Gamers Are Not Your Military

As you are probably already aware, the gaming community and the internet in general are kind of in turmoil.

It all started about a month and a half ago in August. I’m not entirely sure what the full story is, but a movement (if that’s what you want to call it) has been going on throughout all this time, and the division in attitudes, beliefs, and tactics is so astronomical, it’s kind of unsettling. I’m not going to mention the movement by name, but I believe you’ll know who I’m talking about.

The first problem with this movement is its lack of unification. On one hand, we’ve got people calling for ethics in video game journalism, and while I am certain that there are well-intentioned people who truly believe that this is what the movement is all about, these are not the voices with power in this movement. The people that do have power are the ones that we don’t want in that position.

The most powerful voices in this movement are using the fact that they have been playing video games for a long time as a means to garner sympathy for themselves and engage in online warfare against anyone who crosses their path. They deal in absolutes and have a “with us or against us” mentality stemming from a persecution complex.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Some of these people go far in their venting. Too far. They “doxx” their designated enemies by publicly revealing their personal contact information. This is then followed by rather violent, eerily specific threats of violence which drive these people out of their homes. Some directly mention the movement, and some don’t, but the targets are the same. Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Phil Fish, and Brianna Wu are among the people that have been doxxed and threatened.

This may not be the entirety of the movement, but it is the loudest, most prominent, most consistent group of people exploiting the movement’s hashtag. And they constantly create sock puppet accounts to continue the harassment, threats, and warmongering faster than anyone on either side of the conflict can do anything about it. More and more people are being dragged into this online warfare with each passing second and nobody is talking a stand to protect anyone from it. I have named the worst people in the movement “Galbadia”. Galbadia seeks nothing more than to pull the entire gaming industry, developers, journalists, and most specifically, other gamers, into their own private military, while branding anyone that doesn’t go along as a “social justice warrior”, whether they want to fight or not.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. The biggest thing that can help end online warfare is if pacifists unite to form a movement of their own to promote piece and civility and protect others from online warfare. But as the old saying goes: “United we stand, divided we fall.” I can’t keep innocent bystanders safe on my own. I need your help. And the way to help is very simple. Go onto Twitter and tweet your support for piece and civility in the gaming community and the protection of others from online warfare with #balambgamers, a hashtag of my own creation meant for peaceful discussion and the prevention of internet crossfire. If you want to know more about #balambgamers, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter. My Twitter username is @RyuubiGentoku2 and the account is registered under my real name, Dan Bordelon, Jr. I look forward to your feedback and support.

-Dan

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – Review

Since the late 2000s, Warner Brothers has released a series of direct-to-video animated films based on DC Comics’ extensive line of comic book properties and characters that are closer to the comics than any of the more family-oriented TV series in animation known collectively as DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is the sixth film in the series, based on the Public Enemies story arc from the ongoing comic series, Superman/Batman.

Public Enemies does a stellar job of bringing a story that actually feels like an adaptation of the comics and offering to offer for others.

Public Enemies does a stellar job of bringing a story that actually feels like an adaptation of the comics and offering plenty for others.

The story begins with Lex Luthor being elected the president of the United States and revealing that all superheroes will be required to register with the government. Captain Atom, Major Force, Power Girl, Katana, Black Lightning, and Starfire have all registered, but two certain big-time heroes have failed to register. Superman and Batman are continuing to act on their own, and this leads to conflict with their former allies. Meanwhile, a large kryptonite meteor is on a collision course with Earth, threatening billions of lives. The film focuses on both story arcs equally.

The first thing I want to say about this film is that the visual style is really, really good. The character designs are very well-done and the art direction is a perfect fit for the film’s action themes and can only work in this sort of production. Indeed, this particular visual style can only work with an action-packed production like Public Enemies.

Throughout the film, we’re treated to a number of exciting fight scenes featuring a number of DC heroes including Captain Atom, Power Girl, Captain Marvel (Now known as Shazam), Hawkman, and also a wide variety of villains. All of the action flies by very smoothly without any visual hiccups or framerate drops.

Warner Bros. assembled quite the impressive array of voice talent, with Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Clancy Brown reprising their animated series roles as Superman, Batman, and Lex Luthor, respectively. The musical is also impressive, and never seems strange or out of place.

The film’s writing is top-notch. It actually feels like a storyline from the DC Comics Universe and the lead characters never seem strange or out of character. Superman and Batman’s contrasting personalities of light and dark compliment one another very well and Luthor always seems like the manipulative, conniving scumbag he really is. This really is a genuine DC Universe production.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is a wild roller coaster ride full of exciting twists and turns, and I have no trouble recommending it to any superhero fan or action buff.

Final Score: 12 out of 15 (Excellent)

The Truth About Geek Culture’s “Mainstream” Status

Last night on Twitter, I was thrilled to find that my sentiments on nerd culture being “mainstream” were echoed. Allow me to elaborate further.

Timeenforceranubis tweeted about the topic. For those who are unaware, Timeenforceranubis is an African-American blogger who talks about the anime fandom, and in particular, the western fanbase. He brings up factors such as the clamor for more art, and contempt for fanbases for moe and ecchi anime. I have a very strong respect for his work, even if I may not agree with some of his viewpoints. I also believe that the points he brings up are relevant to the larger discussion. One that I now seek to have.

