When I Overcame a Tough Book

Growing up I did like reading a fair bit, though I honestly didn’t get an itch for it until early adulthood. I could be rather picky. While I was younger, I remember I read most of the Harry Potter books, a couple from A Series of Unfortunate Events, Goosebumps, The Hobbit, a random Boxcar Children novel, and a book about a kid raising a raccoon or something. The list I can recall feels rather small. There had to be some superficial element to it that drew me in. I can’t remember the plot to that Boxcar Children book at all, but it had a picture of a T-Rex skeleton on the cover, so I wanted to read it. The novels I had to read for school, especially as I got older, often served as a barrier to my comprehension. At the time, if a book challenged me I was unlikely to want to bother.Read More »

Story Hoarding

I’ve been ill for the past week, and while that hasn’t stopped me from getting a couple hundred pages into The Dark Tower or from getting sucked into Breath of the Wild, my motivation to write has been a little shot. The sickness was so bad at one point it even stopped me from enjoying said anticipated video game. That being the case, this week’s post is more on the light side. I just wanted to make sure I wrote something. This is a bit of a continuation of a line of thought I had in a post I wrote months ago called “What We Get To,” although more lighthearted.Read More »

Dissecting my Feelings on Rogue One

jynerso

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a highly-anticipated film, and its plain to see why. It works hard to recapture the look and feel of the original trilogy, being set just before the events of A New Hope, and it promised a grittier, more war-torn take on the franchise. Force-users and the Jedi are largely absent, instead giving us a better look at everyday combatants in the Rebellion and the insurmountable tasks they had to accomplish against a vast Empire.Read More »

What We Get To

Recently I read Found, a book of poetry by Souvankham Thammavongsa. Not to disparage this book in the slightest, but the content of this book specifically isn’t important. What matters right now is what it is to me, what is has been. I read her first collection of poems, Small Arguments, in 2008 for Critical Thinking about Poetry, a first year course I took during my time at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC). I can’t precisely remember when, but I bought Found in the UTSC bookstore shortly afterwards because it was there. I recognized the similar binding, that I’d read the poet already, and picked it up. I wasn’t even particularly partial to Thammavongsa’s work. I was just starting to collect books and I jumped on it.Read More »

Why Didn’t I Like The Witch?

As is traditional around Halloween, I’ve been watching a lot more horror movies in celebration of the season. One I’d been looking forward to seeing for quite a while was The Witch, the 2015 film directed by Robert Eggers. After watching it, I thought it was very good indeed. It’s finely crafted with good atmosphere, interesting characters, and genuinely creepy moments set in a wonderfully gloomy historical setting. What I’ve been trying to wrap my head around, despite all this and more, is the fact that I didn’t really like watching it.Read More »

Artful Video Game Storytelling

I don’t get too specific, but this post has Spoilers for 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

999Zero

Anyone who plays enough video games knows how important storytelling has become for the medium. Though obviously not essential, as many great games have little to no story at all, both the big budget and independent scenes have a plethora of compelling, story-driven games. Video games are unique when it comes to storytelling because they require the direct action, and often skill, of the player to progress. This is unlike other mediums, where you’re never punished for doing a poor job of watching a movie or reading a book. How much you can understand may vary, but you progress regardless.

Over the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of and fascinated with games that have core story elements that only work in the video game medium. Adaptation would be possible, but something crucial would be lost along the way.Read More »

Wrapping up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One

This post contains some spoilers.

Months ago I posted an entry discussing my feelings after watching the first five episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It has been a while since then, but I have just recently finished watching the first season through, and I’m happy that things went as expected. In my previous post I noted that my lukewarm feelings about the show were a common reaction, but that the series improves as it progresses. For the most part I agree.Read More »

The Ending of Dead Space 3

Spoiler Warning: This post is very specifically about details of the Dead Space series as well as the ending of Dead Space 3. Read at your own discretion.

DS3Isaac

Despite having received the game as a gift in 2013 and being a big fan of the series, I only just completed the storyline of Dead Space 3. The game continues a series of sci-fi horror video games developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts.

Something I heard consistently from friends and family that had played through it already was that by the end of the game far too much was explained about the source of the Necromorphs, the undead monstrosities that assault the player-character Isaac Clarke, and the Markers, alien spires that are the source of hallucinations, violence, and the spawning of these nightmarish creatures. Having now played through it, I’m not sure how I feel about it.Read More »

When Classics Aren’t Enough

Recently, while having a conversation with a friend about books, the subject turned to reading what is generally considered to be “classic” literature. These are the books that are taught in high schools, university courses, and other academic circles. While I personally appreciate the academic reasons and approach to examining this kind of literature (which most people characterize as Literature proper), my friend brought up a very valid point: they’re not only a major chore to get through at times, but contain narrative devices and plot points that would be heavily criticized if done today.Read More »

Hesitation Near The End

There is a phenomenon I have experienced throughout much of my life that I haven’t been self-conscious of until very recently. It is an obscure sorrow that I have become increasingly aware of — credit to The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for inspiring this kind of reflection — and I’ve begun to feel that there are probably a lot of other people who feel the same way.

There are people who love to marathon through shows, movies, speed-run games, or speed read. While they may share my experience, I feel it applies more specifically to the way I go through things. I read a lot, but I’m not particularly fast at it. My pace gets the job done, but I hardly read fast enough to finish even a short book in one sitting. I can spend even greater amounts of time on a game, or a series, where going back to the material becomes a regular routine in my life.Read More »