If you follow this site at all, you’ve likely noticed a pattern. There’ll be a brief period where updates come semi-regularly, at least to the point where this site appears alive, and then I’ll drop off the face of the earth for weeks, if not months. For the past week, I’ve been climbing out of another Bi-Polar induced valley/ crater, where between late June through July, along with the first week or so of August, I had to deal with a depressive episode. It’s taken me a while to get my life back on track again, to socialize and even longer to refocus on getting work done. Especially in terms of this blog, which despite being therapeutic at times, has certainly taken a backseat while I prepare to self-publish a novel. Ideally I’d like to produce a steady stream of content for this site, but it has proven difficult.
Very recently I had to prepare for a formal event with a very strict dress code. I was told I’d have to wear a proper shirt and pants, and cut my hair. Past that, I’d have to shave my beard, and above all- learn how to bow, which is a shame because I have curtsying down. But the strange thing was, what should have been a nightmare for a post-op trans woman, was actually a lot of fun. Such is the nature of virtual worlds and roleplay, and such is the reality of playing Geralt of Rivia in CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3. A massive open-world RPG where you not only play a man, but your status as such has a plethora of gameplay consequences. It made me reflect on how, and in which context I’m comfortable roleplaying, and on the discussion surrounding the ability to play as your gender.
Partly an experiment, partly because I want to expand a bit. Welcome to the new Resonance Frequency YouTube channel!
Resonance Frequency exists because of the power of media, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve begun to realize that the power of media is narrative. Everything I’ve examined, from BDSM theory and the psychology behind it, to why ensemble casts are so prevalent, is connected by the common thread of narrative. In the past few days, I’ve stumbled on a TED talk about the danger of the single story, and seen the response to Vanity Fair’s cover with Caitlyn Jenner. I’ve also finished a novel, which was not intended to, but ended up drawing on so many stories I’ve experienced within the past decade. But it wasn’t until I was asked to read a part of my novel, and asked why, that I was told the person asking me values it as a counter-narrative. It wasn’t until then that I realized the true power of narrative.
I’ve had a few articles in my drafts folder and would like to do something with them, but a few weeks ago I entered the final stages of completing a novel and it has consumed my soul. More than I was ever anticipating. It’s turned from a curiosity to one of the most involving, personal, and cathartic experiences of my writing career. At this point I’m spending my time between classes at night, and then coming home at 22:00 to write until 03:00ish. It has given me a lot to think about, but until this goddamn book is done/ abandoned (my mother’s an author, among her advice to me was: “Novels aren’t finished, they’re abandoned.”) I’m tied up. If all goes according to schedule, it’ll be done within 30 days. Actually far ahead of when I thought I’d be finishing it, but I didn’t anticipate it being all consuming.
A few weeks ago I got my chance to present my paper ‘Newly Inked Narratives’, and among the questions I was asked afterwards was: “Do you believe that tattoo ink, which rests within skin (the barrier you mentioned earlier), is significant at a time when binaries and boundaries (particularly gender) are being blurred and stripped away?” My response was: “It is certainly symbolic, it has certainly been my experience that many who place significance in tattoos are establishing their identities outside of the gender binary.” That is true, however it implies a personal political stance that is not mine. I believe in discourse, and respect, and the person asking the question I respect greatly. I knew going into the ins and outs of my politics was not appropriate there (nor suitably applicable), however it is here.
There’s a reason why this article’s coming out now is that after the disappointment of Catching Fire, I didn’t see Mockingjay Part One in theaters. I wish I had seen Mockingjay, because it is by far the strongest adaptation of the three films. Even if the story is very much incomplete, this first part wasn’t the slog I was expecting. This film rectified so many of my complains about these films that I feel a need to post this, just so I can go on record and say that Mockingjay (Part One) nailed its source material.
I never intended for this to become a personal blog, but I like having this corner of the internet (that people stumble over while looking for FFXIII smut) to write about what matters. I’ll cut to the chase: On January 19th, 2015 I was hospitalized for my own safety because I knew I was going to kill myself. I was treated for a couple days, then released. On January 29th I attempted suicide.
As academics and journalists increasingly join the public at large for deriding/ outright laughing at the phrase ‘ludonarrative dissonance’, I believe that while the phrase may have become overused that it is still a valuable tool when discussing games as a medium. This article is in response to a recent Errant Signal episode “The Debate that Never Happened.” In it Christopher Franklin explains the history of games writing from an academic standpoint and eventually admits that the term (while popular a couple years ago) is largely seen as silly. My argument here isn’t that he’s flat out wrong, rather he misses an important aspect of the term’s use. As silly as the term may sound, I do believe we need a framework to critique games whose narrative is dependent on their mechanics, and ‘ludonarrative dissonance/ cohesion’ is vital to that understanding.
Cops, drugs, booze, Kushiel’s Dart, Kill la Kill, BDSM, needles and blood! This day had it all. So my day begins with a cop standing above me (while I lay on my apartment floor drunk) asking me the plot to Kushiel’s Dart. She had read a note that I hadn’t intended to show, but they found while rifling through my things. This is while another cop asks me about why I have a big ass knife (which I told them to expect) by my bed. I then had to go into detail about what ‘BDSM’ means. I swear I’ll get back to talking about media soon. I have a project in the works, and actually the end of this article gave me an idea.