I have a stupid and incredibly inane piece of work to finish for university, in which as part of my "Professional business practise", I have to interview someone in the field which I want to get a career in when I finish my course.
It won't even be an interview of sorts, it's literally just several questions that will help me out a lot. I can also use it in a small research report about the job I want aswell.
If it wasn't already obvious from the title, I want to be a teacher when I finish.
If any of you are teachers, in any country, any age group of children (Younger grades are better but everything will be lovely). If anyone knows anyone who can help me by answering a couple of questions, please send me a PM via the forums, or even post in this thread if you choose!
Today I took these things into CEX, and decided to trade them in. Here's the breakdown for those interested: Left 4 Dead-£7 Assassins Creed 2-£11 Batman-£11 Final Fantasy 13-£21 Call of Duty 4 (PC)- £11 (Awesome) Bioshock 2- £14 Mass Effect 2- £16
This left me at a staggering £91, for trading in a bunch of things that wouldn't ever get played again.
What did I pick up for this? See below!
Ghost in the Shell 2.0 Blu Ray- £10 Killzone 2 -£8 Uncharted- £15 Valkyria Chronicles-£15 (Couldnt find this in the store, had to drop £15 real money, no big, limited release in the UK) Infamous- £15 Metal Gear Solid 4- £15 Darlsiders- £18
This, excluding VC, came to a lovely £81. I traded in 7 things, and came home with 7 things, AND a £10 credit slip to spend on SSF4 next week.
Aesthetics, from what I’ve ascertained over my studies for the past X years are commonly known as “Things that the individuals eye and mind perceive as appealing”. So naturally, everyone has a different taste. When I consider what I think as aesthetically pleasing, I’m torn between two major camps. The two being
Allow me to elaborate:
Abstraction- “Strictly speaking, it refers to art unconcerned with the literal depiction of things from the visible world”
If we were to allow ourselves to concern animé as art, at least for the sake of this argument, 3 things instantly pop to mind.
Gankutsuou- It’s hard to really pin down the underlying beauty in the art of this show. An abstract retelling of Dumas’ classic tale “The Count of Monte Cristo”, Gankutsuou tells the story of the count, as he tried to get revenge for his past. When makes this show so pleasing to the eye is simply the attention to detail that seems to be in every scene. Every single frame gives the assumption that they’re all hand drawn, everything has such an incredibly fine attention to detail, that it seems unbelivably…fluid. That’s a big thing this show has going for it. Everything literally does seem so unbelievably fluid. The fights, the dialogue, the drama. They all fit together in such a way that it’s hard to not find yourself absolutely stunned by the incredible visuals of this show.
The trailer doesn’t necessarily do it justice, but still exemplifies the stunning art of a futuristic sci-fi drama.
Fooly Cooly- Fooly Cooly, or FLCL is a show that’s forever been near and dear to me. There’s something about the sheer audacity and ostentatious nature of the show that’s unbelieavbly fun. The characters are all fantastic, and so incredibly vivid in each and every animation.The tonal nature of the show is wonderful, and really epitomises the nature of the key narrative ideals. Put short, FLCL is an assault on the senses, a tour de force of incredible visuals, a stellar soundtrack, and such a crazy, well thought out world. The notion of abstraction, or otherness within is often expressed in the bizarre transformation/robot scenes in which a giant robot/monster/planet sized bird/pirate king will burst out of a characters head, and go on a rampage in an attempt to destroy the world. Or city. Or galaxy, who knows!
The fact that all the characters are so…slick and stylish are obviously designed as such. Again, it seems that everything in it is crafted specifically. And FLCL takes those ideas, and subverts them into some of the most outlandish ideas imagineable (And the giant Homage to Day of the Tentacle in the Episode 5 conclusion is just awesome!!) I pulled together a video of a few of the most expressive and exemplary points in FLCL.
Minimalism-Minimalism is defined as “Movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features.” Two things I feel show this to its finest degree are:
-Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei
Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei- SZS is a show about a struggling teacher who seems driven to try to kill himself at any oppurtunity (and bears a somewhat nihlistic view of life not so dissimilar to the protagonist of Welcome to the NHK…). What makes the show look so good is the sheer minimalistic artwork. Everything appears super flat, super 2D, but not in a way that makes it seem amateurish. In a show with such bold character design, and few ACTUAL characters, every single person is so specific, that they all stand out, everything is just drawn so well. SZS is a great looking show, because it’s different. And it’s not just a show with semi retarded girls in high school uniforms created to appeal to pathetic stereotypes. I’m looking at you <Any Harem show ever>.
Machinarium- Machinarium isn’t really something I can describe as to why it’s appealing. You just have to see it for yourself to appreciate it. Every background ingame, every character, every little animation is so sensorally delightful that you’ll have a hard time finding videogame art that looks this…refined. And if you don’t like it, you must just be stupid.
If you’re reading this, what do YOU prefer? Do you agree with any of the things I hold dear?
