The Midgame Rapport: Ni No Kuni

So, 30 hours in, major plot twists revealed, the end game in sight but still another 20-30 hours to go on this tale of self exploration. Ni No Kuni has been pretty damned whimsical, though it has teetered on the edge of becoming somewhat boring. Let's run it down, shall we?

The story has been nice, and I feel that's the best I can really say about it. It considers itself to be clever while being perhaps too easy to understand, undermining the cleverness dramatically. It's very clean, in that it seems to attempt to emulate a Hollywood script meant for children. It never attempts to challenge the player's conception of what's actually happening. More than a few times, I would watch as a scene of shadowy figures discussed plots against the world-at-large without any justification behind it, the lot of them being very cartoonish, mustache twisting caricatures of famous nursery rhyme staples; and I would wave my hand across the screen and declare "That guy is X, and that means X is Y," with near flawless results. At this stage in the game, my predictions have only been wrong once, carrying a slight amount of disappointment in that I think said prediction would have lead to a more interesting conclusion in the long run. Is that bad? Certainly not, it’s merely safe. Safe and tidy, which can prove to be a struggle to hold someone's attention for 60 hours. I'm hoping, as I move into the second half of the game, that things become a bit vaguer and a real sense of urgency is presented to the player. Probably the biggest disappointment I have is that I'm not feeling the emotional connection with the cast that I thought I would. Oliver and Esther are pristine characters; you know that from the moment you meet them to the moment the game ends, they will do no wrong. Swaine is slightly more grey area, but even then, once you solve his “issue”, the most challenging thing you’ll get from him is a little crassness ever so often. You can sort of look past it as Esther and Swaine have a bit of a rapport that works well when the narrative calls for it, but Oliver, being the pure hearted one, has to stay the Jesus figure; he will always fight for what is right and be sheepishly adorable on top of whatever emotion is called for. It’s a pretty dry engagement considering you’re out to save the world as a secondary mission.

That being said, the thing that has kept me engrossed and wanting to push on though has been the combat system. I've always liked the idea of a free roaming combat hub where your actions have more importance on things like whiffing or blocking or evading. The RPG trope of characters lining up on their arranged sides and taking turns whacking at one another was fine in a time where developers didn't quite have things worked out, but that we have games like Grandia, Star Ocean and the Tales series, which feel almost like action games every time you enter a combat scenario, I feel more games need to break away from tradition. It's nice to see that Ni No Kuni does this, but man, oh man, is the AI stupid or what? I spent 3 or 4 hours taking on the mid story swell boss rush last night, the end result usually being Esther and Swaine dead on the floor for the majority of the fight, and me, Oliver and my Puss'n'boots single handedly taking down whatever the game could possibly throw at us with little to no effort. Without going too far into spoiler territory, the story bosses are pretty shoddily put together compared to the monster hunting you can spend a lot of time doing on the side. Good strategy and AI Chaos takes a backseat to simple patterns which have more to do with running from one side of the room to another while trying to rush the enemy down. It's these boss fights that show how shallow the combat can be, and it's really a shame because the framework of it all is pretty amazing.

But still, even with that said, bumping around the world to see what lies within and beneath is still fun. I have my air ship equivalent, I can explore where I want, and the game does a good job providing you with systems that allow you to travel from place to place very quickly; which makes the TONS AND TONS AND TONS AND TONS AND TONS of fetch quests a simple matter rather than a time consuming chore. I actually quite enjoy monster hunting as these side missions can provide quite an interesting challenge at times; though, as already stated, if things get too hard for the AI to handle, they boil down mostly to my other two party members dead on the floor, and me and my Puss'n'boots taking on the world. Money never seems like much of an issue since the amount you get from regular battles feels like it increases expediently with the game’s length, and the pot collected from doing quests eventually gets pretty massive. There were points where simply wandering through towns netted me 10-15 thousand gold with almost no effort.

