self aware games



“Promise me you won’t do anything stupid.” - “I cannot make a promise that I cannot keep. Stupid is in my nature.”

DS9: Rules, Games, Winning

One thing while watching Season 7 I keep thinking about is how DS9 deals with success and continually redefines what it means to “win”… and how the lessons they learn by playing games for entertainment informs how they make sense of winning real-life victories.

1) The take-home message of Take Me Out to the Holosuite is that “manufactured triumph” can be just as good as actually winning– the Niners team of misfits was never going to win against superstar Vulcans in the baseball game, but they can win by ~having fun~ and infuriating the main Vulcan guy anyway.  If you can’t win, change the goal.

2) Miles and Julian’s obsession with the Alamo shows also how losing a battle can mean winning the war– in the Battle of the Alamo  the Texans (who are the heroes in US history narratives) are outnumbered, outmatched by Santa Anna’s Mexican troops, and the Texans are slaughtered while standing their ground.  This is a losing battle!  However as Wikipedia further informs me, “Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texans to join the Texan Army” eventually leading to them winning the overall revolution.  This is Miles and Julian’s escape into fantasy to take the pressure off, but also is a way for them to make sense of the casualty lists.  Will their co-workers and allies have died for nothing, in the end?  If they themselves die will their lives have been worth it?  The desire to avenge the deaths of the Alamo led for Texan victory, and so the DS9 crew has to use their grief over Federation/ally deaths to fuel their will to beat the Dominion.

3) oh and the Season ½ pointless plots with aliens that like to play games that don’t seem like fun to us (Move Along Home, Captive Pursuit, Rivals, perhaps even Q-Less… Battle Lines is not a game in terms of entertainment but it is like a neverending laser tag with real weapons.) is an attempt to set up further questions on what winning means– how can you win when you don’t know what rules you’re playing by?  what happens if you refuse to play the game?  what happens to your honor and integrity when the game isn’t fair to begin with, and in that case what’s the point in playing? (why not just punch Q in his smarmy face?)

4) in Our Man Bashir, Julian and Garak have to win the holosuite game to save the crew trapped from the transporter malfunction, but in the process might be killed themselves.  Garak tries to save him and Julian, but it would kill the crew– this attempt at victory isn’t acceptable to Julian who shoots him, and Garak is pleased at Julian’s commitment: “He showed me that he had the spine to play the game as it ought to be played”.  In the end, Julian “saves the day by destroying the world”– to save the real lives of the crew, he has to lose the expected endgoal of the holosuite game.

5) All of this builds to our more seriously treated plot arcs that deal directly with these themes– how will our heroes save the day, what will they sacrifice in the process, how will they know what victory is and if it’s worth it?  The first related ongoing arc is Bajoran independence and their ongoing struggle with self-governance and rebuilding, as seen through Major Kira: the black and white of the Resistance against Cardassian oppressors doesn’t apply to the murky grey politics of democracy– how to do what is best for the Bajoran people while also letting them make their own decisions. When Bajorans disagree with Bajorans who is the enemy?  How do you deal with nebulous objectives?  Winning was easy, governing’s harder.

6) Sisko’s confrontations with the Maquis culminates with his pursuit/standoffs with Eddington– Federation values don’t generally allow for officers to poison whole planets, not for any reason, but for Sisko to win he has to play the game that Eddington has set up for him, he has to be the Javert to Eddington’s Valjean.  This is against standard Star Trek rules!!! but it pays off and he wins.

8) Sisko’s struggle to win the game while playing by the rules– and then having to overstep those rules– is most obviously dealt with in In the Pale Moonlight.  “I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all… I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Garak was right about one thing: a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant."  No subtext here, this is the thesis statement of this whole theme, from the mouth of the Sisko himself.  This is followed up by the Section 31 episodes, which reveal that the Federation itself– who has set those rules Sisko breaks/bends!– is willing to sacrifice its integrity in order to win in the end.

Whose rules do you play by and when?  If you play to win what do you lose in the process?  By saving the day, do you destroy the world?  Is it worth it?

hey, so, it’s implied that - like ass creed - k1ngdom hearts is a video game in the ffxv universe, as follows,

so what i’m getting at here… is that when noctis shows up in dissidia he’s gonna recognize cloud and squall and lose his mind bc CHARACTers FROM THE VIDEO GAMES ARe rEAL?!?! IS SORA REAL?!?!? RIKU?!?! IS?? IS THE KINGDOM HEARTS A REAL THING??? ARE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE REAL!?!?!

and he’s gonna lie awake at night every night, and the rest of the dissidia squad is gonna think that he’s suffering with some homesickness or thinking about the people he left at home, when in reality he’s just wondering what other video game characters are out there that he can meet irl