La jetée is a shortfilm by filmmaker Chris Marker, and tells the story of a science fiction future in which a man travels through time, to explore the concepts and workings of time travel. It sounds easy enough, and for the most part, the narrative works. The way the movie portrays time is effective, if not somewhat primitive seeming in the modern day. For all intents and purposes, the film is a narrated slideshow, in which Marker simply shows multiple still images, albeit masterfully narrates the film with a superb narrative, in which “The man” concludes his travels with going back to his childhood, to a vivid memory of a woman, who he obssesses over throughout, yet cannot remember who she is or why he’s obssessed. The narrative concludes with the realisation that the memory he kept for so long, was actually his death, in a seemingly paradoxical ending.
Movies construct their view of time through several ways. They can throw in red herrings, bizarre plot points (Terminator, I’m looking at your franchise…) or simply just use phenomenal narrative through flashbacks(Think Usual Suspects, a small pocket in time recollected through the present).
However, films aren’t necessarily the best, nor only way in which the concept of time can be identified as a narrative plot.
The Girl Who Lept Through Time is a 2006 sci-fi anime directed by Mamoru Hosoda, and inspired by the book Toki o Kakeru Shōjo (時をかける少女, “The Girl Who Dashes Through Time”). The use of time is the key plotpoint, vital to the narrative. The film focuses on a young girl called Makoto, who discovers that she can suddenly leap through time, avoiding a fatal train accident. At the beginning, she uses the jumps frivolously, until she realises she can only skip time a certain number of times. As is common in all timetravel narrative, the idea that “Because she changed something in the past, something drastic will have changed in the future, no matter how trivial the action” (To be examined deeper further on) rears its head, as she desperately tries to go back and correct everything she can, in order to restore some semblence of equilibrium. However, in doing this, she unintentionally changes the future in a horrific way. The train accident she was supposed to die in happens to her friend, and his girlfriend, killing them both. Or so we are lead to believe.
It turns out that Chiaki, the boy who confesses to her earlier on is actually a timetraveller, who came back simply to see a painting which doesn’t make it into his future. However, because he stops time to tell Makoto her actions, and how he uses his last jump to save her friends, he “dissapears”. However, THIS ACTION restores a jump to Makoto, who then goes to find him when she first gets the powers, explains what happened, and wraps up the narrative with a nice little love story, in which she explains she will “always keep running to the future, to find him”
This construction of time differs from La Jeteé in the way that it seems somewhat more…contrived. However, it does show a great difference in the semantics of how time is used as a narrative plot point. Whereas La Jeteé shows a much more dystopic view of the future, in which a man is forcefully sent back through time simply because he’s the only one who can survive the harrowing event, Makoto simply chooses to jump for her own benefits, initially.
In essence, it boils down to 2 ideas:
1) The idea of time-travel as a necessity, for science, and in a narrative sense, depict several different artistic varients in one short burst.
2)The idea that time-travel is exciting. It can be used for fun, however, often with dire rammifications. See TGWLTT or that horror special of the Simpsons where Homer sneezes on a T-Rex.
Animé often gets the pass, however, simply due to its lineage and ideologies. Audiences will often brush off the idea of serious issues and plotpoints in animation because “It’s just dem chinese cartoons for kids and future sex offenders eh”.
However, I digress. This isn’t intended as a discussion on the depravity of animé fans or how far the idea of quality has fallen (YET).
The final way in which time can be created is through videogames, and the most examplary one I can think of in this regard is the Lucasarts classic-
Consider how DOTT uses time travel in a somewhat revolutionary way. The basic idea of the game is that you play several characters scattered throughout time, wheras you eventually gain the ability to swap between them. The puzzles include several ingenius plot points and frankly, awesome ideas.
Some of the more entertaining puzzles of the game involve these characters. In one sequence, Hoagie must give an exploding cigar to Washington in order to replace his famous false teeth with chattering novelty mechanical dentures, while in another he gives a drawing of a tentacle to Ross, who sews it into the American flag. In another scene, in order to coax Washington into chopping down a kumquat tree, Hoagie must paint the fruits red, as Washington insists that he only chops down cherry trees, referring to a legend concerning Washington’s youth.
The idea of the game is that a purple tentacle has gone back in time to change the past, making it easy for him(them) to take over the future. Videogames as a medium can use this in several engaging, and often interactive ways. Take this example of how the game uses time as a poignant idea:
What’s most splendid about this is just how intuitive it is in its absence of logic. The hamster, once defrosted, is very cold. So to warm it up, why not use a jumper from the present day? But not only would it get soggy if flushed forward, but it’s far too big for a hamster – let alone that it’s stuck under a very heavy sleeping man.
Once retrieved the most obvious course of action is to put it into a tumble dryer with enough quarters stuffed into the coin slot to keep it drying for the next 200 years. The punchline, as you walk Laverne into the mysteriously preserved laundry room, is wonderful. As you walk through the door – DING! – it’s finished. And of course hamster-sized.
