Monthly Archives: January 2018

Hannah VS Modern Dating Volume II: Ghosting

A few months ago, I was wracked with a horrible feeling: was I a bad person? On a couple of occasions, if I found myself disinterested in a dating situation, I would just kind of… stop talking to the person. It’s not to say I would ignore them, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to continue the communication.

So, I did what any young millenial would do (if they were like me and morbidly curious about other people’s lives and also trying to write a blog about what it’s like to date in 2017): I surveyed my Facebook friends about ghosting. Who had ghosted? Who had been ghosted? What did they think about the phenomenon?

I got a lot of cool answers, which I will hopefully dedicate time to in another post, but out of the 25 or so people who responded, it was a pretty even split between ghosters and ghostees, with most people who responded acknowledging that they had done both. It didn’t seem to me that ghosting was seen as too much of a big deal to most people, however, it seems that almost everyone has a ghosting story. I’ve narrowed it down to three main forms of ghostage, and they are as follows:

Type 1: The Fade Away

Perhaps the gentlest of ghosts, although arguably the most confusing, the fadeaway is brought about by slowly diminishing replies to messages and offers to hang out. Phone calls are out. The “fadee” will receive the occasional reply to text messages, usually after 24 hours, and often with short, non-committal answers. Eventually, the answers will stop, however, the fadee has already been trained to not expect anything, and so, is no longer disappointed.

*Garfunkel and Oates are goddesses and definitely say it best, so I would check their song, about The Fade Away, which says it best.

Type 2: Breadcrumbing

One time, I was talking to a friend of mine about how things were going with a guy I was seeing. I explained things were good, he’d send a sweet message checking in every once in a while, but wouldn’t engage much, or pursue any plans to hang out. “He’s probably just busy” we agreed. A few minutes later, we were discussing how I had to explain what breadcrumbing was to another friend of ours. Realization and horror washed over both of our faces at the same time. I WAS BEING BREADCRUMBED. Ouch.

Cosmo argues that breadcrumbing is worse than ghosting. I disagree. However, there does seem to be a degree of premeditation with regard to breadcrumbing that there may not be with ghosting (one can often chalk a ghosting up to absentmindedness, or a busy schedule). The real kicker behind breadcrumbing is the MO- which is that they want to keep that person around in case they get bored/want to get laid at a future date. So you’re good enough to keep around, but just as a back up. That must feel good, right?

Type 3: The Full-Out Ghost

This one needs little explanation, because the ghoster offers no explanation. Poof. They gone. Outta there. They don’t call, don’t write, don’t explain themselves.

One thing that does deserve a bit of explanation is why people choose to ghost. In some cases, they are dumbos who are afraid of any kind of difficult conversation and can’t face potentially disappointing someone, even if it isn’t in person. OR. The ghoster may be reacting to something traumatic or upsetting that happened on a date or during a conversation. While I would argue it’s better practice to explain to someone what they did wrong, in case they had assumed it was a-okay or at least passably okay, and give them a chance to improve their behaviour on future occasions, sometimes things are just too intense/upsetting/scary/etc. for people to face. And so they ghost. So, before you get pissed that someone had the nerve to ghost you, perhaps consider how your behaviour may have led to the ghosting. They may have been a scaredy-cat jerk, or they may have been genuinely fearful of you.

 

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • I would argue that it does not count as ghosting if you have never met the person before, and they just, like, stop responding to you on Tinder. You are boring, or they are busy, no one owes anyone anything. I would say at least one date would have to have been planned or taken place in order for it to count as a ghost.
  • Don’t take it personally! Look over things and your behaviour, run the sitch over with your best friend or a customer at the coffee shop you work at (just kidding- maybe?) and if you’ve determined nothing fishy has transpired on your end- MOVE ON. It sucks, but it’s probably not about you. This person has some issues with communication and can’t get on your level, so find someone who can!
  • Everyone does it. If you’re a ghoster, cut yourself a little slack. I wouldn’t make it a habit, but I definitely wouldn’t beat yourself up about it too much. Chances are the person you’re ghosting has also ghosted someone else.
  • Communication is cool. Try it sometime.

 

 

Process Post #2

Hello!

For this week, I mainly focused on how my blog looks visually.
After hearing Mauve’s lecture this week, I started to think about how my blog actually looks like, if it’s very appealing to my audience or not.
First of all, I want to change the background of my blog. I’m not sure if I l want to change the whole color or if I want to have a background with a pattern, or certain image. I do like how my blog has a lot of white space and that’s what I aimed for at first. However, looking at other people’s blogs, I think adding a color is a nice representation of the blog and who I really am. A color can add various meanings to the blog and I think it could add a special charcteristic to it.

To change the background color or even the font that I use for my blog, I realized I need to make a child theme, so when there are updates, the changes doesn’t go away. I’ve tried and researching on how to make a child theme, but I personally think it’s extremely difficult and hard to understand, so I need to do a bit more research before I actually do anything, just in case 🙂 As I mentioned, I am thinking of changing the font that I use for my blog. Perhaps, changing the font for my title and adding a color to it, so it stands out a bit more. During tutorial this week, I realized that I really want to come up with a proper ‘title’ for my website. As of now, it’s just my name, which also makes sense because I am branding myself but I think perhaps a catchy, creative title can help to further brand myself and stand out from the crowd! So my goal is to come up with a title, make a child theme so I can make few changes for my blog. Also, a logo is something that I need to work on. It’s definitely not easy to make a logo that’s well presented and I think it will be easier for me to create one once I figure out the title for my blog, so I’m thinking to save that for later (hopefully soon though).

One positive thing this week is that I managed to have my Instagram account showing on the sidebar of my blog. I found a plugin that allowed me to do this and I am very happy about it! I’m thinking to push the Instagram even further up because it’s located in the middle of my sidebar and I want it to have it shown a bit more.

Overall,  I realize that I still have A LOT to work on to fix and update my blog. Right now, I’m on the defense of sticking to what I really want my blog to look like (very minimalistic, simple design) or being more bold which can stand out and perhaps it’s what my audience wants more. I learned that colors, fonts and the little things can play a massive role to attract consumers, so I wish to make small changes step by step! I’m excited for what my blog is going to look like in the future 🙂

New Groups! New Games!

Have you ever wanted to travel through a dark jungle in search for a lost city, or fight a dragon terrorising the land? Maybe you’ve wanted to explore strange new worlds and meet new civilisations? Thwart evil villains hellbent on world domination? Be a spy in a secret organisation?

If you answered yes to any of these questions I’m the GM for you!

I am currently building bi weekly gaming groups for many different games. Let me know if you and your friends are interested in playing:

These games will be run campaign style where your characters will play an ongoing story arch that you, the players, help to create. Each of these games will be $10 a person per session, and I ask for a 2 month commitment. The games will carry on every two weeks after the first (though we do our best to work around everyone’s schedules).

Use the contact me page or leave a comment below if you have any questions or to book you seat in the game you want now!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. – Albert Einstein

Process Post–Business Iteration

It is a lot more difficult than I thought it’d be. 

