Friday, 26 October 2012


“Get Up!”
Graus winced, willing himself to stand.  It was a hard labor, and Nevin standing over him was no help.
“You want to help fight?  Then stand!”
Slowly, haltingly, Graus took his knee.  The wooden sword in his hand shook as he pulled it from the dirt.  Graus was battered and bruised, and felt liked he’d not felt in a while. 
Nevin seemed to relax.  He placed his feet shoulder width apart.  Graus took pains even to meet his eye, easily five feet over his head, and settled on looking him in the white beard. 
With more dogged effort, Graus pulled himself to stand, shaken, but determined.
“Heh, that hurt Uncle…”
Nevin waited a moment, then responded, “Oh, yeah, and what are you going to do about it?”
Standing at full height, Nevin was two full feet taller than Graus. 
“I’m gonna stand!  That’s what I’m going to do.”
“Heh,” Nevin stood again, obviously beaming with pride over the child’s progress.  ”Sure, but why am I gunna let you?”
Graus took his stance, wood sword at the ready.  Nevin just stood, arms folded, wood sword in his elbow, looking down.  Tension filled the space between them.
“You didn’t see it coming…”
“I’ll see the next one and dodge it no problem.”
“And you only just now shook off the ego whip.”
“It won’t happen again…”
“It shouldn’t.  I taught you how to empty your mind…”
“Well, shall we try that again?”
“No ‘party tricks’ this time!”
“And ruin all of my fun?  All I did was jump out of range and hit you with my extended reach…”
“You promised not to use those until you taught me!”
“And you’d of learned them by now if you were paying attention!”

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Another change?

Hey all.  You've no doubt noticed the inconsistency here.  I want to start by reaffirming that I do indeed want to keep up this blog.  Now comes the bad part.

So I notice how many of my posts are video game related.  As in using a great twist in my self definition of the blog to go off on tangents in video games that don't relate to pen and paper role playing games.  Or writing creatively.  I'd like to keep that up, but I'm aware of how much of my writing takes video games for a subject.  I'm not going to fight the madness anymore, but I will channel it into a proper video game blog.  That should keep the content here streamlined and focused on role playing games and creative writing.

That also means I need to make a great effort to come back to regular posts.  Heh, sorry again.  Again. :( But I hope you guys will indulge me, as my many myriod thoughts on video games will likely keep the creative energies few and far between.  Not withstanding new projects.  I've got to choose those more carefully...

Hope to write you guys again soon.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Gender Bender

Sunday, October-14-12

The Legend of Zelda: The Gender Bender

This was prompted by the Game Overthinker, aka MovieBob.  His latest show, Ask Ivan, was a mailbag episode that answered a load of viewer questions before proceeding to get his butt kicked in live-action shtick by … himself, in a robo mask!  Campy, silly, and funny! Love it!  But he broached a question that kind of upset me, and I needed a moment to process why.
“Hey Nintendo.  You should make Link from the Legend of Zelda series a girl!  I mean, why not, as there is no story reason why Link can’t be a girl ever given in the series.  You should do this Nintendo.  You should make Link a girl!”

Now, I’m not going to start in with the stereotypical chauvinist answer many feminists are expecting.  I’m going to use feminist arguments to prove why this idea isn’t all that good.  Link shouldn’t be a girl because it would be superficial.  Let all the sensational internet drama calm down now.  Go see the 14 minute video if you still want to have that argument.

Moving on to the question of why Link can’t be a girl, in the sense that a genuinely fleshed out three dimensional character with fears, feelings, and needs, who just happens to be a girl is given a green tunic, a legendary sword, a shield, and a bow (preferably sometime before the fifth dungeon – common Nintendo, you know I’m right about Skyward Sword bringing it in too late), well, there is no good reason not to explore that.  But Link is traditionally not a fully fleshed out three dimensional character.  He’s something of a pasty white boy blank slate, with elf ears!  Changing this character into a girl is completely possible, but falls totally in line with the “women as objects” rhetoric commonly challenging video gaming culture.  Ladies and gentlemen, please consider exhibit A.  There’s an alternate link to it here.

But even as I thought this, I thought about the logical exceptions.  In some senses, women already are taking Links’ place.  Ladies and gentlemen, please consider exhibit B, The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest attraction contained pack-in in Nintendo Land.  Exhibit B starts from the idea that Link can be swapped out for miis, and in that sense the miis only need to cosplay him, but can have all of the adventures he is known for while wearing these guises.   It suggests that you can take a character with all his or her own personality, put them in Link’s shoes, and even play cooperatively and asynchronously to the other characters.  It definitely recalls The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords and Four Swords Adventure favourably.

So what if the next Four Swords involved four actual swords of destiny, rather than one sword and sword wielder split into four?  What if each of the four could be different characters, each with something unique to do?  And what if one of those four just happened to be female? More? That would be a girl Link worth playing!  Yes, even if she was just a blank slate like the previous Links.  Seriously, we’ll reach gender equality eventually, just remember: baby steps.

Thanks for reading!