My Favorite Legend of Zelda???

Hello!

After the nostalgic nature of the last post I thought maybe I should go ahead and try to lighten up a bit. And what better way to lighten up than to argue with myself about which Legend of Zelda game is my favorite. That’s right, I’m honestly sure that I could choose a single Legend of Zelda game to be my top choice, even if I had a gun to my head. So maybe this is my chance to try and argue out which is my preference from my collection of favorites.

I suppose the best place to start is to lay out my personal favs and why I enjoyed them so much. Then do a little critiquing and see if I can’t put them all in an list like order with a big old number 1.

The first Legend of Zelda I ever played was the GBA version of Link to the Past. I enjoyed the little self-contained story. The uneasiness you feel starting out into the rainy night alone and gaining confidence as you gain more experience and equipment. Ending up in the Dark World just meant there were two worlds to explore and help save and how they connected together was very cool. I also liked the ability for me to pick it up and take it with me, I used to play it in the car until I somehow grew into some motion-sickness issues.

To be paired up with that would be A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS. I absolutely loved the art style and the change of villains with different powers. Sure, there’s usually some maidens or sages in need of saving but to have their cages be matched up with your own power and thus your own freedom, it gave it a different feeling. I liked the new merging ability and how it combined both Hyrule and Lorule into places that were connected as long as you were small enough to slip through the cracks between them. I also liked the change up when it came to the equipment; having everything you might want/need available to you from the start as long as you had enough rupees was pretty cool. It made you nervous to lose because all your equipment could disappear on you.

To round out my handheld choices I need to mention the Minish Cap which might be a surprise. I’ve heard some people really didn’t like this one but I really did enjoy it. If it hasn’t been made clear, I really enjoy the idea of connected worlds and the idea of a tiny world existing within the normal world. Growing big or getting small and interacting with everything in a bunch of different ways. The different equipment have a strange attraction for me, the lantern in the graveyard is my total aesthetic and I really enjoyed the Kinstones and matching them with a bunch of people. Again, I’ve heard people didn’t enjoy the Kinstones but I really like existing in the world and going beyond the main storyline. Yep! I’m the side-quest girl!

Now onto my console chooses. Unfortunately, two of the series’ darlings are not on my list because I have extreme difficulty playing them without the perfect circumstances and mindset: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Due to playing both these games at points in my university career when I was extremely anxious I had separate panic attacks in regards to both these games, so they are rather spoiled if I’m not completely sure that it wont happen again.

However, I still have two Legend of Zelda games that I am extremely fond of playing that deserve their places on my favorites list.

First is Wind Waker for the Game Cube. This is another early LoZ game for me and, in fact, the first one that I beat all the way through the main storyline. Previously to playing this game I either choose games were there wasn’t really an “end” in mind (Animal Crossing and the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons series) or tended to stop each playthrough before the end and come back to the game later with a different save file. Something about Wind Waker made me want to see it through; to rescue Tetra and defeat Ganondorf. I loved the characters and trying to help them out, to try and make some wrongs in the world right. I enjoyed sailing, especially with the Wind Waker’s music choices and exploring all the little islands and filling in my sea chart all felt really good. And that frozen Hyrule Castle under the waves – oh my god it was amazing and heart pounding when all the creatures came back to life!

Lastly, and probably to no one’s surprise I need to include Breath of the Wild on the list. I specifically bought the Switch for this single video game and I have no regrets. The switch up when it came to equipment and weapons was an interesting change and I appreciated, now that I’m an adult, the shorter shrines rather than the big complex dungeons. It means when I’m busy I can still accomplish something in the game without getting myself embroiled in a much larger task that I don’t have the time/energy for. The forgotten memories and how Link recovers them is heartbreaking and made me really want to get to know those characters more, which is alternatively also a downside. I liked being able to roam the world in a variety of ways and get my ass handed to me. I actually didn’t mind dying. It was usually the type of thing where I had a better idea for next time or at least knew to avoid how badly I had just screwed up. The game also really helped open me up to trying new games like the remastering of Skyrim on the Switch and the upcoming Dark Souls game. It made me crave more stories, more monsters to fight, more bits and pieces to stick together, and a higher willingness to die in games in order to get those experiences.