As I was filling out the chart, it forces me to think more in details of my plans and ideas. My original website/blog is not exactly the fittest with the business and more professional side of me, which leads me to consider opening another website to portrait my professional translator self. It is a new territory that I have yet to explore since the translation jobs I have done so far are all through personal contact, and are volunteer jobs instead of paid jobs. 

At this moment, I would like to focus on my new professional website, which is still in development. I thought that it might be difficult for it to just be a translation service website, therefore I wanted to also include posts and articles I write on my views on translation. It would fit well with another course I am taking currently, which is about Translation and Translation studies. I also want to put up my own writings and and translations so that audiences and possible customers would have a taste of what my writing is like. 

One of the key feature I would like to put in my website is making it bilingual. I want to make my website in both Chinese and English, with a tab on top to change the language. The translation service I will be providing is Chinese-English and the opposite, and the language changing feature would be appealing and convenient for customers. 

For the title of my website, I first thought of using the name “Bridge Across”. Bridges link different places that are separated together and this is what I want my translations to do. However, since I want to make my website bilingual, it might create a slight inconsistency because I still couldn’t think of a good enough Chinese title that matches the English one. I have a pen name for my writings. It is in Chinese and it has the meaning of governing books, or in my interpretation of it, creating and protecting the books and words. If I use my pen name for the title and use pinyin in the English version, it would lost its meaning. 

From the Darkness, It Comes.

You step out of the cramped dark tunnel and into a darker cavern, the smell of rot and decay fills  your nostrils as your eyes adjust in the weak light from your torch, something moves at the far end of the room and you realize the breeze you had felt briefly was a breath. “You dare wake me?” you hear, as a claw the size of you and your dwarven friend steps down in front of you. -Roll Initiative.

That is the narrative you would have heard if you had been playing at my Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) game two weeks ago. D&D is almost forty-five years old now and one of the more passionately pursued of my hobbies. Gaming, and gamers, has recently started to become mainstream, a new phenomenon for us members of gaming culture. Throughout our short history we have been fairly content to be in the background, basking in our knowledge of the awesomeness that is our craft. This new wave of popularity scares some. They argue that it will ruin the game, that the companies are ‘selling out,’ and that the culture will not be ours anymore. While there may be more changes to come, we have endured what most industries do not. We have defeated monopolies and we have taken control from the people to give it back to corporations when they deserve it. We have even faced satanic accusations and, like any good player, we have defeated the challenges the Dungeon Master (DM) throws at us. Like any good Role-Playing Game (RPG), however, you need some back story.

Storytelling has been around for a very long time. It is possibly one of the oldest human qualities: the ability to share ideas and stories. As forms of monetary exchange became the dominant social paradigm, those who were exceedingly good at telling stories began to profit from it. Western storytellers find their history in the Celtic and Medieval bards. As Linda Alchin notes, “the Medieval bards were a distinct class with hereditary privileges. They appear to have been divided into three great sections: the first celebrated victories and sang hymns of praise; the second chanted the laws of the nation; the third gave poetic genealogies and family histories.” (2014) These bards would become replaced by what we call minstrels and troubadours.

Artists in the renaissance claimed this same noble bardic heritage, and were hired in a storytelling capacity  to work for nobles and entertain them with tales of far-off lands and fanciful adventures. The fictionalized character of Geoffrey Chaucer gives an example of this in the 2001 film, A Knight’s Tale: “Yes, behold my lord Ulrich, the rock, the hard place, like a wind from Gelderland he sweeps by blown far from his homeland in search of glory and honor, we walk in the garden of his turbulence.” Lord Ulrich seems by all accounts poetic, well traveled, and well deserving to be there. In the movie, the people agree and cheer loudly.

Fast forward a few hundred years to the invention, and impact, of the Gutenberg press. Now the stories that were once told by bards who travelled the land, were told by printing them in a book. This allowed stories to disseminate across massive areas and break geographical boundries. Yet, as Neil Postman states in his tale of Thamus, “there are, as it were, winners and losers,” (2014, p 19) of every new technology. He uses Harold Innis’ “knowledge monopoly” (p 19) concept to show that with each new technology comes a group who wields power over the workings of the technology. Would the winners of storytelling be those who controlled the technology? Or would storytelling follow along the same path as Martin Luther saw mass-production impacting religion – removing the control from those in power and giving it to those who were reading the books (p 22). Perhaps it would become another thing entirely, to be shared and interpreted. That is what RPGs accomplished.

The history of gaming and D&D is akin to the Greek gods that gave us some of the best stories in Western culture; though young it is very incestuous. Dungeons & Dragons was first, the Cronus, created by Gary Gygax in 1974 and published under his company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR). The game was likely shaped by the culture and era that Gygax grew up in. It was a time when pulp magazines were at a peak, the history of the World Wars and the recent Vietnam War were all still very fresh in the American psyche, and miniatures war re-enactment games were relatively popular. Gygax and his friends would have many battles rolling out the great field battles of past wars. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy had been published twenty years earlier and the books had made their mark on the fantasy genre. I believe it was a combination of all these things led to the creation of the game. Like many entrepreneurs Gygax could not find anyone to publish his game, so he created TSR and did it himself.  

The game proved to be very popular and by the early 80s other companies were springing up to compete with and complement D&D. Two of the more prominent of these were: Hero Games, a different RPG that focused on superheroes rather than fantasy, and Iron Crown Enterprises which was created by a group of friends who were playing D&D in the Middle Earth role world. Many of these products would challenge the creative licensing of the original product and TSR would issue a cease and desist letter resulting in the offenders changing their games just enough to no longer breach the license. In 1980 the Role-Playing Game Association, RPGA had been formed  “to promote quality roleplaying and to allow fans of role-playing games to meet and play games with each other.” (WotC, 2002) at first it was TSR gamers to come together and play TSR games, As part of the response to other companies the RPGA, in 1983 it was opened to non TSR games and membership increased.

In 1983 CBS picked up the rights for a saturday morning cartoon series that would run for two years. This is a point where Innis’s knowledge monopoly may have started to see reality. Not only was the tabletop game getting enough attention that others were making competing versions of it, yet now you had one of the country’s most powerful media companies interested in buying rights.

The now-defunct Dragon Magazine was also originally produced by TSR. Sevillano Pareja has a wonderful research paper about the covers of D&D Dragon magazines. It supports that by the early 80s both TSR’s D&D magazines Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures had been doing fairly well among the number of fans that knew of the game and word was spreading (2012, p 506). Pareja even notes it had picked been up by the US Military as a form of creative strategizing for its officers. The department where this was the most prevalent was psychology, even drawing an officer, Roger Moore, to TSR to write as a contributor and, when his tour was done, became editor in 1983. Moore is the reason D&D Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and Gnomes have distinctive fictional pantheons today (p 507).  Moore’s vision for the two magazines, Dungeon Adventures and Dragon Magazine, would continue to have a monumental impact on the gaming world.

The Box Sets in all their glory.

As the magazines began to flourish, thanks to his use of contemporary celebrity artists to illustrate the covers, it began to draw more contributors – Ed Greenwood being a prime example. This Canadian former-assistant librarian is significant because his contributions were so numerous that he would later be recognized and hired by TSR as a writer. He created the world, or “setting”, of Forgotten Realms. It remains the flagship setting of D&D to this day.

