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About Dragonfliet

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Salt Lake City
  • Interests
    Games, books, Rock Climbing
  1. Destiny

    Out of curiosity, why are you still playing the first one? Destiny was a frustrating game that had some really great gunplay. Destiny 2 keeps the gunplay, and fixes the game.
  2. Crota 2Day: A Destiny 2 Forum Thread

    Sooo, how are people liking it? I have only done a little bit of end-game stuff, but I'm very, very happy so far. The story missions don't suck like before, and the world missions are well written, and way more varied. Public events are more fun, the heroic modifier is a great way to go about it, etc. I've only played a few strikes, and no pvp (I suck so bad at it), but I'm a happy dude right now. We'll see how this goes over the next month, however.
  3. Crota 2Day: A Destiny 2 Forum Thread

    So it looks like most everyone is sticking with the PS4 version rather than moving to PC? I'm still a bit torn, honestly, about which version to pick up.
  4. Books, books, books...

    Miéville is incredible, and not only would I recommend Embassytown as a great start for most people, I would argue it's his best book. What he does with language is absolutely marvelous.
  5. Infinite Jest

    Except that then the book complicates things, piles on tons of plot points, and specifically refuses to give any sort of conclusion or payoff. I mean, it's literally the point, and a kind of re-creation that the father (can't remember his name right now) is doing with his movies. Honestly? I would say that the book never really progresses from the first 50 pages. It just gives you more stuff. More characters, more details about most of them, more plot points, more observations about the world, but never in a way in which things actually add up. They are stacked on top of each other, and then the pile is given a little shove, and then the book ends abruptly. I think this is also its point, and part of how it works overall, but I would argue very fiercely about this being payoff or telling me everything I need to know.
  6. Infinite Jest

    Uh. What? Where the hell does it eventually pay off and tell you everything you need to know? During my MFA one of my advisers talked about how they stopped reading DFW entirely after finishing Infinite Jest. But you're right about the other parts. It's not a difficult book at all. It's also very fun and funny. My recommendation is always for people to read the first 50 pages, and if they're really enjoying it, then they should finish it. If they aren't loving it though, and just want to find out what is happening and why, that they should put it down and walk away very fast.
  7. RE: Destiny, Overwatch, and transmedia storytelling. I actually want to begin this by talking about the problem that this question actually gets at, which is most evident in Destiny. Destiny is a game with a singleplayer story, told over multiple hours, with the story playing into the other modes, and the story is garbage/nonsense. As pointed out in the email, a lot of it begins to make sense, but ONLY if you dig through the lore that isn't even available in the game itself (which is a bizarre choice). This is a huge problem, and the reason it is a problem is that the story drives the game, and yet it is incomprehensible, leading to a game that feels disconnected and incoherent. The lore is simply a bandaid that attempts to patch that problem. This is completely and utterly different from Overwatch (caveat: I played the crap out of Destiny, and own it, but only played a half-dozen hours of Overwatch, and I don't even own it). Overwatch is nearly completely disconnected from the tranmedia storytelling. In the outside-the-game story, good guys like the Winston and Tracer, fight against bad guys like Widowmaker and Tracer. In the game, any group of heroes fight against any other group of heroes. They can be all Tracers vs all Tracers. It's a competitive shooter. That's it. There is TONS of personality in the game, shown entirely through in-game barks, animations, and playstyle, and it makes the game fun. This personality is likewise represented in the animated shorts/comics outside of the game, but with, you know, actual narratives. Again, they are separate from the game. The game isn't made more sensible through the transmedia information, but rather, there are other, different things out there that are related to the game. Knowing that Tracer is gay neither adds to nor takes away from how she plays. Knowing her history with Widowmanker doesn't change how they play against each other, etc. There are good parts of transmedia storytelling, and bad ones. Overwatch is a multiplayer shooter. It has oodles of personality, but it's all limited to making for a fun and balanced game. Overwatch media is about telling linear narratives that have the same kind of personality as the game. This is great. Destiny the game is a singleplayer shooter (with multiplayer aspects I'm ignoring for the purposes of this) that leans heavily on its story, but is the worse for that. Destiny the transmedia experience is merely about patching the holes in Destiny the game. This is a problem. In the end, a game should have everything it needs to have as a self-contained unit. Overwatch has that, Destiny doesn't. If there is additional content outside of that game, it should be along the lines of: Oh, this is nice too! Overwatch has that, Destiny doesn't. Transmedia content should be like a Starwars toy. It should be a neat thing that is related to the movie, something that has connections to it, but you can enjoy on its own (ie: more like Overwatch). It shouldn't be something where you have to go find the toy to understand what even happened in Starwars.
  8. Plug your shit

