my lack of originality

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Happy Pride Month! <3 Wanted to do something special for it with my kids!

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- In which the beast really only needed to work on loving himself a bit more, while beauty signed up for kicking some ass and not that magical bullshit.

I spent the whole evening listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack and couldn’t control myself.

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what kinds of jobs would got7 have or what kind of businesses would they own if got7 didn’t exist?
a graphic for my friend who shared this idea with me! made using her ideas for each member, hope you like this! <3

Medli of the Earth

Fell in love with her the moment I saw her.  So of course, I had to draw her.

10 Things I Loved About Mass Effect:Andromeda

Warning: Spoilers! And I wrote this on the spur, so there might be grammatical errors.

1.      I enjoyed the story. Yeah, people will say it recycles from the trilogy, but come on, people. Why are you surprised? Bioware recycles their plotlines all the time. It’s pretty much the same in all of their games. A protagonist gains special abilities and leads a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits team to defeat a big threat. And I’m not bothered by that. Sometimes familiarity in your franchise is good, just as long as you do new things to the formula, and I think they do.

What interested me the most was the theme of starting over. A lot of people in the Andromeda Initiative were former criminals or outcasts. The reason they joined was to start a new life, and it’s explored in the main questlines, the loyalty quests, and numerous side quests. I was worried about the game talking about colonization since humans are looking for a new home, but I was pleasantly surprised that the game made it clear that Andromeda is the angara’s home first, and humans and other Milky Way species will have to work with them. Thank god! No Mightey Whitey trope this time!

2.      Ryder as the player character. I honestly never thought I would love Ryder as much as I did when I played the game. Sure, no one will ever replace Commander Shepard, but Ryder isn’t meant to replace the Commander, rather show a different perspective in a new story. Commander Shepard is the hero we want to be while Ryder is more of a relatable character. Ryder has to learn through the entire game how to be a leader while going through the obstacles of their inexperience and youth so people will take them seriously. And it was compelling, uplifting, and at times amusing to see them become a hero in their own right and step out of their father’s shadow.

Also Sara and Scott felt like their own person. In the original trilogy, the player character is pretty much the same no matter what gender. But sometimes the dialogue can be different depending on if you play a male Ryder or a female Ryder. That’s because they are two different people who have had their own experiences and personalities. That really adds to the replay value!

3.      Female aliens everywhere! One of my major issues with the original trilogy was the lack of female Turians, krogans, and salarians. Sure we had asari an all-female race, and female quarians, but it felt weird that we met so many aliens with very few ladies. Not only do we get a female Turian squadmate, we also get plenty of lady alien NPCs gathered everywhere for random quests. We also have Kesh who works at the Nexus. And we get to see female salarians! And they kind of look the same as male salarians except with different voices. Thank god! It would’ve been horrifying to see salarians with boobs. Uh! And I’m pretty sure there were just as many female angara NPCs as there were males.

4.      The romances. Especially the queer ones. One of the things I love about Bioware games are the romance paths. Bonus points if there is a queer option. And as of patch 1.08, this game has the most number of queer romances in any Bioware game. I think my two favorite romance paths are with Sara and Vetra and Jaal and Scott. While representation for the LGBT community is improving in media, there’s no denying we still have a long way to go. And after again the crap year 2016 where we had a huge number of queer women characters die in tv shows, it was so wonderful to have a healthy and happy relationship between two women when I first played the game. And even if it wasn’t added until the patch, the romance between Jaal and Scott is absolutely sweet since we see two men show a lot of love and affection for each other which is rare to see in media.

5.      The Tempest Family. I adore every single character on the Tempest, and they really did feel like a family once you played further into the game. I am a sucker for found families, and to see these people who are trying to find a home ending up finding a home with each other just gives me so many feels!

Since there’s not really a huge crew in the ship like in the original trilogy when Shepard had an army of humans. In Andromeda, we have six squad mates, four additional crew members, and Ryder. And I think it made the family more intimate. It’s like our own little family lives on the Tempest.