The music is good, the presentation is good, there’s nothing I overtly hate about the game thus far, I’m just not in love with it how I thought I’d be. There’s still a lot of ground to cover, I just hope that there’s something still in the wings that will really be the impressive amazing thing that makes me say, “Okay, NOW it’s on”. Trouble is, even if that happens, the game will have suffered from FF13-itis, where things don’t pick up until 20 hours of the game are complete, which is a real problem. Ni No Kuni is a slow burn, in and of itself. As it stands, it takes about 8 hours for the game to stop leading you by the hand as it injects narrative into tutorials. I can’t say that between those 8 hours and the 30 I’m at now, it’s been nothing much learning the systems, but at the same time, we haven’t had that 3 act climax. Being this late into the game, it makes me wonder if it’s ever going to come.

But I’m not giving up on the game, much the opposite in fact. I want to see where it’s all headed and really hope there’s a fitting payout in the end. There’s seemingly a lot left to see, entire continents that have things there but no good way to access them. Here’s hoping there’s some real twists and story beats that keep me on the edge of my seat rather than force me to be a successful profit.


Stop Being So God Damn Silly: How To Act At A Concert

This summer, I have been absolutely blessed to have experienced a concert series which i consider to be absolutely next level. A set of dates consisting of combinations of artists and performers who have the ability to get people from 0 to hype in no time flat. Boston, being the kind of city it is, makes it hard for performers to really put on a show that most people would consider to be "dense" enough compared to other cities like LA or New York, where there are no time restrictions on how long a club can stay open, or more importantly, how long people can stay out (public transport ends at 12:35am). However, that means that the people attending shows need to really put their best foot forward in making sure they enjoy themselves once they've arrived.  
Being 28 years old, I've come to the decision that, If I'm at a concert, I want to be at the front row. I'm tired of being in the back or off to the sides, even though there may be a better, more tranquil vantage point. For me, up front is where I want to be, mostly because If i'm going to be spending the money to attend a show, I'm probably gonna get a little wild. But lately at a lot of these concerts, I've been seeing a lot of nonsense going on at stage level. Couples having arguments about attending the show in the first place, people who are "drunk" sloshing their way around in attempts to get closer than the need to be, people wanting to become the sole center of attention behest of whoever may be playing; essentially a whole lot of people doing it wrong. So I though I'd create a quick FAQ on how to act when you're front row at a concert.  
Because apparently, amazingly, dishearteningly, people need to be told.  
Step 1: Get into position.  
When you arrive at a concert, you're always going to have enough time to move yourself into position. I used to get to local concerts about half an hour before doors so I'd be ensured a good spot, but most of the time that's simply a waste. Doors at 7 means nothing starts until 8, and everyone's going to be social butterflies while they want for the opening act. I've learned that this is the ideal time to eat dinner, have a few drinks, get limber and loose, use the bathroom, chat people up; get all the things that I like to do, what has nothing to do with enjoying the entertainment, out of the way.  
When the opening band comes on, you don't immediately have to go to the front and start staking your claim. Everyone will move up, but you still have, at the very least, two set changes before the main act comes on. Look at this video here.  

  Here is a pretty good position to be in for an opening act at a small club. You can see the full stage, you still have access to the bar or the bathrooms, you can still head out for a smoke and you can still chat people up. Most importantly, by the time to set changes, you can still move up when everyone uses the break to take care of their own business.  But even then, you have to be mindful of your surroundings. If the crowd is thin, you can often hang back until things start to fill in.  
  At this show, I had no worries about my abilities to move from the bar, to the front, and back again. 

