I just got an email, forwarded from out
from our university’s art department no less, for “"Students in need of experience opportunities.”
Client: Students in need of hours or experience opportunities;we are looking for photographers to cover an upcoming event. We can offer photo credit in any
future marketing, and are happy to send copies for your portfolios,
as well as admission tickets to the event. We have photographers on site for
the event, but are lacking a creative eye to capture more candid moments,
and better documentation of the overall experience.
If I’m reading that right, they’re not only
bringing in students alongside a hired photographer (which I’m sure they’re
thrilled about), but don’t think the photographer is even worth their salt.
Suffice to say I declined, and I’m still wondering what the hell they’re thinking.
Children at Risk. Madagascar. - This young student at the only Christian school on Madagascar’s northern island of Nosy Be has a hopeful future. Many of the country’s children are at risk of being exploited - for labor, sex trafficking, human trafficking, and even organ harvesting.
Marcel Breuer and his ‘Harem’. Marta Erps-Breuer, Katt Both and Ruth Hollos-Consemüller, 1927.
The photo, taken by Consemüller, a student and photographer at the Bauhaus, captures the junior master Marcel Breuer around 1927. The title of the picture refers to the women standing next to him as Breuer’s ‘harem’. The women appear self-confident, with cool gazes and tousled shocks of short hair, and in modern dress. Marcel Breuer is looking at his companions sceptically, with his arms crossed. These are ‘my’ women?!
15/01/17 || the first Selfie Sunday of 2017! Thank goodness exams are over with, it’s always such a relief to finish them. I can’t wait to get stuck into this term and see what it brings. Had such a nice relaxing weekend with the girls, eating cake, watching crap TV, drinking bubbles and spending some good times. Hope everyone has a restful evening and make next week a good one!
Life is Strange Episode 1: Chrysalis In-Depth Review
(Disclaimer: This review is from the point of view of someone who views the relationship between Max and Chloe as a blossoming romantic one. I believe that relationship to be the most major plot point of the entire 5 episode series, and I will treat it as such.)
From the very beginning, we can tell there’s more to this game than meets the eye. The very first scene of the episode shows Max encountering a giant tornado rushing toward the town of Arcadia Bay. There’s something to be said about the opening because of how insane the game begins, we know we’re in for a ride from the very start. A giant tornado hurdling toward a town in a blistering storm? You’re drawn into the mystery as much as Max is, as she questions what is happening exactly. She gets to the lighthouse and she is immediately thrust back into reality.
Max Caulfield is an 18 year old student and photographer at the prestigious art school, Blackwell Academy, in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. Because what LGBT game doesn’t take place in the Pacific Northwest these days? We’re quickly introduced to several of the other major recurring characters in the game in this scene. We meet the bitchy bully, Victoria Chase. Rich and beautiful, Victoria has a major disdain for Max from the very beginning. There’s also Max’s friend, Kate Marsh, a quiet religious girl who is the target of Victoria’s bullying. Kate just wants to be left alone, but she isn’t given that much. Finally in this scene there’s Mark Jefferson, a famous photographer who is teaching photography at Blackwell. One of the storylines, the Everyday Heroes Contest, is introduced here as a contest that Jefferson continuously attempts to get Max to enter, but she usually blows it off. The scene ends and we’re introduced to Max’s inner thoughts about everyone else that plays somewhat of a role.
Before going any further, let me just say, this game’s score and soundtrack is amazing. Every song in the soundtrack fits in with Max’s “hipster-ish” attitude that she has. I’m not much of a critic of music, so let’s move on.
From the very beginning, we’re thrust into Max’s head. Everything Max thinks, we hear as typical of this sort of game, but this time it’s a much broader picture. Max has an opinion about everyone, from Victoria’s lackeys to Dana, one of the few popular people who isn’t an ass to Max. Max has her opinions and they’re very much in line with a normal person’s thoughts. She certainly has a lot of negatives about people, mostly because she herself is more quiet than the average person. It gives good insight into how Max thinks, both about others and herself. “I shouldn’t be so catty, Dana is nice to me.” Max doesn’t think too much of herself, and in her mind she attempts to put down others to help make herself feel better. She doesn’t do this to their face, nor behind their backs, it’s simply within her head. She likes Dana, but Dana at the same time is the outgoing soul Max wishes she could be, but it simply isn’t in Max to do be that type of person.