The truth is that the “mainstream” status of nerd culture is a manufactured image created by businessmen and not something that has actually been achieved. Indeed, the vast majority of “nerdy” interests remain niche. Animation is still generally seen as “kids’ stuff”, only a select few video game properties have achieved widespread recognition and approval, and while superhero films may be big in the box office, the comic books they’re based on remain fringe. In truth, geek culture has not been accepted. It has been assimilated. It has been subjugated. This is not an ideal image for a fandom as it gives a not-so-subtle message of “conform or get out”.

What this means is that nothing has changed. If you are a gamer, you have to enjoy Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto to be taken seriously, if you’re trying to talk about comics, you will get nowhere unless there is an accompanying movie adaptation, and above all else, you do not want to try to discuss anime with anyone. Never mind that western anime fans have constructed a hierarchy to place fans of certain shows on top. And when kids are still mocked at school simply for the fact that they like to read, the situation looks even worse as no geek can pass.

And that is the prime problem with nerd culture being assimilated. In this process, we only accept the people and things that are fit to be assimilated. That means that comic books, anime, and their fanbases remain out in the cold.

But we don’t have to buy into the media’s farce. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest things you can do to avoid fading into the crowd is to engage in discussion of the larger nerd culture, beyond the manufactured image of nerddom, and talk about what it really is. We are not a hive mind of drones that like all of the same stuff. We are individuals, each with our own unique interests and chosen media. We are not interested in assimilating into “normal” societal culture or helping to manufactured a false narrative. We are simply interested in discussing our hobbies in the same way that anybody else would. And remember that this is a two-way street, so if you attempt to derail someone talking about their interests with what the mainstream says we’re supposed to be interested in, then that makes us less likely to care about what you enjoy.

The Foolishness of #firerickremender

Let’s start calling political bullying by its name.

Last week, the release of Captain America #22 was met with controversy when the Falcon was depicted waking up next to Jet Black, the daughter of Arnim Zola. Although Jet appeared to be quite young at the start of Remender’s run, time flies by fast in Dimension Z, where Captain America spent twelve years, as did Jet. By the time the Dimension Z arc ended, Jet had turned 23. However, some readers who didn’t know the full story in the book misinterpreted the Falcon-Jet scene as a case of statutory rape. Afterward, people wanted Remender fired, and they wanted the rest of us to stop buying Remender’s books. There’s even a hashtag dedicated to getting Remender fired.

Look. I’m sorry, people, but you don’t speak for me, you don’t tell me what I can and can’t buy, and you have no right to whine to a conglomerate that doesn’t care about you and try to pressure them to fire one of their hard-working employees!

Getting into the comics industry is extremely difficult. There are certain hurdles that one must make it past. (I still need to write a resume, for example.) It’s not easy. Are we supposed to believe that your fragile sensibilities are more important than the difficulties surrounding the lives of others? Come on, all you tumblrinas! It can’t always be about you!

Furthermore, we are talking about a fictional story in a comic book. Trying to get someone fired over comics is hateful. It’s very simple. If you are participating in the #firerickremender campaign, then, sit back and think. Would you want to be the victim of a hate campaign?

Equating a fictional story to real-world crimes is highly insulting both to the story’s creators and real victims of crime. If I were ever asked “What more important, fictional characters or real people?”, I would promptly answer “Real people, of course.”

That’s all I’m going to say on the matter. See ya next time.

-Dan

The Characters of God Bless the Warriors – Innocent Devil – Supporting Cast

Here, I will provide quick bios for the supporting characters of Innocent Devil.

Nicole Loreen Diaz

Tyson’s childhood friend. Nicole is a bright, cheerful 15-year-old girl who enjoys spending time with others, but often has trouble expressing her feelings and is very shy. She enjoys animation, and often talks her friends, including Tyson, into seeing animated films with her at the movie theater. Although she is generally seen as a girly-girl and has a distinctly feminine appearance, she is actually very tomboyish and dislikes typically girly activities. She has a very strong friendship with Tyson, and likes him more than many of her female friends. She has long black hair and a somewhat thick figure and wears glasses, due to having myopia.

Sandra Claire Walls

Tyson’s older sister, who raised him and their sister, Annie, after their parents died. Although she seems lazy and unfocused, Sandra is actually a firm, strong-willed, and responsible, if not easily bored, 28-year-old woman who will do anything within her power to ensure the safety and well-being of her siblings. She works as a waitress at a family restaurant, and is able to successfully support both herself and her siblings. She is sometimes the butt of her siblings’ jokes. She is tall, with a lean physique, and has long, orange hair.

Annabelle Karen “Annie” Walls

Tyson’s younger sister. Annie is a trendy 13-year-old girl who enjoys social interaction. She enjoys fashion and shopping, and is also a skilled cook. She is also very kind-hearted and is willing to help anyone in need. Despite her mostly compassionate nature, she does sometimes show a ruder side, particularly towards her older sister, Sandra, whom she and Tyson often poke fun at. She has medium length, wavy brown hair.

Merisia Draconisol

One of Tyson’s classmates at Redwill Academy. Merisia is friendly to a fault and enjoys group activities. She is also very trusting towards others, which sometimes leads to her being easily deceived. Because of this, she is often very shocked and hurt when she discovers that she is being lied to. She dislikes fighting, and thus, she only goes on missions when it is required for a field examination. As a result, she has low scores in field practice. She has a human-like appearance, but with bluish-green scales and retractable claws.