Friday, June 8, 2018

The Great Diamond Authority: There were more Diamonds in the Past

The more I read about Steven Universe, my fascination gets sparked to limits that I never had before towards a television show (maybe with the Simpsons until season 12) as there hasn't been another television show in quite a while that presents a rich vibrant city, complex characters but also that the mythos around the show takes several layers and probably won't be ever explained; this lead me to think after watching the episode A Single Pale Rose that on a certain point, eons before the actual timeline there were more diamonds.

Why I do believe there were more diamonds? Because of the revelation in the Moon Base, where it was mentioned that at the moment of the construction 43 planetary bodies and two star systems where colonized; probably after 10,000 years the number duplicated but it's difficult to confirm as no further episodes has showed any probability after Pink's Rebellion the gems continued to expand their empire, albeit it has been mentioning around the series that Homeworld is lacking of resource leading me to believe that after a certain X event before the timeline, the first incarnation of the Diamond Authority got decimated and White Diamond became the last one.

The X event I am assuming could be related to the resource on the planetary system that Homeworld is located became devastated by a natural phenomenon that essentially decimated the gem population and the first incarnation of the Authority; why I am saying this? Because the designs and sizes of Yellow and Blue versus White, are extremely different, a previous generation of Diamonds that had more power than the one Yellow and Blue had, which I am even thinking that there were other Yellow's and Blue's at a certain point, which can be seen on how the thrones vary versus their sizes.

We can also think, depending on the cut of the gem, size can be altered but also by production, newer generations lack of the skills such as metamorphosis that previous ones had but also size tends to be altered; albeit, let's not go far away, why do I mention that the Great Diamond Authority had more members in the past? Because it's difficult for a race that are essentially parasites and feed on resources of star systems to only be managed by one leader; then it made me wonder who created the Diamonds? But who created White Diamond?

There has to be a race that managed to create the gems as a labor force, as White Diamond couldn't had created herself due the reason there is a technological process to bring new gems to life in facilities called Kindergarten, so who created the Homeworld? Did it created itself out of chaos or there was another power that be, that influenced on the shape of the Gem society.

It's difficult to see the Diamonds as mere Goddesses, omnipotent beings with such much power but yet they are like any other gems. So in theory Eons ago, the first generation of gems had a different set of diamonds besides White, it wouldn't be strange because the color of different gems could be associated with their respective diamond, as Yellow's Pearl for example; in another case we have Emerald whose green color could indicate she could had served another Diamond that long ago was shattered and subsequently she was inherit by Yellow and Blue.

Pink Diamond being the newest suggest that a) Diamonds take a lot of resource and B) Being herself also a fancy color diamond just like White could be that they are rare and more powerful than Yellow and Blue; but as Pink was referred as the newest  that gives the interpretation at a certain point the Great Diamond had more members, but after Pink's deflection to stay on her colony no more diamonds where created, which it means that Authority has control towards the means of production and destroy any possible replacement so they won't have to experience sorrow or anger again.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Branden and James, Despacito Cover

I always enjoy checking different covers but as well artists that I never seen; the only exception of my statement is that I followed Branden and James (Mostly Branden James) since 2013 on Twitter since he appeared on the eighth season of America's Got Talent. About two days ago, he and his partner James Clark posted on their Youtbe channel a cover of Despacito within their signature style of cello on crossover opera.

I have to confess, I believe the song is quite fun and interesting, it does gives a different approach to the reggaeton song; it's just sexy with the minimal approach as well the couples interaction on camera.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Introduction to a Brief History of Competitive Gaming

As every major sport event i.e. The Olympics, Nascar, Formula One, FIFA; just to name a few, there is a machinery of advertisement and marketing that functions as the core and soul of the business that main objective is to create a niche for video game enthusiasts and people who enjoy competitive gaming; you are probably thinking that this a new phenomenon but probably the most humble origins involve people around arcades watching other competes, but the earliest recorded competition was on 1972 at Stanford University where students competed in the game Spacewar (1).