Another major change that occurred with gaming in the 80s was the creation and promotion of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D), a second, updated edition of the rules system that had come before it. AD&D fleshed out the game’s rules and provided players with more in-depth story elements. Pareja records the game was advertised in Dragon magazine Issue 142 as not just a feature, instead nearly the entirety of the issue (p 510). The AD&D starter pack and the Red Box it came in would become one of the most iconic symbols of D&D culture for the next 30 years. The edition itself would dominate TSR’s production from 1980 to 1997.

What is new is also often misunderstood and feared. A very small, very loud segment of the population (sound familiar?) in the US decided that those of us who were ‘holed away in our parents’ basements’ playing games were actually members of cults and could not, or chose not to, tell the difference between reality and gaming. In fact, my own parents did not want me to play role-playing games for fear that it would have adverse affects on me.

A comic by Jack Chick was published in 1984 (and remains in print to this very day) about the evils of D&D and RPGs. The evangelical fundamentalist still shares the comic today. The strip shows the “real side” of D&D and makes claims about the creators of the TSR game. The website stuffyoushouldknow.com has a good discussion and quick run-down of some of the more fanatical thoughts toward D&D, including Mazes and Monsters, the 1982 movie starring Tom Hanks. Now all these things have been mocked, homaged, and even embraced by those who are the targets of their criticism. There is even a Dark Dungeons film that was released in 2015.

Between 1974-1997 TSR produced over 20 different titles, some more successful than others, yet none as successful as D&D. Finally, due to ongoing financial problems, TSR was purchased by Wizards of the Coast (WotC), another gaming company that had began in 1991 and became wealthy in 1993 with its successful game, Magic: The Gathering (MtG) (WotC, 2003). In 2000 WotC would release the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This is when I propose that D&D, and the gaming community, took its first steps from an elitist form of art to one of popular culture. 

Unknowingly, it did so in a way that challenged the idea of Frankfurt School scholars Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer when they said that those who consume must “accept what the culture manufacturers offer [them]” (Adorno & Horkheimer, 1944, p 124). Rather than maintaining a complete monopoly over the gaming systems it now owned, WotC released the Open Gaming License (OGL).

What the OGL did was akin to open source code in the computer world: the creative content of the D&D game, the Product Identity, was still protected while the mechanics of the new d20 System (the Open Game Content) was able to be used by anyone so long as they followed the OGL rules. Anyone using the OGL goes from just being another consumer of the “art for the masses,” (p 125) as Adorno and Horkheimer would say, to an early collaborating prosumer. They are no longer, simply consumers of a product, they are now also producers to the art-form within the shared system of gaming – in the same way all of us who contribute to blogs, youtube, and even facebook, are all prosumers.

The man who spearheaded the OGL, Ryan Dancy, explained in an interview in 2002, that the idea came from “copyleft” policy ideas in the computer programming industries, a movement started within the programming community to resist control being exerted over them in the early years of the internet. In his paper “Copyleft vs Copyright: A Marxist Critique”, Johan Söderberg shares that the free software community provides the first and most complete example of how a collective learning process, communication, or the general intellect becomes a producing entity in itself. Comparability rules over excludability, is a consequence of non-rival goods, because “everyone takes far more out of the Internet than they can ever give away as an individual” (2002).

How does this apply to D&D and gaming? It is certainly not all altruism, though to be fair most people who worked at WotC by the ‘90s had grown up playing the original TSR D&D or one of the rival companies’ games. WotC had spent a lot of money on its purchase and debt repayment of TSR and now they were about to launch a new system of mechanics: d20 with a system of business –  the OGL. It took some convincing but eventually, as Dancy put it,

the more money other companies spend on their games, the more D&D sales are eventually made. Now, there are clearly issues of efficiency — not every dollar input to the market results in a dollar output in D&D sales; and there is a substantial time lag between input and output; and a certain amount of people are diverted from D&D to other games never to return. However, we believe very strongly that the net effect of the competition in the RPG genre is positive for D&D (2002).

However, if, as Dancy said, “The problem is not competitive >product<, the problem is competitive >systems<. I am very much for competition and for a lot of interesting and cool products” (Dancy, 2002). the question was whether the would homogenize the gaming systems by releasing the d20. Adorno and Horkheimer warn that “anyone who doubts the power of monotony [sameness] is a fool,” (A&H 1944, 148) yet Dancy’s gamble paid off. In the early 2000s D&D, and gaming, did indeed flourish under the new OGL both in ways of new products for players and sales for WotC.

In his book, An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture, Dominic Strinati argues the skepticism of the Frankfurt school, saying, “culture has to be mass produced for [the mass] audience to be profitable” (1995, 12). It became undoubtedly profitable. There new companies and products all flooding to the OGL. In fact, for those first few years I would say it was very difficult to find a new game that was not using the d20 system. WotC also began to outsource projects to other companies to help lower their own costs. For example, publishing of the aforementioned lucrative Dragon Magazine had been sold to Paizo Publishing.

Then something changed.

What exactly happened in the upper echelon of WotC circa 2007 is still not discussed. Perhaps it was a precursor to the economic crash that was going to hit in 2008. Perhaps it was the gaming version of the problem that ended Fordism – over production and the lack of a consumer market. Maybe it was a management shift in Hasbro or WotC that just did not like to share the products anymore. Regardless of the reasons in 2007, the licensing for Dragon Magazine was up and WotC ended the contract with Paizo announcing that they were moving online, and more importantly that D&D was walking away from their own OGL. The following year WotC released its fourth edition under a new and more restrictive license. The idea was to release a system that was easier to learn and faster to play. It failed expectations. The game came out to mediocre reviews and a fanbase that felt betrayed by its loss of the OGL and a system change drastic enough to make game feel like a computer game at the table rather than what it was meant to be.

Greg Gillespie and Darren Crouse put it best when they said, “The rules-heavy approach to character generation and game mechanics in later editions slows gameplay, focuses on the notion of character builds and encourages min-maxing. The broader the perceived gap between the past and contemporary editions of the game, the greater the nostalgic yearning for products” (2012, 462).

While sales were not devastating to the company, and the system did allow for ease of introduction to new players – I personally introduced many new players to D&D using 4th ed., it did not perform nearly as well as predicted. In the space of only four years, 2008-2012, the fourth edition line ended and WotC went to work playtesting a new edition.

This 4-year period was a mini revival for systems that wanted to also come out from the d20 OGL. Paizo would become a great challenger to WotC, maintaining the OGL for all third edition D&D products, and began producing Pathfinder as a system that would remain in the OGL and would create new worlds. Paizo would even go so far as to create the Pathfinder League, a group of gamers to challenge the RPGA, which had been left behind by the new Wizards Player Network.

Starting in 2012 there has been a renaissance in Tabletop RPGs, new companies sprang into action to produce new games and systems players that were not owned or controlled by WotC. Companies like Fantasy Flight Games would put out a new Star Wars game that would present a whole new system of narrative gaming. Monte Cook began work on his Numenera Kickstarter that would get half a million dollars to create a new game. Paizo and Pathfinder would keep the fans of the OGL edition, creating a fiercely loyal fan base.  Not to mention the different games & supplements that have come out in recent years from Modiphious Games, Green Ronin (pronounced ro-NEEN) Publishing, Kobold Press, and all the indie games that show up on KickStarter. Its a great time to be a gamer.