The walls are also littered with missing posters of a girl named Rachel Amber, a major character in this game’s overall story. Max is surprised at the sheer amount of posters there actually are.
The bathroom scene gives another insight into Max’s self-loathing qualities. First off, she goes in there so she can be alone and have her “melt down” without anyone seeing. She rips the image she was going enter into the contest. This doesn’t bother her though, because the minute she sees that blue butterfly flutter in she goes to it. Fate draws her over to the corner to take a photo of that odd blue butterfly.
The first major point of the game comes in that bathroom. It’s probably the most important scene in the game. Local richboy, Nathan Prescott, comes into the girl’s bathroom and has a mini-meltdown before being confronted by a blue haired punk girl. The argument between them escalates until Nathan fires a bullet into the girl’s stomach. At this moment, Max comes out from behind the stalls and holds out her hand. Then, Max wakes up. She’s back in her classroom that she was in a few minutes prior.
The main mechanic of this game is the ability to rewind time. This type of game usually has action sequences in the form of quick time events, however Life is Strange dumps the QTEs in favor of the rewind feature. Max has the ability to rewind a few moments of her personal time to a previous point in order to change it in her favor. She accidentally breaks her camera? Rewind time. Then the camera is back to normal. It’s a pretty fun mechanic and it breaks up the monotony of similar games that have me slamming the buttons on my controller or keyboard.
Max goes through the entire scene again, this time utilizing her powers to have the outcome more favorable to herself. Victoria embarrassed Max in the original timeline, having answered something Max didn’t know. But in this case, because Victoria said the answer, Max uses her answer to get on Jefferson’s good side so she can hopefully save blue-haired girl from being shot.
This begins Max’s crusade of her powers. These powers allow her temporary omniscience in some cases. She has full control over her own conversations and how to reply utilizing her powers. That’s probably one of them more interesting things about Life is Strange compared to other similar games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead.
In The Walking Dead, you have to make all of your choices at that moment. Anything and everything you say will be held against you depending on your timed answer. That’s what makes that game so great. Life is Strange takes a different approach, which helps to separate it from the others. Rather, you are not timed in your answer but rather how you answer and if you choose to change how you answer.
In a later scene, Max can speak to Brooke, another girl that she sorta knows. Brooke is flying a drone around campus, and Max doesn’t know much about that sort of thing. Brooke blows Max off as someone who isn’t that bright. Either A) Max can leave the scene or B) Rewind. She can take a look at the type of drone Brooke owns and then use that knowledge in a conversation Max has already had.
In story, Max uses this power to save the girl from being shot by Nathan. Probably a much more heroic use of her power as opposed to using it to saying the right things to other people. Of course to do this, she sets off a fire alarm. Like other games of the genre, there are certain choices that are more important than others. Max is confronted by the head of security and principal for not being outside right away. What if she was just using the bathroom and she wasn’t done yet? Great job guys, grilling some girl for using the bathroom and she didn’t get out in time from the fire alarm.
Both David Madsen and Principal Welles play a part in the story, the former more so than the latter. David comes off as very unlikable and paranoid. Especially against an 18 year old photographer coming out of the bathroom. It takes Welles to get him out of her face, and Welles is sorta in my opinion a Skinner type character. He does his job and that’s it. You can hold that against him, sure, but he’s just doing his job in the end by asking what was wrong with Max. No matter how Max responds, it goes negatively for her in the end which makes him come off as a hardass. We can either choose to throw Nathan under a bus or not. For the sake of this review, we are throwing him under the bus.
Ugh. Let’s talk about Warren Graham, one of my least favorite characters in the game. He sends a text to Max, sending her on a quest to find his flash drive. Just from looking at his texts we see Warren has a… fixation with our heroine. He’s sent her several texts and Max has ignored most of them, until he’s like “Yo I need my flash drive back.” Max doesn’t seek him out, and only replies when he needs something that belongs to him. This becomes one of my issues, which I’ll talk about later. Warren it pretty flat as a character too. His character is basically “nice and dorky” and that’s about it.