    Congrats Tanukitsune. Page 98 is all about book promotion, it seems.
  9. As was pointed out above by MarkHoog, I would LOVE for you two to discuss "A Small, Good Thing." This would be a perfect little bonus episode. It's literally the same story as "The Bath" but so dramatically longer that the mood is completely and utterly different. It's really wonderful to compare the two, and a worthy example of how what is cut dramatically affects the story. They are both great stories, but they come across so very different because of the cuts. You can find it in Carver's collection Cathedral (which is outstanding), or you can find it in pdf easily enough. As a writer, I hate the idea of Lish's changes, coming, as they did, as an oppressive dictation, but they're so damned good. I often still prefer the Carver versions, as they are kinder and more mellow, but the tenseness in the Lish versions is really powerful.
  10. The magical realism discussions have been pretty infuriating to listen to. Largely this is because both Rob and Danielle seem to have very little understanding of what the genre is, while they simultaneously are dismissive of it. For instance, calling the Grayson books magical realism is pretty eye-rolling. The books are great, but are as close to realism as a playdough car is to a ferrari. Granted, the difficulty with the genre is that it overlaps so many other things. For instance, when does a story stop being magical realism and become fabulism? Or surrealism, or urban fantasy or etc.? We can trace a path from Franz Kafka to Jorges Louis Borges (and Bruno Schultz), and from Borges to people like Carpentier and then onto Marquez, Allende, etc. Sometimes people will lump Calvino into the genre, but that feels like a stretch (cosmicomics perhaps being closest?), and then there are contemporary people like Karen Russell (who, like Kelly Link and Aimee Bender is more of a fabulist, most of the time--though there are instances in all that are clearly magical realism in all), or George Saunders, who get called magical realists, but don't seem to fit, exactly. Only sometimes. I would argue that Haruki Murakami comes close at times (A Wild Sheep Chase does this wonderfully, whereas some of his books are fabulist or even sci-fi, with a surreal twist), that Salmon Rushdie is a perennial favorite (Midnight's Children is the best example, as it tells the story of India--and Indira Ghandi's rise to power through a malevolent kind of magic), Chitra Divakaruni touches it from time to time (but is largely a writer of realist fiction), Angela Carter is a postmodernist writer who lives also in the magical real. Tim O'Brien isn't normally in this camp, but Going After Cacciato is a marvelous book that veers into the magical (or is it surreal?), and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon certainly leans hard on the use of magic in a wonderful, interesting way. I do find it interesting to see the focus of this discussion resting on the "belief" that magical things happen in real life--which is certainly an aspect of certain books/stories, to the exclusion of the other piece of magical realism, in which the magical elements intrude as the only seeming way to make sense of what is happening. For instance, Salmon Rushdie doesn't think that Indira Ghandi is capturing people with large noses, but how else to explain the trajectory of his country's history? It is a way of approaching the insanity of the political process (as well as criticize Ghandi's awful tendencies) in a way that both seems more ridiculous (magic) and yet, somehow, more natural an explanation than reality. It is this sharp break that shows how ridiculous things can be, that claims that surely reality/realism fails to account for how we got to this place/decision/outcome/etc.
  11. Recently completed video games

    I played through the new Bioshock update (hooray for free updates!). It was strange to play the game again. There are a lot of the ways in which it's still great (laying traps for big daddies and the like), but man, the story suffers quite a bit from time. I had forgotten what hollow caricatures all of the people in it were. Oh well, it was fun, and enough that I'll probably replay Bioshock 2 in the not too distant future (Infinite can go hang itself though...).
  12. Plug your shit

    So my novel is finally out! It's a novel about mountain climbing, but mostly about the media, and interpretation and the like. It has a chapter that is a little choose your own adventure story, and it's pretty damned awesome. I'm so glad to have basically done all of the work on this badboy and to actually have it in the world. I can't say how much of a relief that is. Now I can start the next batch of hard work over the coming few years. http://www.kernpunktpress.com/store/p5/Mount_Fugue_by_JI_Daniels.html
  13. Video Games and Schools

    I've been teaching a college composition course themed around video games. I'm using the following: “Small Worlds” “Loneliness" “Canabalt” “The Marriage” "Maninchi” “Dys4ia” “Back to the First Date” “Gunpoint (Demo)” “Today I Die” “Flow” “Façade” "Swing Copters" (tied with Ian Bogost's essay in The Atlantic about the game being a peak into sublimity) “Real Lives” “Passage” “Every Day the Same Dream” Unmanned” “Aether” “Depression Quest” “Cart Life” “The Graveyard” “Icarus Proudbouttom Teaches Typing” They're all free, and only Cart Life requires any significant amount of time to play. Some games (Canabalt, Flow, Gunpoint, Swing Copters) have no real narrative that's worth examining, but I use them as examples of the gameplay being the meaning--something tied very heavily to my course design, for my particular course. For me, the emphasis is on the understanding of action as speech, and the ability of the students to recognize and find out writing (through essays we read and that they research), but also videos, etc., and incorporate the visual, motion, and actions of parties as an inherent part of discourse. We spend a lot of time just breaking down games, very simply, and then I build the class out to making more nuanced arguments. The final project has the students creating a game as part of a small group (sometimes a Video game, but generally a boardgame, for time/expertise reasons) that addresses a problem (anything from obesity to climbing the corporate ladder to domestic violence, etc.) in the form of a game in which the structure of the game conveys/reinforces the idea that they have researched. Then they write a postmortem breaking down the project and how it was able/not able to address the problem sufficiently. Hope that helps, and good luck!
  14. It was pretty weird listening to Rob talk about how disappointed he was that the PS4 didn't have a UHD Blu-Ray player while simultaneously telling us that 4k and HDR don't really matter to him, really. Whaaaaaa? Edit: and him describing HDMI 2.0a (or b? whatever, the difference is very minute, but probably a) cables as having "built in DRM." Whaaaat? Rob, HDMI has ALWAYS had DRM built in, way since 1.3. 2.0a allows for 4k HDR @60hz (verses 2.0 which allowed for 4k, but only at 24hz). Hearing Rob talk about himself as an audiophile/videophile and then having no idea what is happening with the tech is a little grating. Look, not everyone needs to know the ins and outs of tech specifications (it's boring), but please know what they are doing if you identify yourself as being someone who cares about these things, instead of rattling off some silly the DRM is in the connection! malarky.
  15. Idle Workouts

    Kudos on the new exercise routine! Once you're a few months in, it gets so much easier to just keep going. I'm also trying to cut back on food. Over the last two years I've been gaining weight on purpose (and going to the gym regularly), going from a fit 155 to 180. Unfortunately, a good 10 pounds of that gain (I'm being generous I'm sure) is me excusing bad eating choices because I was "bulking." Ugh. Worst is when you know what you're doing as you shove the food into your face, but still manage to justify it to yourself.