from a while back on narrative dealbreakers—specifically, the generally rarer/less-universally-condemned ones—got me thinking about what my own list would be…
Star Wars: The Old Republic character doodles drawn during cut-scenes.
I’ve currently finished three of the class storylines:
- Sith Inquisitor (Assassin): My main, and the only class I’ve played to level cap. Class story is bananas in a good way, but was extremely meh on the companions. Played aggressively light-sided, initially romanced the padawan girl (… ick) but immediately ditched her for Space Husband Theron Shan in the expansions.1
- Imperial Agent (Operative): Story starts a bit meh, gets strong in the middle, and kind of… never really delivers at the end. The “un-reveal” of Hunter left me so annoyed I just shot the guy without listening to any of his end-game speechifying, so no idea what he wanted to try and tell me. Another (mostly) light-sided play-through, romanced Vector, gave the Codex to the Minister and remained with Sith Intelligence. As an aside, the story really, really seems to want you to be mad at the Minister for the codeword thing, though honestly I thought his rationale for it was pretty reasonable in the context of how the Empire operates. The SIS using the codeword, however, was not; I killed everyone who did so and honestly it was enough to make me regret working with them on my main. I can see why people describe this as the best of the class storylines, even if I didn’t think it qui-ii-ii-ite pushed things far enough in the third chapter…
- Jedi Knight (Sentinel): Ditched at Alderaan for Warrior (which see below). I just… couldn’t. The story is so boring and, honestly, I loathe the Knight’s voice acting.2 I can see why they chose it, but… ugh. No. Ostensibly playing dark-side for lolz, but the actual dark side choices for Knight are so boring—and honestly mostly petty and stupid to boot—compared to those in some of the other class storylines that I’m honestly struggling with it. On the plus side, I really like the aesthetics of Sentinel (setting enemies aflame with blue fire!), so… there’s that.
- Sith Warrior (Juggernaut): Giant space daddy. Class storyline is straightforward but engaging, particularly if you’re a huge sucker for Lawful Evil like yours truly. Played aggressively neutral-aligned to confuse the galaxy, which was a lot of fun. Enjoyed the companions, but all the romance options for a male PC were super skeevy so romanced no one3 and slept with every NPC the game allowed me to sleep with instead. Enjoyed the play-style more than I thought I would, too.
Currently working on the Trooper (Commando) to unlock all four buffs, and I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would—both play-wise and story-wise—though I’m not… hugely enthused with the direction they seem to want to take with the General…
But… yeah. That’s what I did in my New Year’s break!
Also: I still need to buy a new scanner…
- He’s currently mad at me; I’m trying to betray the Empire, Theron, but it’s not like the game allows you to defect! I just wanna shoot purple lightning at my enemies is that such a crime? [↩]
- I actually re-rolled to get away from the male VA, though the female one isn’t much better. [↩]
- I’m also sensing a… theme with the whole “romance your impressionable young female padawan/apprentice/subordinate/slave” which… every class has at least one of these, so like… gross, Bioware. Gross. [↩]
If goblins and orcs and trolls could think, then why were they always just there to be slaughtered by the heroes? And if the heroes slaughtered sentient beings en masse, how heroic exactly were they? It was a long overdue start on redressing issues long swept under the rug by a parade of Tolkien successors who never thought of anyone green and slimy as anything but a notch on the protagonist’s sword, and much of the urgency in Pratchett’s last few books seemed to be related to them. “There’s only one true evil in the world,” he said through his characters. “And that’s treating people like they were things.”
And in the last of his “grown-up” Discworld books, that idea is shouted with the ferocity of those who have only a few words left and want to make them count. Goblins are people. Golems are people. Dwarves are people, and they do not become any less people because they decide to go by the gender they know themselves to be instead of the one society forces on them. Even trains might be people, and you’ll never know one way or the other unless you ask them, because treating someone like they’re a person and not a thing should be your default. And the only people who cling to tradition at the expense of real people are sad, angry dwellers in the darkness who don’t even understand how pathetic they are, clutching and grasping at the things they remember without ever understanding that the world was never that simple to begin with. The future is bright, it is shining, and it belongs to everyone.
