Sunday, September 17, 2017

Monument Valley 2 Game Review

Monument Valley 2
(9/17/2017) --- I love Monument Valley, first part and second part. The game is not only visually astounding, the puzzles are fun, the art is amazing much as it incorporates tessalations and hyperbolic geometry; also there are metaphisical elements such as the idea of life and death and mother - daughter bond about growing up and finding your own path.

The second part continues with the formula as the first game, it follows a new character named Ro and her daughter in which they come in terms that different generations can't work without each other but also we grow as our parents start to get older.

There is a beautiful symbolism towards the game, a beautiful story that is told without words, as well the perception into reaching the sacred geometry (1) as a form of spiritual growth.

As the first game there aren't many inferences of dialogue that can be a concrete point on the story; much of the story is just left to the player's imagination and how they interpret the symbolism within each puzzle and each scenario.

Sailing away
Within the interpretation of the story, there is a point in which I saw the game could be taken as from the narrative of Ro's daugther when she embarked into her journey of development through the different mazes that compose the sacred geometry.

One aspect of the game that it takes the charm is that is too short; it can be completed within a couple of hours and there is not enough difficulty that can challenge the player; but the difficulty is the least, the part that makes the game less enjoyable is the length. I wish if there is a third part, it could take more time to defeat, more time to enjoy and more time to appreciate the beautiful M.C. Escher inspire scenarios.

The tessellations (3) that are a core element of the games give  a very unique distinct future on the aesthetics, the minimalism that is inspired from the Japanese art are the elements of the gameplay that set from other games in the market. It is quite easy to spot the art of any of the two games.

The forced perspective and every aspect that seems to defy the Newtonian Laws of Physic, can make a player imagination spark towards the adventure, albeit the narrative in which the timelines collide is what gives the game a new meaning on to tell a story with little or no words.

What would you do with time? If you can manipulate it and be able to revive the days you lived long ago?  Would you go and think about your mistakes, the old friendships that you had, what would you do? To fix it the mistakes or to go and continue with your life, even if time is fixed and even if you could revive those moments, those moments are just mere memories.



Reference: 


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_geometry
  2. https://ustwo.com/work/monument-valley
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tessellation

Monday, September 11, 2017

Little Witch Academia Feminism Influences

Little Witch 
(9/10/2017) --- This is such a cute animation movie as well a television show (1), I was hesitant at first as I feel it could be just a rip-off of almost any other magical girl show or Harry Potter; but the show is so charming and cute, even the movies are quite adorable.

To give a small synopsis, the show is about the misadventures of a first generation witch named Atsuko "Akko" Kagari as she enrolls in the school of Nova Luna Academy (2) to fulfill her dream of meeting her idol Shiny Chariot and to be in the campus that she also studied; but, Shiny Chariot is nowhere to be found.

There are some elements that the show reminds me of Harry Potter; albeit, it's his own version of a magic school which it wasn't introduce in Harry Potter but just turned the genre more mainstream. I personally would love to see a second series as well a third series, as the characters are adorable and relatable to the audience and the story doesn't get stall at a certain point, it just takes the right pace to conclude the first series on a proper way.

There still material to continue the show at least for a second series, maybe even up to a fifth, to give a proper conclusion to the show as if the students graduated to work on the school or took their own path. I totally recommend this small guilty pleasure to anyone, albeit there is one aspect and that the show got my attention and is the focus on human relations but also of what is to be an independent women in a world that is hostile.

The protagonist Atsuko Kagari or Akko (3) is probably the best example, as she lives on her own rules and tries to be her own person, beyond her admiration of the witch named Shiny Chariot (4) who inspired her to become a witch because of a show that Akko saw when she was younger; but, her actions go that she wants to inspire and make other people happy with her goal of being taken seriously as a witch but as a young woman, who is quite talented and powerful.

Not only the strong character comes from Akko, but from her friend and nemesis such as Lotte (5), Sucy (6) and Diana (7) in which each one of them offers a different perspective towards the inner turmoils of growing up and developing your own persona in a world that can be hostile towards you.

Diana could be the most interesting character from the show, as she seems to be independent and talented but is bounded to the family history, a history in which she feels as enslaved and couldn't even think of happiness. There is a juxtaposition of Diana's character as someone who tries to find happiness but is tied to family traditions, which is a cultural element that can enslave women across the world such as arranged marriage (8)

The fact that on episode tenth (9) Bee Commotion, with the introduction of Andrew Hanbridge (10) as a possible suitor, that he wasn't an influence towards the series but rather much of an ally, instead of a savior or potential romance showed that human relationships within the show were more important than to fall into classical anime cliches such as romance and being a helpless damsel in distress but rather a young person who is growing up, even with the insecurities that almost everyone has to live with.

