Ah, some sleepless humans have come to join me! Welcome, fellow sufferers of eternal exhaustion. This is the little corner of the blog where your favorite sleepless wizard, old EWE himself, tries to find a way to pass the hours before the sun comes up and he’s forced to go pretend that writing to all of you isn’t his real passion and calling. So, what should make the cut for our slice of nocturnal gaming nourishment tonight? I believe we’ve settled on Ys Origins, available on Steam and PS4.
Ys Origins, as the name implies, takes the long running series of adventures by hero Adol and sets them back far before the time of Adol, or any of the other running characters in the main series and instead tells a somewhat more self-contained story that limits the scope of the world to one immense and expansive tower and the power it contains within it. Two Goddesses have been kidnapped and are on the run from the evil forces of darkness, and it is the forces of he traditional defensive order that begin to dictate how your character will approach the story unfolding. You see, you can initially choose between two characters, a fairly happy-go-lucky young girl who is a wonder with her twin axes, or a haughty and arrogant wizard who believes that all lives, even his own, are fuel to be added to the equation that leads to victory. Only by mastering both of these paths can you unlock a secret, third playable character,
The gameplay is fantastic Ys action arcade RPG mechanics. Even lesser enemies need some level of respect so that they don’t respawn and decimate your party when you least expected it.
I’m doing my first playthrough as Hugo Fact the Mage, who is…kind of a pompous asshole during the entirety. That said, unlikability of Hugo aside, I have very much enjoyed sinking my teeth into the meaty combat system in YS. Hugo definitely controls like a squishy mage in this type of action rpg – keep him away from the action and shoot away, and if the enemies close in, move away! It is satisfying, in its own way, just as I am confident the playthrough with the melee character will as well. Then we get to see who the mystery third character is going to be and play as.
Thus far in my insomniac playthrough with Hugo, I have overall been pleased. As we have discussed, Hugo is not a pleasant character to have as an avatar, but his combat style is diversified, challenging, and rewarding. My hopes are that playing through with the other characters will prove just as amusing! – EWE
Humans! How long it has been! Well, more for you than for me – I’m the timeless personification of darkness, so really, a couple of months is a catnap for me. Though I suppose I’ve perhaps somewhat missed imparting my wisdom/seething misanthropy onto you, the select group of mortal meatbags that I don’t abjectly abhor. So…I guess…maybe…it’s nice to see you again. There! I’m not repeating myself! (Editor’s Note: Aww, you missed-) I swear, I will set your entire BLOODLINE on fire if you finish that thought (Editor’s Note: …nothing, nevermind.) Damn skippy.
So many things have contributed to my absence – physical, mental, emotional – and I’m sure over time some or all of them will bleed out into my writing, whether in bits or in their entirety. But if I’d had the right words to tell those stories, I’d have been back before now. So then, what finally made me able to pick up my pen – keyboard, whatever – again after being away? Well, that would be, of all things, a Twitter poll from my fellow wizards of the written word over at The Well-Red Mage. By the way – read them, listen to them, support them – they are each and every one an amazing writer and person.
Now, at first blush the only dilemma I had was that I felt torn between two decades, as the period from the mid-to-late 90s through the early-to-mid 00s was what I considered my perfect answer. But then I saw a tweet in response that really got my inner-philosophical-gamer juices working.
If I was totally objective, today would be best with variety, online AND retro revivals ala mini/classic/remastered editions. But nostalgia is not objective
Don't get me wrong, I love the games from my childhood, but I'm a firm believer that we've reached a golden age in video games. The level of variety and polish, the sheer amount of really amazing stories being told, make me lean toward the 2010s.
Ohohoho, now we had a full-blown bout of navel-gazing going on inside my head, minions! What was my Well-Red (and Read) friend actually asking – for an objective “best” era of gaming, or a subjective “favorite” era of gaming? What was the distinction between them? IS there a distinction between them – and even if such a distinction were to theoretically exist, can we ever truly grasp it, as we are inherently colored by our own perceptions of our own individual realities and experiences?
