The Unsung Hero of the Switch’s Design

So recently I got myself a Switch. I’m enamoured with it for one simple reason. It has a lot of indies and can be played portably. I couldn’t imagine playing Stardew Valley on any other console. I own Stardew Valley on my computer but usually, I’m using my computer for other purposes. With the Switch, I can play a game while I’m commuting. I can play a game while the TV is being used for Netflix. I can play the Switch in another room easily. I can bring my Switch to a friend’s place. The Switch fits around my life and that makes it the ideal console for me and possibly for other busy adults as well. So much of the antiquated idea of gamers revolves around the console as a static platform. Sure, phones games exist but a combination of factors means that phone games have their own shape and form to them that lends itself to smaller experiences. The Switch can handle beefier experiences and a controller with more nuanced controls than tapping. With that, I’m going to talk about a feature of the Switch that I never realised the benefit of until I had a Switch. The controller.

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Revisiting Iron Man 2

So last week I had a look at the first Iron Man film. For me, the thing that surprised me the most about the first film of the MCU is how interesting it’s geopolitics were. 2008 seemed like an epoch ago in the grand scheme of history. It seems that our news focus has shifted from Afghanistan, the country in the first Iron Man, to Syria. Now instead let’s turn our focus to the second Iron Man film. Iron Man 2 is not so well liked amongst Marvel movies, but like most of them (bar the dour Incredible Hulk and Thor: The Dark World) it is supremely watchable. The cast work wonders in that regard. Downey is magnetic. Cheadle, Johansson, and Jackson give enjoyable performances in their role. Sam Rockwell is having too much fun as Justin Hammer. So, let’s look at the movements and the plot of Iron Man 2 and reflect on where we’ve been and what that means for our current moment in time.

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Revisiting Iron Man

So, with Infinity War coming out just last week I decided to rewatch most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. A look back at where the universe has been and where it is now. Now, when I rewatched these films I skipped 2008’s Incredible Hulk, which meant that my marathon began with the first two Iron Man films. An interesting beginning. I’ve never been Tony Stark’s biggest fan. I’m more of a Captain America guy. Looking back at the first Iron Man films is interesting because those films begin with Stark embroiled in the military-industrial complex. Now, Tony Stark may have transitioned away from that model into being a futurist, but his solo films are all about corporate power struggles and the next big weapon.

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The Fair Folk

The old ways are dying. We must innovate.

Effie considered the words of her oldest friends as she sat at the neon bar sipping something weak and sugary. She examined the vibrant spaces of the nightclub. The club was some faux-80s dive. The bar was bedazzled in shades of pink and blue that reflected off everyone’s drink glasses. The drinks were all brightly coloured. There were dark corners as well, as you might expect from these kinds of establishments. Dark corners, dark drinks, men with even darker corners in their mind. One such gentleman made his way across the bar to her.

‘Anyone ever tell you that you look like Alyssa Milano?’ he asked with a voice tinged with whiskey.

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Thinking Deeply About Fictional Worlds

So, despite the fact that I call myself a writer. I don’t often dole out writing advice. I’ll correct those around me on grammar and language choice if they want but I’m not in the habit of shaping myself up as an expert. Mostly because I’m not. I’m a practitioner of the craft but I have some way to go before I can call myself an expert. With all that out of the way, let’s talk about worldbuilding. When I say worldbuilding I refer to the practice of creating fictional worlds usually employed in works of science fiction and fantasy.

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How Do We Solve a Problem Like Apu?

So, I’m a big fan of the Simpsons. The classic era is one of my favourite shows. Recently, the Simpsons responded to the criticism it received over its caricatured portrayal of Apu. This response was prompted by Hari Kondabolu’s documentary about South East Asian American representation ‘The Problem with Apu’. In the documentary, Kondabolu interviews notable South East Asian American actors regarding their feelings about the character of Apu. This documentary included Kal Penn, who you may know as Kumar from Harold and Kumar or as Kutner from House, whose intense dislike of Apu extended to the Simpsons as a whole. Kondabolu himself enjoys the Simpsons but finds the character of Apu to be a racist stain on the show.

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The Eyes of God

The shimmering eyes stared down at them from enormous backlit billboards. In days gone, they might have been confused for an advertisement. No longer. The eyes were cruel. Although to give them that much agency was to personify them. The eyes felt nothing. They weren’t really watching from their point above everyone, plastered to the side of ever-growing skyscrapers. The eyes were merely a warning. God is watching, though a god of their own making. A god that was above but was also hiding in their pocket and their watch. The machines had won, and they were God now.

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