Fantasy objects – Plamo Wed, 21 Jul 2021 10:20:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fantasy objects – Plamo 32 32 Me, you and everyone we know: Interrelationality, otherness, globalization – Announcements Wed, 21 Jul 2021 04:07:30 +0000 Facebook / Instagram / Twitter Join us on e-stream Video & Film for Interrelational Arrangements (Interdependency and Survival), the third installment in the Me, You, and Everyone We Know series of films and online discussions curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz. No biological organism can live on its own, yet our relationships with others and with […]]]>

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Join us on e-stream Video & Film for Interrelational Arrangements (Interdependency and Survival), the third installment in the Me, You, and Everyone We Know series of films and online discussions curated by Irmgard Emmelhainz.

No biological organism can live on its own, yet our relationships with others and with the environment are determined by the modern fantasy of the independent individual fighting for himself in a Darwinist quest for success and survival. These relationships also shape how we support each other, how we survive in the world, and how we see ourselves as individual subjects. Under global capitalism, the qualities and intensities of interpersonal and environmental relationships also pass through the market and are characterized by extreme alienation and dissociation. The works in this program deal with the hopes and dysfunctions of contemporary subjectivity and interrelational arrangements as determined by modernity and capitalism. Today, the market has erased the boundaries between biological and political life, perpetuating the colonial hierarchy of a racialized social and political life that makes certain bodies vulnerable and subject to the technologies of oppression and dispossession, while protecting them from other. As precariousness is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions of decolonial internationality, reciprocity and mutual aid emerge in an effort to finally transcend the white savior complex behind human rights rhetoric. and the welfare state. In our hyper-individualized imaginaries, we have set up empathy as a structural emotion to relate to others, but we are either unresponsive to their pain or embedded in toxic forms of empathic codependency. One can only hope for impossible attachments and autonomous forms of mutual aid.

Me, you and everyone we know: Interrelationality, otherness, globalization
Part Three: Interrelational Arrangements (Interdependence and Survival)

Screening: from Wednesday July 21 to Tuesday August 3, 2021

Miguel Calderon, Camaleon, 2017, 26:23 minutes
In falconry, when birds hunt, they create a bridge between the falconer and the sky, losing sight of each other; but they usually come back because of the symbiotic relationship they have established. Camaleon explores this link through a real character who depends on his bird as if it were an anxiolytic he needed to face reality. This film explores the connection between humans and nature by following the protagonist for twenty-four hours, from his position as a bouncer in a city nightclub, until he emerges at dawn to take his falcon on the hunt. The protagonist subtly explores the parallelism between the animal instinct to kill and the implications of this act when it involves a human being.

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, Beauty and pity, 2009, 14:19 minutes
Combining songs, stories, cartoons, salvaged video footage and the installation of taxidermized animals and other sculptural elements, Beauty and pity investigates the perverse ethical, emotional and existential relationships between adults, children, animals and God. Canadian Syracuse artists Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby suggest that generational legacies and natural cycles comfort us with their promise of continuity and trap us in destructive patterns. They are fascinated by how redemption can sprout from the present just like a tree sprouts from a seed. By reciting Philip Larkin’s poem on parental dysfunction, “This Be The Verse”, they urge us to “get out as soon as possible” from our parents’ grip “and not to have children yourself” . Although children are not good, says the narrator, they contain a potential for goodness.

Miguel Calderon, El placer después (The pleasure after), 2019, 30 minutes
Many of Miguel Calderón’s pieces incorporate personal experiences by exploring encounters and objects that have marked his memory. Immediately after the September 19, 2017 earthquake that hit Mexico City, Calderón established a close relationship with the maintenance staff of the Cibeles fountain. The video tells a series of events narrated by a real character who also recreates them around this specific landmark.

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, You were a wonder the day you were born, 2019, 30 minutes
You were a wonder the day you were born is a visually rich film that follows a woman through a life characterized by damage and loss, but one in which she finds humor, love and joy. With a score that follows Lenore’s span of life, from his birth in the early 1970s to his death in the 2040s, the film takes us from moments of heartbreaking loss to those of poignant and dark humor. His life is told in voiceover, told by performers aged nine to sixty-nine, and is beautifully illustrated with images of animals (including humans), insects and landscapes. Film theorist Eli Horwatt writes “Yor have been a wonder … shows how the ineluctable death drive of the human animal can be the source of both deep comedy and tragic cruelty. In the many stories relayed through this short but talkative film, viewers are invited to an intimate identification with the experiences of other marginalized people.

bh Yael, Lessons for polygamists, 2017, 14:33 minutes
Using animation and collage, Lessons for polygamists takes place in the diary of a teenage girl who grows up in a polygamous household. She lists the lessons she would pass on to Dad, if only she could. Every teenager knows their life better than the adults. Lessons for polygamists reflects the correct voice of adolescence as the young narrator tries to make sense of her family dynamic, and more so of her father’s behavior. Lessons for polygamists is the story of the artist who grew up in a polygamous family. Through animated play, images are drawn from photographs and family documents, and the stories extend the lessons to a wider audience.

Discussion: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST
bh Yael, Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke, moderated by Irmgard Emmelhainz
Livestream and Q&A with the audience.

About series
In the prehistory of globalization, modernity was promoted by post-war international agencies which prescribed epistemologies, means of economic organization and methods of production, and even cultural sensitivity to so-called third world countries. From a decolonial point of view, modernity and colonialism are inseparable; indeed, they form the basis of our contemporary globalized socio-economic and political systems: predatory market-based relationships. In order to normalize those toxic forms of interdependence and interrelationships that lead to civilizational and environmental collapse, the human and non-human inhabitants of the world are differentiated by means of signifiers, for example, otherness, class, sex. , ethnicity and religion. These differentiations affect our relationships with each other and the way we become subjects. This series brings together audiovisual works from Canada, Europe, North and South America and Australia, from within or from the margins of Western civilization. Beyond asking the question of whether decolonizing would mean undoing these differential categories and bringing justice to oppressed peoples, they provide pieces of a puzzle that could allow us to better see global capitalism not as a generalized and abstract whole, but as heterogeneous processes composed of beliefs. , knowledge, relationships, daily practices, and the dissociation of our bodies and social relationships that denigrate the reproduction of life for the benefit of production and consumption cycles. As such, they provide a pressing point of view on the contradictions and toxic interrelationships inherent in the subject of Western modernity, which has sought to feel at home anywhere on the globe, but now increasingly finds itself. more foreign to the basic means to reproduce life.

Me, You, and Everyone We Know: Interrelationality, Alterity, Globalization is a new film and online chat series programmed by Irmgard Emmelhainz for Video & Film e-flux. It will take place in four thematic parts from June 23 to August 18, 2021. Each part will include a two-week group screening and live discussion.

With films and videos of Ariela Aïsha Azoulay, Yael Bartana, Cooper Battersby and Emily vey duke, Ursula Biemann, bh Yael, Jean Bock, Maja borg, Christmas Burch and Allan Sekula, Miguel Calderon, Sara Eliassen, JOhn Greyson, Clarisse hahn, Mike Kelley and Paul mccarthy, Nicolas mangan, Juan Manuel Sepúlveda, and Miguel Ventura; and discussions with Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Anita chari, Elena Comay del Junco, Siobhan F. Guerrero Mc Manus, Jean-Paul Ricco, Miguel Ventura, Soyoung Yoon, and more to be announced.