The first issue that occurs to me is that while I truly respect the opinions and thoughts of all the individuals involved in that particular Twitter discussion (Editor’s Note: This is no small thing for him to admit – he works daily around judges and magistrates that he considers barely worthy of continued intake of oxygen, let alone actual respect), I believe that the concept of an “objective best” is impossible. The term “best” is inherently and inescapably subjective – it is brewed from all manner of differing criteria depending upon the evaluator, steeped in one’s own personal preferences and pet peeves, and filtered through the time, place, manner, and setting in which we each experienced things for the first time. There are times when, under certain circumstances, we may attach a more objective modifier to “best” – such as associating “fastest” with “best” when discussing race cars – but even then, it presupposes this connection between the objective term (“fastest”) and the subjective “best.” As soon as someone decides that perhaps handling is a more important consideration than raw speed, suddenly the illusion of an objective “best” race car is shattered.
So then is “best” – without the attachment of some more objective modifier – simply synonymous with “favorite?” Not so fast – it isn’t that simple at all. You see, “best” may be inherently subjective, but it is still something that invites debate. Advocating for or against an interpretation of what is the “best” – trying to convince others as to why they should also adopt what you see as the “best.”
But “favorite” isn’t just a subjective concept – it is inherently, indelibly personal. It isn’t so much a debate or attempt to convince others as to the correctness of your point of view as to simply express your own opinion. You “favorite” can of course change – but the reasons will always be internal, personal – singular to you, not the product of debate and analysis by a wider audience. My “favorite” Final Fantasy is Final Fantasy Tactics. The Shameful Narcissist’s “favorite” is Final Fantasy VII. LightningEllen’s “favorite” is Final Fantasy XIII. The three of us can debate endlessly over which of the three – or perhaps even another – is the “best” Final Fantasy. But there is no debate over our “favorite” – because it is just that…ours.
I suppose this little tirade is in part a response to another point made by my feathered-hat-wearing compatriot.
This statement, made far too often in gaming journalism, is part of the conflation between “favorite” and “best.” I in no way am suggesting that reviews cannot be subject to the personal interpretations of the reviewer – that’s impossible. Any critique, no matter how much the reviewer strives for objectivity, is going to be influenced to some degree by their subjective views. But an analysis that is supported by sound reasoning (“the ATB battle system is the best RPG battle system because it balances the tension of quick thinking and decision making with the strategy and planning of traditional turn-based systems”) is completely different from a blanket qualitative statement based upon nothing but a vague, unspecified dislike (“the combat in this game just doesn’t work”). The only time the phrase “just doesn’t work” should be used is when the aspect of the game to which it refers LITERALLY DOES NOT FUNCTION. As in, every time a battle is triggered and the combat engine tries to load, the entire game crashes. Otherwise, it is just a lazy cop-out to substitute “I just don’t like this” for a critical analysis of a game’s virtues and vices. Does this mean a reviewer can’t simply express dislike? Not at all – but they need to add two very crucial words: “This just doesn’t work FOR ME.” Suddenly, as in the difference between “best” and “favorite,” the expression is clearly personal – not right or wrong, just a statement of opinion individual to the reviewer. It isn’t an argument for or against the overall merits or flaws of the game – those can be made but must be supported with reasoning.
Whew – quite a winding trail of babbling, wasn’t that? If I were one to ask for understanding, I might point out that it has been a while, and I’ve had some pent-up literary expression brewing…but I’m not, so I won’t! Regardless, I must say that it is quite agreeable to be conversing with you mortals again…I think I shall try to do so with greater frequency. Until then, my friends! – EWE
Hello, humans. I know I’m interrupting your massive celebrations caused by my absence and apparent demise – but my death has been greatly exaggerated. Or at least a little exaggerated. I have, in reality, been feeling pretty shitty, and trying to get work done and helping out the people in my life that need takes all the energy that I have out of me.
I do find time for some games though! I’ve finished Divinity: Original Sin and loved every minute, and now I’ve launched right back into Divinity: Original Sin 2. These are both just prime examples of how to do so many parts of game development right. Crowdfunding, significant content stretch goals, quality product on release, and a deep and immersive RPG story. I love these games – I can’t say that enough. I’ve also begun a weekly ritual of fourplay coop games with my sons and friends which has been a blast.