Also I liked how there were more quests spread out throughout the game with the squad which I think was lacking in Inquisition. Plus. Movie Night is the best scene ever!

6.      In my opinion, the side quests were fun. I think this was one thing they improved from Inquisition. Inquisition side quests just felt like a bunch of fetch quests that got kind of boring pretty quick, and didn’t really add to the overall story. Some highlights from Andromeda were: Kadara, the angara reincarnation questline, the Turian jailed for murder, the anti-AI group, meeting Zaeed’s son, and those kids sending out a distress signal for a new light for their weed plant. HAHA!

They were compelling in their own right and included cut scenes instead of the Inquisitor going to some location like in Skyrim to do a thing come back to the quest giver saying, “I did the thing.” “Ok, good.”

7.      Unlike in Inquisition, there’s actual payoff for some of the quests you do. I don’t mean to be mean to Inquisition, I still love the game, but remember when we were promised that you had to build your forces up in order to defend against the main threat. Yeah, you built forces to get influence points to gain perks, and that’s it.

In Andromeda, while, yes. It’s not the same level as Mass Effect 2. When you actually complete quests and help out leaders, you can get different results during the final battle. Like, there’s a chance Captain Dunn may not survive.

Also, when you get 100% viability on all the planets, you get a special surprise on Habitat 7- being told that it will one day be habitable because of our efforts. Sure it was a side quest, but it just felt so rewarding!

8.      The climax was actually fulfilling and exciting. Again, something else Inquisition was lacking in. Seriously, when I first played Andromeda, I legit gasped when the archon was taking control of SAM node. The villain was actually living up to his threatening nature!

Just when we think we got everything under control, and are about to find Meridian, the Archon fucks shit up, and our sibling has to step up to save the day. Then we have to gather people we helped out and prepare for a final battle, and Ryder can finally prove themselves as a true Pathfinder and kick the Archon’s ass once and for all. People are saying the ending was as disappointing as ME3’s? Pfft…What are you even talking about?

9.      The angara. Bioware never fails to make me love an entire fictional species. Yeah, it feels a bit off that they pretty much have the same faces and the same 3 voice actors, but I really do love their culture. And I appreciate that they were clearly coded as POC while Andromeda didn’t go through with the whole Mighty Whitey Trope. The game wants you to respect their culture and to respect their home.

I love the angaran people are open about their feelings, I love how their religion believes in reincarnation, I love how we see angaran scientists, soldiers, merchants, mercenaries, and civilians. Also Aya and Hivraal are absolutely gorgeous!

And when Jaal finds out his people were created by the Kett, I was worried it was going to go the Dalish elves route, but Jaal points out that it doesn’t change anything about the angara. They are still their own people. And that was such an uplifting message.

10.  The overall light-hearted tone. I wrote a small post that got a good number of notes. (Probably the biggest number I’ve ever gotten), so to quote: “There was always this sense of hope and optimism about finding a new home. ‘Yeah, things may have gone totally wrong, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them better’ was the overall message I got.

And really, with so many bad things happening in the world right now and too much of our entertainment supposedly being our escapism being dark for the sake of dark, this was something I think a lot of us needed.”

Mass Effect 3 had its light-hearted moments, and I love it, but man, that game was emotional draining.

It’s a bit discouraging to love something so much and get recommended videos on youtube pointing out the same flaws of that certain game, and why they thought it was a huge disappointment. Do I agree with some of their criticisms? Sure. Does the history behind the production explain the flaws? Oh absolutely.

           But people seem to forget that the original Mass Effect trilogy wasn’t without its flaws. I mean, sure everyone can agree on the Mass Effect 3 ending, but I could make a list of all the issues I have with the other Bioware games including Dragon Age: Inquisition (which despite winning Game of the Year, kind of suffers the same problems Andromeda had).

           So yeah, after the crap year of 2016, I was so excited to get a newly-released game that made me happy. And still makes me happy, and makes me in the mood to play another Ryder.