So there’s my top 5 Legend of Zelda games across the handhelds and the consoles. Sorry if I left your favorite out or included one you really dislike. This is really just my preferences and don’t have any real objective value when it comes to anyone else’s enjoyment of these games. I’m honestly just trying to work out which of these 5 I would consider my favorite, for my own sake more than the entertainment of anyone else. With that said, let’s look at some absolutely jumbled together downsides.

The earlier games that I played, A Link to the Past and Wind Waker have a tendency to be extremely linier. With Wind Waker of course, after really the Forest Haven you can go on a bit of a high-seas adventure but you’re locked out of accessing a lot of islands and dungeons until you get the proper equipment in the proper sequence. A Link to the Past literally labels the steps for you. Neither game make exploration a super big part of the game which is a little sad for me. They also don’t give you a whole lot of choice of what sequence to do things in. Minish Cap is pretty guilty of that too and in a lot of ways A Link Between Worlds falls into some of those issues too. With that one though you have a little more choice because the equipment shop lets you make a few more choices out of the expected sequence. Breath of the Wild might instruct you through the first little bits of the game and may give you a nudge towards certain events but I literally walked out of the Restoration Cave, saw that the game wanted me to go talk to that old man, and climbed the wall behind me to explore. I sunk two hours into exploring (and falling off) the Great Plateau before I finally backtracked to talk to the dude. That freedom was nice. Breaking into Hyrule Castle way before I felt ready to take on the big boss was cool and daring (and deadly if I’m honest).

While the tools in the Minish Cap are pretty cool aesthetic-wise they don’t really have a lot of use outside their own individual places. But that’s also true with a lot of the other games as well. Like in Wind Waker, the fire and ice arrows on the surface look pretty cool but they don’t have much use beyond the unlocking two islands which really only give you items that unlock two other islands. But at least they don’t break constantly. Actually, I don’t have a real problem with the Breath of the Wild’s breaking system. I wish the game gave you a little more variety when it comes to the equipment. I mean the boomerang makes an appearance and the fire/ice rods are sort of there. But I miss having a bunch of different options. I suppose the runes make up for some of that but it’s just not the same. I guess no one gets a point for that one – oops.

Music-wise Wind Waker is at the top of my pile and Breath of the Wild is at the bottom because it couldn’t give me much more than an heartattack inducing piano solo when I’m about to die via Guardians and an, admittedly, beautiful song whenever dragons are around. You need to give me a little more than that.

Overall visuals are hard to divide up; each game has its own visual style that it works with and I love each of them for their own reasons. As always, older games are liable to look less impressive against newer ones so that makes the choice even harder.

I don’t suppose, with all of this said, that I can just back out on my original decision to try and name a number one? All of these games have been ones I’ve returned to throughout my life and I love them for different reasons and have issues with all of them. I love the freedom that Breath of the Wild gives me to play on my own time. The music of Wind Waker and my ability to semi-explore an ocean is pretty freaking worth it. Minish Cap is just so cute and plays like a little kid’s dream. And A Link to the Past is my childhood that A Link Between Worlds updated and improved. It’s very hard to make a choice between them because I go to them when I’m in different moods or need different things.

I might not have made the choice but hey, at least I didn’t say my favorites were the Philips CD-i games!

Not Going Back to School

Hello!

This is a really weird time of year for me: everyone’s off back to school and I’m just sorta…well, not going. I’m still technically a student but my thesis is all that needs to get done (the defense at least) so there’s no classroom time for me. I really think I should be celebrating, “Yahoo! I’m (almost) done!”, but I’m not.

It probably doesn’t help that I live in a university town and spent my summer working with a lot of still actual students. As August moved into September things changed. Even the air changed, it started to become cooler and a little breezy; weather that I never realized I associated with heading back to university.