My writing and journaling has been sporadic as my pain levels allow me to find the energy to be creative. My standup is much the same – whenever I can find it in my body to do an act, I’m trying to do so. It is so fun, and I’m glad I can still find energy to write and perform!
And work is still a love both professional and personal. One day maybe my love won’t break there, but heal full instead. It is the same person that can do both, so hopefully a matter of time!
I’m not going to apologize for being absent for a while, mostly because I’ve had pretty good reason. I will say that I have greatly missed communicating with all of you – but I’ll try to make up for it a bit by filling you in on some of the reasons for my absence.
First off, as some of you may have noticed from the godawful fucking heat and humidity, it’s summer! This has meant that my two little evil-mages-in-training have been on a break from their studies and been wanting to spend time under the burning flame ball in the sky, like this:
But since not just MY family, but ALL SORTS of people are ALSO much more active during the summer months, my work as a public defender has been extremely busy as well – and the ratio of incompetent/insane clients has gone WAAAAAY up. Let me tell you just exactly how mentally draining it is when you are trying to explain to someone that murdering ducks is, in fact, a crime, and they are fervently telling you that it’s ok because the five-faced devil told them to do it…
And just in case increased work, increased time with the younglings, and caring for my feline overlord Zero while gaming and reading wasn’t enough, I decided upon advice from my little sis, the absolutely hilarious Kate Quigley, I decided to try making people laugh the old-fashioned way – so I’ve started doing some open mic nights at local bars and coffee houses and doing a little stand up. Well, I suppose some might call it stand up…for me, it’s kinda just group therapy, where I get to talk about my issues and not bill my insurance!
Of course, it can’t all be upside – about six weeks ago, my fibromyalgia went into (I thought) a flare up. It happens from time to time, based on weather and pressure changes, and normally I just grit my teeth and within a few days it is back to its normal level of constant-but-not-totally-debilitating pain. But this time…it didn’t. After two weeks, I contacted my doctor, and she gave me a significant injection of steroids due to the fact that my fibro meds were having no effect. If it was fibro alone, the steroids would likely have made it worse, but if they helped, then there might be more going on. Well…they sure as hell helped at first. For about two days, I was Superman. For two more, I was, you know…normal? But then I was right back where I was before the shot. Now I was going on a month of mind-numbing pain, and my doctor was out of normal options, so I am currently scheduled and waiting to see a rheumatologist in September. Needless to say, going through all of the daily activities I described above while wracked with physical pain is…tiring. So many are the day I have come home and couldn’t even find the energy to game or read, let alone write to you all. So I would perform my ritual worship of Zero and collapse into bed, where he would then sit on my chest in an effort to comfort me (or kill me, I’m not entirely sure).
But take heart – all is not lost! First, I am finding time to engage in some reading and gaming, so I will have some opinions on those fronts coming soon! Look forward in particular to my review of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, as it captured me even harder than the original PS2 game did, and that was one of my favorite PS2 RPGs. And now, if I can FUCKING REMEMBER TO HIT RECORD, I can even now and then provide you with some footage from my open mic stand up gigs – you know, in case you don’t have enough to mock me for yet, irritating mortal fleshbags (Editor’s Note: That’s not nice; they’ve always been very supportive.)
So before I go, I wanted to give you one last thing – a bit of the old and the new all in one. You see, I have not been able to do much experimenting in my kitchen of late – but I have needed quite a bit of caffeine. And so I wish to recommend a particular purveyor of pure coffee goodness – Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, in my own hometown of Canton, Ohio. Now, while I fully understand that many of you cannot travel to their actual location (which is a goddamn shame, because it is fantastic), you CAN order their absolutely amazing coffee right through their site to be shipped to you! I in particular recommend the Blueberry Crumble – and by “recommend” I mean “until you have tasted this, your pitiful, meager lives are wholly incomplete.”