For more information, contact

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10 best Studio Ghibli movies Tue, 20 Jul 2021 15:25:57 +0000 Studio Ghibli is the world’s most recognizable and acclaimed producer of Japanese animated feature films. Main artistic house of visionary directors Hayao miyazaki and Isao Takahata, along with their many animated proteges, five of the studio’s feature films are in the top 10 highest-grossing animated films in Japan and five others have received Oscar nominations, […]]]>

Studio Ghibli is the world’s most recognizable and acclaimed producer of Japanese animated feature films. Main artistic house of visionary directors Hayao miyazaki and Isao Takahata, along with their many animated proteges, five of the studio’s feature films are in the top 10 highest-grossing animated films in Japan and five others have received Oscar nominations, with Abducted as if by magic winning the Oscar for animated feature film in 2002. In 35 years, the animation house has released 22 feature films in total, a whole catalog of endless animated stories.

What are the best movies in this wonderful hand-drawn collection? What characters, stories and images accompany you regardless of your age? These are The cinema magazine 10 best Studio Ghibli movies.

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10. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1992)

Review of My Neighbors the Yamadas

My neighbors the Yamadas is a series of sitcom vignettes following the dysfunctional middle-class Yamada family through their day-to-day lives, petty arguments, and distinctive quirks.

Believe it or not, Isao Takahata’s seemingly quaint family comedy nearly broke Studio Ghibli. Not only did he force the in-house animators to retrain in an entirely different drawing style, an act of rebellion against the studio’s lush and flawless celluloid (cel) animation technique by going for something much looser, the comic book and cartoonish, but it was nowhere near as profitable as the previous series of Ghibli films. It might be considered a failed experiment, but if there is one cult classic among the Ghibli back catalog, this is it.

The designs might be different, but this family is adorable, the jokes are funny, and the household situations quite believable and strangely compelling despite the relatively low stakes. There are also several pretty wacky fantastic sequences and a very enjoyable full-fledged musical number at the end to avoid monotony.

9. Arrietty (2010)

Arrietty review

The life of a family of borrowers is turned upside down when a new family moves into the house where they live under the floor. After her first loan assignment goes awry, the curious Arrietty forms an unlikely friendship with a human boy and inadvertently changes her family’s fate forever.

Arrietty has all the usual Ghibli heart, immaculate character movement and attention to detail, but from the smallest of perspectives. This adaptation of “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton is a full-scale adventure through the house and garden with an imaginative incorporation of everyday spaces and objects into cavernous quest routes and useful tools in extraordinary life. of miniature characters.

The countdown to declining health of human protagonist Shô may be a little contrived in terms of tension (although it’s true that this is Norton’s novel), but there’s a reason why Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s movie managed to make it into a list dominated by Miyazaki and Takahata: and convincingly the Clock family’s little life is achieved through crisp, witty animation.

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Pokémon: all Bat Pokémon in the franchise Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:35:00 +0000 the Pokemon franchise has been creating pocket monsters for over 25 years. Each generation has presented Pokémon with amazingly unique designs and others that are significantly inspired by real life. While the different designs that Pokemon used throughout the series have garnered both criticism and praise, many of their creations seem to be related to […]]]>

the Pokemon franchise has been creating pocket monsters for over 25 years. Each generation has presented Pokémon with amazingly unique designs and others that are significantly inspired by real life. While the different designs that Pokemon used throughout the series have garnered both criticism and praise, many of their creations seem to be related to each other. For some of these Pokémon, The Pokemon Company put them in categories that match each other, but other people would assume that a type was classified differently.

A great example of Pokémon like this are the bat-like Pokémon that appear throughout the series. While there are several Pokémon that are officially categorized as “Bat Pokémon”, there are also some that could easily fall into the category. Pokémon are often incredibly common in caves and were the bane of many players trying to navigate the early stages of the game up to The Elite Four in Pokémon Red through Pokemon Sword.

RELATED: Viral Video Shows Healthy Reaction To Pokemon GO Fest Raid

Gen 1 and 2 bats

The first generation of games, Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow all featured the Zubat and Golbat Pokémon. Both Pokémon are of the same evolutionary lineage and have the same typing. As a Poison and Flying-type Pokémon, they have infested caves throughout the Kanto region. Zubat and Golbat were also the first Pokémon to be categorized as bats, and bear the most notable resemblance to people’s idea of ​​what a bat looks like.

Pokémon Gold and Silver built on the Zubat line with a second evolution and introduced its own bat-like Pokémon. Both Pokémon have a double strike, with Crobat remaining consistent with the Poison and Flying combo that Zubat and Golbat had before him. Gligar, on the other hand, brings a unique type to the series.

Gligar is the first to be both Flight and Ground type. While the contradictory strike may seem odd to some, it matches the design of the Pokémon well. It has similar attributes to the other bat-like Pokémon in the series, but is classified as the Flying Scorpion Pokémon. Considering Gligar’s pincer-shaped appendages and scorpion tail, this makes sense, but the Pokemon also strongly resembles a bat.


The third generation of Pokemon the games ignored any Pokemon that might look like a bat or fall into the Bat Pokemon category, but Gen 4 was able to add one. Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, although known for its excellent gameplay and story, has also added a number of evolutions to the series. This included Gliscor, an evolution for the bat-like Pokémon Gligar.

Gliscor retains many of Gligar’s design features but makes a few changes, mainly in terms of color and sharpness. The softer rounded edges that helped Gligar look cute but playful become hardened and sharp. These characteristics are intensified by the black wings that Gliscor gains over the purple wings of Gligar.

The wings bear a striking resemblance to Batman’s cape and add to the fierceness of the Pokémon Fang Scorpion. With yellow eyes and bigger claws, this evolution radically changes the aesthetics of its evolutionary line. Gliscor is by far the most intimidating Pokémon to take on the appearance of a bat and would be the pride of Giovanni or Bruce Wayne.

RELATED: Pokemon Meowth and Inkay Trading Cards Tell a Story When Placed Side by Side

From Woobat to Noivern

Pokemon Noiverne

Generation 5 and 6 each add two Pokémon that match the bat pattern. Gen 5 Pokémon Black and White introduces Woobat and Swoobat. Although both are members of the same evolutionary lineage, they do not fall into the same category as Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat. Woobat belongs to the Bat Pokemon category like other bats, but its Swoobat evolution is listed as the Courting Pokemon. With his heart-shaped nose, it’s easy to see why he might enjoy a date night, but he certainly could have adapted as a Bat Pokemon like any other.

Pokémon X and Yes‘s Noibat and Noivern, like Swoobat, are oversized bats but share the categorization of being the Pokémon Sound Wave. While they probably have the most obvious bat-type designs outside of Zubat, Golbat, and Crobat, they’re also Dragon and Flying-type Pokémon instead of Poison. Noibat’s cute appearance firmly places him as the least intimidating of the bat-like Pokémon the series has introduced so far, but Noivern’s design is noticeably intimidating.

His oversized ears and sharp features are a great dragon and bat combination. The black, purple, and green palette the Pokémon relies on creates an intimidating look, while the oversized ears play on the use of echolocation seen in many real bats. Noivern is truly a top predator, and this is reinforced by his large size, nearly five feet tall, and stubborn hunting abilities.

Lunala the Pokémon Moone

As tall as Noivern is, he’s easily overshadowed by Lunala. The Pokémon is styled after the moon and a bat while being the only Legendary Pokémon to wear a bat motif so far. Lunala’s design is much more intricate than other Pokémon that match the same aesthetic, and its massive size of just over thirteen feet makes it creepy.

While Lunala is beautiful and radiant in her design, the Pokemon thrives in the dark. Capturing all the light that surrounds it, Lunala can plunge the surrounding environment into an artificial night by feeding its energy. Coming from an alternate dimension like the other Ultra Beasts introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Lunala is one of the most mysterious monsters in the series. It is also by far the most powerful to adapt to the bat pattern so far.

Even though Lunala is categorized as the Pokémon Moone, it’s interesting how Pokémon has adapted real-world animals into unique creatures for games. Many Pokémon in the series are notable for this, and while some are more objects that come to life than fantastic beasts, each brings their own strengths in terms of design. With Shiny Diamond Pokémon and Shiny pearl Releasing this fall, fans will likely have to wait until next year for new Pokémon. Still, there is a lot of potential for classic designs to be revisited in Pokemonis the ninth generation.