In a lot of ways, I miss it. I miss going off for a long overnight drive. We’d pack the car the day before and I would go to my last day of work the next day, heart pounding at the recognition that I’d bid the museum and that years’ co-workers goodbye at the end of the day. I’d wake up the next day finally back home with plans to meet up with my friends already in the works.

I miss the big day when all of us were finally moved back into the city. We’d try to be lowkey when we first met, but if it dissolved into screaming and hugging well, that’s what we needed after such a long summer. We’d get food, mostly just junk if I’m honest, and sit out in the sun, legs outstretched, and just talk for hours.

I miss the classes and the reading. I was part of a program in my BA which combined political science, philosophy, and English literature. Getting that reading list was always exciting! I’d buy my books and feel a little overwhelmed at the amount of reading, but then I’d get home and flip through all of them, savouring the new book smell. I’d try and fail to pull off the price stickers too, so that part of the back cover was always sticky. It was annoying then, but I can only look back and laugh because I just kept doing it.

Sometimes it was hard. Sometimes all the work felt never-ending. But in moments like that I’d walk around campus, ride the bus, or grab some friends and head to the board game café. Doing so just let me exist in the moment and stop worrying for a little while. I took that for granted, I recognize that now. I’d do it again in a heartbeat – but only if I could replay those specific four years.

You see, I don’t miss school. I certainly don’t miss my Master’s class year. I miss that particulars school, with those particular classes and the fantastic specific people. I don’t care if many of those friendship went on to crash and burn, to part ways on different paths, to exist in different worlds, they were good.

I liked the classes I took with the professors I had and those things aren’t static. They don’t exist frozen in time. In fact, at least two professors I hade have moved on for their own reasons. One of them was even my thesis advisor for my bachelor’s thesis. The other was a fantastic upbeat professor who never failed to convince me to love poetry and to check up on me when I looked about ready to lose it. He even made an exam optional (you could do another project instead) when I asked him what his game plan was if someone broke down and sobbed during the exam. I never did, by the way, but I also did the alternative project on that one.

My experience could have been wildly different if I had picked a different dorm, hadn’t been lucky enough to get paired up with my future best friend as a roommate, hadn’t met my other closest friend in a game of survival in the park during welcome week or a thousand other small happenings that made it all possible.

The unlikely events that had to occur to make my BA experience what it was is overwhelming. And I can recognize that that’ll never happen again. But that’s okay. I miss my friends and the time we got to spend together, but I can go forward with all my memories, the lessons I’ve learned, and the long-distance quiet types of friendships I still have. And that’s enough for me.

To anyone that might be reading this who have returned to school, I wish you the best of luck. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, and try to stay on top of your work. To pump you up here’s a song that I used to listen to before the big drive back to school; a little Harry Potter Musical for you:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yVuvU3Zjt0

For those of you like me, not returning to school and feeling a mix of emotions about that, the last scene from the final Harry Potter Musical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6Jm8ZkYuVc “There comes a time where you have to move on, a time where we have to let even Harry Potter go. And that’s okay.” “Okay is wonderful!”

Matching Music to Books

Hello!

Time to combine several of my nerdy enjoyments and slap books and music together. This is one of the more common combinations, especially considering that I have several videos on Youtube centered around this concept: we’re going to try and find some songs that match books!

Movies have soundtracks, television shows have soundtracks, video games have soundtracks. Let’s give some books some soundtracks.

As I said, I’ve seen some videos surrounding this idea but I’ve also found myself applying songs to writing on my own as well. With that said, I’ll be tossing in these first two which are the lead songs to the novels I am currently writing on:

My first novel was really what got me applying songs to books because I heard this song and realized, yep this is the mood I’m trying to get at.

The song is “Youth” by Daughter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEpMj-tqixs

My second novel, the sequel to the first and thus trying to deal with the fallout from the events of the first novel so its song I felt really needed to recognize mistakes and the desire for forgiveness.

