As much as I love my 13-inch 2015 Macbook Pro, it doesn’t fit well into a small bag for quick trips or my daily commute. And if I’m honest, I don’t need the power of my Macbook Pro for most of the things I use it for, like writing articles, working on my novel, or watching the occasional YouTube video (oh who am I kidding, the occasional YouTube binge session, like streaming sumo in bed). For things like that, a more compact (and less expensive) machine can do the trick.
But I still wanted some power for a commute-able daily driver. And so, to compliment my aging-yet-lovely Macbook, I purchased my first new Windows machine in over a decade: a Microsoft Surface Go tablet. And after a few weeks of fiddling, playing, pushing and writing, I’ve developed a few thoughts about my mobile companion.
I understand that I’m not the average gamer anymore, but have evolved Pokémon-style into a curmudgeon. I don’t give a rat’s ass about how pretty a game is, how “enhanced” the tech gets, how many polygons a piece of hardware can push, any of that. Maybe I’ve aged out of the main age group of gamers… I know I’ve disconnected just enough that my finger isn’t as “on the pulse” of the industry as it used to be.
In short, that means mostly Overwatch these days, the occasional RPG (Persona 4 Golden is still a classic), a moment with one of the various classics collections (the Sega Genesis Classics version of Altered Beasts won’t play itself, y’know). But that doesn’t mean I don’t still, occasionally, enjoy a new release with all the promise that brings.
Like how I just downloaded Arcade Archives Shusse Ozumo, an arcade game previously exclusive to Japan, released in 1984, and made available to me here in the US on July 11th, 2019.
Recently, I hit the local flea market with my girlfriend looking for fun trinkets with a crisp $20 in my pocket. And we were lucky that day, since we both came away with something we had been looking for. In my girlfriend’s case, it was a snazzy new pair of jeans. And in my case, even though I was looking primarily for old video games, I ended up coming home with this:
I can’t call myself any sort of expert on the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or “North Korea”), but I’ve been keeping an eye on the news regarding them, their missile program, their economy, and other news that comes out of that country… whether it’s a documentary trip with a couple Harlem Globetrotters or Donald Trump saying he would meet with current dictator Kim Jong-Un. Everyone knows it’s a volatile situation, and needs some careful understanding of what information is already available and what’s already worked.
So I thought I might offer a few thoughts from an admitted amateur aficionado of the most recent news: another missile launched, and one that should make more news than the previous. That being, the DPRK just tested a missile without a defective flaw the level of a Chevy Pinto.
It’s been too long since I wrote something in here last, but I’ve had a bit of a trying few months – both good, in that tomorrow is my one-year anniversary with a lovely young woman I adore, some more personal issues, actively working hard to have stories worth publishing or requesting representation for, and good old-fashioned procrastination. But never fear, today I’m posting something I wrote in the aftermath of a fateful Monday morning, when I received bad news in public.
That’s always a good time, ain’t it?
You’ve probably guessed what it is from the title of this post, but I wanted to put some thoughts together after it occurred – crystalize what’s going on in my head, how I’m feeling about it, what I’ll be working to do going forward. This one isn’t a “good” post, but it is a reflective post, and one the likes of which I’ve (sadly) written of before.
Should you choose to, thanks for reading, friends.
I haven’t missed the NIS America annual press event since I started going in 2010 or so, and yesterday I spent my evening mulling over video games, musing over cocktails (well, ginger beer in my case) and pizza, and listening to professional nerds tell me about their upcoming products. It’s my favorite event of the year simply because they produce the types of games I’m personally interested in most: dungeon-crawler RPGs and Disgaea.
Disgaea is love. Disgaea is life.
Last night, they were showing an obscene number of titles for the modestly-sized company they are – 19 in total, up from the 8 they showed in 2016 – ranging from visual novels like PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness, to their powerhouse murder-mystery series Danganropa, to the afore-mentioned Disgaea 5 Complete for the upcoming Nintendo Switch. The biggest news was that all of the titles they named would be released at some point in the 2017 calendar year, but that only matters if the games are any good, so it’s worth taking a look over the full list.
Cosplay is more than simply dressing up as a preferred character; it’s a form of self-expression, identifying with a (usually fictional) character on a level beyond simple admiration or appreciation. It takes time and effort to dress up like a favorite superhero or video game fighter or animated antagonist, and that time is hard to invest when the character means either nothing or next-to-nothing to the cosplayer. And the results are usually incredible – I’ve seen wonderful depictions of Chun-Li from Street Fighter, Green Arrow, Patty Mayonnaise, various colors and generations of Power Rangers, there’s not enough time to break down how solid they are and how they’re portrayed.
That said, it should also be noted that many of the most popular characters in many mediums popular in the United States – video games, film, comics, other mediums, and including the characters I listed above – are predominantly white. Especially the biggest names, like Batman or Wolverine or Wonder Woman or Ms. Marvel, have historically been caucasian. And many superheroes are more than only white, they’re men. They may be diverse in their power set, or their personality profiles, or their backstories, the biggest and generally most popular (and profitable) have been white men.
Because of this, most noteworthy cosplayers are dressing up like them. But during Black History Month, there’s the hashtag #28DaysOfBlackCosplay, displaying some of the great displays of my melanin-rich friends taking over the cape and/or cowl of their favorite characters, making them their own. And more than the few characters of color like Storm or Black Panther, cosplayers are taking on traditionally white characters like Captain America and Superman.
It’s about time we had a talk about the death penalty in the United States (again). If you don’t want to read more about this topic, I don’t blame you. I don’t really want to think about it either. But once I read the headline and read the article, I had a few thoughts run through my head, and this post will be one where I try to work through them.
Feel free to skip this one if you’d like. But it’s here if/when you decide to come back.