Rin Plays: Doki Doki Literature Club

As much as I want to play Mystic Messenger’s newest route, the better part of my mind is annoyingly making a pretty convincing argument for not completely trashing my sleep schedule for the time being. So, I’m left getting my visual novel fix from other sources. Luckily, I stumbled upon one before the urge became unbearable.

Despite sounding like something I would name a fake game as a joke, Team Salvato’s Doki Doki Literature Club takes the typical slice of life school romance plots and uses its medium to make something truly memorable. While every dating sim and visual novel can be interpreted as a small, in-depth exploration of human (or human-like) nature, Doki Doki Literature Club uses its story to explore the extents of kindness and humanity, and if it can or should cross the boundaries of the narrative fourth wall, leaving players evaluating and re-evaluating their first impressions of the main characters. Before you continue on, reader, I highly suggest you experience everything DDLC has to offer before I spoil it for you. Team Salvato is offering the game for a “name your price” cost on the game’s itch.io page, as well as for free download from Steam. The first run will more than likely take around four hours to complete, but in my opinion it’s entirely worth it. One more thing: please, please heed the content warnings on the game’s page–they aren’t fucking around.

Doki Doki Literature Club Yuri

Screenshot taken by me

Massive spoilers below! Trigger warning for depression and self-harm. Continue reading

Magical Mondays: The Failed Feminism of The Shattered Court‘s Magic System

(via goodreads)

I’ve had a beaten-up copy of The Shattered Court lying around my apartment for some time now, and I finally decided it was time to give it a read. The book is the opener to a series, and introduces a Britain-based country with its own unique magical system. However, my interest in the book quickly turned to frustration and disappointment as I learned more about how the magic worked. While the series attempted to say some challenging things about gender and magic, it fell down harder and harder every time it tried.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Faith and The Flash

Most of the time, geeky media does a pretty poor job of utilizing religious ideas. So I was shocked when I watched the fourth season premiere of The Flash and found that amid the somewhat clunky storytelling, there was actually a pretty decent portrayal of faith. This episode can show us a bit about how Christians understand how faith works, even though religion-flavored faith had almost no role to play in the episode.

Spoilers for The Flash below!

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My Bad Luck with The Good Neighbors

(via tvtropes)

Happy Friday the 13th, all! I hope everyone is avoiding bad luck so far today. If you have, you’re luckier than me, because the most unfortunate thing happened when I sat down to read the graphic novel trilogy The Good Neighbors: I discovered a Holly Black series that I simply did not like.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Misconceptions and Truths About Vampires by glassteacup

“I believe what Yuuri is trying to convey is ‘Excuse me, Viktor. Did you say you’re a vampire?’” Phichit translates with grim cheer.

Yuuri’s squawk of distress confirms Phichit’s interpretation.

Viktor wrinkles his forehead, mystified. “Well, yes,” he says slowly.

Phichit hops up from the armchair to perch on the sofa’s arm, pulling Yuuri in protectively to his side. Yuuri tucks himself in and turns to gape at Viktor again.

It’s Viktor’s turn to boggle. “Wait. You mean you didn’t know, Yuuri?”

“No,” Yuuri snaps, eyes glittering and chin stuck out in the air.

Viktor’s jaw drops. Even the youngest newborn should be able to recognize their own kind. Has the state of turned vampires gotten to be so dreadful? Well, no. That can’t be it either. Phichit sensed him from at least three blocks away when they were stopped at the red light. “When were you turned?” he inquires. “If you don’t mind me asking,” he adds hastily for avoidance of risking any additional misunderstandings on this point.

Phichit points to himself. “1950s,” he says and then ruffles Yuuri’s hair, “And this one was around the 1900s.”

“Amazing,” Viktor murmurs. “How are you still alive?”

Now that October is properly upon us, my spooky loving heart is constantly begging for every vampire, ghost, magic, and every seasonal etcetera that I can get my eye globes on. I’d almost lost hope at finding a suitable fic for my Fanfiction Fridays post this month, but thankfully the Yuri!!! On Ice fandom was there for me, and among its multitudes of AUs I knew I could find the good vampire content I crave. glassteacup’s Misconceptions and Truths About Vampires wasn’t exactly what I was expecting–in only good ways–but what glassteacup is missing in perhaps more aesthetically vampiric characterization, they more than make up for with modern vampires just trying to get by and intriguing snippets of much deeper lore. Continue reading

Floating in Space: Identity and Humanity in Tacoma

I almost don’t know where to start talking about Tacoma. There’s a lot going on at once in the game and, yet, very little of it actually happens to the player character. Like The Fullbright Company’s first title, Gone Home, Tacoma combines a powerful and intimate story about human relationships with a genre setting that creates an immersive atmosphere for the player to piece that story together. In GH, that was the story of a family going through rough times and the setting was a “haunted house” they’d recently moved into, and in Tacoma, the story is that of the crew of a recently abandoned space station and the setting is the station they left behind. Also like its predecessor, Tacoma’s story is extremely inclusive. After playing Gone Home I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to see what they can do with a bigger budget now that this game is a huge success.” The answer is Tacoma, and it’s an answer that was worth waiting for.

Tacoma - Main hallway

The main hallway of Tacoma station; while there’s a cool zero gravity basketball mini game to play here and some fantastic views, the stories behind these doors are what makes the game memorable. (Screenshot from Tacoma.)

Major spoilers after the break.

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So I Finally Watched American Horror Story: Murder House

I may not like horror for its gore and jump scares, but I do like it for its willingness to delve into dark plotlines and creative worldbuilding. Unfortunately for me, most horror stories are too scary for my taste, and as it’s the month of Halloween, I was lamenting that I wouldn’t find a creepy story that could fulfill my needs without giving me nightmares. Last week, though, I finally decided to suck it up and watch the first season of American Horror Story, entitled Murder House. All ready for the trauma I was about to subject myself to, I started off the first episode with my finger hovering over the mute button on my controller, my feet conveniently propped up in front of my face to block the screen from view should I need it, and my sister-in-law on the phone to talk me through the worst of it.

My preparations were for naught, however, as I found out, much to my own delight, that while American Horror Story is dark and creepy, it is not scary. Murder House left me with some mixed feelings—the story often falls victim to convoluted storytelling, sexist and ableist tropes, and a camera that jumps from scene to scene with very few transition shots. Nevertheless, I found the story enjoyable enough to blow through it in no time, but the more I thought about it, the less happy I was with the overall experience. Murder House suffered from some really bad storytelling decisions—it tries to talk about complex and serious issues, but fails to adequately explore those issues with the care they deserve. Murder House captivated me for the story it wanted to be, but the story that it actually is is a lot less compelling.

Trigger warning for sexual assault and ableism below.

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