The song I’ve picked is “Leave Out All the Rest” by Linkin Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZIummTz9mM

 

So, with those two personal ones out of the way I guess its finally time to get onto some books that other people may have actually read or know! I should note that I’m generally be avoiding music actually designed as fan songs about these books. So, no Wizard Rock for Harry Potter. Maybe that’ll be a different post later on.

Let’s start with one of my big storytellers and one of the oldest stories written down. One of the classics: The Iliad. A war story that has a strong anti-war message in just how explicit the death and violence included in the descriptions. Every person that dies has a history and a family and a life. This song choice is another one of the easier ones for me because I’ve kept this song in mind much of the time I originally read the epic – it certainly sounds epic enough to fight to but its lyrics also speak more to the want of war to end.

“Take Me Away” by Globus:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nioflv9Xn5I

 

Let’s try J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Hobbit. On my Youtube channel I started a literature exploration series called Book and Page and the first book the series went over was the Hobbit. Meaning I’ve taken a look at it up and down. And I’ll say it is hard to ignore the music that went to the movies (even if I didn’t agree with all the choices the movies made) but I’m setting those ones aside and picking one of my own. I picked this one to try and represent Bilbo at the end of the story and his decision to return to the Shire, even after everything.

“Calls Me Home” by Shannon LaBrie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj4AoGm6tAY

 

With the Hobbit has to come the Lord of the Rings. And as a series, its harder to put one song to it. And really, a real soundtrack has multiple tracks and since LotR is usually divided into three books then there would be three soundtracks so any song I pick isn’t going to encompass the entirety of the series. Though I have found one I like! This one I hope picks up the violence the characters find themselves embroiled in (especially the hobbits) and how they have to fight to survive and save what they love.

“Rise” by Skillet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3jQ0tFqG_0

 

Switching up genres I’m going to throw in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars! This is one of those books that just punches me in the heart, the gut, and the feels. I literally read this aloud to my mother on a trip out to start a new year at university and the two of us sobbed like babies (which, considering she was driving probably wasn’t the safest things). So, a sad song that encapsulates trying to come to terms with life and death is needed so hopefully people understand why I picked this one.

“You” by Keaton Henson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxQLNxFA1Mg

 

People were probably waiting for the Harry Potter choice considering I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Harry Potter in all three of my blog posts so far. Well, I’m writing my MA thesis involving Harry Potter so I’ve been very involved in it. That makes song choices both easier and harder because you realize how complicated the story and characters actually are but also just everything makes you think about the stupid beautiful thing. So here it goes: a song to talk about Harry’s history, his school, his friends, his fight, and his life!

“The Nights” by Avicii: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSnBlJbvX1E

 

So, I think I’ll leave this first Book Soundtrack post here. This is actually a whole lot harder than I thought it would be! Go ahead and drop a comment with any of your own song suggestions for these books and series and why you think they fit. Feel free to let me know if you want a second Book Soundtrack post and, if so, what books you want me to try and match music to!

Working on Self-Publishing!

Hello!

I thought today I ought to mention the other project I’m currently working on: self-publishing!

I have loved writing all my life, my parents tell me that before I could even read I’d flip through a book and tell them a whole “story” in baby talk. Didn’t matter the book was often upside down, I was going for it anyway. Once I could write there was no stopping me.

Since then, its been a question of what’s actually making it onto the page. Overall, I have struggled, not writing things, but writing something complete. There are notebooks upon notebooks filled with bits and pieces of unfinished stories and a whole lot of self-insert fanfiction that will never see the light of day.

Over the last few years I’ve really started to try and get something done fully. This started with a novella in a high-school creative writing class. Looking back on it there are definitely some problems: the story-line operates out of that self-insert style, and the pacing is horrendous just to name a few. But I finished it!