Okay so I know the line “Chess ain’t how your boyfriend thinks” was made up so they could censor the original line for the proshot but I still can’t help but to find it so interesting. Let me elaborate. That line was, and is, the only line where Marvin and Whizzer’s relationship wasn’t defined by gender neutral terms (ex: lover, which can be either male or female and in turn can be interpreted by others however they want). But the stranger part is that it was said by Whizzer, who has never even called them lovers to begin with. Not only that, he calls himself Marvin’s boyfriend and not the other way around, and this is extremely important because Whizzer (who is extremely self aware, see: The Games I Play) knows that while he may be Marvin’s boyfriend, Marvin is not his boyfriend. Thus the entire line being a jab at Marvin, who Whizzer, throughout the song is listing off the jobs of a “housewife” would do and Marvin’s expectations of him playing into said roles. This line, implying that Whizzer is Marvin’s boyfriend but not Whizzer’s, throws the fact that Whizzer isn’t exclusive to Marvin, in Marvin’s face. It also debunks Marvin’s expectations of Whizzer being a “housewife” because in order to be a housewife, Whizzer would have to be Marvin’s alone, but the thing is, he isn’t. It just brings up how Whizzer thinks the family roles Marvin wants is ridiculous because Whizzer doesn’t even fit into them in the first place. I know I’m probably looking too deep into this but I just love this line and all that it implies. Feel free to add your own thoughts!


anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts about Sayaka?

Sayaka ! Is ! A very good character !

 And that’s telling something considering that she starts as a caricature. Blame on me, I judged her hard at first. She had ‘AKANE KURASHIKI’ written all over her : the childhood friend, doe-eyed and pretty, who is only there to be a love interest and makes the main character a hero by saving her.

You know at the beginning of the game when we meet everyone and she is like ‘I’m not a doll, you know ?’ and I was like ‘Well, allow me to doubt you.’ And then Makoto and her collides, and it’s cuty and pretty boring, and she is like ‘I’m going to be your assistant because I don’t really exist as my own person, you know, hihi ?’ and I was like :

I’m sorry, okay. I didn’t know anything about this game, and I said, it really gave me some ‘999′ flashbacks, and I was bracing myself to get a bubbly, shallow assistant without personality that would just be there to give us some ship-tease and pushing Makoto to be a hero, bla bla bla.

But listen, just like with many other characters in this game, the writers are really clever and : 

1 ) display the cliché in full view, lulling us, poor audience, into a sense of security. Like I said, I thought I knew what was going to happen. We all did. Sayaka being the damzelle in distress. Or being the innocent cruelly murdered for the sake of Manpain. Nope, try again, me.

2 ) Acknowledge the cliché. The game is self-aware, the game knows how gender shapes our view of society. A cool example of that is the sheet of paper Monokuma put in everyone’s chamber, about how girls have a sewing kit and boys a toolbox, and everyone has to think ‘damn, Monokuma, gender roles much ?’ before being surprised by the reveal that it’s for ~ murder ~ With Junko, with Sakura, with Chihiro, too, the game acknowledges how much gender plays into someone’s interpretation of a character and a situation.

3) Punch the cliché in the face.

Sayaka is an idol. If you know a little about the way idols are treated in Japan, you know how fucking sexist and disgusting this is, for they aren’t allowed to have a boyfriend, they have to keep a ‘innocent’ apparence at all cost no matter what, playing the perfectly fetishized teenage girl to give a boner to creepy losers. It’s not a cool life. It’s not nice, it’s not pleasant, and she says so herself, but at the same time, her life as an Idol offers her attention and a place to belong, something she never got before, and she is able to accept anything as long as she gets that.

What are these ‘not so pleasant’ things that she did ? Could be anything, really, I guess everyone is thinking about sexual stuff and it’s not impossible, but that could mean crushing the concurrence, cheating, lying etc… what’s matter is that she is ready to anything to keep her place, and it breaks my heart how unable to conceive a life without her group she is - while being aware that idols don’t live under the lights forever.

Sometimes I think about what Hope’s Peak told her to make her enroll. She seems certain that the school is going to offer her immortality, and whether they manipulated her in purpose or she just started to believe it on her own, it’s an alarming truth about the way this school is perceived inside the society.

I know a lot of people thinks she is heartless bitch for trying to murder someone, but I can understand how panicked she must have felt, being locked with strangers, threatened by death at any moment, away from any comfort she had as an idol. Also people forget that she didn’t know about the class trial rules. She is the only person who didn’t try to get out by sending everyone to their death. In any case, I’m glad that at not point the game tries to blame her or to say ‘dun dun dun, she was the bad guy all along’ because she really isn’t.

Did she care about Makoto ? Maybe. In a way that was probably very different from the way Makoto cared about her, and a little sadder too. I wish her life has been happier, I wish she had been there a little longer. I wish I knew more about her. But as a whole, she is definitely someone I feel for and I’m interested in and she embodies a lot of what I love about DR.

dara-strix  asked:

serious question: what is oneshot?