It wasn't until the 1980's where the acceptance of gaming as a hobby started to take a more deep effect due the influence of mass media and organizations such as Twin Galaxies, that started to help keeping track of scores and promotion of video games. Not only independent players started to find ways to place themselves in pop culture but marketing strategies from Nintendo and Atari, started to track the attention of the public, i.e. The Wizard (2)

The Wizard, could seen right now as an outdated movie or a big product placement by Nintendo, essentially the movie is a long run of Super Mario Bros 3, which at that time wasn't even on the markets in North America, but helped to assist the idea of competitive gaming as part of a hobby, it helped to attract the niche of early software developers back in the 1980's as well other people who were drawn to the newly culture of gaming as a competition.

The idea of competitive gaming back in the early 70's to the early 90's was mostly relegated to North America (United States and Canada) and Japan; Latin America was mostly exclusive and it wasn't until the proliferation of broadband Internet in the early 2000's that the idea of competitive gaming started to gain momentum.

The exportation of technology outside the boundaries of countries with stable climates in socio-economics can be a problem, making technology rather expensive such as buying the latest piece of hardware, or trying to make business due the massive bureaucracy that is filled with loops and bribes that would only rise the price of the equipment. Probably by now due a free trade around the globe, is easier to purchase something outside and just ship it to the intended country, but we are not in the 90's anymore and with the rise of economical powers such as South Korea, technology has become available and making people around the globe easier to communicate.(3)

Broadband Internet was the responsible of this form of entertainment, South Korea being the first in the world into incorporating mass Internet to their population, when the rate of unemployment was extremely high in the early 2000 but also it gave people the opportunity to do something while being unemployed.

It is extremely important to know, that the Korean E-Sports Association it's a branch of the Ministry of Culture; and it also takes parts of the Olympic Association and the International E-Sport Federation; not many governments have that outreach to find and create a stimuli to attract tourism by the idea of doing events related to electronic entertainment and public participation on a cultural level. The United States has a solid gaming culture but it wasn't until 2013 where the VISAS started to open for players around the world.

Starcraft (4) became one of the first games to gain popularity due the connectivity towards the competition, even surpassing household names such as Wow, which at that moment it became the staple of what would become online competition as well the development of an industry.

We have to consider that online gaming is not new, it has been around since 1970, but early versions of games where you can interact and have an avatar had been since 1995 with Active Worlds (5) and but they tend to be chat related rather than anything else related to interactive gaming in the purest form.

Thank you for reading me, the second entry will be developed later next week.



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Problem with Pink Diamond

(5/09/2018) I've been a fan of Steven Universe probably since the end of the first season, but on the process of recovering from the process of coming out I lost for a long time the habit of writing, I used to write about television shows, politics and indie entertainment, the process has been slow but some old habits and hobbies are coming back.

After watching a Single Pale Rose episode, the whole complexity character of Rose Quartz gets revealed but also it takes away the heroic figure and place her more on an anti-hero light but also it resolves issues towards her past and why the rebellion started.

Going into the past we can see the character two persona's as an evolution or growth towards maturity and acceptance that life is far more complex than is presented at the moment we are born, we can see a Pink Diamond in Jungle Moon acting on her own emotions as if she was a child or a teenager that was looking for some form of independence.

She eventually obtained what she wanted, she obtained her own colony and her own Pearl which eventually became her confidant, but at that same point in her life she started to appreciate the life on planet Earth and she had the desire to be free from her position of authority, in the process that's where everything turned apart; if you follow the series you can see Pink Diamond as a juxtaposition of what was Rose in terms of altruism versus selfishness.

Before becoming Rose, Pink had a zoo in which she started to collect species from Earth to preserve them, including humans. Humans in the space zoo eventually multiply and after a millennia they became their own set of culture and how the interact with each other, giving hints that probably there are some "founders effect" as there weren't too much genetic diversity over the course of generations within the reproduction program.

Towards what the intentions of the zoo are not really unknown, but probably started as a way to start a collection or probably to preserve the planet if the natural resources where destroyed. Then in between the colonization of Earth, the development of the Kindergartens and Pink's ultimate decision and betrayal to Homeworld to save the Earth population brought a series of problems which they can be resumed as an act of being impulsive.