I can’t think of another way in which the apparent lack of logic would come together in such a fantastic and intuitive way. Films, Animé, books-They’re all fine, as a static medium. Things will always happen in a specific way, a predetermined, unchangeable path in which the viewer passively observes. However, with games, more specifically DOTT, the way in which the interactive nature forces the player to consider several variants within really shows the way in which time, throughout mediums, can be used as a powerful, fun, and frankly brilliant way. More things should use timetravel.
How do you, the users feel about time travel in a medium? Do you agree or disagree with any point I have made? Do you feel games often do it well? Would you like to see better variations of it? What would your ideal timetravelling game feature? (And yes, you can just say "DOTT Remake by Telltale" (I Will allow that)
Okay, so, I’ll write up a real kind of thought process later, but here’s some quick notes so far:
Story: Somewhat contrived and…bad. There’s just nothing really going on. Some talk of “L’ciel” and “Cocoon”, but at no point in the game so far (Chapter 5, disc 2, 8 hours in) has anyone said anything about what they are, beyond passing references. You’re assumed to either know what it means, infer what they are, or throw yourself into the extensive datalog, to try and discern it from that.
Characters: Not really sure about it, because the game doesn’t let me play as one for more than 30 minutes at a time before throwing me to another group. Think the splitup scene from FF6, except it’s all the time. Nobody really stands out at the moment, apart from Snow, and that’s because his VA is the guy who did Kanji Tatsumi from Persona 4. Although, I approve of the “Chocofro”
Aesthetics: Something that the game shines on so far. The music is top (However battles are over so fast that I’m sick of the stupid “Fanfare” attempt). Everywhere I go is different, and this is something that FF13 does really well, it creates a real immersion in the world, with everything looking, frankly, absolutely stunning. Every game local, character animation and enemy design is at the top of its game. Sometimes, I’ve literally stopped and looked around at the amazing vistas, landscapes and bizarre industrial designs. A minor problem with the sound mix aside (Flavour dialogue in the field is meaningless, not exciting, and much quieter than it needs to be), it’s very good so far.
Combat: Not sure how I feel about this. Read any review or rabid FF hater, and you’ll hear it’s “Press autoattack, receive win”. Unfortunately, this is true. Despite the fact that the game allows you to pick and choose actions, what’s the point? Brad Shoemaker of Giantbomb said “As much as you can choose your actions, there’s no point. The autocommand picks them much faster, more efficiently, and frankly better choices than a human ever could”. As much as I like to pick my own stuff, I just make “Gamey” job alliances. I’m usually going for a pure caster setup, a pure melee setup, or a “Heavy and medic” setup, because there’s no point in making a competent, debuff ready and buffable squad, the battles are over too fast. I’ve never had any problem with bosses so far, just because the game is too easy to get around. I’m enjoying the character job system so far, kind of. Not sure how I feel about it so far, it seems kind of seethrough, and easy to exploit so far.
Concluding thoughts: S’alright, I guess. Not that far into it so far, but it seems a bit…well, standard. It’s a normal JRPG intro, that looks really good and has the Final Fantasy name on it. Not sure what to expect, the game seems far too easy so far, or far too hard, it fluctuates I suppose. Making my way through it. Seems to be a lot of (Somewhat) boring combat and just…meaningless plot points. In chapter 4, I was on a beach, and a scene happened. From there, I had to run 20 feet forward, to initiate the next plot point. There’s a lot of “What’s the point in that” moments so far, however, this isn’t to say I don’t enjoy it. Making my way through it.
So, Christmas was actually lovely. Good to see the family and such.
However, after Dinner on the 25th, it began. A pain that I'd never felt before, as my top back right tooth sends shooting pains up into my gum. Now, I just thought I'd sleep it off, but how wrong I was. I woke up on the 26th in a hellish pain. What followed can only be described as the worst pain ever, that I've felt, anyway.
Wouldn't it be my luck that my Dentist just went private, today is a Sunday, and Monday is a Bank Holiday. Excelsior!
Off to the emergency dental clinic in town in 2 hours, all the money I own in hand, as I beg them to yank it out / kill the infection/ root canal.
So for the love of God friends.
Exersize proper dental hygeine. Lay off the sugary snacks! Brush as often as you can, because I'm sure people who've needed dental surgery will agree that there's nothing else quite so delightfully excrutiating.
All the best for holidays, you lucky lucky people!
I figured that my current pile of things which never gets smaller might be of some sort of interest. It's certainly diverse enough.
Games are coming in kinda short at the moment, just due to not being anything I really want to play, and university work.
Borderlands: Only really playing this because a buddy of mine bought it, and it might inspire me to do some achievements. Siren GET!
Professor Layton and the diablolical box: This game is just pure toughnuts. I'm still playing it kind of, but it's sort of hard. Sometimes I can look at it and spend an hour doing a puzzle. Then I get one in 4 seconds.
Dissidia: Fighting Kefka is sweet. The voice acting makes me uncomfortable, however