University has helped and hindered me in different ways. There were a lot of points where writing didn’t happen because I was busy writing papers or getting reading done for class. I had a professor ask me if my writing could really be that important to me if I left it alone so log. Yes. Because even if I wasn’t writing my stories were still with me: characters and plots begging me to put them on paper. I just wasn’t disciplining myself the way I should have been.

I’ve been working on that. Creative writing classes have helped but I’ve also been working on the stuff that I want to write because its stuff I want to read. I fully admit, much of the first novel of my trilogy was written when I was TAing classes; listening to the class with one ear and frantically writing.

The next step is getting it out there, letting other people who might be interested in reading it get to. So, I’ve started using Kindle’s Direct Publishing. It’s a platform that let’s you self-publish your writing and get paid for it when people buy the e-book. In some countries it even lets you print paperbacks (but, of course, not in mine).

So, I thought I would let you know about the project. In working on getting my trilogy of novels up – the first one hopefully will be posted very soon – I’ve set up my first piece for people to enjoy! It’s an experimental drama using philosophy, poetry, and fiction to discuss bullying and being a by-standard. If that sounds at all interesting check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Walking-into-Sun-Deal-Cracks-ebook/dp/B07GD6H9G9/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1535367550&sr=1-1&keywords=Walking+into+the+Sun

It’s called Walking Into the Sun: How We Deal with the Cracks in Us All.Walking Cover Hi-Def

I’ll let you know every time I get something new posted: things are always at work in my head, it just might take some time!

Loving and Leaving Animal Crossing

Hello!

I thought today I might wax poetical on my love-and-leave relationship with the Animal Crossing Games. Why? Because, if I’m honest, its been bothering me lately.

I realized, more recently than not, that throughout my gaming career I have enjoyed and then eventually suffered through random bouts of loving to play one of the various Animal Crossing games. My preferred one has always been the original Game Cube edition as it was the one I grew up with and once shared a semi-thriving village with my older brother, my mother, and my father as neighbours. When the need to play hit me at the less convenient times to have my Wii up and running (in dorms where my space was already limited and perching my one and only – at the time – console precariously on a stack of boxes was less of an inconvenience and more of a hazard) I turned to Animal Crossing: New Leaf for my 3DS. I can remember even playing New Leaf this past year, having grabbed my dorm keys, a pair of pants, shoes, and my 3DS when the dorms fire alarm went off at 6:30 on a Saturday morning during reading week. It was rather nice to wander my village in the earlier hours of the morning, watering my flowers and catching a fish or two while I actually waited for permission to re-enter the building and go back to bed. It was less nice overhearing the group of first years (completing my MA means I may be first year in my program but I am decidedly not a first year) speculating whether or not they had set the fire alarm off while having a smoke in their dorm bathroom.

Quirky memories aside Animal Crossing has remained so much part of my life that I am not above admitting that it was something of a safety blanket on lonely summers away from my first university and the few friends I had that got me. Curling up on the couch in my parents’ house while they went to work and I whittled away the day catching bugs in a village far sunnier and friendlier than my own was how I told myself I wasn’t lonely. I’d keep friends in this village for a while and then the system would be packed up for another year while I returned east to actually have friends for the school year. It was a normal thing, even when I worked touring strangers through old houses and enthusing about famers and millionaires who once roamed my now dying home town. Who wouldn’t want to fill the Animal Crossing museum with works of art you’re never likely to see in real life and bugs and fish all proudly tagged with your name as the grand donator?

Then I went to get my MA. And summer didn’t end with a goodbye to the village and a welcoming of real friends. Summer ended with a terrifying city that wanted me less than I wanted it. A five person program with one girl who felt Aristotle’s slave system had “some merit”, two men who felt the need to mansplain everything to me, and the nicest old lawyer who was there because he finally had the time to complete the MA he started some 40 years back. I hated it. I couldn’t say two words without being told I was being completely subjective and that there was only one objective truth that I would never find but those two boys, they knew the truth and these classes bored them and they didn’t want to talk about them. Why wouldn’t I keep coming back to a little digital village filled with animal neighbours actually glad when I come to visit? What the hell is wrong with that choice?!

