Archived Blog Posts
One of the biggest complaints people have (mostly North Americans, I think) about the media today, is a lack of representation of different races and cultures. I was thinking about it today and realised how silly it really is. Let me explain...
The first problem is, who asked to be represented? I could make assumptions here, but I've never actually seen and heard a member of a poorly represented group ask to be represented. Mostly I see invisible writers on the internet (and journalists) asking for representation of groups they do not belong to. That said, I do think there is an issue with representation in the media, but not where the loud and annoying say it is.
The next issue is a big one. Who ever said it was a writer's responsibility to represent others? If anything, they should represent themselves and what they know best. There are no rules in writing, no one has the authority to place the responsibility of representation upon writers. When writers do try to represent other cultures and races they are often met with complaints of misrepresentation and cultural appropriation. Maybe we should leave it to people who know what they are doing., although I personally do not object to writers writing characters with other cultural or racial backgrounds to their own.
Lastly, why should there be representation? Is this an invented problem? Fiction is fiction, fantasy is fantasy. To expect your personal ideal world in every work of fiction you see, is lacking imagination and incredibly stupid. I think the real question though, is where should there be representation? I do not like that every time I turn the tv on, I see either people from one tiny corner of the country or North Americans. This is actually a problem. Writers are not going to fix this, it's not them that cause it. It's when actors are cast into races they don't belong to, or tv contestants are sourced from the same city suburbs, or programs are sourced from only a few countries that we see a meaningful lack of representation. Of course this is just for television, but you can imagine similar problems with other media.
This is a bit of an unusual post for this site, but I think it's important that someone says these things. There are too many people these days who blindly pursue a "social justice checklist" without thinking enough about it. Thankfully I don't think that kind of stuff extends much into the real world, but it does loom over it constantly. I will end this by saying that broad representation has been achieved in the past. Australia's SBS used to (And still is to a large extent) an excellent solution to the problem. No, every program on the channel is not a perfect colour pallette, but it has programs from all over the world, in many different languages. Instead of trying to control and force others into changing, SBS makes the change on its own. That is the best way to solve social problems.
I haven't been too consistent in updating the site lately. Things have been busy, and they are about to get busier. My course is nearly over, and soon I'll have to get a job. Feels good but mostly just scary after a whole year of sitting on my butt. On top of that I feel a real fear for the future, with the way the press and certain western countries are behaving about Russia and China at the moment, quite apart from the almost daily bullshit that goes on in my own country. I'm sure many of you can relate no matter what you believe. The cyberpunk dystopia is very real, but we don't seem to have much of the cool aspects of it. Anyway, my head is overflowing with ideas for the reviews section, I really want to flesh it out more this year. I'm also going to be posting more updates about game development - I am working on a new game. I'll give it its own page soonish. Oh and I might be expanding the purpose of this site...I have lots to say on politics and philosophy, so I might be doing little articles on those.
This website's first year is already coming to a close. It's been an odd year for me, kind of like the eye of the storm, with me having graduated university in January, and (if all goes well) getting my first job next year. I don't know how much time I'll have for the website. I found it very easy to lose entire days to writing up pages at first, but I'm faster at it now, since the styling is nice and comfy. Not sure I actually ended up pulling off "webpages based on old games" thing, but it's a look. Anyway, there's a bunch of things backed up for site updates, that I never got around to finishing, so at least I'm not short for content.
Divine Awakening progressed a lot this year, for which I'm very thankful. I didn't end up finishing the first level like I had planned, but it's almost done. Still not sure how much is safe to reveal here, I'll have to get in touch with some developers and publishers and get some advice on that. Depending on the response, you may see a demo here before long. This project is consuming me somewhat, which I am ok with.
Nature...I spent quite a lot of time outside this year. Not on a per/day basis, but I saw lots. Riding my bike around the neighbourhood and exploring the last parts I hadn't seen, felt a bit like saying goodbye. I'll probably come back someday, but who can tell where life will go. With all the rain and flooding (I lost count of the number of times the creek rose), this year has been a year of healing for the area, which is pretty nice. Since I haven't uploaded most of the photos here, what I saw this year is really going to end up as posts for 2022.
This is starting to become a diary isn't it? I'll finish up with my hopes and goals for 2022. It is a short list because I think next year is a time to do a few things, and do them well.
- Finish levels 1, and 2 of Divine Awakening. Aiming high, but I don't know how much time I'll have.
- Make some waves in my first job. It's only the first year, I'll have to focus on this most of all and do the best I can.