So with that, humans, I bid you adieu for the time being. But lest you forget, as always, if you are a Trump supporter, I suppose you have something notable you can attest to – it took 240+ years for America to progress to the point that it had this past January, and it has taken Trump only six months to set it back in many ways to before it was ever founded in the first place. Congratu-fucking-lations. – EWE
Hello, mortals! Well, are we in for a treat today. You see, my fellow spell-slinger, The Well-Red Mage posted a query to our blogging community, wanting to know the answer to the following:
Me? You want to ask me, the living embodiment of snark and cynicism what I’ve learned since I started communicating with you feeble humans? Oh, now you’re…in for…what’s that sound? Music?
Hello, friends – Editor here. I thought that the Well-Red Mage’s question deserved some thoughtfulness and introspection, and well…I think we all know that those aren’t the first things that EWE goes to when a query is posed to him. So, I decided that I would be a better fit to respond for the both of us. Don’t worry – he’ll be ok. See, he doesn’t know it, but all I have to do is put on something relatively sad and/or sappy (in this case, “After All” by Cher and Peter Cetera) and he goes completely catatonic. It’s like rolling a shark over onto it’s back – and since I’ve compiled an entire Spotify playlist of them, he’ll be locked up for hours. Don’t tell him though – typically he has no memory of it once he snaps out of it, and his denial is rather amusing.
So…what have we learned since our first blog post? My goodness – it’s been a little less than a year, but it almost seems like forever. As those of you who have been following this little literary lark for a while know, this blog began as a coping mechanism. A short time before, our world had come crashing down at the hands of the person we trusted most. The resulting depression was very, VERY deep – and but for the intervention of our eternal bestie, Malevolent Moogle, as well as some unexpected kindness from somefantasticfolksatIGN, it might have been permanent. But they brought us back from the edge of that abyss, and then the question became what to do in order to begin to heal the wounds and be able to connect with people again. Having always enjoyed writing, the decision to try blogging seemed somewhat obvious.
As anyone that looks back at those first few entries can attest to, EWE was firmly in control of our little endeavor – I was only able to prevent him from making any truly horrific mistakes. And that was a direct reflection of the place we were in – hurt, angry, and alone. But then something completely unexpected happened, and it leads into what I’ve learned. As trite as it may sound, I learned that I wasn’t alone. I was welcomed into the blogging community by so many other amazing, talented writers. I developed friendships with fantastic people from all over the world, whom I’ve never seen, but who have been there to listen to me and share in my journey back from the place I was in. And slowly, but surely, they helped to draw the scattered pieces of me back together so that EWE and myself could start to reassemble them.
Along the way, as I found myself again, this blog found its voice as well. In the beginning, I honestly didn’t know what this would be – other than a place for EWE to vent and melt down without resorting to screaming at stuffed animals like a COMPLETE lunatic. But as my friendships with so many talented people in the games and entertainment community grew, I found a niche in offering my thoughts on all sorts of offerings in my hobbies of choice. As someone who has often sought escape from my world into those of others, I’ve always loved books, movies, comics, manga, anime – anything that I could get lost in, with characters I could grow attached to. And then there was my day job as an attorney – one of the few things that I can claim without feeling arrogant to be fairly good at. There are my posts about cooking, which grew from something I only liked doing when I could do it for someone else into something I get to share with all of you. And so, while it may seem like a fairly eclectic hodgepodge of subject matter, it is me. In sharing all of these things with others, I found that I was opening up more to all of you than I had to almost anyone else, ever. And while EWE would likely kill me for telling you all this – I’ve been grateful for the acceptance I’ve found in doing so.
Have there been setbacks? Of course there have. I’ve been called pathetic some whom I hold very dear; I’ve been mocked by some that don’t see why I even bother with this blog as an outlet. But instead of letting those define me, I have instead focused on the support I have continued to have from my friends and loved ones, both in my daily life and in the wider Internet community. It’s a process, and one that I keep working at each and every day. So in a way, what I’ve learned since first starting my blog is something that I’m still continuing to learn each day. As Tolkien put it:
And so, I’ll keep following the road, wherever it leads. And I’ll continue to be grateful for each of you that is beside me along the way.