The first problem became related to her Pearl, as Pearls are programmed to be loyal to higher class gems, persuading her to "destroy" her with her diamond persona but also to drag her to foresee the annihilation of thousands of gems because of the corruption light that was product of Yellow, White and Blue Diamond combined attack as they were grieving her "death", that created a series of emotional conflicts and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Pearl over the course of her existence adding that she lost her Diamond and her Rose when Steven was born.

Within a Single Pale Rose, we can explore how complex is the character of Pearl, being beyond a mere archetype or cliche, she is someone who is trying to cope with the lose of a loved one but also having the toll of war on her shoulders and knowing a secret she had to hide from everyone else.

The second problem is that because of her action, her subordinates, comrades and gems who couldn't escape from the corrupting light perished on their actual forms. There were innocent gems who died because they didn't saw it coming or just because they believed in the fabricated story of the rebellion and how a Quartz revolted against the Diamond Authority. Just because their Diamond wanted to be free, and instead of being honest and confronting the other Diamonds, she took an extremely selfish path that decimated her followers.

The third problem involves with the surviving Crystal Gems which within the revelation of Steven after he went inside Pearl's memories it shattered the image they had of their fallen leader, which she was set in high standards by almost everyone who was close to her; which also could lead to a revelation that Rose wasn't never inactive but rather just being dormant inside Steven as she wanted to live more of a human life, the same specie she fall in love with it.

On a long term the problem with Pink/ Rose is that on a long term she didn't thought about the consequences but rather on what she could saw on a short term.

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Catharsis of Fortnite

Fortnite PVP
Lately, I been playing more player versus player type of games, as well gaming in general as I used to do about 8 to 10 years ago, surely gaming has changed in the last decade, up to the point that there are tournaments around the world such as the Overwatch League, or League of Legends, is a concept as a second generation gamer that it puzzles me; but we aren't going to explore that in this entry, it will be for an upcoming one.

The first player versus player that I ever played was a mod of Wolfsteint 3D back in 1998, that consumed a lot of the dial-up and my father had to control my habits for a while, until in the early 2000's we got broadband for the house and that was another story. You have to see, the first console that I ever played was the Atari 2600 when I was roughly 3 years old and my father used to own it, eventually around 1991 I got a Nintendo and from there I fall in love with gaming but it wasn't until this year (2018) where I finally had the chance to purchase a decent computer for school as well for leisure.

At my 34th birthday, I finally discovered how interesting and fluid P.C. gaming can be and I am able to catch up with ten years of Steam games, and see them run. One type of games, even if I am not good at the game, I enjoy it a lot and those are player versus players such as Fortnite and Player Unknown Battle Ground, that my friend Igor the Assistant gave it as a gift, now I need to find the moment to play together since he is in Germany and I am in the East Coast of the United States, in another article we are going to talk about Player Unknown Battle Grounds. 

I find Fortnite extremely entertaining but also, the probabilities that the competition offers are just amazing plus that the gameplay is quite easy to catch. The idea of placing 100 players against each other, it brings adrenaline to the game, but also a sense of liberation of the stress that can be found on a daily basis. The game is fun, as it sets you a scenario similar as a paintball match and you have to survive until the end.

Of course, there are moments where the game can be incredibly frustrating because if you don't know what to find or expect, it can be problematic; albeit, exploring the scenario, knowing how the other players move as well to complete the challenges you can have a great time, but the experience enhance whenever you are playing with a group or just someone else, probably the best asset to play this game is truly with someone else.

Alone is not bad, it just gets boring but whenever you are with someone and you can chat with that person and create strategies to win, then the game takes another turn, it just becomes interesting and fun, it even becomes a form of escapism to reality for just a few hours.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

First Time Playing Fortnite

I had to try it as I always enjoyed players versus players games, but overall the reason I tried it was after seeing one content developer that I patron "GameOver Jesse" playing it with one of my favorite streamers "MissClikk" and I decided to give it a go since I got a new CPU about a week ago; I thought let's have some fun.

Fortnite definite plays with some retro values mixed with the modern concept of micro-transactions as a form of game investment and revenue; essentially you as a player can get better ammo if you invest the money, but also there is no money enough to invest in mental peace into not throwing your control or fist to the screen, when you know you got killed within seconds of landing into the scenario.

