways; through fiction, we can explore the darkness within the human heart in a safe way without hurting anyone.
With how stressful and depressing the modern world is, escapism in fiction is more important than ever. While it’s important to pay attention to real world issues and the way we treat one another, it’s equally important to have somewhere you can escape to when it all gets a bit too much — be that a candy-coloured fantasy world full of cute girls, or a dirty, dark, depressing pit full of slobbering rape monsters.
What musical theme immediately starts the waterworks for you?
Well, apart from “For River” from To The Moon here, which I’ve already discussed… also this:
This is “Sayonara -Kami Musubi-” from Blue Reflection; the music accompanies the preamble to and the first phase of that game’s final boss, and that whole experience was just such an incredibly powerful, emotional moment that, like with “For River” above, I have to be very careful about where and when I listen to this piece lest I become a complete wreck for the remainder of the afternoon!
Why do some people associate feeling sad as meaning the show is bad?
Some people believe a natural extension of the idea of escapism in fiction: if you’re escaping from reality through fiction, then why wouldn’t you want to escape somewhere where everything is all right, everyone is happy and nothing bad happens?
Of course, your first reaction to that may be to assume that it would make for boring stories, but there are examples of media out there where the overall atmosphere is positive and supportive — one of the best examples from my own personal experience would be My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
That said, it’s rare to find something completely free of “negative” emotions such as sadness or anger. Even Friendship is Magic has its emotional conflicts over the course of its various series — but I guess that on the whole it’s thought of as a “happy” show where everything gets neatly resolved. Compare and contrast with, I don’t know, Kaiji.
Is it necessary to use vulgar language for a mature story?
Fuck no. But at the same time, people do spray profanities around with gay abandon in real life, so making appropriate use of them can add to the authenticity of a scene.
Stuff like Tarantino movies take it way too far for me, though. I enjoy a good bit of swearing — my real-life friends and I often communicate using some of the most offensive utterances you could possibly imagine — but I barely made it through Reservoir Dogs because the amount of F-bombs in the dialogue was actively distracting me from actually being able to pay attention to what was going on.
So no, it’s not necessary and should not be used to excess, but I do also believe that very obviously, artificially holding back in this regard can also make things feel a little less convincing.
What makes you happy right now?
My wife. My cats. Writing. Video games. Music. Freedom Planet. Cake. How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? Komi Can’t Communicate. My game collection. Creativity. Podcasting. Making videos. Anything that doesn’t involve going to work, being sick, cleaning up sick, politics, people ranting on Twitter or emptying dustbins.
Click the links to check out the blogs of these fine folks; they’re all doing fantastic work that deserves to be read!
- Leth @ Lethargic Ramblings
- Alice @ Alchemist of Blogging
- Irina @ I drink and watch anime
- Megan @ A Geeky Gal
- Matt @ Normal Happenings
- AK @ Everything is Bad for You
- Dewbond @ Shallow Dives in Anime
1. Have you ever deliberately sought out a piece of media you knew would make you uncomfortable somehow? If so, why did you do that and what was the experience like?
2. What is your favourite tangible, physical item that you own and why?
3. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever sat on deliberately?
4. What do you want for Christmas? (I’m not going to get you it, I’m just curious.)
5. Do you have something you would like to achieve that you know is well within reach, but which you can’t seem to make progress on? If so, what do you think is stopping you? If not, what was the last major achievement you think you accomplished?
6. Assume you work full-time if you don’t already. If we suddenly switched to a 4-day working week, what would you do with that extra day?
7. Think of the characters you find attractive — in terms of both personality and appearance. What traits do they have in common, and what is it you find attractive about those traits?
Goodbye, and thank you for reading!
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Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.
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