Now, it would appear that EWE appears to coming out of his daze, which is my queue to quietly step aside. Thanks to you all for indulging in a little introspection with me! And remember – don’t tell EWE about our little trick. First, it’s unlikely to keep working if he were to catch on. And also, there’s a decent chance he’d be so humiliated that he’d burn the entire globe to a cinder. – Editor
Greets, humans! Please excuse any typos or less-coherent-than-normal ranting – maybe it’s the combination of inability to sleep and crippling exhaustion, I don’t know. But if there is one benefit to using almost all of hours in the day to not rest, it’s that there are just SO MANY good games to play and shows to watch and things to read right now! So, let’s get right to it!
My journey through Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV continued, as I finished eliminating the threat of the Primals by defeating the beautiful and sadistic Garuda…only for the Garlean Empire to finally make it’s move at conquest, unleashing Ultima Weapon, which promptly absorbed the powers of Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda with little effort. As my Warrior of Light – side note, I find it hilarious when NPC characters greet me with some variation on “ah, most heroic Evil Wizard!” – and his allies regroup, it was determined that the only way to respond was to, you know…kill a bunch of Imperial officers, sack their bases, and destroy their Weapon. And since wanton death and destruction are kind of, you know, MY THING, I gleefully slew my way through their ranks toward leader, High Grand Poobah Gaius Something-Or-Other. Basically, my dungeon and raid parties looked something like this:
Ah, Richard…you truly are my spirit animal. Anywho, after spilling rivers of Imperial blood, I finally found myself face-to face with Gaius and his shiny new toy. Admittedly, he cuts an impressive figure.
But, as I am wont to do, I melted his face. And with that, I had completed all of the original Realm Reborn content of FF XIV, and I am now ready to start on the bridge content leading into the Heavensward expansion. Cheer me on, maaaan!
Now, said progress may be somewhat slowed due to the absolutely phenomenal PS4 release of Persona 5. Quite simply, this is one of the best, most stylish, and addicting JRPGs that I have played in years, maybe ever. The combat is the deepest I’ve seen since SMT: Nocturne (yay demon negotiation!), the interface and graphics are incredibly slick, the soundtrack is pure bliss, and the “day in the life” sim elements are amazingly engrossing.
The writing is absolutely stellar. From the main plot to the individual stories of all of your various “Confidants” – this games version of “Social Links” from prior entries in the series – every character is well developed, with a perfect balance between lightheartedness and gravitas. The bottom line is this – Shin Megami Tensei is Atlus’s Final Fantasy, and some gamers may argue that it has equaled or even surpassed Square Enix’s venerable series. Even more impressively, the Persona series is the rare offshoot series that has developed into something stands equal to, if not even surpasses, the entries in the main series.
So, that’s what you should be playing…but hey, sometimes you just want to kick back and watch some anime, right? RIGHT?! (Editor’s Note: Just agree. He’s not in the mood to argue. There are only about four people he wouldn’t set on fire right now.) AND YOU’RE NOT ONE OF THEM, SO SHUT UP! Ahem…so, if you’ve been an anime and manga fan at all over the past 20 years, you should be familiar with Naruto. Well, our lovable orange-jumpsuited ninja and all of his friends are all grown up following the end of their series, and conveniently paired up and bred like rabbits off screen in order for the adventures to continue in a new manga and anime series entitled Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The titular Boruto is the son of Naruto and Hinata, and is entering the Ninja Academy alongside all of his friends who look suspiciously like mashups of their fan-ship parents.
Now, while this could easily be dismissed as simply a retelling of Naruto in an attempt to cash in on the original series popularity with minimal effort, this would be a mistake and a discredit to the new series. The world has truly evolved and become more modern since the end of the Fourth Great Ninja War, and the dreams, aspirations, and motivations of this new generation of shinobi are definitely not the same as that of their parents. Speaking of which, all of your favorite characters that survived the war are accounted for in the new series, and watching them mature into leaders and parents is just as compelling as seeing the adventures of their children. As a new anime series, the animation and production values are top-notch. While I haven’t yet read the new manga, I intend to do so, as I read the entire original Naruto series and count myself as a fan. Is it perfect? Of course not – it’s a shonen manga so you know kind of what you’re getting, but as long as you know that going in, the world of Naruto and Co. is still a fun one to spend time in. Recommended – find it on Hulu or Crunchyroll!
