Your magic-slinging protag may have ruined magic (unless you’re Jack Vance—then you’re cool.)

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.

Continue reading “Your magic-slinging protag may have ruined magic (unless you’re Jack Vance—then you’re cool.)”

The Guardian is really scraping the bottom of the barell here.

Among all the humiliating things one has to do to survive in the cutthroat and shameless world of Academia, being a criticaster of popular culture has to be the lowest point.  There are already a hundred theses on the unbearable sexism of Shakespeare or the colonialism of Kipling, so you’ll have to make do with a paper on the border-fascism of Plants vs. Zombies or the sexism of Super Mario. And forget about Elsevier or The Journal of Modern Literature, you’ll have to get published in The Guardian (and you’ll get paid according to how many people you trick into clicking the article):

Continue reading “The Guardian is really scraping the bottom of the barell here.”

‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.

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.

Continue reading “‘Dangerous Gamers’ paperback version available.”

Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.

This post is a parolation (parody + interpolation) of this article from The Guardian, “Far Cry 5’s violent civil unrest is a much-needed reality check for games.” Unfortunately, this FC5 nonsense came too late for my book, because it’s like the perfect manifestation of the phenomena I describe there.

I recommend reading both articles (The Guardian’s and mine) at the same time, side by side:

Continue reading “Far Cry 5’s covfefe is a much-needed reality check for journalists.”

My book is available: “Dangerous Gamers.”

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.

Continue reading “My book is available: “Dangerous Gamers.””

Gygax on post-70s fiction.

There is something missing in the big conversation about the current and future state of sff. Well, I’m sure there are many things, but I will focus on one.

Some of the people I read and follow claim that what is needed is to go back to the more pulpish roots of the genre, with AD&D’ Appendix N (not exactly pulp, but still, close enough) being a great starting point to know more about those now-forgotten or ignored classics. Some even read the editorials and interviews from old magazines to better understand the cultural zeitgeist of that era. Now, Appendix N may very well be a fundamental document of a bygone age, but it’s not like its author (Gary Gygax) died, struck down by a malignant curse in the prime of his life, just after penning his sacred doctrine.

Continue reading “Gygax on post-70s fiction.”

SocJus Thesaurus: “Reinforcement”, or how A. Sarkeesian misuses psychology.

In the first installment of my Social Justice thesaurus (about the world “problematic”) I said I would follow a certain structure when writing these posts. I don’t remember what I said, so I’ll ignore that and I’ll write this one following whatever order or structure may strike my fancy.

While the overuse and abuse of the word problematic are easy to detect, and it’s almost like a tribal badge for social justice berserkers, I suspect few people have realized that the verb “reinforce” (and, very rarely, the noun “reinforcement”) is a staple of social justice media/entertainment criticism. It is, however, a key concept of Social Justice rhetoric, and many of their arguments would be meaningless without it. If you pay attention, you will see that the word (or a synonym) appears in almost all social justice texts. Why? Because the key trick in any media criticism is to link media “exposure” to a behavioral effect or a change in beliefs, and reinforcement is the magical link. Basically: watch or play this, and it will corrupt you.

Continue reading “SocJus Thesaurus: “Reinforcement”, or how A. Sarkeesian misuses psychology.”

SocJus thesaurus: Problematic.

 

This will be the first in a series of posts about the words, expressions, and language commonly used by so-called “Social Justice” advocates, especially their degenerated version that is so common in today’s media. My main point is that such languages destroy communication and the ability to understand reality, and it’s a comeback to the worst kind of intellectual obscurantism.

Each article will be divided into five parts: (a) The origins and etymology of the word or expression in its SocJus manifestation. (b) Non-SocJus (if any) uses of the word. (C) Associations: This is a thesaurus, so here I will write those words, meanings, synonyms, or expressions that usually go with it (d) Why the word is used and why it’s so useful or powerful. And (e) Possible antidotes to that SocJus terminology.

This first post will be about one of the jewels of Social Justice jargon: Problematic.

Continue reading “SocJus thesaurus: Problematic.”