WotC reorganized in 2012 and did something radical. It went to the fans and created a massive playtest called D&D Next. For 2 years there was constant system testing. Very few announcements were made. It seemed they wanted to get the game right, and perhaps win back some of the fans that had been lost to other lines.

The fifth edition was released in August of 2014. It was simply called Dungeons & Dragons with little emphasis put on the ‘fifth’ part. Players like Gillespie and Crouse had said “AD&D highlights a rules-lite form of play that emphasizes the cleverness of the player over the abilities and skills of the character. This promotes creative problem solving and opportunities for role-play” (2012, p 462), and they wanted that back. Fifth edition provided that.

The newest edition has done well by listening to the fans and with its new system and reorganised Adventurers League, an international player group. The first of the books, The Player’s Handbook (PHB), did so well it made the 2015, New York Times best-sellers list. There are new story lines and module adventures planned for years to come. The biggest delight of the release was that the basic rules for both players and dungeon masters alike, were a collection of free-to-download pdfs. You can effectively play the new edition of D&D without paying anything or any penalties. Though if you buy the full products, you deepen your experience. There is even a new version of the OGL.

An impact that D&D 5e has had in the gaming community that should not be ignored is its new standard of inclusiveness. The Player’s Handbook is the first mainstream gaming book to offer a specific discussion on sexuality and gender inclusiveness written into its system, and the Adventurers League has strict inclusiveness and anti-hate/bullying policies. GenCon, short for Geneva Convention, was started by Gygax and his friends in his miniature days. It has become the most prolific gaming convention that was once owned by both TSR and WotC and is worth approx $50 million to the state of Indiana within which it resides. It is powerful enough that it when released a statement in early 2015 threatening the governor of Indiana to leave the state if he signed a religious freedoms bill that discriminated against gay peoples, there was cause for concern.

While this has been mostly a historical overview of D&D and gaming in a broader sense, there are further questions that, given more time to research, could be asked within the realm of Gaming and Communication. Firstly, the Marxian concept of society as being composed of a “Base” and a “Superstructure”, one built on top of and influenced by the other. In Marx’s point of view the Base is material, the Superstructure is ideological; it could be argued that the gaming industry is reversed, with the Ideological as the Base. Secondly, exploration as to whether the new OGL, or copyleft, will benefit the gaming industry, or slow down the innovation currently happening with independent game production.

For the last forty-five years D&D has existed on the fringes of mainstream culture. The gaming “nerd” community has been made fun of by two consecutive generations. We nerds have gone from being the kid who always did his homework, to the kid who would spend nights in his parents basement playing games – or messing with the occult if you listen to some. Yet today, TV shows such as Community and The Big Bang Theory both celebrate – albeit in a very simplified manner – the culture in a way that compliments it rather than insults it like the movies of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Gatherings like GenCon in Indianapolis are large enough events to stand up to governments and poor policies.

Despite the fluctuations in the markets or impacts from both corporate and grassroots camps, gaming has endured. The imagination that bore the fantasy RPG genre still is a dominant force in the gaming world. While we tabletop gamers may still hold an elitist status in some regards, new systems, new players, and new storytellers are now encouraged by pop culture and that elitism is – sometimes too slowly, but that’s another paper – being broken away.

Sure, there may be bumps along the road to adventure, none the less we will slay that clawed beast in the cavern whatever it is. Gaming is here to stay. Now, like I said before, roll for initiative.


References

Alchin, L. (2014). Medieval Bard. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/medieval-life/medieval-bard.htm

Black, T., & van Relum, T. (Producer), & Helgeland, B. T. (Director). (2001). A Knight’s Tale [Motion picture]. USA: Columbia Pictures.

Dancy, R. (2002). The Most Dangerous Column in Gaming: Open Gaming Interview With Ryan Dancey. retrieved from http://www.wizards.com/dnd/article.asp?x=dnd/md/md20020228e

Gillespie, G., & Crouse, D. (2012). There and Back Again: Nostalgia, Art, and Ideology in Old-School Dungeons and Dragons. Games And Culture, 7(6), 441-470. doi:10.1177/1555412012465004

Horkheimer, M., & Adorno, T.. (1944) Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Stanford: Stanford University Press [“The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”: 94-136]. 119-167.

“The History of TSR”. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2015-03-27.

Postman, N. (2014). The Judgement of Thamus. In G. McCarron, Introduction to Communication Studies (3rd ed., pp. 16-24). Boston MA: Pearson Learning Solutions. 16-24

Schnoebelen, W. (2015). Straight Talk on Dungeons and Dragons. Chick.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015, from http://www.chick.com/articles/dnd.asp

Sevillano Pareja, H. (2012). History of a Journal: the Case of Dragon Magazine (U.S. Edition). El Futuro Del Pasado, 3, 503-521. doi:10.14516/fdp

Söderberg, J. (2002). Copyleft vs. Copyright: A Marxist Critique. First Monday, 7(3). doi:10.5210/fm.v7i3.938

Strinati, D. (1995). An introduction to theories of popular culture. London: Routledge.

Process Post #1 – My Public and Google Analytics

I’ve looked at potential publics to associate my blog with, and I’ve decided that I fit into both the self care, and the beauty communities. I want to reach people of all ages and genders, and I want to provide self care tips through beauty. I also however, want to provide self care tips that go beyond beauty, I want to reach people everywhere. To help achieve this goal, I try to stay away from assuming my audience, I try not to use gendered pronouns and I also try to not assume my audiences needs. I use Self Care Sunday, as a way to recommend beauty products, but also as a way to recommend more all reaching self care things, like meditation and organization. I want to build my tribe on the understanding that anybody who is looking for self care and beauty tips is welcome on my blog, and I want to push myself to reach beyond what I had assumed to be my audience. 

However, through looking at my google analytics, I’ve noticed that I’m not reaching very many people at all. I installed google analytics last term, but I want to really start using it now. As of now, I feel like I’m just screaming my thoughts and feelings into the universe, because I’m not reaching anybody right now with my posts. I hope to use my google analytics to help me learn. To expand my audience, I plan to push Instagram and try to hashtags to get people looking at my feed, because I do link my blog to my feed. I also want to change the tags I’m using on posts, I hope to find the ones that work, and draw people in. 

The long and the short of it is, I know who I want to reach, and I know what I want to reach them with, but I also know that I’m not reaching the audience that I want to. I hope that with hard work, and trial and error, I will learn how to reach my audience. 

The post Process Post #1 – My Public and Google Analytics appeared first on Makeup Your Mind.

Literacy – should we bring it back?

I’m gonna be real with you guys, I was not the smartest kid in school.
I still have a slice of my Hippocampus intact in my skull, so I remember the days where things like GPA determined self-worth and it was a hotly debated topic in pop culture whether ‘smart girls’ were sexy. (For anyone confused here – it use to be attractive to have exactly two eyes and one mouth on the lower third of the face. Noses were also considered necessary. I know, right? So constricting)
Anyhow, the apocalypse really freed me from that academic insecurity.