Step 2: Wait for the push.  
Eventually, when the main act does come out, you will experience what is known as, "the push". This is when everyone behind you frantically tries to push forward and get closer to the stage. If you are in position, this is advantageous as you can simply ride the wave even closer to the stage. Keep in mind though, Once the push happens, you will essentially be locked in. While you can wiggle your way out, you will permanently lose that spot unless you came prepared. At certain venues, this is extremely difficult or flat out impossible. Using the push is essential to get that spot where the acts can shake your hand or give you a fist bump during the performance.  
  This is my ideal position for the push because the flow is always going to push towards the stage, opposed to crashing against it and heading towards the east or west walls. At this particular show, once the push occurred, I was directly on the wood of the stage, which was perfectly ideal. However, I did lose that spot due to a potty emergency, which forced me to rethink my position.  
Step 3: Never not Wild'n Out. 
I understand, it's hard to let yourself go at times. It can seem embarrassing to just get a little wild. Your worried about bumping into strangers, maybe you want to make a non-physical impression on that cute girl you just saw, maybe you're trying to keep your drink in one piece. And if that's the case, DON'T GO TO THE FRONT ROW! Hang back, you can still see, you'll still get the most out of it and if you're worried about the people around you, you're not going to have a good time. I will tell you right now, if I'm at the front row, and it doesn't look like this:  
Or this:  
 I get upset. If you're at the front of the crowd, stage side, it means that you are there to party. It means you love that band and you want to get a full face of it. If you are placid in the front row, you are insulting the band and the people around you. Don't get mad because, "Gugh, what's with these cray cray people, why can't they just enjoy it quietly," fuck that mess. We enjoy the music we love quietly every other day of our lives. We came to this show because live is the best way to see the stuff you love and you have to expect everyone around you to want to get a little crazy. In the past 3 months, I've experienced things from couples having relationship counselling to deadheads laying on top of the stage and sloshing about in a frantic effort to stay on their feet; not getting live, not even seeming like they were enjoying themselves. If that's how you want to be, you need to get out of the front. Mst places have balcony seating, or you can go hang out the bar and just listen, more ideal places to simple settle and absorb rather than part of the experience. So as the step is entitled, if you're in the front row, you are never not wild'n out.  
Now that's not to say you need to be a jerk or forget your surroundings. Be mindful of what you're body is doing so you don't accidently cold-clock the pretty thing that snuck up behind you. If you can keep mindful of your surroundings while having as much fun as you can, you are doing the front row right.  
Step 4: Alternatives. 
There will be times where you just can't get to the front. It's unfortunate but it happens. Don't try and muscle your way back to the front. You're going to do nothing but piss everyone you shove your way past off and you're potentially going to get hurt or find yourself stuck behind someone you couldn't move, and probably can't see over. It's this situation where you need to make use of your surroundings.  
  At this particular show, I had lost my good up front position and had to double back. I ended up pushing myself against a supporting pillar and used that for leverage against the push. This ensured that, while I wasn't completely up front, I had a large solid platform that I could use for things like jumping around without smashing into everyone. Other people tried the same thing without said pillar, and were escorted out by security. There are great vantage points everywhere, and you don't NEED to be up front. But everyone wants to be upfront, even if they really aren't ready to be.  
Step 5: But I REALLY wanna be upfront 
But what happens when you do need to leave the front and are determined to get back up front? Well, there's some real world issues that you need to consider. Let's face it, you'll have better luck if you are a petite young female than a lumbering male. The best thing to do is roll deep. Attending shows with friends is a great way to keep your spots static when new drinks or bathroom trips become important. If everyone knows what they're doing, they (you) can even recruit the people around  you to hold your space, given the type of show.  Ladies, find a big tree to stand under. There will be plenty of dudes at any concert who are just standing there who will not mind having you slip in front of them if you do not take up a whole lot of space. Fella, use the shoulder tap system to let people know that you're about to go by them rather than simply driving your shoulder into the small of someone's back. Be polite, but also understanding if the miasma of people is simply too thick to press through.
  Everyone at this Powerglove show I attended was very nice and I was able to retreat towards the bar to grab myself a drink and return to the front unabated. Again, it's all about knowing your surroundings and being able to adapt. You win more flies with honey and if you are nice and cordial instead of a lumbering dullard, you will get farther than you would otherwise.  
Step 6: No one cares about you 
So you've made it to the front. You're exactly where you wanted to be and now you're getting ready to enjoy the main act in it's full force. Do not do stupid shit that pulls attention away from them and focuses it on you. Don't sit on the stage. Don't beg to be brought up on stage. Don't yell out requests unless the band asks for requests. Don't try to do super complex dance choreographed dance moves (I'm looking at you anime fans...). Just enjoy yourself, but don't be an idiot. No one paid money to see you, so don't expect ANYONE to want to see you more than the band. Poor MC Chris had to yell a girl off the stage when she kept wanting to come up and be a whorish groupie tease when I saw him live a few weeks ago.  
It doesn't seem that complicated right? I didn't think so either, but it feels like the more shows I go to, the more people are simply doing it wrong. Follow these easy easy steps, and you too can have fun in the front row. 