MORE: Pokemon GO: Mythical Pokemon Still Not In The Game

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Why Is Young-Adult Fiction So Popular? Mon, 19 Jul 2021 07:02:15 +0000 Cultural historian Robert Darnton famously argued that “world views cannot be chronicled in the manner of political events, but they are no less ‘real.’ Politics could not take place without the preliminary mental ordering that goes into the common-sense notion of the real world.” To discover the “preliminary mental ordering” of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, […]]]>

Cultural historian Robert Darnton famously argued that “world views cannot be chronicled in the manner of political events, but they are no less ‘real.’ Politics could not take place without the preliminary mental ordering that goes into the common-sense notion of the real world.” To discover the “preliminary mental ordering” of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France, Darnton turned to an unusual source: the French fairy tale, as told by French peasants to ethnographers and folklorists of the nineteenth century. These stories of repulsive ogres, fearsome fairies, talking animals, and enchanted objects communicated, in Darnton’s eyes, important truths as the French peasantry understood them—truths about “how the world is made and how one can cope with it.” As unconscious illustrations of common beliefs about authority, fate, and morality, these stories offered a rare window into the ancien regime as the common man experienced it. The fairy realm of the French peasant mirrored his lived reality. His was a vicious and empty moral order, where personal destiny depended on the arbitrary whims of the powerful, and survival meant internalizing as fact that “the world is made of fools and knaves: better to be a knave than a fool.”

Future social historians will not be able to consult an oral tradition of fairy tales in an investigation of the twenty-first century’s “mental ordering,” but they will have an equally vast catalog of fictional narratives at their disposal. For the most popular stories of our own day also tend toward the fantastic. Speculative fiction—fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian prophecies—has captured the imagination of twenty-first-century man. These flights of fancy are the cornerstone of our popular culture; their protagonists are our cultural heroes. They testify to the power of escapism.

Yet like the fairy tales of old, our escapist yarns can escape only so far. Their imagery and plotting are irrevocably tied to our society. Despite their diverse subgenres and distinct audiences, these fictional narratives share a set of attitudes and convictions about the nature of authority, power, and responsibility. They provide a window into the moral economy of the twenty-first century’s overmanaged meritocrats.

The rise of the young-adult novel is the most significant literary event of this century. The significance of the genre—often simply called “YA”—is best appreciated when juxtaposed with general trends in Anglophone reading. In an age that has seen both the average number of books read and the average number of hours spent reading steeply decline, YA readership has exploded, and not just among young adults. In 2012, one marketing firm discovered that slightly more than half of all American YA readers were older than 22. Just under one-third were somewhere between 30 and 44. The tentpole franchises of speculative YA fiction, such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, have had even greater reach. They are less individual works of literature than full-blown cultural events. Millions of revelers greeted new entries at midnight release parties; a combined $14 billion has been spent on tickets to their respective film adaptations.

Twilight and The Hunger Games, in many ways one another’s opposites, stake out the outer bounds of speculative YA lit. Twilight and its sequels glammed up sappy romance with the supernatural; The Hunger Games was a gritty dystopian thriller. In Twilight, the great choice facing everygirl Bella Swan is which inhuman heartthrob she will give her heart to; the reader of the Hunger Games wonders if heroine Katniss Everdeen will reach the next chapter with her heart still beating. Where clumsiness is Bella’s defining personality trait, Katniss begins Hunger Games an experienced backwoodsman and ends it a capable warrior. Critic Laura Miller described Bella as “one long, quivering bowstring of frustrated lust”; Katniss is a meteor of blazing indignation and rage. Bella happily abandons her family to join an immortal soulmate, while Katniss voluntarily risks death in gladiatorial combat to save her sister from competing.

The bounds of speculative YA literature were large enough comfortably to house two such wildly different protagonists (and their respective subgenres, romance and action thriller). But behind these differences lie important, though less obvious, similarities. A defining feature of both Bella’s and Katniss’s stories is the painfully limited agency of their respective heroines. In a world of supernatural individuals, Bella is weak, mortal, and helpless. She cannot save herself from the many dangerous situations she stumbles into, nor can she fulfill her wish to become a vampire, except by appealing to forces more powerful than herself. Katniss is more resourceful than Bella, but she, too, is the plaything of powers she cannot control. The totalitarian government that manipulates her behavior is far more malicious than are Twilight’s supernatural heartthrobs, yet it is just as obsessed as any love-struck vampire with the daily doings of a teenage girl. This preoccupation with authority, agency, and surveillance unites the two series.

These stories share such themes—and the common aesthetic language through which they are expressed—not only with Harry Potter but with the dozen or so copycat YA titles that place teenagers in similar supernatural or dystopian settings. In addition to Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, these include Daniel Handler’s Series of Unfortunate Events (1999–2006), Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series (2001–2012), Philip Reeves’s Mortal Engines quartet (2001–2006) and Larklight trilogy (2006–2009), Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s Spiderwick Chronicles (2003–2009), Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus sequence (2003–2010), Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies (2005–2007) and Leviathan series (2009–2011), James Dashner’s Maze Runner series (2009–2016), Cassandra Clare’s Shadow Hunter Chronicles (2010–present), L. J. Smith’s revamped Vampire Diaries (2011–2014), Marie Lu’s Legend series (2011–2018), Ransom Rig’s Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series (2011–2018), Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (2011–2013), Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy (2012–2015), Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles (2012–2015), and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series (2014–2019). These “second tier” YA works have sold millions of copies and birthed ten film and four television adaptations.

The author of the speculative YA blockbuster rarely strays from a common set of conventions, settings, and character beats. The story takes place in a world not quite modern. Different devices might be used for this purpose. In some series, this means a future so dystopic that the earth has retrogressed to an earlier age; in others, fully modern settings serve as camouflage for a clandestine society whose language, dress, and grooming evoke a more aristocratic past. Thus, Harry Potter’s wizarding world has steam locomotives but not a single television set, Bella’s love interest is literally an Edwardian gentleman, and the dystopian landscape of The Hunger Games is a pastiche of Dust Bowl America and interwar Europe. Other YA series take the genre’s love affair with the turn of the twentieth century even further, placing their teenage heroes in a steampunk-inspired or magic-infused Victorian past. In all cases, the fictional society of the YA novel is classy. Beneath its repressed social rules and rigid social hierarchies is an elegance not found in the mundane humdrum of twenty-first-century America. Evil, when it appears, is distinguished by refinement and good breeding.

From Harry Potter onward, the speculative YA novelist has been enthralled by dreams and nightmares of the clandestine. Under the surface of normal life exists a hidden world more vital, dazzling, and dangerous than most people ever realize. The YA heroine may enter this society as a stranger, but eventually discovers that she (more often, the hero is female) is the fulcrum upon which this new world turns—and becomes aware of the many powerful individuals in this world plotting to use her to turn it.

This is the defining feature of the YA fictional society: powerful, inscrutable authorities with a mysterious and obsessive interest in the protagonist. Sometimes the hidden hands of this hidden world are benign. More often, they do evil. But the intentions behind these spying eyes do not much matter. Be they vile or kind, they inevitably create the kind of protagonist about whom twenty-first century America loves to read: a young hero defined by her frustration with, or outright hostility toward, every system of authority that she encounters.