Sorry, sorry. It’s been a hard year and a half where my closest friends were a single one on the other end of the country and a village full of fake animals. That realization does things to you – a variety of things. Sometimes it was nice: a reassurance that eventually it wouldn’t just be animals on a screen but my real friends. But then it became the realization that that was never going to happen again. My summers of working and playing Animal Crossing to pass the lonely moments until September rolled around and there were really fucking people waiting were over. Even if I went east now, packed up everything and moved back to my little university town, none of my friends are there.

My best friend is closest but she’s moved to the nearby base town to live with her boyfriend. She loves him and that makes me happy, but I’ll never be able to walk to her apartment again. We’d have to arrange times to meet up like adults, maybe sit and talk at the little coffee shop downtown we sometimes frequented. But we’ll never spend hours walking the city and talking about everything and nothing. We won’t get the chance to spy cool graffiti someone wrote across the fence backing onto that one bike trial or walk so far out of town we get a bus back in because we’re exhausted and I’ve walked holes in my shoes.

My second closest friend is the one physically closest to me know. We met up for dinner some months ago because she had taken the four hour drive out to do a test at the one of the colleges in my town. We had supper but we didn’t linger, she had the drive back still. We talked about her dog mostly. About how she was applying for vet training. About how my PhD plans were falling apart. She doesn’t text me first. She never replies to my Snapchats or watch the vlogs I upload on Youtube (only my best friend does that, despite several people promising they would). I send little holiday presents, she only mentioned the fact that she received her Christmas present because we met up for dinner. I don’t know how to keep her in my life.

Two on opposites ends of the country. Hung out more often in groups than one on one.

There are two more. Married, or common law. They’re further east than I’ve ever been and we follow each other on Instagram which, if I’m honest, is the closest we’ve ever really been. We had a falling out some years back and a mutual friend apologized to each of us for the other. Then that friend fell out too and nothing really recovered from that point. I spend a summer playing Animal Crossing in the city I thought I loved, thinking maybe I was right to move on. Maybe I could stop playing Animal Crossing if I just had something else to work on.

I was wrong. I might have switched to my handheld but I kept playing that goddamned game. Kept trying to convince myself that the world was going to get better if I just focused on my studies and filled every other hour not hitting the books doing busy work in a video game. Maybe I’d actually finish my museum collections. Maybe I’d prove a better mayor in an animal village than a person trying and failing to socialize in the real world. And maybe I did.

I moved back to my home province this past summer; moved in with my parents who rented a two bedroom apartment in another university town so that I had a place to live. I still live here now. I worked full time and wrote my MA thesis, planned to head into a PhD program, maybe in England, maybe in my old university town. Then England said no and so did the town I can still picture myself getting my life in order in. That’s fine of course, the external advisor on my thesis pulled a hard no against me defending my thesis without serious revisions. Any hopes I had to graduate this academic year went down the drain with one email. My parents and my best friend know. They’d fix it all if they could. I’ll try and fix it too, eventually, but right now I’m just trying to squash the temptation to pick up Animal Crossing again because it isn’t going to help. But I want to play it anyway. I want the easy validation that comes from fishing and hunting bugs and building a new public works. Keeping flowers alive makes me feel good, even if its only digital (my friends use to call my Animal Crossing habit “gardening”). But playing Animal Crossing isn’t going to get the novel I want to write written. It’s not going to fix my thesis or find me a job. I’m not good enough at any video games to make my living off of them – yet I don’t feel nearly so scared of picking up a Legend of Zelda or Mario game as I do facing down the temptation of playing Animal Crossing again.

Animal Crossing has somehow morphed from a time-waster to get me through until my life effectively starts back up again to an admission that my life has stopped. And I don’t know how to fix that.

A Proper Introduction

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Hello!

Welcome back to my second every blog post. I figure, after the first post of nerdy ranting, I ought to give my readers a slightly better account of myself (or myself at the time of the writing of this post).