  • Enjolras: [in a crowded bar and can't find Grantaire]
  • Enjolras: [shouting] ENJOLRAS HAS TERRIBLE HAIR!
  • Grantaire: [emerges from under a table] Excuse you, every hair on his head is––
  • Victor Hugo: [bursts through the fourth wall like the Kool-Aid Man] I WILL BURN THIS ENTIRE BAR TO THE GROUND
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Hello, all my lovely followers! Long time no see! Sorry for the prolonged lack of original posts, but I’ve been crazy busy at my new job as Library Technician at Smithsonian Libraries (@smithsonianlibraries)! I’m working primarily at the Cullman Library in the Natural History Museum, which houses the Smithsonian’s special collections relating to natural history, although I’ve also spent some time at the Dibner Library, which is home to special collections relating to the physical sciences.

Although I’ve only been there for two months, I’ve had the opportunity to do and see some amazing things! From a shelving unit for miniature books to a well-loved 13th century Armenian manuscript (MSS 1675B), the Libraries are truly full of wonders great and small. One of my favorites is the volvelle, or rotating calculator, found in a 16th century alchemical manuscript (MSS 867B)– I just love it when books are interactive! Expect more from that one in the future.

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OC time: small soft princess unma and her big buff troll girlfriend koive from a scriptless comic i sometimes doodle for fun

My town has its own video games festival that has existed ever since a mandate was passed in order to “rebuild the cultural foundations” of the town. This festival has always roughly coincided with E3, possibly in order to draw in visitors during a time when video games are a trending subject, but ironically this seems to hamper attendance to the festival since more people are interested in the much larger and undoubtedly more important E3 conferences. For this reason, I usually miss out on my local video games festival. My town has a number of thoroughly obscure and unremarkable game developers, and though I certainly appreciate that someone is facilitating gamer culture within in my depressed, dying town, I couldn’t care less about their output.

Most of the animosity I feel towards my local game developers stems from the one time that I actually did visit this festival. It was some years ago on a insufferably hot and humid June afternoon. I was in the town center running errands and I wanted to get out of the heat. I was broke from spending all of my money on important matters, so I couldn’t justify patronizing some restaurant. I also didn’t want to go to my local library for a reason that I’m secretive of, but may share with you all in the future. So, what caught my eyes was the town recreational center, a drab box-shaped building that usually bled misery but, at the time, had an enticing sign sitting at its entrance. This sign, a immaculate depiction of Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Master Chief holding hands in solidarity, was what drew me into the festival, as I knew whoever drew such an image could be considered my kin - I am a gamer.

So, enticed by my gamer spirit and my need to get out of the heat, I entered the recreational center. The festival was poorly attended, with only a few other visitors aside from myself, all of whom seemed to be more interested in being out of the heat rather than checking out the few booths that made up the festival. There was some attempt to redecorate the recreation center, but they failed to drown out the inherent misery of the place. There was a bad life-sized and garish paper mache statue of Mario that stood at the center of the recreational center and existed in stark contrast to the uneven gray concrete of the floor and bland greenish coloring of the rest of the place. On one wall was an inordinate amount of video game posters that were pasted haphazardly on top of each other, and seemed to be hiding something rather than being there for the sake of decoration. You could tell that the wall was badly damaged as if something had collided into it, and it was moist with some viscous liquid which was dripping onto the floor. I didn’t bother to see if it was glue or not as the whole appearance of the thing made me uncomfortable and I preferred to stay away.

However, what struck me the most about the festival wasn’t the miserable, downtrodden nature of the event - trust me, that’s a given in my city. Rather, it was the complete lack of original personality it had. The few people manning the booths were dressed as already well known and established video game characters. There wasn’t an ounce of local charm there. Furthermore, there didn’t even seem to be any video games on display anywhere, which one usually expects from a so called “video game festival”. I asked a woman dressed as Samus Aran (as far as I could tell, at least. She was only wearing a pair of blue overalls and her hair was dyed an unnatural blonde, so I assumed she was Samus), and she didn’t respond to me, but did achingly point her finger at a door near the back of the recreational center, a door that I recognized as the entrance of the unisex bathroom.

