Representation is weird, readers. Since some people that enjoy a level of privilege also contend with marginalization, it’s difficult to say where we need to get better in our media. Despite men enjoying incredible amounts of privilege, we still have the task of dismantling toxic masculinity. While we are slowly but surely destroying the “no homo, bro” narrative of friendship, I would like to see more well formed male friendships in media that actually explore friendship and aren’t just used as passive plot traits.
This week’s Throwback Thursday is the original Sonic the Hedgehog trilogy. Widely considered an old-school favorite, the series had a lot going on: colorful visuals, tight gameplay, a jamming soundtrack, and an overall goal of coolness. If you couldn’t tell, Sonic is definitely one of my favorite series of all time (I use it for examples all the time). I hope to highlight a few aspects of it to tell you all why.
Though we’re in the midst of the tornado of news coming out of the Winter Olympics, there’s been some pretty big news in the video game world lately, too—so much so that I’ve decided to give you guys a two-for-one deal today. No need to thank me.
May as well get right into it. First, we have an either exciting or disheartening move (depending on your personal views) from Sega.
It’s the new year, and I feel excited about video games. I am excited about the mountain of games I acquired as presents and with gift cards, as well as games coming out later this year. For as much as I love good games, I am sad over how many of my friends and family just don’t enjoy them the way I do. Whether they lack interest or skill, it’s always difficult to share this part of my life with them. That’s why I’m trying to think of new ways for me to try and share my gaming experience with them.
There are of course the games that are fun to play with a group despite the challenges of the game. Games like New Super Mario Bros. U, Call of Duty, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are great because, due to their tendency toward bullshit difficulty spikes, the whole group enjoys the accomplishments of even two players finally beating a level. Plus, the shared suffering leads to lively conversation. Other games which have narrative arcs which tend to appeal to those outside of the medium are always fun to pass and play, even if some people are terrible. These games include Alice: Madness Returns, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Resident Evil 5, and they tend to be just as fun to watch as to play if you are already invested in the subject matter. Hell, some games are such a spectacle that it’s fun to pass and play without any narrative context. Call of Duty and Halo attract droves of casual players who only play in groups. Any of these are fine, but I feel my repertoire lacks a certain “universally appealing” punch. So imagine my delight and excitement as I realize a way to better involve more people in the same games I already love. Continue reading
So, remember a couple weeks ago when I said that I was having a hard time finding any good Sonic fanfiction? Yeah, turns out I was only having a hard time remembering what was in my bookmarks. So congratulations, Sonic fandom, you can put one tally on the ‘good’ side of your fanfic scoreboard. Outside of the fandom that it’s from, what makes this story even more surprising is that it came from DeviantArt and that it doesn’t involve any romance. Someone should go call Satan because I’m pretty sure Hell just froze over. Or, instead of that, just read As a Rose Blooms by kiss-the-thunder.