The gameplay is almost intuitive, is really to understand at least on the pvp option; I haven't played the story mode yet and I have no interest at the moment, mostly because some schedule restrains. I haven't even played on teams as I haven't found anyone to stick with yet and I have enjoy a little bit the solo missions in the battle royal, it gives me the opportunity to explore the scenario and check where the random items can be generated and to see if there is a pattern between the different houses or edification's around the terrain.

In the short moments I had played so far, I haven't checked if there is a disparity between the levels of the players but with some practice I had learned to avoid much of the other players and reach from position 91 to 27th in matters of hours but still there are some difference between who can purchase content and doesn't, such as getting better defenses or certain items but I am probably wrong as it was a quick observation from the couple of times I had played it.

Some of the items such as the gliders give me some curiosity, but I haven't really check on their functionality and it's worth investing into them, maybe I can try purchasing them later whenever I feel more secure with the game environment; another thing worth to mention is that Fortnite at least in my opinion is not worth playing with a keyboard and mouse.

Playing around with a controller is just easier, not only towards moving the camera but aiming; you can change in between numeric pad of the keyboard and the controller to alternate better towards the arsenal of weapons. I probably wouldn't say which controller is better? I only used so far with the PS4 control and it worked quite well, probably the Xbox control could be smoother during the gameplay, but I have no interest to buying it.

What is with the graphics, they are mostly low level poly's; and they can run quite well with a computer that is not built for gaming and the sounds aren't exactly immersing in the experience; at least for me they remind me of the early PlayStation games and the game itself reminds me of that, which is one of the reasons I find it quite cute and charming and that it can be accessed without buying anything it gives an extra appeal.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Multiverse and Metaphysical Aspects of Smash Brothers and Mario Galaxy Part One

The best explanation to understand Nintendo cosmology it goes that we have to see it as a multiverse, in which different planes of reality and timelines intersect with each other, and in certain moment they collide within each other. We have seen how the different realities intersect on Pokemon Sun versus Ultra Sun, in which Nintendo played with the idea that the time placement of their characters is far more complex than one linear story-line.

Sorry for the random thoughts, but within the latest entry of Smash Brothers for the Switch it make think on how the omnipotence of Master Core could be but also on how Rosalina essentially controls time and space within certain conditions, which she could be considered one of the most powerful individuals or deities within the entire franchise as within Zelda, not even the three goddess have the ability to reset an entire universe at will.

The deities as they go in the Nintendo-verse can go between a complex pantheon, each with their own different set of skills and how they interact with the people that they worship them, albeit the one deity that plays with the idea of who is overall is the Master Core, the same essences of the entire multiverse.

For been such a powerful being within the cosmology of the game, the Master Core itself is quite passive and is essence is sealed within some of his vessels such as tabuu and the hands. Yet, within such power the Core don't do anything, is much as his emissaries have the real power to shape the universe as their own will.

Is interesting to see Smash Brothers because it's the game that can tie the different gaps on where the games are located, if they share their own planet but at this moment we all can infer the characters come from different universes and timelines. One reason we can see, are Twilight Princess Link versus Toon Link as one example, but also within the latest addition now we have Hylian Champion which sums the number what characters are brought and from what eras.

One idea that I see towards why the Nintendoverse is set in a multiverse, rather than the characters to be positioned on different corners of the universe, where the fluctuation of time is different as well the technological advancements is how many characters interact besides the aforementioned example; Mr. Game and Watch as well Mario are part of the same universe but they come from different eras. Also having the Core, the Hands and Tavuu, expose there are individuals or beings powerful than Rosalina and the Lumas.

We had seen Rosalina and the Lumas reseting time and space, to recreate the failing universe into a new one; leaving a few individuals with the previous memories at the end Galaxy only to have some new adventures after the destruction of the previous universe. Is quite a catastrophic event for just one universe, but what if the destruction of the Mario's universe created a chain event that even brought Breath of the Wild as a new universe for the Zelda franchise?

Think about it? Is not weird, as the strings of the cosmos tend to be related and a chain reaction in one universe could lead the demise or creation of another one; so if there is a series of events that unfold a mass destruction there should be a balance and life could be born between the chaos. Is so weird to think how can one event could affect others almost as a butterfly effect.

To be continued...