We see how bitchy and petty Victoria really is. Because Max answered instead of Victoria in class, Victoria doesn’t let Max into the dorms. Kate makes a brief appearance sitting on a bench, but she says she isn’t in the mood to talk. Utilizing her time travel powers, Max manages to tamper with a paint can being used by Samuel, the grounds keeper, and soak Victoria in paint. For this moment you do see Victoria’s “actual” personality, which is really just being hidden by a facade she keeps up. Max can be a bitch back to her or be nice, and I usually choose the latter out of pure kindness. It shows that Max isn’t petty enough to sink down to the very level that Victoria usually sits at on Max.
Max’s room screams her, it really does. From the personality we’ve been given, her room really fits that character. From the “definitely not Catcher in the Rye” poster to her meme rug to her plentiful books on photographers, you can see that this is Max’s domain. She walks out of the shitty outside world into a world that is her own. There’s her guitar, her bed, her music, her books, her laptop, her wall of photos, etc. Basically everything that makes Max comfortable. When she lays down on her bed, she is at peace. She doesn’t have to deal with any of the bullshit that she deals with.
Observing her room, we can look at photos from her past. From her original life in Arcadia Bay to her life in Seattle. We get our first glimpse of Chloe Price, Max’s best friend from her life five years ago. Max, guiltily, admits that she has yet to contact her.
The next scene, again, really is just a play at how awful Victoria is. This time she’s messing with Dana, whom I mentioned earlier, and Dana’s best friend, Juliet. A lot of this seems to show how insecure Victoria actually is, and how she’ll target pretty much anyone she decides to put on her shit list. Juliet wrote a negative article about the Vortex Club, a group of party dogs that Victoria and Nathan run. So even though this article isn’t exclusively targeting Victoria, she is insulted enough to attack Juliet. Max manages to settle the feud between the two friends, and manages to grab the flash drive.
The flash drive presents one of the major reasons I dislike Warren. He is a creeper, simple as that. Some people don’t take him as that, I do because of obvious reasons. First off, the flash drive contains a folder labeled “MAX”. This folder was opened and seen by Dana, who tells Max about it. Warren doesn’t come off as the dorky friend with a one-sided crush. Most people don’t have a folder dedicated to just a “crush”. We see that Max just is kinda irked by it too. Depending on your actions (whether or not you interfere with Dana’s personal life), you will receive the following journal entry.
Max does not see Warren as anything more than a friend, which is why he constant attempts at shutting him down happen. And he doesn’t seem to get the memo, which makes him seem creepier when we get to a certain scene in Episode 2. And please note, that we haven’t even met the character yet, and we already know that Max does not have any romantic interest in him.
Anyways, Max gets the flash drive from Dana and we go to the next scene where we go to meet Warren in the parking lot.
We are introduced to the first Kate choice in the game. The Kate Choices, as I call them, are a group of choices in the first two episodes that effect a major event later on in the game. These choices mostly deal with how Max reacts to how Kate is being treated by other people. Madsen is confront Kate over something, and unable to see this through any further Max can step out and defend Kate from Madsen. The player, and Max, are completely unsure of what just transpired, but Kate is thankful for Max stepping in. As passive as Max can be usually, she has a certain friendship with Kate that keeps her from being passive in that case.
We head over and when exploring the parking lot, we can look at a trashy pick up truck taking several spots up. The driver seems to be the one putting up the posters, since the back has several boxes full of them. Max can also draw on the dirty window of an RV, that becomes more significant later on.
We meet Warren, and he’s coming off as overly “touchy” the moment we meet him. “Hey Max, how are you?” Warren says, going in for a hug, which Max completely rejects because she’s there to give him back his flash drive and that’s it. There’s a certain lack of social awareness that Warren just doesn’t have, and that coupled with his fixation on Max makes him very uncomfortable to me. For the sake of this review, based on my last playthrough which is fresh in my mind for this, Max will not be pursuing much of a friendship with Warren. Most choices to Warren are negative.
We’re given a much more clear picture of the game’s major antagonist, Nathan Prescott. I don’t like Nathan. A lot of people see him as not an antagonist, which is something I don’t understand based on things that happen over the course of the game. Anyways, Nathan is not too happy that Max saw him in the bathroom earlier and immediately grabs her neck. Yes, that’s obviously something a well adjusted non-antagonistic character would do.
If anything, Nathan makes for a very good antagonist. His motivations are unraveled throughout the game, so I won’t delve too much into it at the moment, but we can concretely place Nathan into the antagonist category with David at the present moment.
