100 posts. Felt I should make a big thing of it. Sadly, I couldn’t think what before I got stuck behind on things I really want to talk about.

First thing’s first though: the dissertation. That is what this category’s about after all. I actually finished it well before Christmas and have just got it back. And I didn’t fail! Hurrah!

Not that I expected to. Quite a bit of work went into this.

I was meant to be writing this blog as I wrote my dissertation but wound up behind on the blog, so here it is. One dissertation attached. I hope this helps anyone trying to do the same thing for their own essays, as I did get a fair few references in there which might direct someone else’s studies a bit. Anything helps. Possibly a little heavy on the websites rather than books which are preferred, but hey; I passed so it can’t be too bad.

How Do Digital Games Positively Affect Society as a Whole?

So that’s the title. I hope someone finds it an interesting read.

Anyway, last time on my blog (not this category, but a different one) I said I’d come out of my shell creatively. Not counting the dissertation, this left me with three options:

Option 1: Upload a shoddy story draft because I’ve not had time to improve any of my creative writing to a level I’m comfortable with.

Option 2: Upload a shoddy game prototype because I’ve not had time to improve any of my prototypes to a level I’m comfortable with.

Option 3: Upload a mediocre drawing or two because my skills as an artist aren’t outstanding yet and I’m not really anything special compared to some other people I know.

Then I remembered that I’m too self-conscious about my work by miles. I may not quite be the best artist or writer I know, but I’m not the worst either, and others have made that step of showing their work to the light before it even got as good as mine is now. Still, not trying to hold myself above them. If you had limitless power, you’d never know if you had any courage or not. I’m going to get better than I am, and there’s nothing wrong with showing where I’m at before I hit my ultimate potential. Actually, it’d be moronic to hold back that long.

So, you readers get to watch me grow.

What will I upload then? Simple. The first teaser for my first planned commercially available game!

Design is still in early days, and I haven’t actually finalised the name. Nor have I yet composed the soundtrack, built the environments, or finished all the concept art. But. I will. And if you’re concerned this is another empty promise, allow me to set those fears at ease now.

My game design demo is actually my university major project. Having to make one of these is why the dissertation on my course is so absurdly small. Most of my attention is going to this. I have never failed to submit an assignment in time. This means a fully playable demo of the game WILL be made by June. After that, I may spend a little more time fine-tuning it, but then I will make the demo actually available to play.

Once I have that full demo, the plan is to put it on Kickstarter. Haven’t got a clear estimate on all costs yet for the development of the full game, but as soon as the demo is made I’ll be out of uni and with no student loan to cover me, so supplementary job time. Whether or not I make the needed amount on Kickstarter will have a huge impact on how much time I can dedicate to the project. Earliest estimate is 18 months starting in June, but it may take up to three years depending on how I’m doing financially. As you can imagine, anything I raise through kickstarter will be a huge help! Also might see if I can get some other forms of backing, but I’m not holding up hope.

So the first teaser is this:

Don't steal. Not that you'd want to, but this image is my property. It has a daoinelibra watermark and everything.

Protagonist: Cassie

A little bit of character art. Not the best picture I’ve done (better at using pencil than digital drawing) so I’m not really 100% comfortable with it. Probably won’t be the final one, though I’m sticking with it for this demo just because of how many different characters and expressions I have to get done, with assets and environments to top it off. Also currently learning Python, so as I’m sure you can imagine I’m a little stretched thin right now.

Might upload a basic prototype at some point, though I don’t think any of them are really fit yet for viewing. I may also upload more art as I go along to keep people interested. Or get them interested. I don’t know. Rest assured there is much more for the game done than this, but you don’t play your whole hand in one turn.

Two posts are still in the works, one being a review and the other being something… A little more different. And hopefully very interesting. Interesting in that I think it might attract this little blog more attention than it’s ever had before. Eyes open!

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I am seriously lagging here. A Christmas special has come and gone and I missed the chance to see it. Not only that, but I still haven’t written my thoughts on the last one! Not that anyone really cares and I might stop doing this, but still…

I would watch the new Doctor Who right now if not for having told the family I’d watch with them, then they had visitors over and… well whatever. Figured it’d be best to write this before my opinions get coloured by the latest episode. so here are my pure, unadulterated opinions on the 50th anniversary special:

It was good. I liked seeing the Zygons back. They hadn’t appeared since before I was born. I also thought John Hurt did a good job as I knew he would, and it was nice to see David Tennant. And yet…

I don’t know. I think my judgement might be poor at the moment due to a lot of factors, and it was a really great day when The Day of the Doctor came out. I’d dedicated the whole day to Doctor Who. Went to visit a very good friend I’d not seen in ages and together we watched loads of Doctor Who including An Adventure in Space and Time, a film about William Hartnell. It was just a brilliant day all-around and one I really needed thanks to the amount of stress responsible for me being so behind on this blog. Things have been crazily stressful lately, and just when it seems things are going well suddenly it all goes wrong in ridiculous and often unpredictable ways.

But that was a great day, and this episode was part of what made it a great day. It’s hard to separate my thoughts on why it was a great day from the episode itself.

After a little while though I managed, and my thoughts changed somewhat.

As good as the episode was, it was really taking liberties with the continuity. Lately every episode has been a big one. Admittedly that one really needed to be huge to commemorate 50 years, but I’d like to see an episode that isn’t one of Moffat’s grand schemes. One that’s just a monster of the week and little more to it than that. No recurring character deaths, no regenerations, no massive comebacks by a nostalgic enemy, just… An episode that stands alone. Not that I dislike the alternative, but we need a break. Not the show being put on hold (heavens no) but the over-arching story.

Anyone remember The Empty Child? Of course you do. It’s one of the most notorious stories since the revival. A two-parter with absolutely nothing to do with the episode before, not a lot to do with the previously established continuity (though it didn’t break it) and made for a lot of fun on its own. And that was a big one. We also had the likes of The Unquiet Dead, and The Long Game. And the next series, Tooth and Claw, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Idiot’s Lantern… So many standalone episodes which just… worked. They didn’t need the continuity to hold them up. I do love the continuity but for crying out loud, let it sleep for a while.

Back in those days the episodes did still all tie in together and build the foundation for the season finale, but they felt a lot more like stories and a lot less like foreshadowing, even when they contained some. We have had a few of those in recent years too (A Town Called Mercy, The Rings of Akhaten) but they’re getting fewer and farther between. The result is the climaxes seem to be more common than the normal episodes. We don’t get many new aliens unless something big is going down.