My Abusive Relationship With Capcom

Gentleman, ladies, I am a fighting game fan. I wasn't always; I remember, as a child, trying to play street fighter 2 on my genesis and not being able to make heads or tails of how to perform a dragon punch or a quarter-circle forward. Many of the more complex ideas that are now commonplace in every fighting game made me feel dumb or slow, as if the response between my fingers and my head were just inherently slower than other people's. But I have fond memories of being in the ski lodge at the mountain local to my hometown, a group of 8 - 11 year olds huddled around street fighter 2 machine, popping in quarters, switching off with the oldest of the group once Guile came up because he was super cheap and rumors of handcuffs were being tossed around. Though I was bad at them, even then, I loved the idea of fighting games.

I remember Guilty Gear XX getting me back into these games. I dabbled in a few fighting games here and there, Powerstone and MvsC2 on the Dreamcast, Bushido Blade on the PS1, but nothing courted me so entirely like Guilty Gear did. The style, the music, the relative ease of accessibility, it did a lot to teach how you to play the game instead of throwing you into the deep end of a pool and saying, "there, sink or swim." I fell in love with that game completely, so much so that it launched my cosplay career. It is the game I have spent the most online time with to date (seconded only by PGR2) and while I am not the best player in the world, I take pride in my skills with my top three (which are Faust, Baiken and Zappa respectively). That game rekindled my flame and my love for the fighting genre, urging me to go back to past games, which landed me square in the house of Capcom. Replaying Darkstalkers 3 on my PSP, getting back into Street Fighter Alpha 3 on my Dreamcast (The best version), buying a stick to try and get good at CvsS:Chaos because Zero and Dimitri were in it. I had begun to put in time, to shape my brain and my muscle memory to help me win. It was fun, but it was becoming second nature.

And I find myself here today, reading GAF threads about the possibility of a Super Marvel Vs Capcom 3 coming out either late this year or early next year, and my heart sinks. Marvel 3, or rather, Dat Mahval, was easily my most anticipated game of 2011. I can't remember the last time I was so eager for a game to be released. I still don't know why, maybe it was the nostalgia I felt from playing MVSC2 while waiting for DDR to free up in my high school days, maybe it was the rumors of the Darkstalkers triumphant return to form (which turned out to be true), maybe it was the possibility that it would fill the void left by the lack of a guilty gear title; it's almost been 8 years since the last true iteration. It reminded me what it was like to be a kid having no money, waiting with a bated breath at any little information that trickled into my hands. The leaks were a massively successful way of grabbing me and keeping me interested, whether the character announced was someone I didn't want at all (X23) or someone I literally jumped for joy for (Hsien-ko). It was fantastic.

And the game came out, and the fighting was excellent if not a little flawed (Tron flame assist is the most broken thing in the game), but it was ultimately a bit of a disappointment. Fighting games had evolved. Blazblue had a plethora or options, story modes, trainers, challenges, things to keep people learning, evolving as a player. Even SF4 had trainers that, although were still fairly inept at teaching anything, at least got people to learn the muscle memory on how to do complex moves like FADC chains. Marvel 3 had none of it. Oh sure, there was a mode that showed you how to do fairly unreasonable combos that you'd never actually execute in a match, but that's simply not enough. And we all swallowed and bit our lips at no spectator mode, and we all knew the DLC was coming, and when we first learned that shadow mode wasn't going to be free but was so dumb, we dug our toes into the dirt and tried not feel that we were simply being shafted. And when we learned that Jill and Shuma were on the disc, we held our heads, even though many of us knew we were getting them for free. We tried to ignore it, or give them the benefit of the doubt, or assume that it would all be made fine down the road.

But it wasn't made fine, and it won't be.

And yeah, I'm not stranger to how Capcom works. I mean, really...I remember all this from my days as a kid. The gamepro jokes that Capcom didn't know how to count to three; the crying out each time Capcom released a new iteration of the same game with minimal changes often for more money than the last version.