OneShot is a puzzle/adventure game made by @nightmargin @elizavq and @girakacheezer (in the steam re-release) originally released in 2014 it got later ported to steam in 2016 and received a large “Solstice” update in 2017. It’s one of the self aware/meta-breaking games like OFF or Undertale. You guide the biggest cinnamon roll in the history of gaming: Niko

(Just look at them) In their quest to save the world they woke up in by replacing it’s dying sun with a new one - the Light bulb they always carry with them. In the game you are the “god” of this world whereas Niko is the prophesied Messiah. They talk to you directly by name (the computer user name by default, you have a chance to change what you are referred as), ask you to help with puzzles etc. The game often requires you to solve puzzles by interacting with the game itself, like looking up a password it hid placed in your documents, dragging the game window below the taskbar and such. It’s one of the cases where the less you know about the game going in, the better. But what I can say is that the game has an absolutely astounding atmosphere and soundtrack, along with incredibly lovable and memorable characters. A word of warning though, the game can get a bit gloom at times, it’s never straight up dark or anything, but despite the cheery and joyful Niko, the world itself is a dying husk.

To the Men who Want to Keep it Simple...

You’re respectful, playful and generally an all around fun guy.

You have many interests and it’s easy to be with you. You certainly aren’t new to the relationship scene; your 20s are behind you. Though you definitely want companionship, you clearly want nothing to do with commitment.

If you’re honest, you told her this upfront. It could be, however, that you didn’t realize this about yourself until you were in the thick of the relationship, and it went down more like this….

….whenever she talked about taking the relationship to the next level, you told her, “I just want it to be easy, fun, and light.”

….when she said, “What do you think about being exclusive?” You replied, “Why should we change anything? Things are great!”

….you finally admitted you never wanted to define the relationship as “long-term” or anything else for that matter, because you didn’t really know what you wanted in the future.

….she discovered you’re literally incapable of saying “I love you.”

….when it came to the point of feeling like there should be “something next,” such as living together or a proposal (you could tell she was expecting this), you got cold feet. The relationship became a never-ending disappointment to her, and she left. Or you ended it, not being able to disappoint her again.

….you told her in the beginning you’ve never met anyone like her and she’s absolutely “the one” for you. You made her feel like the most beautiful, amazing person in the in the universe, but in a few months you started singing a different tune. Not because you didn’t want to be with her, but you didn’t want it to be complicated.

If any of this sounds familiar, you can choose to do nothing and keep repeating the same pattern, or you can think about these options:

1. You can choose to live forevermore in solitude (unlikely if you enjoy companionship).

2. You can keep all your relationships casual (if this is your choice, please be honest of your intent with whomever you date —she deserves to know).

3. You can figure out why you fear commitment and break the pattern.

If option three is attractive to you, be prepared to do massive inner-work. This is not an overnight journey you’re about to embark on. This is where you search your soul until you come to terms with what’s holding you back. Your discomfort with commitment may stem from an event that occurred in your past that has become a roadblock to allowing yourself to open up and move deeper in relationships—such as a break up that left you a crumpled mess, either literally on the floor or at least on your insides.

If you’ve ever experienced gut-wrenching heartache, you know it’s one of the worst emotional experiences you can go through. It affects not only the heart, but mind and body as well, leaving no part of you untouched. It hurts deeply. To open your heart again and again takes courage, which means allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

She understands you’re scared, but she’s tired of dating you only to be disappointed. She knows you like the upside of relationships—the affection, laughing, enjoying each other’s company—but when shit gets real, you get nervous. Your mammalian instincts kick in and you fight or flee. That’s when you say things that make her no longer feel valued. Or, you leave her there, wondering what just happened. She thought you were on the same page and now she realizes you’re in different books.

Know this, you man who wants to keep it simple—it’s time you love yourself enough to accept a love that’s greater than what you’ve been willing to accept in the past.

You deserve more than easy, fun, and light.

You deserve a deep, extraordinary love that can only be found when you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable.

She needs you to man-up and open your heart for her. She wants to love you and be loved by you. She doesn’t want you to hold back or go hide in your blanket fort. She cannot promise you it’ll all work out and that your heart won’t be broken, but you won’t know until you push past the emotional discomfort. No risk, no reward.

Bob Marley said, “The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” This from the man who also said, “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. …Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

~ Celeste Shea

you know i thought doki doki lit club was interesting at first but the ending made it all seem retrospectively unimpressive and derivative

but everyone’s reblogging memes about it constantly now so i guess it’s good actually lol le self aware video game character who’s the worst part of the whole game hey guys did you watch the latest kizuna ai lets pla