Ideally I’d say about 3-4 returning antagonists per season maximum, in seasons of around 11 episodes. Not forever, just for a little while. Means the writers have to be more creative and whenever we do get a little nostalgia trip it feels awesome. The universe gets bigger, we get more things that can be called back to later, and nobody can deny the series has still got it. At least one two-part story as well, because lately the pacing of individual episodes has sped up. Before my time there were stories that went on for a number of episodes and didn’t have much to do with the grand scheme of things, but were entertaining as stories. I’m not saying I want it to definitely slow down that much, but I think just a little. Get us some energy back, refuel, travel the galaxy some more. A break from the show wouldn’t do that, but a pause from the shadow of the continuity would.

Back to The Day of the Doctor though.

It was an awesome episode, I laughed a lot at seeing what Tennant had been getting up to with Queen Elizabeth the first, and I think we all know by now what really happened to Gallifrey. Unless I don’t know and only think I do, and really you all know something I don’t because I haven’t seen the Christmas special yet.

Because of that last fact, I will not be checking my blog and will barely use the internet until I’ve seen it, so I can avoid any spoilering spoilsports.

After I have seen it… It may not be the first post I make. You see, the next post is meant to be a big one. Not done a life update or a module update in a while, and seeing as I finished two modules last week that kind of needs doing. Also, big things have happened in every major franchise I’m a rabid fanboy of, which is several. The only reason I haven’t been posting about them too is I’ve little time and I’ve posted about every episode of Doctor Who since I started this blog so I don’t feel like stopping without warning.

Most importantly, the next thing I publish will be my 100th post, so it has to be special. Working on doing something creative, and finally making the step from saying I’m going to post something of my own creative works and actually doing it. Coming out of my shell creatively. Might revive my deviantart too.

So… Next post I can make no promises on, but I am intending for it to be very soon. In the meantime, I have some Doctor Who to go watch.

Somehow this time it was easier to write in Word. Oh well. Not managed to construct a formal bibliography so none of my citations can be easily looked up. In the actual dissertation, they will be. I’ve not given up on getting this finished by the time the weekend is through, but I’m not certain of it. Going to damn well give it a good shot though.

So this bit is actually going to go before all the stuff about primary school because I think it fits better this way. Here goes:

Are games really bad for people, or do they serve a higher purpose?

Since the conception of computer games, they have been frequently argued to have negative consequences for children’s development, and to be highly unhealthy; being responsible for increased aggression and violent behaviour (Chalk, 2013; Kain, 2013). Usually these claims are poorly backed-up, and it has been argued many times that computer games are merely the latest victim of a trend to turn new developments into scapegoats for violent crimes (Renée, 2013). Games would not be the first form of entertainment media to receive this treatment, as the same comments have been levelled at genres of music in the past (Heep, 2007).

I would argue however, that videogames may well be enormously positively contributing to society in ways that have been tremendously overlooked by the most vocal opposition to computer games.  Specifically, I believe computer games to be serving the great purpose of aiding education; to children and adults alike.

Chapter 2

In spite of claims opposing computer games, many schools have in recent years been making use of them as an education resource (European Schoolnet, 2009, pp.5; Mackay, 2013). To understand the thought behind this decision, it may be useful to take a look at how and why the concept of a “game” was invented.

Unfortunately, this is impossible, as it is unknown what the first game even was. This is because games have been recorded as having existed for millennia, with the ancient Egyptian game of Senet dating back as far back as 3500 B.C. (Andrews, 2012). Senet is by no means a simple game, involving a set of pieces, a board, and dice. Considering the existence of vastly less complicated games such as Noughts & Crosses and play-fighting, it seems impossible that a game like Senet would be one of the earliest in existence. This would suggest that games must have existed for even longer, though how much longer is certainly unknown, and presumably unknowable.

While the origin and therefore intended purpose of games (or even why entertainment exists) cannot be traced, it is not difficult to find information that may provide an answer. That is that humans are far from the only species to have developed games.

Games have been observed being performed by creatures of all descriptions. The majority of these (such as kangaroo boxing) appear to serve no purpose. The reason why kangaroos might fight one-another despite a lack of any grudge or anything to compete over is a straight-forward one: to obtain fighting experience.

If a kangaroo were to not practice boxing with its peers, it would not know how best to fight in the event of coming across a genuine threat, and would likely be killed. By learning and honing its physical capabilities, the kangaroo can prepare itself for combat in a low-risk setting, with other kangaroos nearby to help if it somehow doesn’t go well. This of course, does not merely apply to kangaroos, but is a crucial part of the natural world. Bears, lion cubs and various other mammals have been seen engaging in these acts in their natural habitats.

It isn’t just fighting either. Horses have been known to play games of tag (Perin, 2012), crows have been observed inventing games to play with random pieces of man-made rubbish (Thomas, 2010). Even insects have been witnessed taking part in activities seemingly serving no purpose other than to have fun (De Coven, 2010).

Considering that the genetic distance between humans and other mammals is far smaller than that between birds and insects, it is safe to assume that play is no less meaningful to humans than to any other creature. Furthermore, as evolution favours the strong species, it seems unusual that so many hundreds of creatures would exist with time-wasting ingrained into their genes. The only logical assumption is that play is serving a vital purpose to all creatures.

Here it is, as I said it would be. Another post that will hopefully rack up a decent word-count without me stopping for absurd lengths of time. As writing should be written I suppose. Then I’ll just take what’s usable and slap it in the diss. And heavily edit it so it looks appropriate.  As I said, better to start from something than from a blank page, and the words come out easier when personalised. I can dehumanise myself all I want afterwards, but I can’t write from the perspective of a robot because I am not a robot. Maybe some of you out there can? Big whoop. This suits the way I think better. Can’t concentrate or write anything worth reading if I’m trying really hard to be toneless and dull.

So the subject is why games are used in schools, this time. It’s part of my whole evil plot to make games out to be the master tool for education that basically renders pretty much everything else that goes on in schools redundant. I mean uhh…. to… encourage…. the greater use of games in education and stand by them against those who think games are “bad” for people. Especially the attitude that games are time-wasting. Playing games is a productive exercise and I am going to explain why. Had an argument with someone over this last night and while he made the odd valid point, if people are only playing games and not working, that is not the designer’s responsibility. We discourage that kind of behaviour in games quite strongly.