Reference:




  1. https://myanimelist.net/featured/294/Little_Witch_Academia__Studio_Trigger_Puts_a_Spell_on_You
  2. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Luna_Nova_Magical_Academy
  3. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Atsuko_Kagari
  4. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Ursula
  5. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Lotte_Yanson
  6. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Sucy_Manbavaran
  7. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Diana_Cavendish
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranged_marriage
  9. http://little-witch-academia.wikia.com/wiki/Bee_Commotion
  10. http://www.mit.edu/~rei/manga-gender.html

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Confessions of a Retail Clerk Working in a Hurricane Surge

Empty water shelve
(9/9/2017) --- I am writing this before any power failures. The last seven days had been insane, I can't imagine for health care practicioners, EMT's, firemen and police officers have to deal with the aftermath or what they have to deal during the panic attacks that people have during hurricanes and other weather phenomena.

I always took advantage and bought my supplies before the storm season arrived, at this moment I am missing a good flash light but any lights and batteries have been out of stock everywhere for a week now. What it gets my attention is the behavior of some people who go into a rage frenzy, a panic and ultimately an understanding of their own mortality without even thinking about the consequences of their actions towards themselves and others.

It is madness to work in between a category five hurricane, people just fight and attack the clerks for almost anything; I shouldn't complain too much, because after a trip to the gas station I saw how badly the clerks on those establishment can be treated by people who are rushing into a panic mode. I went to the gas station, I am not going to mention which location but it was a WaWa, after picking up sand bags with a dear friend of mine, people were trying to skip the line and put gas as soon as possible.

On a certain moment, two individuals started to fight, they mentioned racial epithets to each other but their fight suddenly stopped, when one of them pulled a gun on the other, and the one who started with the racial slurs just went back to his car. The attendants who were directing the traffic were alarmed, they started to scream "that someone should call the cops" but the honest truth, there was a cop sitting behind them and didn't do anything.

A long line for water
Going back to the store setting; almost every store that I worked with, they contain one of two water filling stations. On the one that I am right now, we have one on the exit, next to it there are some other coolers with drinks and vending machines; but, the main treasure, the golden objective was to go to the water station, to fill up the gallons.

Lines were insane, just for water, to refill water. They were more people on the other side of the door, almost 30 something people in line, waiting to refill the water, going slowly as possible, blocking the entrance and exist as well the cart receiving station.

It is understandable, water becomes the main resource for survival, mostly when there can be a failure on the sewers due the rise on the water; but, whenever customers start acting aggressive and threat the employees, which they have been working hard to assist the customers, then the experience of working in a tense enviroment turns into a nightmare.

8:15 AM 09/09/17
The last day before any major evacuation and before the store closed earlier; it fell as it was rush hour, but it was 8:00AM, just one hour after we open. The photo on the left, I took it exactly 15 minutes after I arrived, and the store was full. Right now, I am just waiting for the power to fail, anyone who is in Florida, please be safe, be safe.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Many Worlds of Chrono Cross

Opassa Beach
(9/6/2017) --- Let's play a game, well we can play many games, especially towards the Ocarina of Time (1) which it can be the best example towards multiple timelines. Now, instead of Ocarina of Time and Zelda let's focus on Chrono Cross (2). On an upcoming entry we will talk about Chrono Trigger (3) with more detail and we will focus also on Radical Dreamers (4) on a set of future entries and we are going to expand towards the ideas of the multiverse (5) and how they are seen towards the Chrono games.

To start first with the thesis, we think about the idea of time paradoxes, which they are one set of ideas why physicist had dismissed time travel as a possibility, yet if there is going to be a change in the time topology it has to obey the laws of physics. You cannot fade into oblivion by killing your parents but we can think on decoherence to solve some of the interrogations towards in which the bodies are ruled by the enviroment.

The best example we can see in the game is with Serge (6) in which he after got saved by Kid in Opassa Beach he turned into an impossibility almost as the Schrodinger Cat in which he is both dead and alive thanks to the interactions of Kid in the Opassa Beach of Home World which in reality is the alternative dimension of the main timeline of the Chrono games.

Serge itself can be placed on the Many Worlds (7) interpretation, he is the catalyst of the changes in the dimensions but also the chronological point in which the history splits itself but also opens the scenario on which decisions and setting influenced on the life of the different people and the interactions can be set but Chrono Cross offers a new question Do travel between different dimensions that are connected through the same quantum mechanics; should they be able to bringing people which exists equally in both universes?

According to the game lore it is possible, but the purpose of history, socio-economical settings, biological agents as well weather factors, that would bring the same person that makes who you are. Within the many worlds we are existing on a set of different states, we are alive and we are dead, we are reading a book or just watching television, even on some of them we don't exists at all.