- Explore. I never want to stop doing this, and I have high hopes for the nature page.
- Learn lots. I'm finally going out into the world, time to learn as much as I can.
The Most Useful Information
I believe that everyone has something useful they can pass on. I thought it'd be interesting to be direct about it, and ask people what the most useful information they could tell me was. The results were...mixed. I'll summarise the responses I got below.
- 1. Keep breathing.
- 2. Mao died for your sins.
- 3. The coordinates to 50 gold bars (as an answer, I didn't get the coordinates :C).
- 4. Raw salmon is 10x better with soy sauce.
- 5. Rotary hammer drills are better for putting holes in concrete than driver drills with masonry bits.
- 6. Never eat yellow snow.
- 7. Don't judge people by racial stereotypes.
- 8. If she leaves you for another, there is always her mother.
- 9. Going by your gut feelings is important.
- 10. When you are typing something important in a browser, remember to select all and copy periodically, in case something happens.
At least two of these things is worth remembering, for me. I might keep asking around, it's entertaining at least.
Time and Energy
Time is strange. Months ago, it seemed like I had so much time left to get things done this year. Now it seems like it's almost over. Energy is the problem, I think. I seem permanently tired these days, for no apparent reason. Haven't had the energy to draw, haven't had the energy to work on my game. I've been focusing on my study and gaming mostly.
I've been looking through my photos, trying to find something worth uploading. I'm not very good at taking photos, most of them are blurry or have a photo-bombing finger. So there's not really going to be an update this week, maybe for a while.
Turns out Neocities won't allow .zip files, so there goes this week's update idea. I'll put something different together tomorrow. I discovered a depressing game today, and it goes like this: work out how many working weeks there are between now and the time you want to retire. Now work out how much you'd have if you set aside X amount and put it in a bank account every week. Scary stuff. I hope I can retire at 50. It's kind of a late retirement, but early considering what I've read is the average. Doubt I'll make a million unless I make something on the side. Certainly, it's worth saving money!! There's a saying, that goess something like "Every dollar saved, is a dollar earned". Some people really don't know how to do it though. I've had friends vent about not being able to afford food, and then fork out for some new expensive game. I'm just glad I was raised in a household that was careful with money. To be fair, games are relatively inexpensive, compared to other hobby items. Imagine being into Warhammer, or model aircraft, or boats. When you start looking at the numbers, suddenly it seems crazy to eat at restaurants every week, or pay for subscriptions, or to spend money on booze every week. It also brings it home how hard it is to make big money if you're not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Career choice is important of course. But much as the upper-middle class would like us to believe we can all make it, it's just... my favourite comparison is the greasy pole. A big greased up pillar with a bit of expensive food at the top. Watch the peasants struggling for a taste, keep them believing. Well, just don't fool yourself into thinking you can climb the ladder. People do nasty things to their fellow men and women when they think they can. Sadly it seems like most of the pushing and shoving doesn't achieve much. Anyway, save your money, don't spend outside your league, and things will be better.
Spring is finally here...sort of, it's a bit cold today. I recently splurged on a PS Vita, and I love the thing. It's quite a jump from my DSi, to say the least. Having a new handheld means more games actually finished, which also means more reviews. I'm currently playing Lords of the Fallen, Metal Gear Solid, Dragon Quest Builders, Star Ocean, Moon, and Princess Minerva. The last two will actually get reviews. It's hard to write them though! I didn't think it was, but obviously there is an art to making them entertaining. I'll have to work on it and try and find something to actually offer besides either gushing over style or turning mundane dot points into paragraphs. Actually, because of this I have decided to start playing....garbage, basically. There's not much point in writing reviews for games discovered via "top 10 X" lists.
Sadly, I have had to butcher the nature page somewhat. The "permission" I had to set foot on some of the properties around here is a little dodgy, and I'd rather not have problems with new and unacquainted neighbours. I'll be sticking to public places and my own home from now on. But on the bright side, I'm moving out soon so there will be somewhere new to explore.
Also I haven't watched anime in months and I'm having withdrawals...
Things to Look Forward to
I've been sick for the past week, not much fun. I'm looking forward to getting over it (although I almost have). Since there's some things going on in my life, there are quite a few things to look forward to actually. First of all, I can take my driving lessons again (hooray), so hopefully soon I'll be able to get my license, and then after that, apart from getting a job, I'll be able to poke around in town by myself again. I've missed that for a long time now. For this site, that means photos. Sometime I've also really got to visit one of the unused roads through the forests around here, it's one of the few closeby that I have yet to explore.