For example, in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Link’s elderly neighbour Sturgeon has a paper advising against staying up all night playing, along with the tutorials for everything else. It is common in games these days to feature a warning before the game even starts, on this very subject. The recent Grand Theft Auto V features a character named Jimmy De Santa (formerly James Townley) who is a pot smoking, whiny, obese 20 year old who plays games and does nothing useful. In other words, a parody of the kind of person who spends all their time playing games. With so much to persuade otherwise, games and their designers cannot be held responsible for the decisions of players . I’ll leave arguing against that to someone else, as it is not the purpose of my dissertation and I’ve hit a massive side-track here. The basic point I’m making is that games in moderation are a good thing.

So why are they a good thing and not merely a “not necessarily bad if you don’t waste all your time on them and never go outside” thing?

Finally, we get to the title of this post.

Games are used in schools to teach kids. I have some surveys and various pieces of evidence to back up this claim in the diss (right now I’m trying to write without stopping, but when the dissertation is done I can upload).

I would have liked to observe a class, but as I said last time, because I don’t have a PhD, any information I gather from my own experiments can’t be used so I might as well not bother. Fortunately, my mother works in a primary school and my father in a secondary, so I was able to get information from them; which I can then get a bunch of “experts” unrelated to me backing up. Just a start for my research into the area. Today, I’m looking at primary schools.

Games give the opportunity for practical experience of processes e.g. numeracy. Games such as Snakes and Ladders encourage children to count one at a time, matching one numeral to one step.

A game was mentioned in my correspondence called “Number Shark” (I’ll have to look that one up) which is apparently a computer game that gives lots of practice at many levels of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. It has many games on it and inbuilt rewards, apparently.

Also mentioned was Junior Scrabble, being used to teach literacy.

Games give practice in turn-taking, sharing, speaking and listening. Some games introduce social situations for the children to consider and do the right thing.

So that’s a whole load of reasons why some games are good for kids, and nobody’s really arguing against those, are they? Not to my knowledge. But wouldn’t it be crazy if the big mainstream titles developed specifically for profit served similar purposes and were also teaching, without any branding as edutainment titles? Impossible, right? That games designed to teach wouldn’t be superior to games not made for that purpose?

Actually, what we really need to look into is how come educational games teach. Yes, they give experience, but is there something else going on?

I would say so. Games are built on “fun”. So… what is “fun”? It seems highly unlikely that we would develop a totally redundant biological response to a situation. After all, we feel pain when injured to try and stop us from doing things that cause pain again, or alert us if something is wrong that needs looking at. It may not be perfect, but it most of the time is able to fulfill that purpose. Similarly, feelings of attachment to others make us more likely to attempt to prevent them from coming to harm. As humans aren’t solitary creatures, this has been useful in perpetuating the species.

The biological purpose of fun and games is simple: learning.

I have this whole massive bit written up about various species of animal playing games for fun that prepare them for later life. Can and will drag it up in the actual dissertation. Kangaroos, bears, even some insects. Sources all to come.

Oddly though, I’ve found nothing on animals sitting around reading boring documents and taking part in high-pressure exam situations. Perhaps because THAT is the time-wasting.

Fun situations help you learn. If you enjoy something, you will be concentrating on it. The point of games is to put you in a situation in which you are enjoying yourself, thus paying it absolute attention with no negative  emotions whatsoever. Boredom is a response to not learning from an experience. If you do not find it interesting, you might…. scrunch up pieces of paper to throw at the guy in front. Maybe suffer from stress or anxiety, which can damage health.

Fun on the other hand generates only positive emotions, and according to countless things I’ve read but can’t stop to cite as sources at this point in time, thus rendering this entire post useless to anyone but myself; a positive outlook is good for your health.

So effectively, the deliberately stressful environment of schools is actually harmful to children, whereas teaching methods revolving around play that the children are actually enjoying are good for them. I have said before, I learned more playing Banjo Kazooie than I learned at secondary school, because in spite of it not being in any way an edutainment title, I was enjoying it. The school environment I instead found oppressive and upsetting, so I wasn’t learning.

From the aforementioned game, I learned the controls, any words mentioned I didn’t already know, how to apply the same skills to different activities to achieve success at them, and… more things than I was even aware of learning. Because I was attempting to win a game and save a young bear from a witch, I never stopped to think about all the random things I might be learning to do because that didn’t strike me as interesting. What did? Witches on broomsticks, and cartoon bears. So by taking advantage of that, the game was able to maintain my interest while very subtly teaching how to develop my own responses to situations. Granted neither the responses nor situations were things that could ever genuinely happen, but what mattered was that I was learning to figure them out on my own. Because of that ability, I do not need to be told how to do something to do it. I have developed the initiative to work it out.

In life we are presented with situations to figure out what to do about them. Many of these situations will have dire consequences should we do the wrong thing. In a game, the consequences are limited to a virtual world. They don’t matter. We can go over them as many times as we want, make as many mistakes as we want, and they still won’t matter. Best of all, we’re enjoying ourselves while we do it. They grab our attention. If we don’t have the experience of actually playing a game itself, regardless of what specific issue it may cover, we have to learn things the hard way. In a setting with risks. Much of it is pot-luck. If you don’t want your children to fail at everything in life and die horribly, you let them play some form of game; computer based or not.

Of course, since computers have such versatility we’d be mad not to take advantage of the resource. Just as we’d be mad not to take advantage of the many benefits to social and physical play. I have no wish to argue that the medium provided by my chosen career path is sufficient for a child to live off alone, merely that it is a valuable part of his or her balanced education. much like it’d be unhealthy to live off exclusively lettuce. There are however, a few things that it’d be sensible to cut from the learning diet in order for a healthy child to grow.

I would say talking humourlessly for the best part of an hour and expecting the child to refer to the information in an exam that will have long-reaching consequences to their post-school career is one of them.

Terrible post. Felt terrible. Needs more sources. Only a few weeks left before the dissertation deadline, so it won’t be long before a better version is uploaded. I got about 1663 words out of there. Probably half would have to be cut, but a lot more would be added when I elaborate on things I said I would in the final version. And this is only meant to cover a chapter or two of a much longer document, so I’d say 800 is good enough. Can do this. Will try to before the week is over, but I have time.

At this point I should be actually writing this dissertation, since I only have until Christmas to do it. And yet…. sat there with the word document in front of me, I really can’t think to type anything. I tried to use a speedwriting tool (get the thinking out of the way first, then write freely without pause) but it wouldn’t work. I just couldn’t think. Perhaps because I wasn’t sure what I’d be writing from the start. I couldn’t think of keywords to put in that I’d use, or… anything to give me the direction for writing. Perhaps if it were a case of having all the information and using the tool to phrase it, that might be useful. But… I don’t even know what information I’m going for at this point.

