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Showing posts from January, 2018

Why I Love Diversity

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When I was younger than I am now, I wrote for a comic book website. It was, some good people aside, one of the most frustrating creative experiences of my life. Not just for the seemingly masochistic, self-pitying edge to almost everything the internet comic book community poured into everything, but for the suspicious and perpetually emphasized edge that was fearful of anything that didn't immediately represent the straight, white, male demographic.

When I recently expressed amazement at the idiocy of Marvel Comics blaming diversity for declining comic book sales, it was a random comic book fan who took me to task. It was "forced" diversity and bad writing that was to blame, he said. He didn't want a history lesson or a lesson in morality, and that was the only thing he could think of when he thought of creative diversity. Well, I am not saying that unwanted lessons in morality aren't a drag: they frequently are. But he was dead wrong that diversity in created …

Why I Love Older

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"I should have known
It seemed too easy
You were there
And I was breathing blue Strange
Don't you think I'm looking older?
But something good has happened to me
Change is a stranger
You have yet to know Well you're out of time
I'm letting go
You'll be fine
Well that much I know
You're out of time
I'm letting go
I'm not the man you want I should have known
It seemed so easy
You were there
I thought I needed you."
Older, released in 1996, is George Michael's masterpiece. It is, as the title suggests, the most mature and intriguing album in Michael's career. It is a soulful, gorgeous thing. George Michael was one of the best songwriters of his generation, as well as possessing a serious talent in performance and a voice that knocks you over. Older is an album that has, somewhat appropriately, gotten better with age. A lot of people unfortunately remember George Michael for Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, and nothing else. Not that that song isn't…

Why I Love Super R&B Group

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"I got something to say, something to say..."

R&B is my favourite genre in music, as you may know. I thought it would be fun to create a dream R&B super group, and talk about why these people would combine to make something truly stunning and sensual, so that is what I'm doing. I include below the members of the group, along with a few words about why they were chosen, as well as a set-list for the debut concert. Enjoy!

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R. Kelly

The most talented musician of his generation, and nearly as influential as Michael Jackson for influencing countless artists. The depth of his catalogue means that there are always going to be hits ready to drop and given Kells' supreme ability to collaborate with artists and make music that suits them rather than his own ego, you know that he will gel well with the other members of the group. The elder statesman and the greatest performer, producer and writer on this list.

Craig David

Backing up Kells with a guiding hand and the…

Why I Love Walking Sims

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Walking sims, a somewhat derogatory term for atmospheric, story based games with little or no skill level required, are among my very favourite things in the world. I love them for how open they are to all people, not just the elite who grew up on video games. It is with walking sims that games have truly grown up and developed into an artform that has more to say than shooting somebody with a large gun. There are many brilliant walking sims, but I am going to talk about my six favourites.

Firewatch

"Do me wrong, do me right. Tell me lies but hold me tight
Save your good-byes for the morning light, but don't let me be lonely tonight
Say goodbye and say hello. Sure enough good to see you, but it's time to go
Don't say yes but please don't say no, I don't want to be lonely tonight."

Firewatch is my favourite walking sim, and for good reasons. It is one of the most visually stunning games I have ever seen or played, and it has a story that is unrivaled in the …

Why I Love Life Is Strange

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"Everything is a picture waiting to be taken... "

"And I'm not sure what the trouble was
What started all of this
The reasons all have run away
But the feeling never did
It's not something I would recommend
But it is one way to live
Cause what is simple in the moonlight
By the morning never is
It was simple in the moonlight
Now it's so complicated."

Life Is Strange is my kind of game. Developed by French outfit Dontnod, the game recalls the best work of Telltale particularly the first season of The Walking Dead and my favourite The Wolf Among Us, as well as David Cage's ambitious, though flawed, Heavy Rain. The basic story concerns the ability of lead character Max to rewind time, and how that ability affects her relationships with the people in her life. While the time rewinding mechanic results in some very good science fiction, the real joy of Life Is Strange is to be found in the way it tells the story of Max and the people around her. It is a game abo…