Max takes matters into her own hands and scratches Nathan’s face, showing Nathan who the boss is. He knocks Warren out onto the ground, and attempts to get up on Max’s grill, only for Max to be narrowly hit by the trashy pick up truck.
Max’s old best friend, Chloe Price, is the driver of said trash truck. Despite not knowing what’s going on Chloe immediately tells Max to get in before driving off. This first interaction in five years immediately helps to set the bar for the oncoming relationship between Max and Chloe. There is no denying their bond, considering it takes only seconds for Chloe to tell Max to get in the car.
Chloe’s car and room pretty much set her personality up. Her personality is a wild storm, both messy and unpredictable as a result of the last five years. Chloe is hurt that Max has been around for a month and has yet to contact her. She is both happy and upset. Upset that Max hasn’t seen her yet, but is happy that Max is here now. Their conversation helps to delve into their sudden reconstruction of their old friendship. It’s been five years and they’re pretty much strangers. Max’s structured life has resulted in her being more quiet and sheltered, her only means of expressing herself being photography. Chloe’s unstructured life has resulted in her becoming a rebellious, drug taking party girl. Deep down though, they are still best friends.
Outside of optional photographs, Max usually only takes photos of things she deems great to be in her lens. She only sees her camera is broken after attempting to take this photo.
Max already considers a simple photo of Chloe in front of the sun as a photograph she wants to take. Taking a photograph of Chloe becomes a recurring element for the first four episodes. Chloe and Max briefly bond over Max’s usage of the word “cereal” instead of serious, and Chloe happily welcomes Max home. Because now Max is home. Arcadia Bay without Chloe isn’t home to Max. Only once Chloe is back in her life can she consider the Bay home.
We enter into Chloe’s home, a familiar but distant territory for Max now. Chloe remarks that her room is different from the last time Max has seen it. Again, a result of the issues regarding the incident of the death of Chloe’s father five years prior. Chloe, both emotionally and mentally, is broken and scarred by abandonment. The second they get back, Chloe needs to lay down and smoke a joint to calm herself down.
Her room is messy and disorganized. Small things, like her shelf, remain from her old life but everything here represents Chloe’s world as much as Max’s room does for her. In Chloe’s room, all her likes and fears are on display. Disorganized messes, disorganized lighting in the form of Christmas lights, etc. Her fears are on display too. A height chart in the corner shows how torn Chloe is in life. “DAD IS GONE” it reads on the height chart. “EVERYBODY LIES NO EXCEPTIONS” it says near her door.
Max’s nosiness allows her to find out that the missing girl, Rachel Amber, became Chloe’s close friend after Max moved to Seattle. However, she went missing several months prior. No one cares enough to find her or do anything except Chloe. Her dad said he’d come home, he didn’t. Max was supposed to be her best friend forever, she moved away. Rachel was supposed to escape the Bay with Chloe, Rachel disappeared without a word. “EVERYBODY LIES, NO EXCEPTIONS” becomes a very deep and personal motto to Chloe. Two of the closest people to her “lied” to her. Rachel couldn’t have possibly done a thing like that. Chloe refuses to believe such a thing, which is why she continues to put up posters months later.
In an attempt to fix her camera, Max can stalk downstairs and reminisce about better times with Chloe. Back then, those times were easier for Max and Chloe. They were best friends, and we see that those memories flood back into Max’s head just by sitting down on the couch or on the swing set. These mean something to Max. To Max these are the happiest times of her life compared to now.
The garage gives us some more insight into David as well. David Madsen just happens to be Chloe’s new step dad, go-figure. The Blackwell Head of Security is stepdad to hell-raiser Chloe. Despite the fact that she’s only supposed to get tools from the garage, Max snoops around and we can see that David is very paranoid. About pretty much everything. He has cameras set up around the house and has a file on Kate Marsh, photos and notes about the religious girl. David, even though he’s only been in two unrelated scenes so far, we can that his paranoia exceeds that of a normal person. While is time in the Middle East may play a part, one must wonder where he truly stands.
Chloe is truly happy for Max to be back in her life. After several months of what we can assume is probably lack of a true friend, Chloe is more than happy to see Max here. Max fails to fix her camera, but Chloe takes notices of the blue butterfly photo. She recognizes the butterfly and puts two and two together to recognize that Max is the one who saved her earlier in the game.