John Seavey on the.
Just as a society in general we really need to stop gettingin media because I’m starting to think it’s fucking us the hell up…
Also: Because I am Ancient™ I remember what a huge drama this was when shows like 90210 started doing it back in the 90s. Like… there are definitely examples that predated that, but that stable of Aaron Spelling shows seemed to be the main primetime drivers of the whole “just cast a 30-year-old to play a 15-year-old it’s fine” shtick, pretty blatantly to get the crossover audience appeal (i.e. when I was a kid I didn’t notice adults-cast-as-kids so much, but now I am Ancient™ and everyone under the age of like 20 looks like a tiny baby it is an extremely noticeable flag that a show is Not For Me, whereas shows with “adult teens” are more like “this show will probably have sex and/or violence in it and is not actually intended for a young audience despite the supposed ages of the cast”).
So apparently the original English translation for R.U.R. is, and it’s kinda… fascinating to see what has and hasn’t changed in the whole “robot uprising” sci-fi genre.
The play also contains what is possibly the Most Relatable Woman-in-STEM conversation ever seen on stage:
Commercial media: Explosion! Fight scene! Car chase! Character X and Character Y Let’s You And Him Fight! Now they team up! More explosions! The whole galaxy explodes! Nothing will ever be the same!!!!!
Fanfic: Old friends, Character X and Z, retire to a remote cabin because of Reasons. Thing are tense because of That Incident! Can they spend 200,000 words slowly re-learning to love themselves, and each other? Now they’re hugging. I’m not crying, you are.
I never learnt how to make these things as a kid and always regretted it.
And because it’s Never Too Late, I decided being stuck all day in a
boring planning meeting was a great opportunity to tear up an agenda print out, do some Googling, and learn. And then color in the results with a black Collaboration Sharpie because, y’know. Goth.
Anyway I am super-pleased with how these came out and will definitely be wasting time in this way in the future. A++ do recommend.
Long-but-interesting look at the, specifically their Original Flavor Tolkien coding as being pretty specifically referencing western European fears and stereotypes of the Mongols and other west/central Asian nomadic peoples.
Also, as someone who is of literal Caucasian descent, i.e. my ancestors came from the Caucasus Mountains, I am always here for even the tiniest bit of deconstruction of how the term “Caucasian” still gets used as a term for “white people” when the people of the literal Caucasus are, at best, “provisionally” white—as is is the case of my own ancestors, who are largely ethnic slavs who’ve really only been considered “white”, both legally and socially,1 within at-most my parents’ lifetimes—and, mostly, not “white” at all.
So on one hand, I agree that it’s exhausting for creators to constantly have to make pronouncements about What They Meant, and at some point we should be death-of-the-author about it and get on with our own interpretations. On the other hand, it’s much more exhausting to witness creators perpetually burying queerness in subtext and then acting surprised when people inquire what, exactly, the subtext was meant to convey.
This is about Good Omens, which is topical at the time of posting but will have hopefully died down enough by the time that this de-queues that I can finally let out a huge, relieved (and not too squee-harshing) uuuuurrrrggggghhhh because uuuuurrrrggggghhhh yes, this. All of this.
Gaiman has been doing this faux-woke1 thing with regards to queer rep for decades and it’s just tiring. It’s like Joss Whedon v2.0, in that you’ve got this animate slice of white bread who did a kind-of-maybe woke-ish thing once like in the 90s—Gaiman did include marginally more queer characters in his comics than was standard at the time, which is to say a non-zero amount—and has been riding that wave ever since. But then the world moved on and The Wheman did not.
But, y’know. Please. Give us yet another retread of, say, the whole gender-ambiguousness-as-shorthand-for-moral-corruption trope to try and pass off as “rep”. Because people—I assume so starved for decent representation in mainstream media they’ll clutch at anything—keep falling for it! Ugh.
Thirty years of this shit.
(Also, completely petty complaint about the TV adaptation, but… why oh why would you hire, like, such Extreme Power DILF actors and then make them look like that? Sheen especially. Yikes no.)
- … fauke? [↩]