Other things to look forward to include a review for Genocyber, which so far seems a bit trashy, but with a strong vibe that I think makes it worth watching, and of course it's incredibly gory. I also keep telling myself I'm going to build a mud hut, maybe mentioning it here will help me actually stick to it. Besides that, I think it'd be cool to add a recommendations list to the review page, might help keep it interesting in between reviews. Eventually there will also be recommendations for other websites on neocities. Still sorting out who's who in the zoo of course...it is harder to seperate the work from the creator when personal websites are so personal.
How does a person stay humble? This has been bothering me. In a sea of idiots, a person who isn't particularly smart might start to think of themselves as some kind of genius, and it's certainly a sea of idiots out there on the net. Don't get the wrong idea, idiots have every right to exist, many of them are harmless enough. This is no criticism of them. But trying to avoid gaining an overinflated idea of oneself is a tough thing. "You need to go out more" is on point, but what if the real world only masks the stupidity a little better? I think the reasonable thing to do is keep these thoughts under control, we're all only human (at least I hope so).
Here is another source of frustration: Hating stereotypes. I'm tempted to think that very few people actually do this because of any thinking they've done themselves, but that's besides the point. Why do people have to insist that stereotypes are a bad thing? They are very useful. Imagine what your knowledge of cultures you haven't observed would be like without stereotypes. I think for many people, that's all they know, and in some cases that's better than nothing. Australians cling to Australian stereotypes because it gives them a national identity they might not have otherwise. There's often a grain of truth in the stereotypes too, and they are useful. For example, stereotypes about people at the bottom of society might be harsh, but that's because a significant proportion of people deserve them (emphasis on significant), so the stereotypes act as a warning or a protection against dangerous people. They also act as models, for what to do or not do. Again, this is something considered terrible, but guides for behaviour are very important to people who don't know how to behave. People will think thoughts involving the phrase "not everyone is like that...", but those are exceptions, and exceptions are...exceptional. We won't say that strawberries aren't red, because some exceptional varieties are white. I should add that I don't think it's appropriate to cling to stereotypes in the face of contradictions. That would be stupid. Better to throw away the stereotypes when you actually meet and interact with a person, although I can speak from experience when I say that this can be something you will regret. I've given people the benefit of the doubt only to have it backfire horribly, but that kind of story would hit sore spots for too many neocities visitors.
Well that was long rant. I'll try to keep negative posts like this to a minimum. I actually made this site as an escape from the rest of the internet. My own little island where I can keep things drama-free and fun. Soon to come will be that review I keep promising, and some character art for my game.
News and site updates
Hello hello. Quite a few pages recieved some updates today. I've added a few artworks, and prettied up the about page. The DA screenshots page will be coming soon (as soon as I have the screenshots!). I've had a lot more time for games lately, so the reviews page may be getting some content at last, in the coming weeks. In other news...a 30 minute attempt was made at 3d game development. I seriously need to brush up on my maths knowledge, I cannot remember a thing about vectors in 3 dimensions. Still, it's surprisingly easy to implement mouse-look and forward motion (at least in Godot). Also, I neglected to mention buying a 3d printer a few months back, I will definitely be posting about that at some point.
About the Arrows
Looks like I've accidentally been copying in download arrows left by a browser extension into my pages. Well now my site is blacklisted in the extension so that won't be happening again.
Style changes and an art tutorial
Hello readers! The last two weeks have been a good time for me, I've had a lot of time to work on my projects, including this site. Today I've added a small tutorial on how I make game sprites, it's linked in the sidebar. The sprite turned out to be one of my best, so do check it out. Since I'm adding longer pages, it's time to change the site navigation, so expect a little shuffle around in the near future (and hopefully a stylish one). Suggestions and feedback are welcome! Especially now that there's a guestbook.
Watch this space?
Haven't got much time to update the site, even though it's only new, but hopefully I'll add a bit more 'interactivity' here soon. I'll see if I can get a guest book or a comments section soon. I also need to finish putting all my artworks on here. This post is more or less just because I wanted to add something :')
Designing webpages based on old games
Whilst I'm preparing the pages in this site (making templates mostly), I've been trying to model them (not copy!) off different game covers and box arts. For example, this front page is somewhat modelled after the cover of a game called "Dragon Master Silk", and the Nature pages are modelled after the cover of a game called Taboo. It turns out many old "adult" games have really nice box art, although the actual games aren't always at the same standard. But if you like 90's design, you should definitely check them out. In the meantime, I'll be filling up the art archive pages and finishing off the templates.