Video games and the narrative of frustration

The quiet night is shattered by an explosion of screamed profanities. I bolt upright, half-awake, and blink at the bedside clock: 1am glows red and angry.

Now, we live in a neighbourhood with its fair shares of late night family screaming matches and drunken parties. It’s an army suburb, so people come and go, thus the sense of community is fragile. This time, however, the yelling is coming from my own lounge room, from my own wife. “Fuck! Fuck you! You piece of fucking shit!”

I’m frozen at the realisation. And still dazed, I wonder: who is in my house, and why on Earth would they piss off my wife?!

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Cultural sensitivity and art – part one: Glenn Rhee and “The Walking Dead”

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If upon reading the title of this post you’re asking yourself, “Who the hell is Glenn Rhee?!”, then clearly you are neither a reader nor a watcher of “The Walking Dead” (henceforth TWD) comics (in which he is known only as Glenn – that’s important) and TV show. For the purpose of this post, however, my major point of reference will be the show.

To clarify, Glenn Rhee was (I’m assuming if you’re reading this you are aware of his fate) the only Asian major character represented in this long running and popular series (was the zombie plague particularly effective against the Asian community? Hmm…). Quite possibly there have been Asian zombies (I know, I know: walkers), but for the purpose of this blog, that doesn’t count.

Now, a confession: this post isn’t really about Glenn Rhee. Rather, it’s about Glenn Rhee, and my mixed feelings about Glenn specifically, and about the racial representation in books, film and television in general, using TWD as a example…mostly because I’m likely to get more reads if I just keep saying Walking Dead, Walking Dead, Walking Dead…

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Gender and reading…and while we’re at it, race, sexuality and the movies.

(WARNING: the following blog post contains an abundance of morally outraged italicisation)

Some time ago I made a decision related to my reading habits: I decided to rotate books based on the author’s gender (fiction and nonfiction, and including comics) – and, just to clarify, in no way restricted by biological birth.

My ‘why’ is quite simple: I am a card-carrying, unapologetic Affirmative Action acolyte. That is, I absolutely believe the only way to address in-balance across almost any field is through the adoption of quotas to ensure parity of representation and a fairer society.

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POV and the ‘Rules of Writing’

I want to discuss Point of View (POV) in fiction – a particular bug bear of mine in these early days of my shift from dramatic (back?) to prose writing – and the problems with ‘rules of writing’. But first, a labyrinthine, self-important digression.

It’s only natural at some point in the ‘pursuit of art’ to make a leap for the “Rules”. After all, art is full of uncertainty. There is no winning, or getting to the end (only temporary rest breaks between projects), there is just the pursuit. And that can be pretty unnerving.

For most of us, when we first began doing our thing, we just did it. We wrote. We stood up and performed. We drew. And – not initially, at least – we did not consider the merit of what we were doing. We did it to do it (mind you, childhood trauma is a magical stimulant, hey folks?…)

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The problem with prequels

As we hurtle closer and closer towards a franchise dominated world of entertainment (perhaps we’re already there: our bodies sealed in fluid-full, organic chambers held hundreds of metres below a scorched earth, while an advanced AI…), the perpetual problem of the prequel will raise its ‘fishhead-eating-kept-in-the-basement-child-of-cousins’ head.
Why are prequels so problematic. Simple: we know what happens. And when you know what happens, the tension – one of the qualities that keeps an audience watching – can disappear.

The solution, however, is just as simple.

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