The resonance these stories have with the life of the twenty-first-century American teenager is obvious. The stories are, as perceptive film critic Jonathan McAlmont observes, “very much about living in a world where parents discuss things out of earshot.” The protagonists all struggle “to perform the role that grownups have assigned [them], despite the fact that [they] are still coming to terms” with their own identity and purpose. Teenage frustration with a lack of agency is the fuel that propels Anglophone pop culture. The prewar imagescape of these novels supplies extra emotional resonance, styling the problem of out-of-date authority as a holdover from a stuffier, more restrictive past. For the hero of a YA tale, this general problem would be resolved in the final, climactic battle with the powers that be. In his or her quest for victory, the protagonist would journey from pawn to player. There are few transformations for which the modern teenager yearns more.

In our culture, this adolescent attitude persists long past adolescence. Why these storylines would appeal to the modern teenager—parented by helicopters, shunted from one scheduled activity to another, living as they imagine a faraway college admissions board wishes they would—is clear. But these same narratives also saturate the fairy world of adults. X-Files (1993–2002), 24 (2001–2010), and Lost (2004–2010) set this pattern for television in the new millennium, their writers discovering that nothing keeps modern audiences hooked like an episode-by-episode descent into conspiracy. Award-winning serials such as Orphan Black (2013–2017), The Americans (2013–2018), and Mr. Robot (2015–2019) would perfect the art of the conspiracy thriller, but even lower-budget procedurals like The Mentalist (2008–2015) and The Unit (2006–2009) would pivot away from their original “mission of the week” fare toward season-long arcs devoted to uncovering secret combinations. The lavish production standards of prestige dystopia—such shows as Black Mirror (2011–2019), Man in the High Castle (2015–2019), Westworld (2016–2020), and Handmaid’s Tale (2017–present)—betray a similar impulse. These adult dystopias drop the interwar imagery and teenage angst of their YA counterparts but have shed none of their paranoia. Prestige TV is just as preoccupied with decisions made out of earshot as is any teen novel.

This obsession is grounded in experience. It is not just twenty-first-century teenagers who feel buffeted by forces beyond their control. Bearing the brunt of a recession we did not cause, facing disastrous wars the stakes of which were unclear at best, the citizens of the liberal West spent the last two decades nursing the wounds of lost agency. This loss extends past grand politics. A series of studies have traced this process in the United States. Increasingly, Americans “bowl alone”: the social clubs, civic societies, and congregations that once gave normal people meaningful social responsibilities have declined significantly. Most issue-oriented action groups that remain are staffed by professionals who seek only money from their members. As a growing number of Americans live in crowded cities, government becomes more remote and less responsive to any individual’s control—a problem exacerbated by the increasingly national cast of American politics. More important still, one-third of Americans now find themselves employed by corporations made impersonal by their scale. The decisions that determine the daily rounds of the office drone are made in faraway boardrooms—rooms, one might say, “where adults discuss things out of earshot.” What decides the destiny of Western man? Credit scores he has only intermittent access to. Regulations he has not read. HR codes he had no part in writing.

For the most part, the citizens of the West have accepted this. They have learned to comply with expert directives. They have learned to endure by filing complaints. They have learned to ask first when faced with any problem: “Can I speak to the manager?” They have accustomed themselves to life as a data point.

But only up to a point. The modern-day fairy tale is not at peace with HR. Our fairy realm’s preoccupation with the problems of the micromanaged life resonates. Its paranoia reflects a culture that has lost faith in its own ruling class. The YA novel’s adolescent attitude toward authority speaks to the experiences of the many millions shaken by their own impotence. The mania for dystopia is a literary sensation custom-made for the frustrations of our age.

Yet if these novels speak to the sum of our anxieties, they are a poor guide to escaping them. In the world of YA speculative fiction, those who possess such power cannot be trusted. Even worse than possessing power is to seek it: our fables teach that to desire responsibility is to be corrupted by it. They depict greatness as a thing to be selected, not striven, for. This fantasy is well fit for an elite class whose standing is decided by admissions boards, but a poor guide for an elite class tasked with actually leading our communities.

The protagonists of our fairy realm do not embrace heroics. This poses a practical problem: if power degrades those who seek it, how can protagonists ever become skilled enough to defeat the enemies of good? In answer, YA novelists have converged on a compelling solution: the defining character trait of a YA hero is that she must be forced into heroics. In these stories, the heroic role is a product of either accidental circumstance or supra-human destiny. The protagonist may be a “chosen one,” identified by ancient prophecy. She may be dragged into the shadow world by chance. Or she might embrace heroics to save a loved one. In no case does she desire fame; her virtue is to shirk acclaim. Though she will change the world, this not a role she desires. Her calling cry is the normal life; every few chapters she will repeat an earnest wish to settle down to some quiet place where she need not strive for victory nor fear defeat. It is precisely her unwillingness to be a hero that makes her virtuous enough to become one.

Yet outside of the modern fairy realm, power is not given, but created. The morality of the twenty-first-century fairy tale is in fact a road map to paralysis. Its heroes begin as the playthings of manipulative and illegitimate authorities, their goodness made clear by their victimhood. But faced with this illicit order, nothing can be done: even rebellion can be trusted only to unwilling rebels. Our fairy tales imagine a world where only those who do not want power are deemed fit to use it. Translate that back to reality, and we are left with a world where all power is, and will always be, deemed illegitimate. No magic curses justify the power of our managerial class; ultimately, their legitimacy rests on how well they wield it.

In the stories of the modern fairy realm we see the seeds of stagnation. Protesters who occupy Zuccotti Park without the faintest notion of what their occupation should accomplish, political parties that seize all branches of the government without a plan for governing, Ivy League students pretending that they are not, in fact, elite—all of this flows from a culture that can articulate the anxieties of the overmanaged but cannot conceive of a healthy model of management. We cannot suffer ourselves to imagine righteous ambition even in our fantasies. Responsible leadership is not possible even in our fairy world. Little wonder so few strive to realize it in the real one.

Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage

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Letters to the Editor July 19, 2021: Mass suicide is not painless Mon, 19 Jul 2021 06:49:55 +0000  Mass suicide is not painless I could never understand the Masada Worship Syndrome, so dangerously defeatist. Suicide is not to be idealized. There wouldn’t be a State of Israel if the small number of under-armed pioneers had given up without a fight in 1948. Ditto for the poor struggling State of Israel in June, 1967 […]]]>

 Mass suicide is not painless

I could never understand the Masada Worship Syndrome, so dangerously defeatist. Suicide is not to be idealized. There wouldn’t be a State of Israel if the small number of under-armed pioneers had given up without a fight in 1948. Ditto for the poor struggling State of Israel in June, 1967 when the United Nations followed Arab instructions and removed all of the “peacekeeping forces.”Israel hadn’t a single solitary human ally. Jews all over the world prayed, while international leaders and diplomats sat and waited to see how long it would take for the young State of Israel to be defeated and its citizens pushed into the sea to drown.

The National Unity Government did not order mass suicide, thank God. It took the first shot in a war that has become legendary. 

In both cases we miraculously won, which means that God joined in. What would have happened if in the days of Masada they had fought?BATYA MEDAD

At the helm of Helmsley’s hoard

I enjoyed reading “The accidental philanthropist” (July 18) about the more than colorful life of Leona Helmsley, whose reputation earned her the nickname “Queen of Mean” and once allegedly stated, “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.”
It is therefore ironic to learn that although in her lifetime she never visited Israel or bestowed any of her large fortune to Israeli causes, she entrusted Sandor Frankel, her lawyer for 18 years, as one of the executors of her estate, charged with the selling of her multi-billion-dollar holdings. 
Frankel states that he was granted the opportunity to use the largesse as he saw fit as long it was for the good of mankind. So far to date The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has donated over $410 million to Israeli causes.
Israel has certainly been in Frankel’s thoughts even if it wasn’t in Helmsley’s, however, his lending her name to Israeli causes will certainly mean her legacy here will be far from associated with mean.


Going for the gold

With all the doom and gloom regarding the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Friday Jerusalem Post supplement (July 16) was a very pleasant surprise. The 89 contestants from Israel in all their respective disciplines deserve credit for traveling to Japan despite COVID and we wish them the best of luck.