And then it struck me. Hard. Around the head. Painfully. With a cricket bat. Once the necromantic ritual was complete and my cranium reattached, I had an idea.

When I write in this blog, words upon words just sort of… flow out of me. In the hundreds. I don’t know if it’s because the blank Microsoft Word document just feels so dead or what. My blog is just like… my personal space, where I write about me. I’d been looking at my work all wrong. In my desperation to capture the formality expected of me, I forgot my own wisdom:

a writer’s work is his or her soul.

That’s what I said. I also said this dissertation was the single most important thing I’ve ever written. So it stands to reason that to write the best thing I can for my dissertation, I need to write from the heart. I need to write… in my blog. Can tweak it to look more professional when it’s written, but editing a text is far easier than starting everything from scratch and staring at a blank page.

It seemed at first like a stupid idea. I divide the academic and the personal instinctively. And yet… the lecturer said the dissertation has to be my “own voice”. And the subject is one I’ve chosen. By its very nature, a dissertation is something to be written from the heart. Hell, all work is. Any paper I ever do. Any short story or novel. Any essay, report, review, journal, presentation, or ……blog.

Game design is my subject I took because I want to be a game designer. This isn’t some tedious thing I have to do to get a degree; this is me chasing my dreams, and living the life I’ve always wanted to live. Not sure why I didn’t think of it like that in the first place. I chose this degree. I chose this dissertation. Everything is happening only because it’s what I want. Now to actually do it.

So where do I go from here? Well, I’ve read a lot of articles I thought would be useful. A lot of journals too. There’s… only really a few books on game design itself because it’s such a recent subject and anybody who actually knows much about game design is passionate enough that they’re out there working on games. Or maybe teaching, in which case they already have enough writing to do that they don’t need a book to do their job for them. Probably. I don’t know, I’m pretty much inventing reasons to make up for not being able to find many book sources and constructing almost my entire research base from PDF journals.

If you know what you’re writing though, you can reference other things. Pretty much anything could potentially hold a point that could be referred to in order to make a point. I remember one time in this very blog I wrote a report on video game’s causing violence and managed to pull an Einstein reference in there somehow. I don’t even remember how I did that, but I did it. Somehow.

Not long ago I did an experiment. My findings would go into my dissertation; solid proof to back up the things all these people are saying so it doesn’t look like I’m believing anything anyone tells me. Apparently, that’s not the right thing to do. I don’t have a PhD. I’m an undergraduate. No matter how certain I am of anything I say, or how much proof I’ve acquired on my own, I’m a total nobody. Nothing I say means anything from an academic perspective. Everything I do is a pointless waste of my time and the time of the academic board. It hurts to put it like that, but it’s true.

Before you accuse me of beating myself up however, I must inform you that the fact that my word means little before the academic board until I have a PhD is an immutable fact that I am stating for the record. It does not mean that self-pity is what is taking place here (curse you Andrew Hussie for destroying my ability to talk).

What it means is that every claim I make must be backed up by a load of more qualified people in my dissertation. For instance; were you or I to try to reference this blog, it would be pointless. BUT! The information is still worth something. It can direct study, help form opinions, etc. Nothing is totally meaningless in this world. Except flibbedy-dib, fobby bobbly wimplictstuetcher. Well, unless you somehow manage to derive a meaning from that, but I’m not entirely certain how to do so.

It defies logic, reason, and most of all science to only go off the word of others and not perform my own experiments. If that’s professional, I look down on professional. Professions are the tiny inventions of itty-bittty humans in a universe that’s much too big for them. So I did science. I found my results, and found some bozo out there in the world with a PhD who’s word backed it up. In reality, his word isn’t nearly as accurate a means for me to know something as testing it myself, but he’s an educated person with something to show for it, and the board respect that. So if his claim backs up the results of the experiments I say I did without any way for them to know I’m telling the truth, they go along with it.

I’ll have my degree when enough of the things I’ve done they’ve had to accept. A PhD will happen when we reach the point that they’re like “oh, I guess he knows what he’s talking about then” finally, after spending what hundreds of thousands to get there? Of money I don’t yet have? Even then, one voice is just one voice, and references are always important if you want to be taken seriously. Use the references on your sources as your own sources and read up. This is how to form a body of research in your area of study. And it is annoying. No getting around that. But it’s learning more about the thing you want to do. The thing *I* want to do.

Next post will be tonight, and will go over one of the points I’ll use in the dissertation. Will also do the same for some others. Eventually it’ll be enough to complete my dissertation, hopefully this week. I said the same thing pretty much last week, but that was before I had the awesome blogging idea. Want to know how awesome it is?

Without stopping to think once, I just wrote 1235 words and going up. And this is without bringing in references to write about. It is literally all from the top of my head, just by looking at a blank page. Looks like this module will be a cinch.

Argh. Once again I find myself opening with how badly I’ve neglected this blog. Been so busy between uni work and crazy things going on in my life that I couldn’t really find the time to write about any of it. The stress piled up high and I needed a holiday. Fortunately, with my amazing powers of forward planning, I had one lined up:

Comicon. MCM. London. Fuck yeah.

Now over a week into November, it is a little late to be writing this. I’d hoped that one of my friends might have photographs I could get hold of to post with this, but not managed yet so sadly none of you get to see my beauteous visage without taking the effort to do a little online stalking (trust me, you don’t want to find my social networking account. Bad shit happens there).

Next time I think I’ll take a camera myself. Snap some pics. Don’t really use them because my ex was a photographer and stuff, but we all need to man up and get over shit. And if by some miracle I can get someone to take a good photo of me (because nearly all my photos don’t come close to stacking up to what’s in the mirror) I’ll upload it!

Now I’m overdue for a few posts on different topics piling up, so this is the latest I’m willing to leave this one.

So I showed up to the convention dressed as Marth from Fire Emblem. It wasn’t a great costume though. Well, my friend who made it for me did a fantastic job, but with such little time I didn’t have the Falchion or the Fire Emblem. Also I forgot my belts. And no amount of hair spray could make my hair like Marth’s. Maybe if I dyed it and used straighteners, but it looks like next time I cosplay I might want to purchase a wig. Basically it could have been a good costume and the only reason it wasn’t is that I didn’t put in much effort myself. Going to try things differently next time.
Possibly didn’t help that I picked one of the more obscure Marth outfits: the one worn by his Einherjar card in Fire Emblem: Awakening‘s Champions of Yore 1 dlc, also seen worn by SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! Lucina in the main game as a disguise. END SPOILER!!

Ok. That was a shit spoiler alert. I am sorry. I need to figure out how to on wordpress do that thing where your text is invisible until you mouse over or something.

