The Prequel Effect

“The Prequels Suck!” How many times have you heard this? How many times have you uttered this yourself? Which prequels am I talking about? Well, the most obvious answer for those of you who follow me is the Star Wars prequel trilogy, released between 1999 and 2003, all of which were directed by Star Wars mastermind George Lucas. These movies were contentious, to say the least, because they were ultimately something quite different than what the Gen X and Gen Y Star Wars fans that grew up with the original movies wanted. There have been hours-long commentaries and documentaries on…

Continue reading

That Other World

Sometimes, somedays, you can almost get there. You can just see it, like it’s on the edge of your periphery, with its blending of slanted light among bright, endless colors. You can lay in a dark room and see it, just for a few moments, without really going there, and you get a smell of the grass, of the wind, of the water running through it. Just a few fleeting seconds… perhaps even a minute, where the mind is free of its shackles but before sleep finally takes you to its churning chaos. The fields stretch on, for forever and…

Continue reading

Wagey Slavie in his Gilded Cagey

Vaccine mandates are quickly becoming one of the most divisive and revealing political gambits in my lifetime. They are divisive because they occur entirely along the lines of political tribes on opposite sides of the friend/enemy distinction, with one side revering the jab in the same way a Christian reveres the sacraments with that same side desiring to impose it the way a Muslim might insist upon Halal food, while the other side simply wants to decide for themselves whether the risk is worth any supposed benefit. The mandates are revealing in that they show just what state most people…

Continue reading

Invoking Mammon to Spite Moloch

“Get woke, go broke.” It’s pure cope. But more than that, it’s evoking a vice (greed) as some counter, or some consequence, to the ideological propagation of the greater death cult. You need to take your arguments to a higher level, specifically the spiritual and moral level, because the “woke cult” is ultimately a moral vision, and to defeat a moral vision, you need a superior moral vision. As a practical matter, virtually no individual suffers any kind of consequence, especially financial, for participating in woke ideology. In fact, they receive benefits from it, usually financial, even when their ideological…

Continue reading

I’m Insane

I’ve spent my life talking to people who don’t exist. No, I don’t mean you, dear readers, who are (to me) digital abstractions of people that could be real, but that point bears touching upon. We spend a great deal of our time online, communicating with other people without knowing much about their personhood—what they look like, or where they live, or how they operate in the moment. These people are bite-sized samples of humans, picked up and tasted in 240 character minipaks or 30-second videos. And yet, I think these fractional-exposure people are far more real than the people…

Continue reading

Average Girl

She’d be called average, or perhaps that might be slightly generous. You know this, and yet to you, she is beautiful, even captivating. She walks beside you, and you can’t help but gaze at her, letting her eyes hold yours. She’s round-faced and nut-haired, modestly dressed more to hide being slightly overweight than for any desire to appear chaste. Her rose cheeks, blushing from either the late spring sun or her own feelings for you—you can’t tell which, though there is one you prefer to believe—have a smattering of freckles under those captivating eyes of… almost grey.  As you walk…

Continue reading

Graphics Matter, Actually

Gameplay over graphics! This is what you’re going to see from a lot of gamers these days, especially those on “my side” of things. They aren’t wrong. The problem is, these things are usually presented as a dichotomy, or at least discussed as one—you are either choosing good gameplay or good graphics. The reality is we’re looking at a field for both things, a matter of emphasis, often a matter of art and graphics actually do matter. In fact, they matter a lot. Visuals sell games. Since you cannot really “show” what gameplay is like as an experience, you instead…

Continue reading

You make your own reality

This thesis has two applications, both literal, but only one objective. First, your perception of reality is reality, insomuch as singular subjects we cannot comprehend all of reality, only that which our senses detect and our intellect is able to interpret and contextualize. This has many forms that we don’t need to get into here, but a quick example would be seeing a tree and recognizing that it belongs to the category “tree,” which then provides you a predictive model for the properties of the object and how it will act. Second, as humans are empowered with the capacity to…

Continue reading

High School, Forever

Seems a little odd that brands (D&D and MTG) built on escapist fantasy would circle back around high school, doesn’t it? When I look up on Twitter the people who create such things, one of the thoughts that doesn’t pop into my mind is, “This looks like a person who was happy and socially successful in high school.” Besides the nerd brands, we have a vast swath of similar Harry Potter fans who are in their 30s, yet still write fan fiction about a wizard high school. What I’ve realized from interacting with these sections of millennial fandom is that…

Continue reading

Kindle Vella is Live

And I have a book available there: There are 11 episodes available now (there will be 38 total for this run), and the first three are available for free. Since I know many of the people who read this blog are authors or artists themselves, let me run through a few things about Vella, now that is live: First, there is a dissonance between what established authors are already trying to do with the platform, and what the platform was designed/intended to do. Vella is supposed to be a serial fiction platform, not a straight book-reading platform. There are 11…

Continue reading