Kfar Saba

You half to be wholly truthful

Douglas Bloomfield’s “Can Biden protect voting rights?” (July 15) is replete with half-truths, misinformation and insulting conclusory language. For example, he suggests that Republican opposition to the Democrat push to federalize election rules proves that they would oppose the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In fact, they oppose the new law because it would institutionalize voter fraud, making elections far less free, fair or transparent. This new act attempts to make permanent procedures that were adopted in 2020 because of the dislocations caused by the COVID epidemic. As the epidemic wanes, those emergency procedures are no longer needed. The proposed law is also possibly invalid under the Constitution, which reserves to the states the right to determine voting procedures. 

Bloomfield asserts without evidence that Republicans are intent on reducing the number of minority voters, cavalierly calling proposed state laws “voter suppression.” Republicans counter that their goal is to maintain the rights of all legal voters to cast ballots, while making it harder for illegal votes to be cast. Taken as a whole, Republican-proposed provisions to which Bloomfield objects without explanation evince a desire to preserve election integrity and restore public confidence in announced results. 

These include: Banning paid ballot harvesting; requiring voter ID and signature verification for mail-in ballots, consistent with requirements for in-person voting; maintaining strict chain of custody for all ballots upon submission; updating voter rolls regularly; setting uniform times for early voting, with expanded hours on weekends; allowing observers from all political sides to watch the vote count.

Bloomfield notes that the Justice Department is suing Georgia over its new voter law. This suit exemplifies a two-tiered justice system weaponized for political purposes. How else to explain that Delaware, controlled by Democrats and represented by Joe Biden for four decades, has election procedures far more restrictive than Georgia’s, yet has escaped similar coercive legal inquiry? 

Finally, Bloomfield castigates Republicans for blocking an “independent” investigation of the January 6 Capitol Hill riot, which he misleadingly calls a “deadly insurrection.” This fifth investigation of an event that lasted only a few hours is meant to demonize Donald Trump up to and beyond the 2022 elections, continuing four years of failed attempts to prove the “Russia collusion” fantasy. 

Escaped slave and leading abolitionist Frederick Douglass observed, “The life of a nation is secure only while a nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.” 
Sadly, Bloomfield and many of his Democrat comrades fail this test. 


Assailing altruism

“Why Israel went to Surfside” (July 16) is a tribute of the highest order to the rescue teams from Israel. These teams included an Israeli task force, the IDF’s National Search and Rescue Unit, members of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit of United Hatzalah, and volunteer members of ZAKA.
These amazing Israeli professional teams, working in tandem with all the teams in America and Mexico, began their rescue efforts within a day of the building collapse.
What was so shocking about the article were the “garden variety antisemites and anti-Zionists,” who claimed that Israel always has “an ulterior motive” in order to “distract people from its oppression of the Palestinians.” They seem to have, according to the writer, a “basic ignorance of ‘hesed’… the Jewish concept of… compassion.”
Really? I have never seen or heard of a “Palestinian delegation” going anywhere to help in an emergency situation. They can certainly fly to wherever on the same planes Israel uses. Indeed, they do not assist with their own people’s problems and expect Israel to bail them out whenever.
Israel must begin educating these political activists, journalists, and everyday Jew haters. Let them come here to see for themselves that there is no oppression of peoples.
The most impressive response to their ignorance can be found in one sentence within the article: “(Israel) responds immediately to emergencies around the world not because the victims are Jewish, but because they are human.”



Making statements instead of supplications

Regarding “Orthodox agitators disrupt Conservative bar mitzvah at Western Wall” (July 12), the Kotel is not a neighborhood community center where men, women and children go to engage in religious, social and cultural activities. And while the Kotel most certainly does not belong to one single group or theology, it is not subject to dealer’s choice either. The sanctity of the remains of the Temple demands a very high level of respect and reverence, something which is, I’m afraid, being overlooked.
The recent skirmishes and violence taking place at the Kotel are more than a little disturbing. While I consider myself relatively open-minded and accept that there is no one specific structure that defines how prayer services should be conducted or how the Torah is to be respected, my openness stops at the perimeter of the Kotel. Conduct there should emulate as much as possible that which was the norm during the periods in which the Temple was operative. Contemporary or modernized versions of Judaism are perfectly fine as long as they remain within municipal boundaries; pluralism and diversity at the Kotel, I’m afraid, is not welcome and should not be encouraged.
Don’t misunderstand. I am by no means condoning the hijacking of the Conservative-based bar mitzvah that recently took place at the Kotel, and find such behavior repulsive, regardless of the venue. The Conservative and Reform communities, however, seem more interested in making political statements than in respecting the holiness of the place. There was no reason to make a young man entering into adulthood the center of a pointless tug-of-war. True, thuggishness is unacceptable, but so is davkaness. And that is precisely what our more liberal members of the tribe are engaged in.
Not a day goes by that we fail to pine for the rebuilding of the third Temple, and can hardly wait for it to once again become the center of Jewish activity. But until we set our differences aside and learn to live with each other, that day will not be arriving any time soon. The Kotel, I should think, would be a perfect place to begin setting things right.


Ginot Shomron

Gershon gets Gaza

Gershon Baskin (“The conditions for returning to a two-state solution,” July 15) seems to be coming to the conclusion that most other people came to years ago, namely that the so-called “two-state solution” is a non-starter in the current Middle East reality. Of course it is, and not just for the reasons he gives, which are all correct. 

In reality the two-state solution is a four-state solution – Israel plus three Arab states: The state of Gaza, the state of Judea/Samaria (or “Palestine” as the Arabs of the area have incorrectly named it), and the 70% of the territory of Mandatory Palestine that was originally designated in international law as the Jewish Home, and was then called Transjordan and is now called  simply “Jordan.” 

Baskin clearly states why Gaza cannot be in a united polity with “Palestine” in the foreseeable future, namely because of its domination by Hamas and Iran and in this he is right. Interestingly, your own leader article on the same page clearly describes why Hamas and Iran are also the main blocks to any civil progress in Gaza (as Iran is also in its own country and Lebanon). I would add that Hamas is the reason why security instability and a tortured life are the lot of Israelis in at least half the country. 
So what is the inevitable conclusion? Hamas must be removed. We all know the reasons why this would be a costly operation. However, it must be the purpose of Israeli diplomacy to forge an alliance with the US, Egypt and the Gulf States (and perhaps Jordan)  which would permit the military defeat of Hamas and Iran, and transform the whole future of the area. This may be dismissed as fantasy, but not long ago the Abraham peace treaties were also a dream.
With Hamas gone and Iran humbled, the whole game changes.


I do not usually read Gershon Baskin’s screeds, but this time I was curious. As soon as I got to “barbed wire and fences” I could not read further for my eyes filled with tears from laughter. Baskin should be reminded that the barbed wire and fences were put up not to “limit contact” with the so-called Palestinians out but to prevent them from killing us. We let many of them in routinely every day after security checks.
Here are seven conditions for returning to a two-state solution:
1. The Muslim Arabs must accept Israel as a nation state for the Jews.
2. They must accept Jews do not rule over Muslims in Israel and are equal citizens.
3. That we are not therefore an apartheid state that murders Arabs.
4. They must stop demonizing Israel and its people.
5. They must not threaten Jewish lives and stop paying to slay Jews.
6. They must abjure all forms of violence against the Jewish people.
7. The leaders must stop enriching themselves and start building a viable state.
When they meet the above conditions and are prepared to abandon their maximalist territorial claims for a reasonable and just compromise, there will be something to talk about.
Until then, I am not holding my breath.