I should have seen it coming, but I wanted to believe. I wanted to feel like Capcom got it right this time. And the game is fun to play. And even though the Xbox controller is terrible and I can't use a stick, I play almost every night. And I see the problems and throw a fit and yell at my television about Wesker running away with teleports or that damn sentinel combo, or lament about why I can't use Tron even though she is one of my favorite Capcom characters or literally throw my controller every time I drop a Hsien-ko combo.

But I keep coming back. the game just looks up at me with those doe eyes, flashes Morrigan's breasts at me one more time, shows me Hsien-ko's entirely too cute ending (even though the endings are bullshit), and I calm down, and I play another game, and win or lose, I'm in it for another night. Marvel 3 is the most manipulative relationship I've ever been in.

And I go to NEOGAF and I read the threads, and Lupinko gives pretty resounding evidence that a super version will be out next year and I bite my lip and dig my toes in the dirt and clutch my head, and scroll to the end of the thread where everyone says, "as bad as this is, and as much as it killed the fighting game industry in the 90's, we will all buy this with open arms," and I sigh, and rest my head on a cruxed arm, and know that poster is right.

Capcom, your games are consistently unfinished, often broken, generally disappointing...but a riot to play. I wish I could quit you and stop pre-ordering your games and listen to the rest of the gaming community and not put up with your shit, but you know just what to say and just what to do to keep me from kicking you out the door.

There's a Marlena Shaw song entitled, ”Yuma – Go Away Little Boy”, where Marlena is talking with her boyfriend who has just quit his job and spent the last of his money on assorted afro maintenance products, and every question she asks it met with a disdainful response. Eventually she tells him to get out, and he slips behind her and convinces with sweet words and tender kisses to ignore all the problems he has. Capcom does this to me every time. I shouldn’t be buying their games because I know they will be broken until the 3 iteration, but I do every time, openly, willingly, under duress and scowling all the way. But they know just how to press my buttons to keep me buying what they put out, even if I know it’s going to be flawed.


On poor humor...

