Get Mythic, by Amatopia, commenting on a Twitter thread about the decline of a “mythical” feeling in fantasy. The gist of the idea, at the risk of simplification, is that contemporary fantasy has a materialistic feeling. It lacks “a richness, a whiff of the unearthly that permeates everything. Magic is the best word to describe it.” Wonder, awe, whatever you want to call it. Essentially the opposite of a setting where magic has been reduced to supernatural engineering or a form of energy manipulation described by a language (both by the narrator and characters) analogous to the one ushered by the scientific revolution.
Of the many things I wrote in my book Dangerous
Gaymers Gamers, one that readers (the half-dozen of you) usually point out as surprising is my claim that the Internet kerfuffles and “controversies” surrounding entertainment and, especially, the so-called political bent, bias, or content that has been injected in video games, games, movies, books… (i.e. nerd and popular culture) is not really political. In fact, I even said that political thinking and sociopolitical content has virtually disappeared from popular culture. And I was right, and I’m still right.
After a long struggle, the paperback version of my book, “Dangerous Gamers,” is available. Now you can read my
ramblings critique of the new over-bloated class of cultural commentators and their latest controversies concerning allegedly violent, sexist, and racist media, including entertainment and (video) games.
My DRM-free ebook, “Dangerous Gamers: The Commentariat and its war against video games, imagination, and fun,” is available on Amazon. Currently, it’s only in ebook format, but I intend to upload a paperback version as soon as possible (Amazon is giving me problems with the formatting of the Table of Contents and a few footnotes, and I need a new and better cover.)
Edit: The book has been updated (grammar, typos, etc.,) be sure that your version (in the “copyright” page) is at least version
1.1. 1.2 If it isn’t, turn the autoupdates on.
You are playing some old skool D&D with your friends and decide that you want to play a magic-user. The DM tells you that level 1 magic-users can only cast one spell per day and, to add injury to the insult, “your starting spells are chosen at random.“
You start sweating profusely, but being a hardcore masochist, you accept the ruling and allow Eris, Princess of Chaos and Dice-Rolling, to decide that your magic-user knows three spells (plus Read Magic) of astounding power: Detect Magic, Light, and Magic Missile. Unfortunately, your DM is an ass and does not even know that Light can be used to blind enemies, and, to make things worse, he also uses some weird rule for Magic Missile (1d6+1 of damage, but an attack roll is needed.) In practical terms, that means the destructive power of your character is similar to being able to shoot a single arrow each day. 10 years at the Magic University for this?!
I stumbled upon this post at DYVERS about that modernist and recurrent issue of “complex morality” in games. I had actually written a huge blog post about the issue, dealing with its relation to original 0&1 D&D edition and how people don’t know how to play anymore, the lack of imagination and sadistic superego of today’s players, the pernicious effect of video game simplifications and post third-edition obsession with numbers in RPGs, how many people don’t seem to know what roleplay actually means or how you play morality (or immorality,) and how all of that ties to contemporary popular culture controversies and their guilt-inducing shenanigans. But then I reread the whole thing and… not even I understood what I had written. Therefore, here you have the tl.dr. version which is even better:
Excerpts from “What was the Nerd?”
“Today’s American fascist youth is neither the strapping Aryan jock-patriot nor the skinheaded, jackbooted punk: The fascist millennial is a pasty nerd watching shitty meme videos on YouTube, listening to EDM, and harassing black women on Twitter. Self-styled “nerds” are the core youth vanguard of crypto-populist fascist movements.”