Rishon LeZion

Stand back! Let’s try science

Regarding “Over 1,000 test positive for COVID in a single day” (July 18), I find it delightful to regularly read headlines in your newspaper about astounding anthropological and archaeological discoveries found just beneath the surface of this land. How great to hear of the discoveries from the digs. I only wish that the Post would do a little digging of its own on the COVID crisis, instead of acting as a mouth-piece and cheerleader for government policies.
How about a serious discussion on the well-proven alternate methods of lowering the risk of serious illness from any of the variants? For example, even before the vaccines were available here, it was known that having low vitamin D levels greatly increases one’s risk of illness and death from COVID. This is particularly relevant because the populations with the highest damage from COVID (the elderly, Arabs and haredim) also have the lowest vitamin D levels. How many lives could have been saved by raising the entire population’s vitamin D levels? Why is the Health Ministry still not championing such a simple and logical approach to disease prevention?   
I would expect the Post to spotlight the recent report by the Cochrane Library (a respected journal specializing in evaluating the pooled results of research) that concluded that there was a cheap, safe and effective oral medication that appears to greatly reduce the risk of catching COVID or becoming ill from it. When the media chatter is now about a booster vaccine and resistant strains, how newsworthy is that scientific advance! 
Just like with hidden archaeological finds, there’s a lot to write about regarding Israel’s handling of the pandemic, as wonderful as it appears, if only one digs a little below the surface.


A quarter are clueless

“One in four US Jews agrees to claims ‘Israel is apartheid state,’ ‘committing genocide’” (July 14) was naturally shocking and thought-provoking.
The first obvious conclusion is that one in four US Jews knows nothing at all about Israel, aside perhaps from what the media, quoting Palestinian propaganda lies, has reported.
The same one in four clearly has not experienced any hint of a home or other educational contact with the ethical and moral framework which are the essence of Jewish teachings and its recommended guidelines for a successful way of life. If they had, they would not blindly accept the above claims about the Jewish state without making their own unbiased inquiries to validate or invalidate what they heard.
Both crimes attributed to Israel in the headline are so totally divorced from reality that a minimal attempt to check them would suffice. The depressing truth, if the statistics are accurate, is therefore that one in four US Jews is totally ignorant about Israel and is too cognitively challenged to even be aware of the fact.



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The best action-adventure games available in 2021 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 06:49:27 +0000 Getting lost in a story is one of the best things about video games, no matter where you end up. From huge single-player hits that pit you against enemies across the galaxy, like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, to small heartwarming adventures that you can experience with a friend (such as It Takes Two), you […]]]>
Getting lost in a story is one of the best things about video games, no matter where you end up. From huge single-player hits that pit you against enemies across the galaxy, like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, to small heartwarming adventures that you can experience with a friend (such as It Takes Two), you can find it all on Xbox, so we’ve compiled a list of awesome adventure games we’re sure you’ll love.

To assist you in deciding which game you should be looking to play next, we’ve narrowed down the choice by using a combination of site review scores and your community ratings to put together our list of the best action-adventure games available on Xbox in 2021.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Set during the brutality of World War I, Valiant Hearts: The Great War tells the stories of four characters that help a German soldier find his love in a story about friendship, survival, and sacrifice. The characters are accompanied by Walt, a dog that will help you solve the game’s puzzles, along with finding collectable items hidden within each chapter that reveal more information about the war. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a heartwarming adventure about the love of others while also highlighting the grim reality of war.

Hyper Light Drifter

You take on the role of a Drifter in a 2D 16-bit world, a purveyor of knowledge, lost technology, and broken history. But the Drifter is also suffering from a curious illness and the need to subjugate it will take you on a journey through the lands of Buried Time — a land of violence, treasure, and blood. The RPG elements of Hyper Light Drifter allow you to find new weapons and abilities, enhancing your character as you progress through the game by using ‘modules.’ When things get too hairy or you’re running out of bullets, you have a handy energy sword as a backup, and it’s learning to correctly rotate your weaponry and hone the tactics that’ll allow you to progress through the increasingly difficult levels.

Hyper Light Drifter

Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies.
Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16­bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

The Warmastered Edition of Darksiders released in 2016 and brought with it a vast improvement in the game’s graphics and performance, offering us the same demon-filled story with hellishly good visuals. Darksiders has grown into quite the action-adventure series in recent years, and if you’re yet to experience them for yourself then the first game is probably the best place to start. When a war breaks out between heaven and hell on Earth, War, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse falls in battle. The Charred Council blame the horseman for starting the apocalypse and destroying the world’s balance, but gives him a chance to prove his innocence and find the one responsible. We take control of War when he is sent back to Earth 100 years in the future for a third-person adventure, slashing through demonic beings with the wonderfully-named sword, Chaos Eater.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

• If you have purchased the Darksiders 3 Blades & Whips Edition in order to play this content, please note it will only become playable on the 26th November

Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of the world, War – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – stands accused of breaking the sacred law by inciting a war between Heaven and Hell. In the slaughter that ensued, the demonic forces defeated the heavenly hosts and laid claim to the Earth.

Okami HD

Releasing as one of the last games on the PlayStation 2, Okami had a pretty bumpy start to life, managing only somewhat poor sales. But players and critics loved it nonetheless and that pushed Capcom to remaster it and launch it on multiple systems a few years later, titled Okami HD. The game is set in classical Japan and sees you playing as Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess who takes on the form of a white wolf and attempts to save the cel-shaded land from evil. Okami HD has a mix of action, platforming, and puzzle gameplay, heavily influenced by early Zelda games.



Experience the critically acclaimed masterpiece with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style in breathtaking high resolution.

A Way Out

Designed with split-screen co-op in mind but also allowing for online play, A Way Out tells the story of Leo and Vincent, two convicts who need to break out of prison. It’s a third-person adventure that is focused on cooperation to progress through the game and tells both characters stories simultaneously. One great feature of A Way Out is the ability to join a friend online whether you own the game or not, entirely for free, although this does disable achievements for the guest. You’ll be able to get up to plenty of mischief without having to pay for the game twice — and there is plenty to be had.

A Way Out

A Way Out

A Way Out is an exclusively co-op adventure where you play the role of one of two prisoners making their daring escape from prison.
Play the entire experience with your friends using the friends pass free trial feature.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Ninja Theory’s dark fantasy world of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was inspired by Celtic mythology, and takes players on a journey that portrays the brutality of psychosis. Designed with a team of around 20 developers, neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people who live with the condition, Hellblade tells the story of Senua and her struggles with an entity called The Darkness. The game’s story is a metaphor for the condition and sees Senua descend into Helheim by destroying demonic creatures, in search of her dead lover’s soul. It has a mixture of psychological horror elements, hack-and-slash gameplay, and puzzle-solving to create an experience that’s worthy of everybody’s game collection.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness.

Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.

Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into Senua’s mind.

LEGO Harry Potter Collection

After the darkness of the title above, you probably need something slightly more lighthearted, and it doesn’t get much more lighthearted than Lego. This collection merges the ridiculous and blocky universe with the wizarding world of Harry Potter. There’s not much else you can say about this game, except for it being a perfect example of humour the Lego games are known for and the fantastic stories of Harry Potter. It’s extremely accessible to players of all ages and doesn’t require any magical qualities to complete.

LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection

LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection

The LEGO® Harry Potter™ Collection brings LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 1-4 and LEGO® Harry Potter™: Years 5-7 with both top-selling video games remastered!

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Much like FromSoftware’s Dark Souls titles, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is mainly focused on epic boss battles and difficult-to-master combat. You play as Wolf, a shinobi in pursuit of revenge against a samurai clan who kidnapped his lord after attacking them. The game was an instant hit both critically and commercially when it was released in 2019 and mixes combat, stealth, and exploration in an alternate version of Japan. If you loved the Souls games then Sekiro might just be right up your street… if you feel brave enough.

