Saturday, October 23, 2010

Isaac & Ida, episode 4: The Clone Saga, Part 2

I realize too late that I kind of gave away the Shocking Twist Ending of this series in the title of the first post. I debated going back and changing it, but then realized I'd rather just get it over with and that I'm also very lazy. Anyway!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to the Future, Shame, and Abu Ghraib

Yes, you read that title right.

For some reason, multiple channels on TV have recently been showing the Back to the Future movie trilogy, over and over again. I have no idea why, though if I had to guess, I'd say it might have something to do with the announcement that Telltale Games, one of the few remaining adventure games publishers, is making a series of games based on the franchise. (Hi, Dave!) Like most members of my generation, I watched these movies in my youth and remember them fondly, but only after watching them again, now, as a (nominal) adult, do I begin to see nuances and interesting themes in the films.

The Future movies are, in part, about the immigrant experience—that's one of the reasons my father, a film professor and former film reviewer, loves them. They also make an interesting comparison between the teenager and the immigrant—both strangers in a strange land, with new customs, beliefs, and languages. They're films about history, obviously, and choice, and change, and tradition. But the theme that I want to focus on here is a subtler one: they're about shame.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy busy busy, can't you see, sometimes your words etc.

I know I haven't been around lately, folks, and I know you're all broken up about that. Things are just a bit crazy-go-nuts around here: I've got the New York Comic-Con this coming weekend, my semesterly trip down to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois next weekend, classes, job searching, and my various creative projects. In fact, I've just started up a brand-new project: Paracosm, a story mod for the computer game Neverwinter Nights 2. Details about the project, which is far too ambitious for me, especially considering I've only played the game for about two minutes total, can be found on my dedicated blog for the project.

I was inspired to do this project after meeting one of my heroes at San Diego Comic-Con: Chris Avellone, writer of some of the very best computer games of the last fifteen years, including Fallout 2, Knights of the Old Republic 2, and the legendary Planescape: Torment. I only got to speak to him in person for a few minutes, but he was very friendly and forthcoming. I decided then and there to make a computer game mod, despite the fact that I know absolutely zilch about writing for games—in fact, maybe because I know nothing about writing for games. I like to challenge myself creatively, after all, and nothing's more challenging than jumping head-first into writing for a completely alien medium.

In any case, I'll try and keep up this blog during this period of tribulation. Send me good vibes, people.