I've been in a fairly fowl mood ever since last night and find myself in the awkward position of not being able to drown my mind in music, work or games in order to silence it all. It seems that, somewhere over the span of the past who-knows-when, people became unable to discern a joke from a statement. It feels like whenever this happens, the offending joke is rarely "offending", it's more the attitudes of each side that drives me up the wall.
What started all this was the current Rape-Joke controversy that penny-arcade is currently embroiled within. To make a dumb story short, last year, Penny arcade made a joke about people being raped to sleep by "dickwolves" a monster that they created that has the body of a wolf, but all of its limbs are each an erect phallus. A particular member of the game development community (I will leave names out since that was part of the problem) took offense, wrote emails, and then put up a lengthy diatribe explaining why Penny Arcade is bad and why we should all feel bad for reading it.  Up until this part of the story, I really didn't care and honestly couldn't be bothered to analyze either side. It's a comic strip, not even that funny of one, where the aspect of rape is used as an adjective to the plot, not a result or a cause. It literally is something that has no merit. 
it's the next part of the story that really gets on my nerves. The following day (or interval, whatever), another strip was put up which seem like a sort of snarky response towards said diatribe, dismissing it in a very callous way. Poor form, but not the worst thing that has ever happened. The response from said bloggist was to put a series of blog posts on why rape is bad (which to this day is at 52. FIFTY TWO LENGTHY BLOG POSTS ABOUT WHY RAPE IS BAD, AS IF WE DON'T KNOW), many of which still point fingers at Penny Arcade in being rape apologists. Afterwards, Penny Arcade produces a tee-shirt/hoodie combo with a dickwolves logo on it and sells it, making the shirt a symbol of solidarity for penny arcade. Now this isn't necessarily bad, but without taking care of the previous issues, its easy to see why people could take offense. After all, without nipping this in the bud well and early on, you could make the argument that anyone wearing a dickwolves t-shirt is okay with rape. So that was poorly handled. BUT THEN, one certain bloggist makes DICKWOLF SURVIVOR t-shirts in an effort to combat against penny arcade and raise more awareness that the site and anyone associated with it are rape apologists. 
And it was about at this point where I started to wonder when the world had lost it's god damn mind and if we could ever get it back.  Everything in the aforementioned paragraph is fucking childish, petty, BULLSHIT.
I understand how this happens. Groups based in comedy are always looking to push the envelop, so they come up with things that aren't in the best taste. Sometimes those things get popular and are emulated by those who subscribe to the source material. it's commonplace; it's the stuff that memes are made of. And there will always be people who fly off the handle and take it too seriously, calling for a stop to it all so more feelings don't get hurt. Hell, Tipper Gore was famous for it during the rap revolution of the late 80's/early 90's. This won't be the last time it ever happens. 
I feel though, as a species approximately 5000 years into modern civilization, that we need to cope with our feelings a little better than this. I don't make apologies for either side. I like the penny arcade guys, I think the things they've done for hospitalized children through their child's play charity is wonderful. And I've seen and revere the works of a few of these offended bloggers (hell, I've been to the offices of one in the not too distant past as we live in the same city and we're both in the biz). The point where both sides could come away looking like rational adults who have a disparaging opinion has long since past. What we have now are petty, stupid, he-said, she-did, I'm so smart so you should listen to me, you don't know what you're talking about so you're opinion is invalid, bickering non-sense. And it has to stop. 
If the penny arcade guys wanted the dickwolves to be a great logo for the site, they should have provided it with more background regarding the symbol. I know it's similar to a sports logo and it's not that out of the question thinking of it as a sort of "The fighting dickwolves" type deal which is why the whole thing comes off as lazier than it should. It wouldn't have been hard for those two to come up with something. Hell, the dickwolves was the name for the official PA WOW Guild for a while, THAT IS REASON ENOUGH!  Without it, the entire notion of dickwolves comes off as ambiguous and potentially offensive, and can be PR suicide for your COMPANY which is something you need to think about before you start marketing things (I'm often amazed by some of the shirts that come out from enthusiast sites, and more by the people who actually wear them in public).  If the woman who was the most vocal in all this wanted to be taken seriously, she shouldn't have marketed a counter product in order to feast on the sympathies of people in similar situations. It makes you look opportunistic and crass to the actual issue at hand, which submarines your whole point since she claims to be a survivor herself. And generalizing the people who actually read these blog posts as "Ignorant neckbeards who do nothing buy play video games" does not help your cause either. If you're writing these, you're trying to branch out to communities you are not regularly a part of, so leading out with "All you dumb boys just don't get why my feelings are hurt" isn't a great way to express your point or pull people to your side. I found it really sickening to have to watch war veterans explain the effects of PTS Triggers in a god damn comments page because the blog posts did such a poor job of explaining things and served to only sensationalize the entire affair.
But in the end, I point the finger the squarest and hardest at those lurking upon the Internet, feasting upon all this drama, getting over involved and succumbing to its overinflated hype. I get upset when I hear about people in games journalism boycotting things like PAX because of silly stupid squabbling like this, and I get VERY PISSED OFF when people ask me to take sides and try to prey on my moral standards. That is not fair to anyone and no one should be vilified for their difference of opinion, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE SUBJECT MATERIAL IS SO DAMN TRIVIAL. To be fair, I learned about this whole ordeal while pursuing /v/ looking for more information on Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. What I found were THOUSANDS of hateful ignorant knee jerk responses from countless people who thought their sensibilities were being attacked and HOW DARE SHE BE SO INSOLENT, LET'S TAKE THIS FUCKER DOWN. And on the other side, we have the death threats against Jerry Holkin's Wife and child. OVER A COMIC STRIP. This is the garbage that is killing the common sense of the planet.
So I have made the decision to not care anymore. I'm done following this story. just like with the Orson Scott Card/Chair Interactive issue last year, I will continue to do what I want. I will not make changes to my day, I will not stop doing the things I like because people who's opinion I revered have decided to act in a extreme method based on what they may or may not see. I will continue to read Penny Arcade, I will continue to visit the blogs of game developers who make products I find appealing,  I will be at PAX, I would engage in the festivities, and I will enjoy myself dammit, because life is too short. Now, if anyone wants to have a dialogue with me at PAX over this, I'd be more than welcome to have one, as long as it doesn't keep me from going to anything I want to see. Which is now less than it was yesterday due to this nonsense. 
It truly feels like we, as a society, are forgetting how to take a joke. In my twitter feed today, someone linked me to a tweet from Kenneth Cole Inc, saying an approximation of "Now e know why Egypt is in such an uproar, THE NEW KENNETH COLE SPRING LINE IS OUT!" Crass? Idiotic? In poor taste? Absolutely. Am I going to boycott Kenneth Cole products because of it? Fuck no. I groaned, did a head slap, shook my head and kept reading my twitter feed. If we get offended at everything that can be taken out of context or can be told in poor taste, we will never get anywhere. We need to remember how to laugh as a people.  
But I, for one, am tired of being upset over this. I am going to go home, watch tonight's fight club feed, work on cosplay, and start living within my own brainspace again. Because this is the last thing I want to have to worry about.


