Well, once again, I find myself tagged with a Mystery Blogger Award – this time, courtesy of Ospreyshire. Outside of video games, you don’t see many creative types who actually acknowledge international efforts these days, so I’d say his is a blog worth following. He asked five questions from me, so let’s dive right in.
1. Where would you like to visit that you’ve never been to before?
There are so many places I want to visit, I would barely know where to begin. Seven years ago, I got to visit both Shanghai and the Kanto region of Japan. I would really like to visit Western Europe – particularly Madrid, London, Rome, and Paris. The sheer amount of history and culture those countries have make then very enticing. Then again, a trip to South Korea would be great as well. Really, I just like the idea of traveling in general.
2. What is one movie, TV show, and/or book that you can’t stand, but everyone else likes?
Between the mediums I’m familiar with, films seem to have the highest number of disappointing critical darlings. Low points would include Upgrade, District 9, The Last Jedi, and every other A24 film I’ve seen (i.e. Hereditary, Gloria Bell, The Witch, and Ex Machina). Many people admire the late 2010s for having taken more chances and A24 in particular for having given directors more of an auteur voice, but in many of those cases, it’s like giving the microphone to highly talkative person who has nothing interesting to say. It doesn’t help that the indie film scene was left in the dust by what indie game developers have accomplished in the past five years.
I’ve had a better track record for shows because I tend not to get into them until after they’ve run their course and the ones that do plummet in quality tend to have self-contained episodes (i.e. The Simpsons), meaning the damage is highly localized. Regardless, my answer for that medium would be The Strain. I’m not sure how much it was admired, but I felt that show got way more praise than it deserved. It’s strange because I actually like Guillermo del Toro as a director, having made the best film of 2017 (The Shape of Water), but that show just did not work.
If we’re talking traditional literature, I don’t think I really have an answer. In high school, we were made to read stuff like My Ántonia and The Great Gatsby. While I can’t say I enjoyed them, I find I tend to respect them despite not being especially fond of them. I could answer Twilight… if I actually read those books, but I don’t like to judge works I personally have not experienced (plus, I don’t really get the sense that people really talk about those books nowadays). If we expand books to graphic novels, then I sort of have an answer: Devilman. It’s the first manga I managed to read all the way through, and I was rather underwhelmed. I appreciate the impact it has had on manga artists, but it doesn’t change that the plot goes way too fast and ends in a very anticlimactic fashion. Interestingly, even people who like it seem to find the ending a bit of a point of contention. The expanded version adds what amounts to a directionless second act that doesn’t add anything significant to the plot. It’s not bad, but most of what I liked about it I felt was done better in later works such as the Shin Megami Tensei series.
3. If you could invent a language, what would you call it and how would you teach it to the world?
I’m not sure what I’d call it, but I would want the language to convey a lot of information in the fewest number of syllables as possible. I would also want it to appear reasonably short in writing so the information can be transferred from person to person almost instantly. If the language somehow managed to beam the relevant experience into the minds of others, that would be a good bonus. I’m not sure if it’s actually possible to construct a language with such strict parameters, but you never know.
4. What is one interest or hobby that you never thought you would get into?
I never really considered myself a comic book person, but recently, I’ve really gotten into them. I tend to favor ones that tell definite stories over ones centered around superheroes that go on forever, though I have found one-shot stories such as Batman: White Knight interesting reads. I’ve also really gotten into manga lately, and I’m currently following series such as One-Punch Man and Berserk. The latter has recently seen a rerelease in these cool deluxe omnibuses that encompass three volumes apiece. Even better, another one I’m interested in reading, Hellsing, is getting a similar treatment this coming July. Plus, I have to say I kinda get a kick out of reading right-to-left; it’s a little difficult at first, but it’s surprisingly easy once you’ve gotten enough practice.
5. How do you want to improve as a person?
Personally, I think the best way to do that is to avoid getting complacent. One way to do that is to write in a way that encourages discussion. I’ve been disappointed in many prominent content creators because they settle for telling their audiences exactly what they want to hear.
To wit, I remember watching a surprisingly good video made by culture critic Jonathan McIntosh that explains the myriad unfortunate implications present in The Big Bang Theory. However, his main failing is that he then applies his singular train of thought (which usually involves critiquing masculinity in culture) into absolutely everything he talks about. At best, his videos are highly repetitive. At worst, he outright jams square pegs into round holes with his video of The Last Jedi being especially bad. He and the likes of Owen Gleiberman, Bob Chipman, and Patrick Willems, stand as an examples of the kind of passionless creators I want to actively avoid becoming. When you stop considering other viewpoints, you will stagnate very quickly due to a lack of self-reflection. That’s why I’m thankful for the elaborate comments my readers provide me on a regular basis.
Here are the blogs I will tag:
- The Below Average Blog
- Fed’s Life
- Nerd Rambles
- Monsterlady’s Diary
- Hamlets & Hyperspace
- Virtual Visions
- The Late Night Session
- Book Beach Bunny
- Nep’s Gaming Paradise
- Professional Moron
- Ignited Moth
- Video Games And Things I Write About Them
- Books and Pixels
- Swords & Spectres
- Wizard Dojo
- Lost to the Aether
- Everything is Bad for You
Here are the questions you get to answer:
- What is the most unusual work you’ve ever experienced?
- What is the best work you have experienced that no one else seems to know about?
- If you could go back in time and go to the premiere of a classic film, which one would you choose?
- If you decided to write fiction, which genre would you choose?
- What is the most disappointingly predictable plot twist you’ve ever experienced?
- What do you consider to be the strangest title for a work?
- Where in a theater do you prefer to sit?
- Do you have any graphic novel/manga series you’re currently following?
- When it comes to reviewing films, which do you feel are more effective – traditional, written reviews or video essays?
- What aspects of old-school game design do you wish would make a comeback?
- What aspects of old-school game design are you glad went away?