Now, I am always very pleased that all of you feeble mortals (Editor’s Note: WONDERFUL READERS) whatever, that you all come and partake of my wisdom here. But, and I know this may come as a shock, there are other blogs that you should be checking out as well. I know that I normally only want to talk about me – and I mean, I AM a lord of darkness – but I feel like it has been a while since I properly recognized and called attention to some of the other wonderful blogs out there, as well as the amazing people behind them that I have become fortunate enough to consider my friends.
Retr0pia – A friend who shares his thoughts on many a classic game, movie, or show, as well as the all-too-common modern reboots of them.
These are just the first group, just a few of the many wonderful writers out there sharing their gifts and talents will all of you humans. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy their blogs! See you all next time, mortals – but until then, remember: if we DON’T see each other again, it’s because a psychopathic man-child conned enough foolish, simple-minded fleshsacks into voting him president despite having no ability to handle the job and has likely started an apocalyptic war that has left the world in ruin and the human race extinct. And that pisses me off because that’s MY schtick, and I don’t take kindly to gimmick infringement. – EWE
Greets and salutes, mortals! How are we this evening? Me, you ask? Oh, I’m experiencing…some rather bothersome discomfort (Editor’s Note: MIND BOGGLING PAIN) brought on primarily by the seasonal weather. Rather than vent my irritation by converting my lovely apartment complex into a necromancy factory – good idea, that – I have instead settled on catching up with all of you. Aren’t you lucky?! The correct answer to that is yes. Unless you like being set on fire. Then feel free to answer no.
Now, as the title above would suggest, the first item on the agenda tonight is my latest literary lark. Actually, lark might not be the best word, considering this is a 1500 page mammoth, but I like my alliteration, so fuck it – lark it is. Anyway, if you recall WAY back when, I gave my impressions of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, the first book in Sanderson’s epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archives. I’ll let you read my original impressions on that first book for yourself – but in short, I found it a very promising start to a series, particularly if you are a fan of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. After finishing The Way of Kings, I eagerly started the second book of the series, Words of Radiance.
I am very pleased to say that if you were a fan of the first book, you will definitely find more to love in the second. My primary complaint about TWoK was that it could be somewhat confusing in the way it blasted the reader with new information, concepts, and terminology – sometimes it required quite a bit of work on the part of the reader to piece these together into a coherent tapestry. But by the time you’ve begun to read WoR, you have finished TWoK and are familiar with this world and its systems. Consequently, as a reader you can focus on what Sanderson has shown himself to be a burgeoning master of – world and character building.
All of the major characters left standing at the end of TWoK return for WoR, and some new ones are introduced as well. The most developed characters, and likely by intention, are Kaladin and Shallan – but none of the characters lack for significant development here. One of the elements that I love the most about this series so far is that these men and women are flawed – not in cliche, obvious ways, but in real, believable ways. As with many epic, sweeping narratives, at this stage it is difficult to identify any card-carrying villains – while some characters actions or plots may seem more sinister, or less honorable, than others, it is made clear that each one is acting for what he or she truly believes is the greater good. And the world itself is a character – Sanderson’s vivid descriptions and the way in which its harsh and violent nature impacts the characters and action add tremendously to the story.
Speaking of action, I am a big fan of the way Sanderson scripts his action sequences. In particular, the climactic battle in the closing chapters is an absolute gem – I couldn’t stop reading until I’d finished it. Quite frankly, that sentiment applies to the entirety of this novel – once I started it, it consumed all of my spare moments until I had finished it. My biggest gripe is that based upon Sanderson’s website, the rough draft of Book Three is still only 95% complete – meaning it will still be quire some time before we have it in our hands. Goddammit, Sanderson – how dare your massive creative endeavor take more time than I want to wait!
But what do you need when you are engrossed in a great book? Why…a great drink, of course! And nothing says fun like EWE’s Rum Punch!
This fun concoction that is relatively simple to make. At it’s base, you’ll need Disaronno, Malibu / Captain Morgan Coconut Rum, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Take a tall tumbler glass, fill with ice, then combine one part Disaronno, two parts rum, and fill the glass with equal parts cranberry and orange juice. Garnish with a lime, cherry, or both, and enjoy.