So inside the game we see two characters interacting with each other, which the characters look similar, they are in essence and on a genetic level the same person or being; but, the divergence in history makes the two beings completely different. As we mentioned earlier, Serge is the best example as he is dead in one universe but alive in the other; the people he grew up with and his mother on the other universe don't recognize him because he died young, with the exception of one of his friends.

It is quite a scary idea, we are our own paradoxes but we can be influenced by a designer, which the idea of a designer can be attribute to Balthazar (8) and also FATE (9) the super computer he created. Yet the idea of a designer could be taken by the influence of Lavos (and his altered form the Time Devourer) on a more mythological side of the history is interesting to see how the bad guys shaped the world, as themselves are presented as deities.

Lavos
Lavos (9) itself is the central element of the Chrono mythos is almost as an unifier of the different worlds and dimensions, is almost as a parallel to the Abrahamic deities, in this case could be associated to Lucifer or even the demon known as Kali because there is suffering wherever he go.

There is also a juxtaposition on Lavos development, he is also the one who enabled mankind of that universe into evolving as giving them the ability to dominate magic. Lavos itself is the central element of the different dimensions and parallel worlds, he exists to unify the history of the many universes and parallel dimensions.

To place the idea on simple terms about the many worlds, lets think this way Whenever you as the player defeat the game and you reach the New Game Plus (9) screen you can re-start over, is almost as a new story who have some elements in common with the previous file but it's not the same, is a different world in which history took a another path.


Reference:

  1. https://zelda.gamepedia.com/Zelda_Timeline
  2. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Chrono_Cross
  3. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Chrono_Trigger
  4. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Radical_Dreamers:_Nusumenai_H%C5%8Dseki
  5. https://www.space.com/18811-multiple-universes-5-theories.html
  6. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Serge
  7. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/424073/multiverse-many-worlds-say-physicists/
  8. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/Belthasar
  9. http://chrono.wikia.com/wiki/New_Game_Plus

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mafalda Short Essay

10 Years with Mafalda
(8/31/2017) --- It's been ten years since I had the chance to put my hands in a Mafalda (1) book, better say to see it in person.  To give a brief idea of who is Mafalda and what is her universe? It's the comic strip of an Argentinian girl who was created by Quino (2) in 1964. We need to understand that Mafalda started as an advertisement oriented cartoon and it evolved to be a product of is time.

Beyond the socio-political setting of the 1960's in which each character represents different ideological aspects of the Argentinian culture, the setting can be still applied in the contemporary of today's social panorama in which the rise of populist and neo-nazi parties are creating an urgency in which a new voice such as Quino and thus Mafalda need to be hear. 

Of course we have Doonesbury (3) but over the years Gary Trudeau (4) has lowered the pace of the strip because of age and other commitments, leaving an opening for young cartoonists who have this disposition of media beyond any printed means to reach their desired targeted audience.

What I found interesting, is that Mafalda never struck openly in the United States; it could be due sociological differences; humor disparity or the way the people see society's evolution and how international and regional relations evolve on a daily basis. It is important to have some form of political humor and critique that can reach to the people of every country and make them think about how to change and impact their communities.

On the United States a cartoon as Mafalda is just scarce, there aren't many on mainstream media besides Doonesbury and is actually quite sad, because there aren't any new voices that can impact the readers; I guess, there is always online media and hosting, albeit is difficult to reach an audience without the proper funds.

I haven't found any official translations about Mafalda at least in Tampa, I know online there are some unofficial's, but nothing in particular. Why we need a character as Mafalda? Or at least to read it beyond the language and cultural barriers, because it expose a strong female character who is non-conformist with the rules of the society that she is growing up.

We as readers, we need to understand that the comics expose a great deal of feminist and existentialist tones that transcend the bounds of 1960's in Argentina; it sets a series of examples that we can be whatever who we want to be and hesitate and question our surroundings. It gives an amazing introduction to younger readers about what is to be a female and to try to expose your ideas as openly as possible; knowing that within gender bias there would be a difficulty to expose your ideas.

On an existentialist level, Mafalda is just a prime example towards how the following a retrospective and exo analyses could lead to see solutions on a problematic social enviroment, but also to understand the part of yourself that makes it your own persona; the idea of an existential doubt shouldn't be seen as a bad "thing" as is part of a composed ego and well structured critical thinking.


Reference:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafalda
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quino
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doonesbury
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Trudeau

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How do Gorons Reproduce?

Goron from OoT
(8/29/2017) --- Hello everyone, lately I've been hooked up to Breath of the Wild (1) and I been playing the franchise since maybe I was five years old and I always had an obsession with the in real world mechanics that are present in Hyrule and the different locations around the world and time-space.