Didn’t see any other Fire Emblems when I was there. Quite a gathering of exotic costumes though. I saw a lot of Sword Art Online cosplayers, and the usual Narutos. Some Shinigami from Bleach, various Marvel and DC superheroes, every main character from RWBY except Weiss, most of the Strawhats from One Piece along with Portgas D. Ace, most of Fairy Tail, uhh…. oh, Link from the Legend of Zelda series of course. Completed my Homestuck Troll checklist in the first few minutes, made easier by my hanging out with three of them (mostly a gender-swapped Eridan, who happens to be the one who also made my costume for which I am very grateful!) as well as several other characters. And a few non-homestucks. Like Simon from Gurren Lagann, who had a free hugs sign. His costume was great. Very convincing. I need to do a costume that good next time.

Speaking of hugs, something awesome happened. I was just on the phone to a friend trying to see about meeting up somewhere inside, when I saw two Deadpools fist-bumping. This was so cool I had to instantly report it on the phone. One of them heard I’d seen them and hugged me. I don’t really know what to say about that event, or even if there’s anything more to be said.

I also made use of a few of those cosplayers with the free-hugs signs. One of them was a Pikachu, and another was an absolutely epic cosplay of Erza Scarlett from Fairy Tail (I’ll admit it… anime crush…). For some reason I felt the need to praise her costume and give her a massive hug, stating what a huge fan I was, but immediately all the people nearby with the free-hugs signs including her ran to hug Master Chief who was passing by. I guess we know who is and isn’t the alpha male… but to be fair, with that for competition not many people would stand a chance *sniff*…

I would have loved to have three-hundred pounds just to spend there. I actually spent a hundred on the trip in total (NEVER go to London expecting it to be cheap) and honestly I’m not sure I could afford it. Don’t seem to be on the street right now though, so it’s ok.

Got a plush toy of Fairy Tail’s Happy, along with a T-shirt of the Fairy Tail crest and another of the Strawhat flag from One Piece. I also picked up a copy of the game Virtue’s Last Reward, from the Zero Escape franchise. It’s in roughly the same genre as a project I’m currently working on for my course and hope to eventually complete and publish (watch this space for further news on that, but don’t expect anything for another three or four months since it’s only early days for the development) so this is going to be well worth the time I take to play it, and every bit worth the money.

And I think… that’s about it! Stayed til the end but I didn’t have a ticket for the after-party and Christ knows how much I’d have wound up spending if I stayed another day… I would have liked to take that extra time and picked up a few more bits of awesome merchandise and free hugs. Maybe one day when I’m actually good at cosplaying, I’ll find the courage to bring my OWN free hugs sign. May need some practice looking friendly and approachable first, and training in smiling/laughing/doing anything non-villainously.

I love the whole “free-hugs” idea. Breaking the boundaries between strangers going about their daily lives with warmth and acceptance, regardless of who they are. Freely given. It helps me feel less shy myself, and paints a picture of a much more loving world than I usually see in day-to-day life. The closest I usually see is creepy bastards fondling girls in crowded clubs against their will, which is more like theft than charity. Charity itself being more like theft than free-hugs are, what with all the guilt tripping some of these organisations do to pressure people into giving. This on the other hand is no pressure. Just a completely pure display of indiscriminate affection to all human beings, and I think it’s beautiful.

And yeah, I understand there are people out there who’re very dismissive of cosplayers, or think it’s pathetic and I quote “gay” to show open displays of love for the things you enjoy watching that are seen as “nerdy”, but…. fuck them! Actually, perhaps being open about yourselves in spite of assholes protesting with no good reason IS pretty close to being gay, since it’s the kind of shit homosexuals have to deal with from these narrow-minded “macho” idiots with no balls of their own. If they want to wear the shirts of random footballers who aren’t themselves because they like this team whether fans of other teams’ supporters like it or not, it’d be several times more badass if I decided one day to get the flag of the Whitebeard Pirates tattooed on my back, and a triforce on my left hand. The only reason I’ve not got about twenty geeky tattoos is money really.

It’s an expression of confidence in who you are. Pride. The courage to go out and make yourself look like an idiot, in a society in which the only accepted way of life is keeping your head down and joining the crowd. Humans are trying desperately hard to mold themselves into ants.

They say nerds are emotionally insecure losers who need to get out and get a life. I disagree. If a nerd is someone who has non-mainstream interests and gladly broadcasts that to the world, it means they’re everything we out in the west are raised to admire:
Having the mettle to stand up for themselves, whatever anyone says. Be it in defiant acts of rebellion against the system, or simply not giving a fuck and doing what they goddamn want.

Conversely, those who praise conformity and the subduing of the self are just… cowards. Pathetic, insecure crybabies who make a fuss because someone else has bigger balls than them and dares to be theirself.

So yeah, I’d say nerdy cosplay is… basically the height of masculinity. Though masculinity might not be the best term since women seem to do it more… no! Masculinity IS the proper term considering all we’re lead to believe masculinity is, it’s simply that those who complain at every sign of self-expression have masculinity in the minus figures. And that women aren’t really any less masculine than men in the first place. Hmm.

Not sure what I’ll go as next time, but I may talk to my friends about it in case there’s any possibility of doing a group-cosplay thing. Ideas I’ve had are someone from Homestuck (half my t-shirts are from that so it should be the easiest), or a member of Fairy Tail (dunno which yet) or possibly Kirito from SAO (though not finished that series yet, but come on. That black coat is badass).
There are a lot of other things I’m considering, but no solid plans just yet.

Aaaaaaaanyway……… I should head over to the gym now, get it over with, and then write some of this dissertation I have sitting here. Yet to put another post in that module category but here’s a basic preview of what’s to come: my proposal was too vague and I’m having to change my direction more. Focus down on the possibility that not only are computer games not as destructive as some would have us believe, but are potentially something of a super-tool for the education system and games in general (not only “edutainment” titles) are actually very good for children, and people in general.

Daoinelibra, signing out.

Been a while since I did a module post. I don’t think I actually tied up the other modules in a blog post actually. Really need to find a day when I’ve got nothing planned and just do that. It’ll be hard to find a day like that soon though, as this new semester brings four more modules with it; the first of which being the dissertation module.

In most if not all degree courses, there is a dissertation module. The student will have to write his or her “dissertation”, which is essentially a really long essay. Generally, dissertations are chosen by the student as an area of study tailored to their knowledge and interests. The reason for this is it cannot be half-assed. A dissertation will be what the student is working on for a long time (though perhaps not long enough) and will be at the core of their degree. It should be impressive, and should make it clear that the writer is an expert in their field. If they are not one, then… they had better become one pretty quickly.