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition

Sekiro™: Shadows Die Twice – GOTY Edition

Game of the Year – The Game Awards 2019
Metacritic Must Play

Carve your own clever path to vengeance in the award winning adventure from developer FromSoftware, creators of the Dark Souls series.

Take Revenge. Restore Your Honor. Kill Ingeniously.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Take a trip into the past in A Plague Tale: Innocence and experience the horrors of The Hundred Years War, and the brutal English invasion of France. We play as Amicia de Rune, a young noble girl who’s desperately trying to save her sick younger brother, Hugo, from a blight plague, French Inquisition soldiers who’re seeking out Hugo, and swarms of plague-ridden rodents. The journey is fraught with peril and horrifying to witness — especially if you’re not a fan of squeaky critters. A Plague Tale: Innocence is full of stealth-action and being caught by your enemies means certain death. Distract enemy soldiers with various objects including your trusty sling, ward off rat swarms using fire, and solve environmental puzzles to clear the way so you can pass safely. If you enjoy story-driven stealth gameplay, you don’t want to sleep on this title.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Follow the critically acclaimed tale of young Amicia and her little brother Hugo, in a heartrending journey through the darkest hours of history.

The Outer Wilds

The Outer Wilds is about an unnamed astronaut caught in a 22-minute time-loop — think interstellar Groundhog Day — which resets by one of the stars going supernova and disintegrating everything. You need to help this unfortunate soul uncover the secrets of an extinct alien race called the Nomai. These beings had visited the solar system before and left clues that can help you fix this warped time zone. Much like other games with this particular mechanic, once you’ve learned information or completed an activity it will carry over to the next time loop. The Outer Wilds offers plenty of puzzling moments, environmental and otherwise, that’ll keep your attention from start to finish — or leave you scratching your head in confusion.

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is an open world mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

In a galaxy far, far away, Respawn Entertainment tried its hand at a Star Wars video game — and the Force was definitely with the team because it was a huge hit. Released back in 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person action-adventure game that sees Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis attempt to outrun two Inquisitors of the Galactic Empire. Armed with his lightsaber and the power of the Force, Cal is on a mission to complete his training, rebuild the famed Jedi Order, and outrun his unsavoury past. In June 2021, EA announced that 20 million people had played the game — which should be enough to start our own Imperial Legion if we felt dastardly enough.

STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order™

Optimized for Xbox Series X|S. A galaxy-spanning adventure awaits in STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order. An abandoned Padawan must complete his training, develop new powerful Force abilities, and master the art of the lightsaber – all while staying one step ahead of the Empire.

Yakuza 0

The Yakuza series is an extremely successful collection of games, but for those of you that want to give it a go where best to start? Yakuza 0 just happens to be a prequel to the first game, making it the start of the series, technically. The origin story takes us to a fictionalised area of Tokyo in the late Eighties to help Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima fix a sticky situation Kazuma has ended up in (being framed for murder can be classed as a sticky situation, right?) and experience everything the world has to offer when not fighting for freedom — and there is a lot to do. You can indulge in mini-games, play Sega arcade machines, complete side quests, harass the locals, and much more. Yakuza 0 is the poster child of the franchise and an adventure that’s worthy of your time in every aspect.

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0

The glitz, glamor, and unbridled decadence of the 80s are back in Yakuza 0. Fight your way through Tokyo and Osaka with protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and series regular Goro Majima.

Immortals Fenyx Rising

Ubisoft’s Mediterranean adventure takes you on a journey of mythic proportions as Fenyx, a young Greek shield-bearer who needs to stop the serpentine giant Typhon from overthrowing the Olympian gods. Fenyx’s story is narrated along the way by Prometheus and Zeus, giving the narrative of the game an entertaining bard-like twist. Gameplay graces you with an arsenal of weapons and abilities that plays out almost like a more over-the-top version of the modern Assassin’s Creed games, with the addition of fantastical creatures like Minotaurs, Gorgons, Hydrae, and more. Grab your sword, don some armour, and hit the road to see what exciting mishaps you can get yourself into!

Immortals Fenyx Rising™

Immortals Fenyx Rising™

Immortals Fenyx Rising brings grand mythological adventure to life. Play as Fenyx, on a quest to save the Greek gods from a dark curse.

Wield the powers of the gods to battle powerful mythological beasts in the air or on the ground, and solve ancient puzzles.

The fate of the world is at stake – you are the gods’ last hope.

It Takes Two

With no single-player option and only the ability to play co-op, It Takes Two puts us in the shoes of Cody and May, a married couple on the brink of divorce who end up as tiny dolls through magical means. The couple must work together and fix their marriage by listening to a talking therapy book if they hope to return to their bodies. It’s an adventure of epic proportions as you and a buddy (possibly a happy partner?) navigate the huge world, solving puzzles and navigating the platforming environments. It Takes Two is the perfect co-op adventure if you enjoy working as a team to get things done — thanks to the Friends Pass, you also effectively get two copies of the game for the price of one, so that’s a win.

It Takes Two

It Takes Two

It Takes Two uses Smart Delivery technology – buy the game once and play it on either Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.

Embark on the craziest journey of your life in It Takes Two, a genre-bending co-op adventure. Invite a friend to join for free with Friend’s Pass* across an abundance of gleefully disruptive gameplay challenges with a heartfelt story

Got any adventurous recommendations of your own? Let us know below!

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Gaming Terms and Video Game Slang, Explained Mon, 19 Jul 2021 06:48:13 +0000 Don’t you just hate when you are at a party, and everyone uses gaming terms you don’t know? You want to mingle with all the cool kids, but they discuss how developers nerfed their favorite PvE isometric early-access Roguelite, and you just stand there, nodding like an awkward penguin. No more! Collider proudly presents to […]]]>

Don’t you just hate when you are at a party, and everyone uses gaming terms you don’t know? You want to mingle with all the cool kids, but they discuss how developers nerfed their favorite PvE isometric early-access Roguelite, and you just stand there, nodding like an awkward penguin. No more!

Collider proudly presents to you the ultimate gaming glossary for cool kids, with handy explanations that can make you a gaming expert in no time. So the next time you want to impress someone, just pretend you are tweeting something #trendy and take a peek at our gaming terms guide. You’ll be the star of the (LAN) party!*

*Editor’s note: A LAN (local area network) party sees gamers playing multiplayer video games together over multiple, locally connected, and often hardwired PCs or consoles. (Okay, I just had to sneak that one in there for the oldies like me. Marco’s terms continue below!)


Image via Firaxis Games, 2K


4X is a subgenre of the strategy genre where the goal is to build an empire. Alan Emrich coined the term “XXXX” in 1993 to categorize a specific kind of gameplay based on four elements: Exploration of a map, Expansion of the player’s controlled territory, Exploitation of the resources present in your territory, and Extermination of the enemy empires. Some modern titles also include diplomacy mechanics as a way to achieve your goal. The term “XXXX” was quickly transformed into “4X”, as there were many inappropriate confusions with the XXX industry (don’t play coy, you know what I’m talking about). Game franchises such as Civilization, Galactic Civilizations, and Endless Space are part of the 4X family.


AAA, pronounced “triple-A”, is used in the gaming industry to categorize big-budget video games. Originally, AAA was used by the credit industry to define the safest opportunity to achieve financial goals. (That’s why AAA games are all about spectacle and “easy” money.) There is no lack of excellent AAA titles. Still, as time goes by, some companies overuse elements such as microtransactions and DLCs to increase profit in a way that might harm player’s experience. Big publishers, such as EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, and Nintendo, usually only develop AAA titles.


To have a fabulous party, the more, the merrier. Accessibility refers to all the features introduced by developers so more diverse players can enjoy a game. Different difficulty settings are the most common accessibility tool, as it allows people with decreased motor capacities to enjoy a game. Other welcomed accessibility features are colorblind-friendly art, dyslexia-friendly fonts, special feedback for people with disabilities, and even adapted controllers. The more options a game has to control all the aspects of its gameplay, the more accessible it is. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and The Last of Us: Part II are recent titles highly praised for their accessibility features.