But now, The Crafters want to start a newspaper.

I assume by this point they’ve entered the fifty-third round of self-congratulation for this monumentous idea. They probably thought it up while knitting vintage shawls out of dried eel skin from the eels caught in those ditches outside Rat Teeth Cafe.
Their reasoning is that randomly announcing different intentions when crowds around you get large enough isn’t the most efficient way of getting information out there. So I do understand a bit where they’re coming from, there’s more and more people finding the city of Sporyn everyday, but, do we really need to start a newspaper?
Are we going to re-teach people how to read?
What are we gonna make the paper out of?
Do I even need to know what’s going on the community? Are we just re-enabling stalking?

If you’ve got any thoughts about newspaper, news, or paper, leave a comment below

Cicaplast Baume B5: La Roche-Posay

Hi everybody!

Today, I’m back with a review of a cream that I’ve been enjoying for the past few months. It is the Cicaplast Baume B5 from La Roche-Posay. This is a multipurpose soothing balm for dry, irritated skin. Although it’s labeled as a “balm”, the texture is like a thick cream rather than a typical balm that we are used to. It helps to nourish the skin and sooth skin with the help of ingredients such as Panthenol, Madecassoside, Shea Butter, Zinc, Glycerin and much more.

I think 2017 was the year of Cica-Creams, especially in the K-Beauty industry. I’m sure skincare addicts already know about this product because it is very famous and well known for its healing purposes. More people are interested in product ingredients (which is great!) and creams that include cica, madecassoside, panthenol are being loved.  Its anti-bactieral purpose is great for troubled, irritated, acne skin as well, which made me buy the product. I use it primarily during my night time skincare routine because it’s a great product for the skin to be absorbing overnight, helping its healing process. I don’t use it in the morning before my makeup because it can be a bit too heavy at times for an oily skin gal.

Did I see results?

Yes! I’m happy to say that I did see a result with using this product everyday for over few months. It’s definitely not a dramatic result or overnight result that you can spot but I did see that my skin became a lot smoother in terms of texture and it really helped to heal my skin. The days where I was having a bad skin day, this cream has helped me to calm my troubled skin at the end of the day and nourish it. It’s super moisturizing and I would doubtlessly recommend to anyone who’s looking for a new cica-cream! You can purchase it online or I bought mine at a local Shoppers Drugmart 🙂 I’m almost done with this tube and although I don’t think I will be repurchasing it right away because I already have another cicacream to try out; I definitely will buy this again in the future!

You can buy the product at https://www.laroche-posay.ca/en/cicaplast-baume-b5/3337872412998.html or go shopping at your local drug mart!

Are there any other Cica-creams that you guys tried out? Or want me to try out?
Let me know and I would love to check it out!

Meaningful Choices in Games

When it comes to games that revolve around ‘meaningful choice’, series like Don’t Nod Entertainment’s Life is Strange and The Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead come to my mind. A lot of excitement seems to surround these two games, especially when it comes to being able to make choices that matter. Perhaps its a sense of involvement that everyone so desperately wants to be a part of, when it comes to interactive games. But if interaction is what you want, there’s plenty of that to go around. See every game ever made. A little disclaimer before I start to get all riled up in a huff and puff. I haven’t actually played either of the aforementioned games, but I have watched playthroughs of both games. You might argue that I can’t have an opinion unless I’ve actually played the game myself, but really, I don’t think I’m missing anything.

So let’s narrow down the definition of ‘choice’ a little further. My definition of a meaningful choice is when one is presented with two or more options that have lasting and/or significant consequences. Moral quandary choices are also applicable here, being the basis for The Walking Dead and Life is Strange. As popular as these games are, I can’t bring myself to call them good games that incorporate meaningful choice. My main bone to pick is that while you ARE presented with choices, many of them overlap, if not lead to the exact same conclusion. Imagine a fork in the road, and you had to choose a path to proceed. Well, doesn’t matter because they join back up. Congratulations, you just circumvented a tree. So could you really call that a choice? In more technical terms, we call that the “Illusion of Choice”, where the developer seemingly presents the player a choice that has the same outcome. Sure, the games I mentioned before aren’t ALL illusions of choice. Perhaps a character dies here, or you manage to anger another character for the rest of the game. You might think “well, that’s a different outcome right there, I just released all of that man’s chickens!”, but you aren’t seeing the end game.

Now why do most outcomes turn out the same?

For The Walking Dead and Life is Strange (and speaking from my own experience creating a game with ‘choice’), the developer is trying to tell a story. When you’re trying to create a narrative-driven game, you can’t have too many options, lest they begin to derail your game. For example, imagine you have a game that followed the rules of the real world with exact precision. Now, you made a choice and now one of your characters ends up with his hands broken. Well, later along in your narrative, imagine it was absolutely necessary for that character to break into a safe and he was the one person who HAD to do so. Well you just shot yourself in the foot there because his hands are broken. Sure, you could go back and edit that choice, or change the story, but most of the time you want to avoid breaking your narrative with loopholes or inconsistencies. And for games that consist entirely of choices, you have to tread extremely carefully. Life is Strange had to be extremely careful with this, as they had made a game that occurred before the first timeline, so they had to make absolute sure that everything lined up with what happened in the first timeline. Hence, you end up with a lot of dead choices that don’t really do anything for you in order to fill in the white space, and for me, that breaks my immersion and trust in the game.

Another thing to worry about for making meaningful choices, is the different amounts of ‘branching’ you have to do. You have to write out every scenario in case the player did ‘X’ over ‘Y’. This can be troublesome and tiresome, as the choices may begin to trail off and begin to conflict with the narrative where you don’t want it to. Also, what if the player never goes back that choice ever again? That’s an entirely different part of the game they never got to experience and potentially a waste of development dollars and time if no one ends up playing that route. So the game has to be compelling enough that the player wants to revisit that choice branch again. But is it really a ‘meaningful’ choice if the player just defaults on the original decision and chooses the better option? The list goes on.

Meaningful choice is a difficult feature to implement into games, and isn’t something I’ve seen a lot of games, for good reason too. While I can’t blame Don’t Nod Entertainment and The Telltale Games for handling their games as they did, I can’t help but wish it could have been something more. Next time you encounter a game with dialogue branches, try testing them all, and see if you get a different result.

I’m pretty sure we just call those dating games. After all, you can’t get together with all the girls, boys, pidgeons, or dads (most of the time).

Dating games can be weird sometimes.

See you next time,

Insert Coin(s) to Continue

The woman that I am

People don’t change. Especially lately, I’ve been particularly convinced of this as a fact. Fundamentally, I think, we end up the same as we started. The cool part, though, are all the twists, turns, heartaches, triumphs that help us to grow into more defined versions of ourselves.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. To some people, it might seem like a bit of a trap. To be confined to one specific identity is a terrifying idea. I agree with that. I think we can express as many identities as we could ever want. But because we made them, that is who we are. Without getting too philosophical, or introspective, that’s what I’ve been thinking about.