One tiny aspect that caught my attention a while ago it was that there were no female Gorons or any information if Goron's are compatible with other races such as Gerudo's mating with Hylians to reproduce.

Goron's themselves are quite of a mystery as they seem to survive and multiply no matter the enviroment, the socio-economical conditions or the tragedies that are facing above Hyrule. Then the question is, how they do it?

Around the different timelines Gorons seem to be organized into a patriarcal society (2), becoming almost the opposite of the Gerudo's but being more open to foreigners and trade openly with other cultures and civilizations across the land, it can be inferred that after the Hylians as a group, the Gorons are the third civilization that has ties with almost every single aspect of the land in terms of technology and cultural development just right after the Sheikah.

The idea that Gorons reproduce sexually is out of the range, as they seem to be only socializing among themselves and they refer to each other as "brothers" and in a certain extent they seem to be asexual by nature as none of them seem to engage into any form of romantic relationships with anyone or even themselves.

Probably as a theory, is interesting to think that Gorons are mostly associate to reptiles and if we can place them with a real world reference, Gorons could be extremely similar to Komodo Dragons and the New Mexico Whiptail and their reproduction would be involved with parthenogenesis, which in theory there should be female Gorons, albeit not healthy ones if we set the parallels between the Whiptail and the Gorons.

It wouldn't be strange to think whenever it's mentioned by Nintendo on how Gorons reproduce is not far away from the idea of asexual reproduction or at least a form that is closely related Gynogenesis but the species would be women in their vast majority if that would happen, as the male would only stimuli the egg with his sperm but the genetic material would be on the matri-lineal side.

The most related example I can think is that Gorons reproduce through Hybridogenesis (3) and the Gorons that we meet during the different games are essentially hybrid species of the genus, which can lead why the Gorons in Termina seem to be different from the Gorons on the main universe?

Goron Elder

The best example I can think about it is the Goron Elder (4) in Majora's Mask where we can see he has hair and more human characteristics, probably we can even think that as a race they could be related to the Hylians on a genetic level and the female who could take part in the reproduction is to determine which gametes will pass to the next generations but it would be the male Goron who would take the pregnancy and reproduction of the fetus to full term.

These are just mere ideas, nothing official and nothing serious, thank you very much for reading me.

References:

  1. https://zelda.gamepedia.com/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Breath_of_the_Wild
  2. http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Goron
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybridogenesis_in_water_frogs
  4. https://zelda.gamepedia.com/Goron_Elder

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Media as The Fourth Power

The Fourth Power
(08/25/2017) --- Last Tuesday President Trump spent a good amount of 20 minutes in a harsh, loud and problematic rally in Phoenix, Arizona; avoiding to response about the violence in Charlottesville that ended with the life of Heather Heyer, the only action President Trump ended doing was attacking the media - it seems, the words "crooked" are just his favorite words to describe any detractor that can go from Hillary to the any media who is not Fox News.

Trump blamed the "crooked media" for the backlash he "suffered" after claiming many sides were responsible for the August 12 Unite the Right Rally, which as everyone now turned deadly when American terrorist James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car in the counter-protest rally which kill her but also injured 19 other counter-protesters. Still is necessary to blame both sides? Only it takes one side that fill with hate and violence to incite violence.

"The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news" "If you want to discover the source of division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media" What Trump seems doesn't to understand is the importance of the media that executes influence and power between society and public opinion and it's not far away, just behind the three powers of the Estate which are the executive, legislative and judiciary.

Of course, some of you will say that the media is influenced by the corporate interest that are related to the publishing companies. We have Fox News and we have Disney as opposite extremes, we have independent sides such as Reason, The Nation and Philosophy which offer a more established view on the different parties and philosophies around the country without the vitriolic hate speech.

There has been an evolution in the term, as for today we can add bloggers from any multimedia side of the spectrum, handheld communication technologies that influence the distribution of the message and social media that can act as a channel to spread the information quicker as is mixed with communication technologies. Indeed, there is a revolution towards the fourth power but also it gives the opportunities to pundits to reach the masses also.

We can add influencers beyond the marketing reach, anyone with the proper number of followers can create a change without even having access to a studio, just a camera and a microphone and you can become some form of a celebrity if you know how to use the proper metrics to expose yourself. The understanding of the current administration towards mass media seems to be minimal, as if we as a society we are still in the 50's towards how communication is spread and the different types of nets that are around us to share information.





Reference:

1.     Web retrieved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate
2.     Web retrieved: https://www.openschoolofjournalism.com/resources/encyclopedia/fourth-estate
3.     Web retreived: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/us/heather-heyer-charlottesville-victim.html