7000 people in a seething, roaring, shouting mass

a.k.a. - Patience as a disposable commodity
There are days where I seriously wonder what strange foreign energy keeps me from destroying the world. Given my history and lineage, I should have murdered quite a few orphanages at this point as examples to those who would conjure my ire. But still, somehow, I manage to use a large percentage of patience and oneness to keep my insatiable lust for blood in check. Because between Anime Boston, moronic people who don't know the difference between north street, north washington street, and washington street, people who don't know how to get up and leave a room after they've finished filling out a paper, and idiotic garage owners who lock my keys in my own car which forces me to blow $85 dollars to renew my triple A membership, the north end should be a smoking crater after having to endure the heat my pure rage produces.

And yet, I've managed to stay frosty through it all. My kidneys hurt a lot though.

So. Anime Boston.

That shit sucks.

And I thought, while discussing it with people, namely Mike and Jaime, during the Masquerade, that i was being too hard on it. That perhaps because PAX was such an amazing success and proved that you can have a con that is 4 times the size in the same space run more efficiently and provide a more enjoyable environment, that Anime Boston simply paled in comparison. Perhaps if PAX wasn't last weekend, if it were this weekend, I still might have had a good time.

Until the words Marco Polo were uttered.

New rule. Say that shit around me and I will fucking eviserate you. Because it has been ruined for me. When I was playing the Uncharted 2, the Marco Polo joke was great. I laughed. Now that shit is repugnant. I try to keep 1 simple rule. Do not let shitty people ruin good things for you. But when you are dealing with 6000 shitty children who all scream the same thing at the top of their lungs, shit gets broken. And now I hate it. During one of my breaks today, I tried to find the origin of the game Marco Polo. I couldn't find a date, but what I could find, is that it underwater variant of Blind Man's bluff.

Blind fucking man's bluff. These kids are essentially mimicking the screaming equivalent of pushing a hoop down the street with a stick. This is shit your grandparents knew of when they were your age. It is a meme from when memes weren't memes, but simply tropes that were commonly done. It's not even a dead meme. These children, in their idiocy, have created a monster. They have created the true Zombie Meme, shuffling and awkward, but deadly to those within it's range.

At first making fun of it felt like part of the game. But it was at the point where I started yelling "FISH OUT OF WATER" and they didn't know what it meant, that I realized that they were simply yelling things for no reason, without purpose. They didn't even understand what their words meant. It was, quite literally, diarrhea of the mouth.

So now, Anime Boston, along with a lot of other historic things based in Boston, is yet another staple of Massachusetts history that needs to be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up. It no longer works. It is no longer good. And that's not to say that I don't want it to be good, oh no. Far from. I've met so many good people through Anime Boston, built long lasting relationships that I genuinely cherish. And now, to think that that wonderful environment which I used to anticipate with bated breath can now be defined by two words, screamed by the adolescent collective of idiocy, truly saddens me.

Anime Boston = Marco Polo Con.

Anime Boston is Dead. The new fanbase slaughtered it like Caesar in the forum, cackling with each stab, pausing only to suck in a new breath before screaming out "MARCO!!!!!" only to take another swift but blunt swing.

Long Live PAX. Because everything about that shit was amazing.