This year I went through a bit of an identity crisis. A lot of things in my life shifted and I was able to express myself in a lot of ways that I never had before. I felt like I was finally myself, without layers of insecurity and anxiety keeping me from full freedom of expression. It felt really good. But those parts of me were still there, just taking a bit of a backseat, while I learned to fall in love with those parts of myself that I had tucked away for a little while.

I’m not sure where I’m trying to go with this. I guess I just feel like I’ve felt the entire rainbow of human emotion over the last 365 days, and though I’ve learned a lot, I think I’m still the same.

I felt pain like I’ve never felt before. That ripping, excruciating, physical pain of heartbreak that I had read about was real. You’d think a pain like that would change you, but I really don’t think it did.

Am I stronger? Not yet, I don’t think. Because I can still feel the scar throbbing, still feel the panic that there might be more pain, lurking around the corner. It disturbs me that I can’t trust the way I used to. But I think trust is a learned behaviour. It’s not ingrained in us. Not the way that love is.

So that’s how I’m seeing it. I am not weak, but I feel weak. I am not broken, but I feel broken. I am still the bubbly, exciting girl I met within myself this summer. I am still the anxious, shy woman who can’t quite figure out how to convince herself she is worth people’s time. I am still the empathetic person who believes the best in everyone. I can still love with the full force of my being, despite the fact that I’ve been hurt.

That’s who I am, I guess. Not just that, of course. But that’s the general idea.

Raisu

Hi everyone! Long time no see 🙂

It’s been awhile since I posted a foodie post. Today, I wanted to talk about Raisu. I’m sure foodie lovers out there already know this place or heard about it. Raisu is a Japanese cuisine in Kitsilano, Vancouver. It’s located in the famous, W 4th avenue, where numerous famous restaurants are located at. Raisu is also part of one of the most famous Japanese restaurant group in Vancouver. This restaurant group contains Raisu, Kingyo, Rajio and Suika. All of these restaurants are very famous and known for delicious food in town! They are all worth checking into.

I visited with my family and my boyfriend for our early end of year dinner. This was my first time visiting the restaurant so I was very excited because I had few friends who recommended this place. Raisu is also very famous for their Sho Ka Do Bento, which is limited 15 serving per meal and Deluxe Seafood Bowl. We knew they had very few limited servings, so we made our reservation at 5pm, when they open for dinner time. Because we were dyeing to try them out, we had to make sure we were there when they first open for dinner.

This restaurant had a very nice Japanese vibe to the place and made it seem like an actual authentic restaurant located in Japan. The staff were friendly and the atmosphere itself was very nice as well. It can be a bit noisy at times because they usually greet customers very loudly in Japanese. Although it didn’t bother me, my dad was not a fan of this because he enjoys a quite place when eating. Also, not to mention the food takes quite a bit of time to be served and it is mentioned on the menu as well. I guess preparing for the food takes , but we definitely waited about 30 minutes for our food to be served. Here are some pictures of our food.

Overall, the food was very good but I was a bit disappointed with their famous, Sho Ka Do Bento (second picture). It was delicious but it wasn’t anything special nor did it wow me. I’m not quite sure why it has limited servings but it wasn’t a dish that wanted to eat again for my next visit. However, Deluxe Seafood Bowl (first picture) was very good! The seafood was very fresh and definitely had that authentic Japanese dish flavored to it. Both dishes were displayed beautifully and it was definitely Instagram worthy for all the Instagram addicts out there 😉 We also tried the Tonkatsu Teishoku, which was amazing with their sauce and Grilled Duck Marinated Sweet Soy, which I didn’t try because I don’t eat duck but heard it was amazing from my family. I was happy with the food and the service they provided. I definitely want to visit again in the future and would surely recommend to Japanese cuisine lovers out there!

Let me know if there’s any other restaurants that you guys want me to check out! I would love to hear. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram because I update where I visit.
Thanks for reading today’s post 🙂

Process Post #1

Hello! Long time no see.

This is my first process post of the semester. It’s been a while that I wrote one of these process post but feels good to be back.

Regarding last week and this week: I’ve left my blog hanging ever since I finished PUB 101 last year and forgot about it. Actually, I always did have a small spot in my head for my blog but I guess I was too busy and got carried away with life. However, taking PUB 201 has got me back in track of blogging my life and I’m very excited about it. Since it’s been a while that I’ve been blogging, there are definitely few things that I have forgotten regarding about how to function and manage this blog. Therefore, last week and this week I had to play around with my blog, update few things and edit couple mistakes that I saw. At this point, I’m happy with updating few things here and there, but I definitely wish to improve the look of my blog. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do it or what I want to improve on specifically but I’m sure it’ll come to me as I work on my blog with time.

For this class, I’ve decided to continue working on this blog  because I wanted more experience and wish I could build and grow this blog. Since this is my personal lifestyle blog, I will be branding myself. This means that my brand is personal branding of myself. My blog is a lifestyle blog where I talk about beauty products and makeup that can help achieve one’s self esteem. I will also be talking about different restaurants, diverse places to visit around Vancouver. Therefore my audience are young adults, age around 18~25 or even higher. I would say female are more interested in my blog because I talk a lot about beauty and not even that, girls usually like to search and find new things, places to visit around the city we live in. Regarding my tribe, I have a lot of friends, coworkers, church friends who are interested in makeup, looking at food posts and much more. Since my blog is a bit broad, I think it will be much easier for people to approach and get a glimpse if they like it or not.

The Business Model Canvas is something very new that I was introduced to today. All the different terms that are used in the business model was new to me so I struggled at first. I had to research a bit online to what this model was and how it worked. Now I have a better understanding of what the model is, I can definitely see that it is a nice guideline for my brand. I still haven’t finished completing the business model but I will work on it for this week. Working on this business model canvas really helped me think deeply into my brand and how I want my brand to be. It also helped me think about monetizing my brand because that was one thing that we didn’t get to touch on a lot in PUB 101. I would like to say that during PUB 101, that was my first phase to blogging and now, I’m on my second phase.

Self Care Sunday #7 – New Year, New Care

Well, I know I sort of disappeared, but I’m Baaaaaaack! Just in Time to kick off 2018! Today is the first Sunday of 2018. So I figured it was only appropriate to make my comeback with a post about how to prepare yourself for the year ahead. In this Self Care Sunday  I”m going to talk about how you can most successfully prepare yourself for 2018, and I’m also going to go over my number one self care suggestion.

So I’m going to start by talking about my favourite  self care discoveries from 2017, and the first one that I want to note, also happens to be my most go to self care suggestion.
Take a break, and put yourself first.
This tip is the reason that I started Self Care Sunday to begin with. When I’m making these self care suggestions what I’m really trying to say is “put yourself first”. I’ve said it a million times, but self care isn’t just having a bath, or listening to music, it’s also work. It’s doing things like cleaning the space around you, or sitting down and planning the week ahead of you, or even setting goals. Putting yourself first means doing things for yourself.
In a society where we are pushed to go faster, longer, and harder, it can sometimes feel lazy and selfish to put yourself first. Because there are so many people depending on us, and so much we have to do on a daily basis, we don’f feel like we have time for ourselves. As a result of this, we are stressed out, burnt out, and worn out. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of pushing myself too hard and ignoring my self care. I’m the girl that for a stupidly long time lived by the words “If I’m not burnt out I’m not working hard enough”, and I for sure still fall into this toxic cycle. The moral is, I’m not perfect, but I’m actively trying to improve my self care, and now I live by the words “remember to take a break and treat yourself”. 2017 was a year of learning about what I need to do to take care of myself, and I hope that in 2018 I can  use my little slice of internet to share this.