So let’s start with some of the basics.

My name is Angela and I also go by MsDuckiebee across the internet. I finished my BA back in 2011 and am currently working on my MA thesis, though its taking a little longer than expected. But that’s okay and its rather normal to stumble a bit before you get running. You also have to be willing to try new things when the alternative is sitting inactive.

So, ta-da! Here is my trying something new experiment: Nerdy Complexity!

What can be expected here in the blog?

A lot of freaking things. Like I said in my last (first) post – I’m doing this so that I have a space to celebrate and nerd out about all the different things I enjoy all in the same spot. But, sure I recognize I don’t like everything so I’ll try and give a few more specifics.

I’m a huge book nerd. From classics, to contemporary, to history, and beyond. After my BA university experience, I’ve found that I have difficulty reading only one book at a time. In my BA I double honoured in English Literature and a specialty program called Great Books which combined English Literature, Political Science, and Philosophy. That reading regiment has forever affected my reading habits. I love reading fiction books but I also need to balance that out with some sort of non-fiction, whether that’s a book on Hannibal or one of Plato’s dialogues.

To pick out a few of my favorite series and subjects in the great wide world of books I’d be remis not to mention my love for Harry Potter. The Percy Jackson series (actually a lot of Rick Riordan’s series altogether) have become a more recent enjoyment of mine – so I owe a prior co-worker Paul an apology for my arguments against the series that I wrongly judged by its early covers alone. I was wrong. I’m also something of an Arthurian academic with a love of reading fiction stories, academic articles, and historical speculations. J.R.R. Tolkien’s works might be a extra-description heavy but he (and a smatter of other Inklings) have kept my attention for years as has Bernard Cornwall. Also, Homer. Homer, Homer. Not Homer Simpson. The Iliad and the Odyssey Homer. The fluid nature of those two tales makes my heart sing.

So let’s step away from the books and take a look at some games that I’m in love with. For sure, I’m an Nintendo-phile and have only ever had Nintendo consoles. When I was young my family had an N-64 and then a Game Cube. I eventually purchased myself a Wii and just this past year I treated myself to the Switch. Handheld wise I’ve grown from a GameBoy Colour to my current 3DS. So you know immediately some of my favourite game series: the Legend of Zelda is the most obvious. The Switch purchase was, for sure, based on my need to play Breath of the Wild! I’m also a big Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing player when I need to relax and let the real-world float away. Mario and all of his various spinoffs including Smash Bros are on my radar. More recently I’ve managed to start playing Skyrim thanks to its adaption to the Switch (that many players have complained about but I almost cried in hearing about) and I’ve heard that Dark Souls might be coming as well which means that I’m about to die. A lot.

Anime! Oh, jeeze this one is a little mix-and-matched. One Piece is love. I grew up with Inuyasha, Naruto, Card Captors, and Yu-Gi-Oh and nostalgia is a powerful thing. I really need to get a Crunchy Roll subscription so that I can get into the more modern selection including more Card Captors but I’ve got some series off of Netflix including the 7 Deadly Sins and One Punch Man! Like I said, I’m hoping to expend my selection in the future so don’t be surprised if you start hearing about things I’ve found that people have probably known for years.

I’m a writer who’s trying real hard to enter the traditional publishing realm but I’m not quite there yet. I also like dabbling in painting, sewing, cooking and baking. So those are likely to pop up periodically in the blog as well.

Blog posts will be coming every Monday, usually earlier in the morning (before I head off to work). If you’re interested in more from me my YouTube channel is linked above. Every Friday gets a new video: it alternates between update vlogs and more scripted video (book reviews, art projects, soothing scenes, there’s a variety of things that might pop up). Wednesday and Sunday each have uploads based around my book study series “Book and Page”. The first season is due to finish up mid-September 2018. Season 2 will be back on the 4th of November 2018! So, over both the blog and my YouTube channel, you can get plenty of content throughout the week!