For the above reasons, the dissertation I am about to begin shall be one of the most important things I have ever written. So… no pressure, eh?

The question I wanted to go with is as follows:

Given the efficiency of Games as Teaching Tools, What Are the Ethical Concerns and Are There Risks For Their Use?

…But that’s a bit long winded. Regardless of how I manage to phrase the question, the point is still the same. I’d be going over the effectiveness of games in teaching and why this could be potentially not a good thing. To illustrate my point, there are the claims that videogames teach kids how to perform violent acts (or teach them TO perform violent acts, by some accounts). These are largely wrong, and there are many reasons why they are wrong, which I’ve gone over in earlier modules. That’s kind of why it is my area of expertise.

However, as I did discover before, there is ample evidence to prove that games DO teach extremely effectively, whether the above issues are true concerns or not.

With that in mind, it is not implausible that one’s views, perspectives, opinions and beliefs might potentially also be altered by a game. Everyone in the world has their own intents and personal agenda, and I will attempt to investigate whether or not this seeps through from the designer into his or her creation, and could serve as propaganda to twist the audience to the designer’s deliberate (or totally accidental) message.

People have often been moved by media. Watch a political film that tugs at the heartstrings, and you might feel a sort of “eye-opening” sensation and change your life as a result. So if something is more powerful at teaching than movies, perhaps that is something to worry about?

What I’m about to attempt is to search for arguments and opinions on the subject, or anything at all that might prove useful in this investigation. I am not immune to bias, but nevertheless I shall attempt to remain neutral until I have a good enough idea what I’m talking about to be able to argue a case. That will then become the dissertation.

So, without further ado, I shall read out the first set assignment for this module:

This module is an opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of a topic of interest related to your major subject. Individual personal tutorials are used to generate and develop a personal research strategy to monitor progress and assist in the realization of objectives. A written draft is used as a vehicle for feedback before the submission of a final version. You will engage with a logbook to record tutorials throughout this module.

Produce a written proposal outlining your research and dissertation plan, for assessment (1200 words in length) to be submitted by week 5. The proposal should clearly present your goals for the dissertation and outline the question and aims of the project. A clear bibliography should also be attached to the proposal. Assignments are to be handed in to the Art and Design Registry on Monday 21st October 2013:

This draft proposal will constitute the basis for your dissertation submission. Feedback to this proposal will be given in advance of your final dissertation and the research that you have undertaken and include an indicative bibliography.

Your proposal will need to be bound (spiral) with a front cover. Two printed copies need to be submitted with a digital copy.

Cripes. Spiral bound, you say? Yeesh. Sounds tough. I’m used to just handing in hundreds of pages and putting a staple in the corner. Looks like third year of university really is harder afterall…

In all seriousness though, it will take a fair bit of effort to find evidence that will lend itself to my cause. It would only be too easy to find it, if all I had to do was perform experiments on the matter, but apparently I need a bibliography, so instead of just using all my own work I must back it up with other people’s to lend my words credibility. Finding that is of course a great deal harder than doing it all by myself, but if it were an easy subject what need would there be for experts anyway? I have to do this so some other student can benefit someday from the fruits of MY research.

So. Better get started. I may have just written 925 words which isn’t really all that much less than the goal for this proposal of 1200 without actually thinking about it, but there’s a great difference between a well-researched and educated piece of writing and… whatever this is. Getting it all done by the 21st of October will indeed be a challenge considering the mass of other responsibilities I have, Nevertheless, it will not be beyond me. It is possible I’ll get it done in much less time, just to get it out of the way so I can concentrate on the much larger task of writing the full dissertation.

So. It begins. The second year of this blog.

It’s getting really hard to make myself write in here. I suppose part of it is that I’ve been focusing so much attention into writing fiction which I’m not actually comfortable publishing yet. I keep saying I will, but I haven’t. I just write it, attempt to get various people I know to read it, tweak it, and keep writing more.

Always it feels like other people are so much braver than me for getting their creativity out there. Nothing really goes up on my deviantart or youtube. Maybe I’ll post links to my profile on each when I finally get around to it.

Yet for every talented individual, or even not very talented individual with the courage to take that shot even without any self-confidence worth speaking of, there are hundreds or even thousands of brutal pack-wolf bullies and blithering morons so ignorant I find myself wondering how they figured out how to use a keyboard. That said, there are many who don’t use it very well. It’ll be very just if I make a typo now… But I mean… there are some people who’re dyslexic, and then there are some people who just can’t be bothered.

If lazy people like that are able to put things up where anyone can see it, why can’t I? Am I lazy? Have I less self-confidence than everyone else on the internet? Less courage?

…I don’t think so.

Now, it’s probable that I’m not the only one struggling in silence, nervous to express himself (or herself as the case may be) by putting all that imagination out there where anyone can see it. You aren’t alone. That’s not what I mean though, and this goes out to all of you too.

The other day I heard someone say something enlightening. It was… The kind of thing that completely shakes my perspective, and everything I know of this world.

“People are nice.”

It was a completely sincere statement, without any sarcasm. This person honestly felt that on average, people are pleasant and amicable.

A statement like that suggests that she’d have to have not encountered the kinds of cruelty and injustice that I thought was just how the world works. That, or just to have been blissfully unaware whenever it reared its head.

Now, I’m not talking about the silly and degrading comments on Youtube. I don’t mean people having criticisms or conflicting opinions either.

I’m talking about how when a boy’s friend dies, kids at a rival school take it upon themselves to come up with loads of mocking jokes about it for entertainment. How they find it especially entertaining to make these jokes within earshot of the boy’s younger brother.

I’m sorry, is that not a normal experience growing up?

How about a young girl getting raped and murdered by an older man, who takes the body and disappears before the traumatised witness can do anything? No names known, no number plates seen, just one horrific act because one man wills it, and no consequence for him? Even if there is consequence, it doesn’t change the fact that people like this exist.

Worse, the law is a great deterrent. Fantastic. Who wants to go to prison? Not me. Probably not you either. Nobody I know. It stands to reason therefore to think there are people who would commit rape or murder but don’t because they don’t want to go to prison. Heck, we all KNOW they exist. At least… I do? I don’t know how you can live to adulthood without knowing that. All around us there are people with the most vile and sadistic intentions they only don’t act on out of cowardice, much like I’m afraid to upload my work.