And Finally, I’m going to share my number one tip for preparing for 2018.
Get organized and stay organized.
I am the queen of getting myself organized for 24 hours, and then immediately falling back into my old ways of disheveledness. However, in those 24 hours  of organization, I feel better than ever. For this reason, I encourage you to go into 2018 in some semblance of organization, and I challenge you to stick to it for at least the moth of January. I’ve already written a post on the benefits of keeping a planner, and that is one of the ways I attempt to stay organized.  Alas though, I always forget it exists, but in 2018 I’m challenging myself to stick with it.
I’m also going into 2018 with a clean space around me. Meaning, my bedroom is spotless, and I’ve re organized my vanity area. The benefits of having a clean and organized space are endless, but specifically, it will help to keep your mind clear if you don’t have to worry about clutter.
The long and the short of it is, if I can stay organized, you can stay organized, at least for January. Let’s see if we can do this together!

I hope your 2017 taught you a lot, and even if is wasn’t your best year,  I hope you’re entering 2018 with fond memories. I also hope to be around a lot more in 2018, so if you have any requests or suggestions for Self Care Sunday posts, be sure to leave them in the comments! 


What are you doing this Sunday to take care of yourself? Whatever you end up doing, post it on Instagram with #selfcaresunday and make sure you tag me @jordananne76 so I can see it! maybe you’ll even be featured on my #selfcaresunday page!

The post Self Care Sunday #7 – New Year, New Care appeared first on Makeup Your Mind.

New Years Eve Inspired Makeup Look

New Years Eve selfieNew Years Eve is the perfect way to say goodbye to the old and look forward to the new. And what better way to honor the year than with a great face of makeup? This year I made my eyes the focus: contoured, bold, and dark. A statement you could say. The face was kept matte and the lips neutral. But on the eyes, I did not hold back one bit.

I chose to stay true to my style as well. I prefer the slightly more edgy style of makeup. I like contour, I like sharp eyeliner, I thoroughly enjoy my darker color palettes. A pop of color here and dash of sparkle here to glitz this looks up for New Years and we were ready to go!

After going through my skin care routine a while before, I primed my skin with my moisturizing primer. Then I relaxed and let the primer settle so I could achieve a smoother application of my lovely foundation. After the appropriate period of waiting, I applied my foundation with my angled kabuki brush. Once my face had successfully been coated in foundation, I used a fluffy powder brush to apply my translucent powder. With my face set, it was time to add eye primer to my eyelids. Then, while the primer settled I brushed my tinted brow gel through my brows.

For the eye look, I took a domed detailing brush to apply black shadow in my outer v and up through my crease. After each layer of shadow I blended with a pointed blending brush. When working with a dark, messy shadow like black, it’s important to have a light touch. Building your shadow is infinitely simpler then trying to take it off. Once I had created a contoured shape and sharp outer edges with the black, I used a pointed blending brush to blend some dark brown shadow into the black shadow and the outer corner to transition the dark colors. For a pop of color, I again used the pointed blending brush to blend a thin layer of deep pink onto the center of my lid. Then, I took my shader brush to pack on a bright, shimmery shade to the inner third of the lid. I highlighted my brow bone and inner corner with a matte white shade.

With the shadow finally complete, I moved on to eyeliner. I used liquid liner to create a thick wing and thin line. But to give it something extra, I added some silver glitter eyeliner along my eyeline. To finish off the eyes I coated my lashes with mascara. With the eyes done, I finished my face with my typical contour, bronzer, blush, and highlight. As the finishing touch, I applied my lipstick. To keep the focus on my eyes as well as to create contrast in the look, I kept the lips very neutral. And New Years Eve was spectacular!

To shop the products of this look keep your eyes out for a post later this week! I hope you enjoyed this New Years Eve inspired look. What were your NYE looks like? Comment below!

Your Truly,

Meera C.

The post New Years Eve Inspired Makeup Look appeared first on Beauty As Art.

Toxic Fandom

Truer words were never spoken…

Have we geeks crossed a line? Allow me to wax poetic for a moment to a ‘happier’ time before social media. A time when you would decide from the trailers or by the leading star if you wanted to see a movie a not or to a time when you would watch a cartoon because your friends were watching it, if your mum let you. A time when it was really exciting for a new game to come out for your Super Nintendo or a new Choose Your Own Adventure novel. A time when being a geek meant you kept your opinions about who would win in a battle between the NCC 1701-A and the SSD Executor – *cough*Enterprise*cough* – to your group of friends.

It was a time when being a geek meant that you made really close friendships with other geeks because you were all in the same social peril at school and in life. Playing games in the Band Room at lunch time, arguing if Indiana Jones could beat Han Solo, secretly having a role playing game book and a dice set with you at all times, because you never know when that freak need for a d12 will come in handy.

It was a time when you were shunned and ostracised for doing your homework on time or early, for knowing current events, and for dreaming about a better society without bullies. We geeks got beat up for knowing there could be only one, for wanting to find the thirteenth colony, for wanting to go where no one had gone before, and for allowing our imagination to be the only limit to our possibilities. That was then. Now, we are those same people making movies and comics and presenting the culture and things we loved whilst growing up to the whole world. We kids of the 80s, 90s and early 00s Have gone from just geeks and fanboys to creators, yet I fear, as so many heroes do in the comics we read and movies we watch, we have seriously lost our way.

When I was a young, I experienced all the stuff I mentioned and more. I was beat up daily, the TV show Freaks & Geeks was less of a comedy and more of a documentary. Comics, Science Fiction, Fantasy were our escapes.


Yet while we finally get to watch these amazing movies about the heroes who stand for truth and justice, bring light to the darkest nights, and who get strength from Hera, we also can make any comment we want to about these cultural products that we wanted to and the only identifier necessary is something fantastic like, geekgawd63.

As I get deeper involved in geek culture, I am meeting some of my own personal heroes and I am becoming a peer with people who produce the things I love. I can tell you there is nothing wrong with being an excited fan. There is nothing wrong with being apprehensive for the latest Ghostbusters, the original was one of those classics. There is nothing wrong with being a little disappointed that the video game you are really excited for in not coming out when planned.

Where it all becomes wrong is when you: a) send death threats because that video game is late or; b) lose your shit over a 2 minute trailer for a movie that is coming out or sometimes even still in production because there are women in the role, or; c) get carried away or abusive to the point of gamergate.

A little more cape with your hero? No? Very good ma’am.

Look, to a very small extent, I get it. I understand how passionate we all all get about our culture. I just don’t understand the extreme negativity – especially when it is under anonymity. I watched movies like Batman & Robin or Fant4stic and seriously wondered what had happened. I know what I read as a kid and that what I remembered was was not delivered on the screen. I still went, and watched, and I would never tell anyone involved that they didn’t deserve to live because they made it, nor would I tell anyone else they were wrong for enjoying it. This nostalgia I have for these cultural texts does not give me the right to freak out, it may affect my decision to pay to see a later movie or TV show, and that’s all.