All together, this is going to be an interesting ride all over the place. Now that you have some idea of what’s going to come flying onto my keyboard and to you, hope it doesn’t make you want to run! If you’re still here, let’s get going!

Why am I starting a Blog?

Hello!

Not quite sure where to start with all of this. This past March I attended the ELGX 2018 gaming convention in Toronto. Conventions are absolutely fascinating. They give you a place to enjoy all the different aspects of the thing the convention is about. Or at least a lot of those aspects (nothing can ever do everything). ELGX had a retro game spot, plenty of indie game developers, a handful of big name developers, a whole troop (actually technically two troops) of YouTube gamers, and a variety of panels for developers, streamers, and fans alike. And, of course, some cosplay thrown in there to keep things fresh.

I loved it.

I was there all three days of that convention and I checked out everything from the artist alley – and bought a few things too – to the Hearthstone Tournament with actual announcers and everything. And yes, I even cosplayed a bit as well. Like super lowkey not at all fancy cosplay but I got involved (and got a free t-shirt for it too).

It was a whirl-wind of a weekend and when I got home I slept for a good twelve hours straight; a sleep like the dead. Then when I woke up I got thinking. Which, if I’m honest, is not always the safest thing for me to be doing. Not that I can turn it off. But, I’m off on a tangent (again). Needless to say I thought many thoughts anyway.

Conventions are fun but they are also niche. If you go to a gaming convention you are there for the games and the culture surrounding games. You’re not there for Harry Potter. It’s not there or, if it is, it is just tangentially there. Same with things like anime, books, sci-fi, and practically anything else that isn’t video games. That’s because conventions have to be niche – in order to include a variety of interesting activities, guests, and artists you need to limit what the convention is actually about. Thus, if you want a convention about Harry Potter you go to LeakyCon. Anime has spots like Anime North. And, of course Sci-fi has got its Comic-Con. You’ll see it a lot with online communities as well, especially in the space of Youtube. If you’re a book fan you watch the Booktubers and if you like gaming you watch the Youtube gamers. Sure, you might watch a couple different groups but you’re not expecting the booktubers to talk about movies (unless they were books before) and you don’t expect the anime youtubers to suddenly start gushing about Harry Potter. They make their money off of the niche they picked from the beginning; it’s how they trust people will keep coming back for me, because they know what to expect. You’re going to have to chop up what you enjoy in order to enjoy it to its fullest.

Except people aren’t like that. Not really. It’s very rare for someone to purely like one thing so much that they completely exclude everything else from their life. No one lives like that – there’s always going to be something else. Sure, it might not going to be a traditionally ‘nerdy’ thing but maybe it’s working out, maybe its friends and family, maybe its religious practice. Any way about it, it’s a thing that’s important to a person, that they get excited about and enjoy participating in. Those can be considered nerdy things and they make people complex beings because they aren’t always connected to the other things we like. We can like Harry Potter without really liking the movies. And we can like the Marvel movies without that affecting our enjoyment of the Harry Potter books or soccer (football for those outside North America). We are complex nerdy people with complex nerdy enjoyments and it’s not always possible to chop our enjoyment of those things up.

Why am I starting off my first blog post with a discussion about the tendency to chop up our nerdy discussions and limiting ourselves to talking about all of them separately in their own places? Because it’s not going to happen. I am literally starting this blog because I want to be able to talk about the video games I like, the books I like, the philosophies I like, and more here without being labeled as a liker of one particular thing. My nerdy is more complex then that, all of our nerdy is more complex then that. So, instead, I’m pooling all of my nerdiness into this one blog with some connections to my Youtube channel, my Instagram account (which is mainly taken up by my cat) and all the other parts of me that I haven’t allowed to exist in the same place. I am a complex nerdy and I will proudly use this space to show off my Nerdy Complexity. I hope you’ll join me, get into celebrating our varied nerdy interests and stop splitting yourself up just to be able to talk about important pieces of yourself.