Every day to me is like a pantomime act of civility. Sure I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I walk around thinking anybody around me might. In all likelihood there will be someone nearby who’d gladly kill for fun if they didn’t think it’d mess their life up, and that’s just how the world is. We only pretend it’s not so we can continue to function each day and not go crazy from the fear that comes with not being able to see inside one-another’s heads.

But could it be that I’ve been wrong all these years? That my experiences aren’t reminiscent of the feelings of all or even most people? That I have no idea what the average is? That most people really are completely harmless, as shocked as I am when something bad happens? While everything I think seems so often corroborated by the news, is the reality of it that I’m only seeing the freak exceptions? That I’m the one living in ignorance?

I’m not going to say anything for certain based on one other person’s philosophy. Truth be told just recently I’ve been in a few social situations with people I didn’t know and they all seemed perfectly nice. There’s always the odd thing that throws you off, but then we’re all only human. Maybe people are generally nice. Maybe they aren’t.

Probably I’m paranoid. Probably I’m terrified of people due to all the traumatic experiences I had growing up giving me some kind of prejudice. Probably this is reinforced by every little glimpse into the worst humanity has to offer. There are people who’ve had it worse than me in many ways and I won’t pretend otherwise. The world is full of suffering, mine no greater than the rest of it. But… it has been great enough to cause an impact, and if I act as though it hasn’t then I’ll just be carrying on alone in the world, perpetuating the pantomime civility I earlier described.

The same pantomime civility anyone who commits murders probably also is acting out.

Got to be careful nobody gets the wrong impression here and thinks I’m one of them, but… I’m going to be honest. And open. And I’ll try to let other people in. I’ll try to publish things I’ve said I’ll publish. I know people won’t wait forever and I know I could keep making empty promises until I die… but I have to try. That’s all any of us can do really. Try to be open, and maybe we’ll succeed.

Not everyone is undergoing the same journey as me, or feeling the same fears… but I’m sure I’m not alone. So to anyone else in that place…

Let’s do this thing. Let’s get our hearts and souls out there, and not care how beaten and bashed they are. Or we are. We can all do something, so let’s get up and do it. I believe in the potential for every single one of you. If I can do that, then… I guess I’ll have to give believing in myself a try, too.

Well, I promised the next would be a personal update, so here it is. Apologies for the wait, but to quote the wise philosopher and twitter spambot Horse ebooks, “Everything happens so much”

It is I’m sure true for many writers that often it’s hard to keep up with schedule because life frequently piles up lots and lots on top of us, to the extent that we can’t remember everything that happens and rarely have time to just sit down and write.

So what’s been happening in my life?

Well, for starters I’m not living in Stroud now. Moved into the new house in Wolverhampton. The previous tenants were pretty messy. Left burned out trolleys in the jungle of a garden which now looks like someone dropped a bomb on it. There’s an ant infestation, I spent the first couple of weeks hunting a slug that was making a mess of my room, and the shower behaved less like a shower than a hose.

Along with my new housemates, I’ve been turning the place into somewhere more… suitable for human habitation. It’s actually going pretty well, though we’ve got on each other’s toes a little already. Things aren’t so tense now. Mostly thanks to friends visiting and much alcohol consumption; though we did take the time to sort out some ground-rules.

I should probably say why last month I got so on edge and didn’t want to write anything on here.

June is… not my best month. Most recently it signifies when I hooked up with my ex who went on to break my heart. It’s also when her birthday is. I did my best to forget both that and the anniversary by spending as much time making myself busy and seeing friends, so there wasn’t really time to sit down and dwell on it, much less write. I actually did manage to forget both days. Pretty shameful when I think about it. Some would say I couldn’t be heart-broken and couldn’t have truly loved her if I don’t remember those dates. Well… I remember hardly anything ever. Honestly, I don’t know what any exam grades I’ve ever had are. There’s about 80 people I’ve met whose names I haven’t forgotten. I don’t remember the date ever, I don’t remember what shows I liked when I was really small, or what my favourite book was before I read The Hobbit. I remember no exact historic dates despite knowing loads of historic events, and I can’t remember a single thing I was taught at school, meaning everything I know comes from college, uni, or self-teaching.

No, I’m not dense. I’ve said before what happened to my brain and don’t need to repeat it now. It’s bad enough that I have to live with it, but occasionally it feels more like a blessing. This is an example. I don’t want pity, or sympathy, or disbelief, or… well, anything to be made of it at all, really. Usually try not to make an issue of it, but sometimes it’s good for people to know. Not making excuses for my forgetfulness, just stating that it’s a thing and I’ll do my best to remember anything worth remembering. I don’t consider the dates of anything to do with my ex worth remembering because the memories hurt, but it’s very hard to forget, and it’s pretty important I don’t forget what went wrong so I don’t either ask for another chance or make the same mistakes as before.

The other thing about June that makes it tough for me is… that’s the month someone else I loved got murdered for a pretty shocking reason when I was a child. Well… any murder is shocking of course. It’s… really really hard to think about it, but at the same time really difficult not to; if that makes sense.

I’ve noticed particularly recently a lot of things about myself I never really realised before, or if I did, didn’t think about much. I think it’s because of that incident… I’m really… protective? Yes, of my possessions, but especially of people. More than anything, of people close to me. I get very worried when I think someone’s doing something dangerous, particularly if it could lead to them being… taken advantage of. By someone with………… perverted interests. It all makes sense when I consider the possibility that those feelings are connected to that experience. I’m a lot more concerned (POSSIBLY to the point of paranoia) than most people I know when it comes to other people. I’m probably cynical, but… I know a fair bit of the time at least, what I fear happening happens to people. Whether it’s worth fretting about or not I don’t know, but a voice of concern when somebody decides to do something potentially risky might be a good thing. It’s especially hard when someone never has been taken advantage of before, because for some stupid reason our default reaction to threats is “oh, it’ll never happen to me”. I have to say to those blessed many: That’s what nearly everyone who ever had something bad happen to them thought too.

I’m not very trusting of anyone I don’t know. The knowledge of someone who meant so much to me being killed for some sick nutter’s disgusting pleasure is probably why I’m so much more uncomfortable than most about sexual desires. Argh. I don’t think I could even talk about that if not for this typed medium, but I kind of have to.

I’ll probably get over that eventually. It struck me that I don’t think I could ever be intimate with someone who didn’t know that about my past and love me regardless. Pretty much rules out speed dating. Even one-night stands are too intimate. When I find that special someone, which I will, it’ll all be better. I can’t take back the past, and maybe I’ll never get back a lot of my memories…

But I’ll love the memories of the times I loved, and I’ll make many more of them.