But why let the fun stop there? There are any number of varieties of flavored rum out there from both Captain Morgan and Malibu – pineapple, mango, passion fruit, etc. You can also substitute other fruit juices, such as pineapple, cherry, etc. So long as you base it with Disaronno and finish with orange juice, you’re going to be in good shape. Well, until you have had four or five because they’re so damn good and you don’t notice the alcohol. Then you might not be in good shape. But fuck it – you won’t care!
And that brings us to bears. Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “how can even EWE possibly shoehorn bears into this in any kind of coherent way?
I was humbled and honored to be nominated for a PANDA Award by the lovely and talentedLightningEllen at Conquering the Gaming Backlog. Her blog is a true gem – while the title may give away that she is chronicling her epic journey through the ever-expanding backlog that we gamers inevitably accrue (I feel you, kid. The struggle is real. The struggle is real real), giving us her thoughts, impressions, reviews and insights along the way, that isn’t the end of the story. From touching tributes on Remembrance Day, sharing slices of her life (I’m currently scheduling an Amiibo intervention for you), giving glimpses of upcoming games and demos – it is an absolute treat every time I catch up on your posts. All of you, minions, go forth and follow her, read her words, and be better for it. Or I will find you. And then no one will find you. EVER. AGAIN.
As LightningEllen said in her post, this award is particularly special because it was founded byMr. Panda, a mainstay here in the blogging universe who has always been quick with a kind word, comment, or critique in my short time here as a malevolent omnicidal demon blogger. What makes this award different? Well, I will quote LightningEllen, quotingThe Shameful Narcissist, quoting Mr. Panda, because I can: “This award is much different from the other chain awards floating around out there. PANDA stands for ‘Play A New Day Award’. I’ll quote the Shameful Narcissist’s quote of Mr. Panda’s explanation: ‘I want to encourage others to play for another day. No matter what is going on, whether in the world, your country, your home, or even in your mind, I want you to play for a new day. We’re all in this together, and we can make it together.’”
The rules for the PANDA are quite simple.
Thank the person who nominated you.
Nominate any number of people for the award.
Encourage them in any way, whether through thanking or complimenting them.
In considering my nominations, I must first note that LightningEllen managed to nominate a number of the same folks that I would have as well – and her words for them would be echoed by me. But in addition to those fine folks:
Anna at Anonymously Autistic – Autism is something near and dear to my heart, as my youngest son is autistic. No matter how much I may try to learn about and understand what that means, all the science in the world is not as insightful as a look through the eyes of someone that sees the world in much the same way that he does. For that, I can never thank you enough. What you do is an amazing gift for so many people, autistic or not.
Donna at Dine And Rhyme – While it is no secret to anyone that reads my blog regularly that I LOVE FOOD, far fewer people know that I also have loved and admired poetry for most of my life. My senior thesis in high school English was an original book of (horrendously awful) poetry. Not only do I admire the work itself, but I have the utmost respect for people that put their thoughts and feelings into prose and then open themselves by putting those poems for the world to see. Thank you for your blog.
Toreishiat Toreishi Games – told you before about the fantastic reviews over at Toreishi’s blog, but I think I’ve come to look forward even more so to any post titled “This is not a post and the cake is a lie.” Because I know hilarity is about to ensue.
Beauty Beyond Bones – I don’t know if I even have sufficient words to express my respect for you. I know something of dark places, and crawling out of them, and while we may not always agree on ideologies, you chronicle your struggles and triumphs with grace and eloquence, and in doing so, you are a source of inspiration for innumerable people that may be in a similar place. You should be very proud – not just for your own journey, but for offering your experience to others as well.
And with that, my little ones, we come to the end of tonight’s journey. As always, I am grateful and humbled that you joined me. Whatever the cause of my sleepless nights – be it pain, confusion, loneliness, or what have you, I take solace in knowing that you are there. If you ever need someone who has wronged you punished…or their family…or friends…or neighbors…you get the point – I’m your Evil Wizard. – EWE