This bathroom was notoriously disgusting, and I thought the woman may have misheard me, so I asked again. She simply kept on pointing. So I reluctantly went into the bathroom. The bathroom light didn’t work and the smell was horrendous, but sure enough there was a game console in there. It was hooked to a small CRT television that was illuminating the bathroom with white static. This television was placed in one of the sinks and a chair was sat in front of it. There was no controller, so I simply sat in the chair, thinking that I may be attended to. Instead, the games simply began.

Rocky Rabbit: Was a platformer which, if the game had conventional controls, would have had horrible controls. You controlled the titular Rocky Rabbit, who wasn’t a rabbit or anything for that matter. His sprite constantly changed as did his goals. For the most part, however, you simply moved him from platform to platform, sometimes talking to NPCs who all treated Rocky with absolute derision. The game had 24 levels and ended with Rocky giving up on his quest as he realized he was dehumanized and no longer a being of conventional flesh and bone.

Assault Squadron 57: Was a first person shooter in the style of CoD which started out normal enough. You were part of an American troupe of soldiers that was tasked with taking out a group of North Korean terrorists who had taken control of parts of Washington DC. The game began with you storming the White House to find that it was only an endless building full of rooms. Each room had a unique piece of artwork that you could interact with. Interacting with the artwork gave you the history of the piece and its creator. Sometimes these pieces had very intricate histories that seemed to be longer than the game itself, a game that was infinite in and of itself.

Mario 10: Was something of an incoherent racing game. You played a blood cell that had to race from the heart to the brain, but the game couldn’t decide if it was really that. I had many conversations with this game that was conflicted in what it was or who it wanted to be. It made several references to Assault Squadron 57, and it felt as if I was just playing Assault Squadron 57 again at times. When you paused the game, it would play a cutscene with a message from the developers that assured the game was the most accurate blood racing simulator to ever be created. It play this cutscene in full and it could never be skipped.

The All Encompassing You: Was a point and click adventure game about a woman who visits the house of her estranged husband only to find him missing. This game also had numerous references to Assault Squadron 57, many of them regarding Assault Squadron 57 as the “perfect video game”. I wasn’t able to converse with this game, unlike Mario 10. As the game’s plot unfolds, you find out that the husband didn’t know if he was really himself and claimed that he could see himself physically changing into beings that “weren’t human, and weren’t non-human, just things that weren’t anything at all”. I stopped playing the game when I got stuck on an impossible puzzle that seemed to continuously grow more convoluted each minute it wasn’t solved.

La Petite Mort: Was a JRPG in the style of old Final Fantasy games. You controlled a warrior and his troupe who were meant to travel to the heart of their country and slay a dragon there. A recurring theme in the plot was the inability of lights to work, and the world becoming increasingly dark. The characters in your party and many NPCs would constantly comment on how they no longer feel like themselves, or that they are no longer “beings with coherent and saintly identities”. The game eventually became too dark and I was unable to make out what was happening in it.

The TV cut off after La Petite Mort, and I had to stumble out of the bathroom in darkness. Some genius had decided to move that ugly Mario sculpture in front of the bathroom, so I knocked it over, not caring about what actually happened to the thing. A large amount of time had passed since I entered the bathroom and it was night. Only one light remained on in the recreation center. It hung above the last open booth. A shirtless man sat in the booth and was staring daggers into me. I don’t know if he was offended by my treatment of the Mario statue, but he wouldn’t take his eyes off of me. I quickly made my way out of the recreation center and rushed home.

I haven’t been to my town’s video games festival since, and I don’t know of anyone else who has either. Still, they continue to hold them each year. Whenever they begin, I try to avoid the recreational center as much as I possibly can. Not out of fear, but out of sheer animosity for the people who run the festival, if you can even call them people. They have no vision, no personality, no thoughts, and no future. They’re beings in a existential flux, attempting to manifest themselves through art and failing miserably. I could attend this year’s festival, it’s ongoing now, but what would be the point? I’ve played every type of game they have to offer. They’re all futile and miserable and without purpose, the result of a void attempting to make itself material in a world already full of people who have given up on any noble goal, or any reason to seek meaning in a universe so devoid of any.