This immediate connection helps to set that Chloe isn’t dumb. On the contrary, Chloe is probably the smarter of the two girls. Her lack of application of her schoolwork results in her eventual expulsion from Blackwell. She doesn’t care enough, but the smarts are there. That’s something we’ll explore more in Episodes 3 and 4 though.
Chloe is more than overjoyed, she truly believes fate has called the two back together. Max stopped Chloe from being murdered, what’s more fateful than that? Chloe gives Max a new camera, one that belonged to William Price, her father. Taking in their renewed friendship, Chloe cranks up her music to party and reacquaint more with Max. David’s arrival at home crushes this however.
David is a hardass, and we can see why Chloe clearly has no respect for the man. His inability to relate to Chloe and his paranoid tendencies DO NOT help him be in a good relationship with his stepdaughter. David seems to argue with her for the sake of arguing, sometimes completely unfair to Chloe. What’d she do this time? One of his guns was missing and that results in a very tense, heavy handed lecture from the so-called stepdouche. We can see he is worried since it is a gun, but the fact that he accuses Chloe without a shred of proof leads us to see him in the wrong. Max, who is hiding in the closet, can either step out or not. The latter results in David striking Chloe physically. They do not have a good relationship. However, stepping out and taking the heat for Chloe results in David storming off and Chloe being more than happy at her friend’s “bad-assery”.
After what happened earlier, we see that Chloe has stolen one of David’s guns. David’s paranoia seems a bit more justified now considering we didn’t know what happened to said gun, but now we know Chloe was the thief and she stole it for self protection against people like Nathan. We can see where she’s coming from this time around, especially since Nathan nearly kills her. A gun is what she needs to feel safe now. Not only from Nathan, but the other shit she has gotten herself mixed up in.
The duo head up to the light house, one of the only places that Chloe thinks is worthwhile in Arcadia Bay. The lighthouse is truly beautiful, but Max instantly recognizes it as the path of her nightmare earlier. We can see pieces of Chloe and Max’s history as well. They’ve carved their name into a tree stump and marked their fort on a map so they could find each other if they got lost. It truly shows how close these two were when they were 13 and 14 respectively.
At the peak, we find how Chloe is indebted at the moment. Over 3000$ in debt. In an attempt to scrounge money, she attempted to get some from Nathan in a bar. Nathan, the ever so loved, drugs her and drags her back to his dorm. Here he undressed her, and crawled up on her with a camera in his hands. Chloe, not being one to be trifled with, easily fought back against him and escaped. From here on out there really is no way to justify anything that Nathan does. He is an antagonist. He is the villain. I will go into further justifications of this role for Nathan later on as more evidence against him piles up. Max then reveals that Chloe’s house is under surveillance, something that obviously sends chills down Chloe’s spine. Chloe knew it was happening, she just lacked proof until now. Something is going on in Arcadia Bay. Something odd.
Their talk is interrupted by another nightmare segment where Max makes her way to the top of the hill once again, this time discovering that the tornado is due on Friday of that week. Chloe snaps her out of her stupor, where Max collapses into Chloe’s arms. Chloe is obviously incredibly worried for Max, and Max immediately hops into the safest arms. Chloe’s arms.
While earlier Max can “attempt” to tell Warren of her powers, she ultimately doesn’t. With no hesitation, she tells Chloe of her nightmares and her new powers. Chloe reacts as expected of any rational person and assumes Max is high or delusional.
It begins to snow. Obstacles by Syd Matters plays. It’s the beginning of October in Oregon. “Max, start from the beginning.”
Chrysalis is an excellent introduction to these characters and the blossoming mysteries to be put forth. We get to know Max, we get to see how she views the world, and more importantly how she can utilize her powers for her own benefit. Max becoming reacquainted with Chloe serves at the entire game’s basis, and will lead them on their journey of growth. Stay tuned for an indepth look at Episode 2 - Out of Time.
I’ve spent my first year at University living in a studio flat above a nightclub, this photo is from when me and my neighbour Aisha were messing around in the club at 3 in the afternoon pretending we knew how to DJ,
Scott thinks that Stiles was being catfish and asked him to sign up for the MTV Catfish to find out if Stiles’ online boyfriend was even a real person or not cause somehow that guy looked photoshop and too good to be truly exists.