My series is slowly moving forward. I’ve been improving my writing, and I’m going over it all once I’ve reached the end of drafting the current arc. What I intend to do soon is release a teaser after drawing/writing up a lot of pages in detail, then begin after a month or so of that, releasing more on a page-by-page basis, probably weekly. This would put me well ahead of the audience, which I kind of need thanks to the hectic nature of my life and the mass of other responsibilities on my shoulders. Not to mention the time it takes to write and draw pages that do the story and anyone who cares enough to read it justice.

If I ever get self-sufficient, the updates might speed up from that… but we’re talking probably years, and that’s only if people decide to actually read it. One thing I’ve always felt guilty about is giving up on a project some people showed interest in. Even if I only have a small handful of readers, I owe it to them to let them follow the story to its end. Of course, the more people read it, the easier that may be…. though it’ll also crank up the pressure on me. As someone just starting out, writing everything long in advance should take a lot of the sting off that.

No commentaries on anything I’m following, I’m afraid. Still obscure enough to be able to answer all the questions people ask me, but otherwise too busy.  Just about everything I’m interested in is pretty awesome right now is all I can say.

…Hey everyone. Sorry I disappeared off the grid for a few weeks.

So! Summer Solstice. Longest day. Also yet another pagan fertility festival. Or several. I’ve not really kept up with the celebrating every holiday thing I said I’d do. Y’know… most pagan festivals seem to be about fertility, which isn’t really all that exciting to me. What with overpopulation and all that, fertility is not particularly important any more. Maybe to some people it is. It’s not really why I identify with that particular religion.

It’s not exactly a single religion, to be honest. There are pagans who like to view us all under one banner it’s true, but generally it just means pretty much any non-Abrahamic folk religion. Heck, back when the term was coined, it meant just about anything that wasn’t Christian.

Actually, I kinda want to talk about that now. I know, no life updates in ages and suddenly going into a speech on religion is a bit weird… but cut me a little slack, please. It’s June and I’m back in Stroud. Both the month and the place hold a lot of painful memories for me and it’s easier not to talk about what’s weighing on my mind most right now.

Anyway… To label all these religions with the one universally common factor among them all being that they are not Abrahamic is kind of… Insulting. Belittles them a bit. I don’t know… That in itself isn’t too bad, considering I just referred to a bunch of stuff including Christianity, Islam, and of course Judaism as being one. I guess what I mean is the terms should be used to distinguish between religions that are and aren’t influenced by Abraham, and not as if they mean specific religions.

On the other hand… There is something positive about unity. If things are under one banner, it encourages them to work together in harmony. In contrast, Christianity has split into many different groups, like Catholics and Protestants. These groups have an odd tendency to fight each other, leaving grudges and hatred to form, fester, and grow into the next war. People whose beliefs are so similar with just a few practices they disagree over, being each other’s most bitter enemies.

Is that what Jesus was teaching? No it was not. While some of those who Christians called “pagan” may have hunted and killed countless Christian people in the past, ironically it is the pagans -the minorities banding together- who are doing the best to do as he taught:
Set aside one-another’s differences and live together in peace, harming no-one and accepting those from all walks of life.

Oh well.

There is one thing that’s not so great about Pagan unity: The gulf between it and Christianity. “You’re with us, and we’re against them… so you’re against them too, right?”
About… half the people I’ve met who’ve identified as pagan, or polytheistic, or pantheistic, or animist… are perfectly fine with the Abrahamic religions. As am I. While a lot of their “believers” are just war-mongering faith-traitors who brand anyone who ISN’T betraying the faith in peace and acceptance as traitors, the teachings themselves really aren’t all bad. I don’t agree with a lot of them by any means, but I don’t think of Christians as the enemy. I have Christian friends and family, and I don’t hold their beliefs against them one bit.

Then… you have the Satanists.

Because Christians often brand those with other gods as actually being led astray by the devil, you get this weird belief emerging that the old folk religions… are actually Satanism, and it has been around for longer than Christianity. This is very much a Christian perspective that knows little about these older religions (quite deliberately, a lot of the time), but from it have come these people who hold resentment against Christianity who see the “Satanists” as they believe Pagans are, rightly as an oppressed people.

So then these anti-christians move to join their “fellow Satanists” and revel in the glory of the “original god” Satan…………… Who no-one un-influenced by the Abrahamic religions actually ever believed in. Sometimes they say it’s just choosing the more well-known Christian word for the Pagan deity… but there ISN’T a singular pagan deity. Some religions considered Pagan do only have the one deity (I think a lot of Wiccans only believe in the Triple Goddess as opposed to having both a male and a female deity which other Wiccans worship, for example) but there is no universal “Pagan Deity” and if there was, it certainly wouldn’t be represented as the arch-nemesis of all Christians.

Most of us aren’t even after a religious dispute. We just want to continue following our non-mainstream religious practices in peace.

But… I guess if these Satanists believe their religion is the oldest through some logic lost on me, no point in my holding it against them. Just… I am not one, and personally I don’t think Satan’s particularly great. There are some much more awesome religious figures as I see it. This might sound to any Satanists reading like I’m slagging them off, but I’m honestly not. It’s just some seem to be of the impression that all Pagans are Satanists, so I’d like to clear that matter up.

And then there’s the ones who go on about Satan being the most badass and anyone who thinks otherwise will know their mistake when they burn in hellfire… Yeah I’m not actually going to take them seriously as a movement since most of them just do it because they think it makes them awesome. Can’t say it inspires any awe in me. Might inspire a raised eyebrow, but that’s the best I can really give. Maybe a chuckle if I’m in a good mood.

Ok, I’m being kind of unfair anyway. I guess my beef is more with the rebellious teenagers trying to make us all out to be a threat to Christianity, which seems to be the bulk of Satanists I’ve encountered.

If you’re making yourself out to be a legitimate religion, it’s better to talk more about what that religion stands for more than you just whale on Christianity all the time.

So uh… Moral of the story: Pagans and Satanists are not synonymous, and that conflation is pretty offensive to Pagans, as Satan worship is on the whole a reaction against Christianity; while Pagan is pretty much just a word for things Christians don’t agree with.

As for any atheists out there reading this and saying “this is why religion’s bad”, I’m going to say it again: It’s not the religion itself. It’s people looking for excuses to hate other people. Kinda like a lot of you are also doing but won’t admit. Both sides of the argument are as bad as each other.

Oh rats, I’ve overran and it’s no longer Solstice. Oh well. The longest day has turned to night.

Next post will be actually about me, and not a religious rant. I’m sorry. Me out.

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