On his website Birth.Movies.Death.com, Devin Faraci has a good discussion about “three elements…coming together in such a way to truly break fandom” (2016). Faraci’s elements are: “one old as fandom itself” – the passion and, perhaps misplaced, ownership/symbiosis that comes with fandom; “technological advances” – the prevalence and speed of social media allows anyone to find creators and share an opinion, before social media a fan really had to work to get in touch with those they thought slighted them; and finally, the “corporatisation of storytelling” – where fans are treated more like consumers of a cultural product rather than the investors, and that the creators of the product are simply serving it up for consumption. Perhaps modern-day fandom is not broken but instead has a sense of entitlement as Jesse Hassenger suggests, that somehow fans deserve to want to see a movie and enjoy it as they remember it. Likely it is a little of A & B.

This online gathering of geeks and the passion they have for their fandoms is nothing new. “From the earliest days of dial-up bulletin boards…fans have flocked to the on-line [sic.] world to find people who share their passions and pursuits.” (Wiltse, 2004, p 2) These fandoms and gatherings of like minded people can be fiercely attended and form deep bonds. This is found to be true ten years later in a massive Psychological and Exploration study of geek culture. “The very practice itself of consuming and being engaged with geeky media allows a sense of geek identity and culture to be constructed even when disconnected from any localized geek community” (McCain, Gentile, & Campbell, 2015, p 30).

Yet despite the deep bonds that form, “the strength of those bonds can be quite invisible until a dispute arises among group members that threatens the existence or unity of the group itself” (Wiltse, 3). This threat to the community can come from without as well according to Jason Tocci in the dissertation, Geek cultures: Media and identity in the digital age. “Many geeks are suspicious and hostile toward those they perceive to be outsiders, those who are feared to be judgmental. That suspicion potentially extends to anyone who doesn’t seem as socially awkward and obsessed with fannish minutiae as the geek himself” (2009, p 273).

I think this is where the root of the problem lies. When any community feels threatened, it always does what it can to defend itself. Wiltse, Tocci, and McCain et al., all mention that there are outliers in the communities who are harsher and more easily threatened. I believe it is this group of outliers that is being the loudest and harshest. Maybe, as Faraci suggested, it’s people who really didn’t think anyone would read things that are sent via twitter or Facebook. Maybe it’s just people being dicks. Or even truly not knowing better, maybe we as a society have failed to establish and teach proper online etiquette.

Instead of simply being a ‘here’s what’s wrong with the world’ situation, let’s explore some solutions. Lauren Rosewarne suggests “such awfulness needs to be called out and shamed as appalling rather than just tolerated as another yawn-worthy example of internet insanity” (2016). Yet this just creates a situation for the bullying and nastiness to be reversed as witnessed by everyone who watched the Meshel Laurie Trolling story in 2016. Some very inappropriate things were said about her appearance and career on The Project on her facebook page so Laurie called them out in public.

Laurie responded exactly how Rosewarne suggests. She posted their responses and identities on her Facebook page to shame them. However, Laurie realised that was the wrong reaction. “It’s a strange space we’ve created for ourselves isn’t it? This lawless place called social media that we try to tame with public shaming. Inevitably we make outlaws of some pretty marginalised and lonely people” (Laurie, 2016). Laurie continued, “No doubt many of you think they ‘deserved’ everything they got…I totally felt that way at the start, but as the balance of power swung my way…I felt more and more like the bully”. Is this really what we want to turn the internet and geek culture into? Do we really let a small, amazingly vocal, group of vipers turning the larger group into demons?

Wiltse maintained that, in finding that their “imagined community” of fellow readers and fans increasingly includes a group of people with whom they initially thought they had nothing in common, both students and inmates come to see themselves and their peers differently, and in turn, to see the system of social distinctions and discrimination, of choices and inheritances, that has produced their current identities and addresses, differently. (2004, p 6).

I believe a solution is out there: requiring a person to log on and prove identity before they can leave a comment; perhaps change twitter so that you must know the person to tag them rather than being open to strangers; maybe if you are shown to be a jerk removing you from twitter more absolutely *Trump*; what about holding corporations to the standards they promote to a stronger measure; maybe even requiring platforms like FB or Twitter have humans who moderate posts. All I know is that everyone games, everyone has a passion, and there is a little geek in everyone. It’s time for us to stop attacking each other over things that we are meant to enjoy, we need to choose our collective adventure and turn the page.
The End

References

No Author. (2016). Meshel Laurie fought the trolls. But when she found out their histories, she felt horrible.. Mamamia. Retrieved from http://www.mamamia.com.au/meshel-laurie-trolls/

Busse, K. (2015). Fan Labor and Feminism: Capitalizing on the Fannish Labor of Love. Cinema Journal, 54(3), 110-115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cj.2015.0034

Faraci, D. (2016). Fandom Is Broken. Birth.Movies.Death.. Retrieved from http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/05/30/fandom-is-broken

McCain, J., Gentile, B., & Campbell, W. (2015). A Psychological Exploration of Engagement in Geek Culture. PLOS ONE, 10(11), e0142200. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142200

Rosewarne, L. (2016). When fans go feral (aka the ugly culture of obsession). ABC News. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-02/rosewarne-when-fans-go-feral/7469562

Tocci, J. (2009). Geek cultures: Media and identity in the digital age (Order No. 3395723). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304979606). Retrieved from http://gateway.library.qut.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/304979606?accountid=13380

Wiltse, E. (2004). Fans, Geeks and Nerds, and the Politics of Online Communities. Proceedings Of The Media Ecology Association, Volume 5, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1.1.499.8257 Retrived from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.499.8257&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Welcome To A New Year, and A New Blog

So today is Monday, January 1st, 2018. It’s the start of a new week, a new month, and a new year. It’s also the start of my new posting schedule! I will of course continue with “Self Care Sunday” as a weekly feature (check out my tip from yesterday), but in this new year, I’m also setting another day in the week to post.  I’ve decided to post on Wednesday’s. I picked Wednesday for no other reason than I felt like it’s spaced well from Sunday. This second weekly post will focus on the beauty side of my blog, this will include more reviews, looks, and some tips regarding both makeup and skincare. I also want to make some posts regarding my fitness goals for this term. I’m a firm believer in taking care of yourself,  and I think it’s an extremely important aspect of self care. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t feel good on the outside how are you supposed to feel good on the inside. 

As you can probably tell, I’ve also made some pretty obvious design changes. All these changes were made with all of you in mind! I want all of my readers to know what I’m about from the get go, hence, the new banner. All the changes I have made, especially the banner, are all subject to change as my blog grows and develops. 

This year I’m committing to expanding my blog, I want to include all aspects of self care, and this includes beauty. My beauty routines are such a staple self care technique in my life, and I want to use my platform to share this. I’m also committing to posting twice a week, but I am still human, if I miss a post I’ll make sure to tweet it though so make sure you’re following me on twitter @jordananne76.

I look forward to seeing what this year will bring, and I hope all of you are too!
Happy 2018, and heres to an amazing year!

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