Adaptive Difficulty

In Soviet Russia, the difficulty chooses you! When a game has adaptive difficulty, a.k.a. dynamic balancing, that means the challenge level get automatically raised or lowered in response to the player’s perceived competence. While you are playing, the game analyses, on its own, how often you fail or succeed and then slightly changes the rules of the game to keep you engaged. As human beings, we tend to give up on games that are too hard or too easy; adaptive difficulty is put in place to increase the odds that players will always have the right amount of challenge. One of the best examples of adaptive difficulty is the Mario Kart franchise; players get better items when they are too far behind, thus preventing a total defeat before they even get in sight of the checkered flag.


A game hits an alpha stage when it’s ready for testing but not yet prepared to be presented to players. While all gameplay should be functional on alpha, some art assets might not be entirely done yet. Also, game development is a challenging task involving many resources, so the first final version of a game is most certainly broken and filled with bugs. The alpha version of a game, then, is the “final” version of the game that, after being tested, still needs to undergo several changes and adjustments until it reaches the “final354” version that can finally be played by people who didn’t work in development or testing.

ARPG (Action-RPG)

Role-Playing Games, also know as RPGs, are games in which you take control of a fictional character and also take responsibility for their actions. While this could be extended to almost any kind of game, RPGs are differentiated by their focus on character development, with a level-up system of some sort and the presence of experience points. We can say that RPGs are games for people who love complex narrative choices and math. An action RPG, a.k.a. ARPG, takes some of the math out of the way by adding mechanics from action games, such as hack ‘n’ slash combat. It’s not enough, in an ARPG, to have good statuses and make the right choices; the skill of the player in real-time combat will also define their success. In exchange, you get the increased satisfaction of bashing your enemies directly. Some of the most successful ARPG franchises are Diablo, Dark Souls, and Path of Exile.

Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality, or VR, takes the real you and puts you inside a virtual world. When you use a VR headset, you feel like you are actually in the game because your real actions are reflected inside the virtual landscape of the game. Augmented Reality, or AR, takes the opposite path by adding virtual objects on top of the real world. The most known example of AR in games is Pokémon GO, the phone app that allows you to take pictures of hundreds of Pokémon as if they were present in your living room. The camera still captures the image of the real world around you, but the game augments the reality by adding a Pokémon there. Unfortunately, AR is still an emerging technology that doesn’t allow us to pet Pokémon. Not yet.

Image via Epic Games

Battle Royale

Battle Royales are a trendy online multiplayer game genre that puts dozens or even hundreds of players into an arena to fight until only one player is left standing. Battle Royales (BRs) usually have secondary mechanics based on exploration and survival, allowing players to try different strategies while staying alive until the end of the match. Most Battle Royales also feature time constraints, put in place to avoid the awkward situation of everyone hiding simultaneously and just waiting for the enemies to kill each other. Some of the biggest titles in the Battle Royale industry are PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, and Apex Legends.


A game hits a beta stage when all of its resources are implemented, and the game was already tested enough to be considered pretty much finished. In the beta stage, some bugs might still exist, and not every mechanic is adequately balanced. However, the game is already playable enough to allow players to try it out. The beta access to a game is even more important to online multiplayer games, as it allows developers to test the limits of servers and balance features according to players’ experience. Companies also grant the beta access to reduce costs with testing, as players are already eager to do this work for free.

Bullet Hell

Bullet Hell is a Shooter mechanic where enemies attack you so frequently that projectiles and laser beams often cover the screen. Imagine the screen is adult life, and your responsibilities are bullets. You need to act fast to survive, but you’ll probably get overwhelmed unless you got outstanding reflex skills. Other names for Bullet Hell games include Maniac Shooter and Curtain Fire, both appropriate descriptions that help us visualize what these games are all about. Enter the Gungeon is the perfect example of how a game using a Bullet Hell mechanic looks like.


Image via Atari


To cheese is to use an unintentional flaw in a game to get some advantage. As games are complex systems in which hundreds of elements interact, it’s pretty common that players find unexpected behaviors that the developers did not anticipate. Maybe the boss stops pursuing the player if they climb a stair; maybe there’s a way to hit enemies through walls; perhaps it’s easy to get an enemy stuck into the same animation so you can attack them safely. So while cheating involves changing the rules of a game to benefit you, cheesing uses flaws already in the game. In both cases, you are not playing fair. [Editor’s note: Fighting games popularized the term, namely Street Fighter II, prompting games like Atari’s Primal Rage (seen above) to bake in “punishments” for cheesing.]

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming refers to a growing market that allows players to play any game on any platform without worrying about having a powerful console or computer to run their favorite titles with the highest sound and image quality possible. With cloud gaming, a player only needs to have a good internet connection to transmit their control inputs to an external server, which will take care of all the processing and send back the gameplay. Cloud gaming is a valuable tool for people unable to afford a new-generation console or a gaming computer. However, it’s still an eco-unfriendly option, as it consumes a high amount of energy. Cloud gaming is also known as gaming on-demand or gaming-as-a-service. Some of the cloud gaming services available right now are Xbox’s xCloud, Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna, and Nvidia’s GeForce Now.


A deathmatch, a.k.a. free-for-all, is a unique game mode in which players need to kill as many adversaries as they can until a particular condition is met. Usually, deathmatches are regulated by a max number of deaths each team can have or by a time limit that defines the end of the match. Deathmatches are not exclusive to any game genre, but they are usually featured in Shooters, especially those with an online multiplayer component, such as Halo and Counter-Strike. In addition, the whole Battle Royale genre is also built upon the idea of a deathmatch.


We use the term “developer” to define the people responsible for creating a game. With bigger games, a developer might be a studio with hundreds of employees; there are also the legendary “game(s) made by a single dev.” Therefore, every person who helps to create something used in the game can be considered a developer. As a game is a complex medium that uses many different resources, we can say that designers, musicians, artists, and programmers are developers working on a game. Developing a game is just a part of the process, though, as a publisher usually handles marketing and funding.

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Downloadable content, usually referred to simply as DLC, is every add-on a player can download to get new features for a game. As the internet became more popular, developers realized they could use an online connection to fix bugs and offer extra content. While DLC can be an excellent tool for expanding an original game, most AAA games nowadays are already designed to have paid DLC, which is not the most consumer-friendly strategy. Multiple DLC is usually bundled into a Season Pass.


Short for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA has come to be used as a pejorative word, verb, or warning in modern gaming/streaming circles. The 1998 copyright law aims to shore up intellectual property protections and curtail any violations of IP ownership. Said violations, like circumventing DRM (see below) or broadcasting someone else’s IP without ownership or permission, can result in fines or worse. This very complicated issue has led to game developers of all shapes and sizes including “DMCA-free” or “DMCA-safe” music tracks. Twitch takes DMCA claims, notifications, and consequences seriously, and streamers should, too. But you’ll most likely hear this in chats where a snippet of corporate-owned audio/video gets broadcast, inevitably resulting in chat spamming “DMCA” with a bunch of LUL emojis.


Damage Per Second, or DPS, defines the amount of damage your avatar in any given game can do in a single second. The term is frequently used by different gaming communities trying to find the best build possible for a character. That’s because DPS discussions are only possible for games that allow the player to build different characters, such as RPGs and online games with different weapons.


In gaming, Digital Rights Management, shortened to DRM, is software that controls the access a player has to digital games. When you buy a physical copy of a game, there’s a tactile object to tell you you own it. However, with digital content, there’s usually a DRM to control your access to the game with a login and password to stop the user from making illegal copies. Most DRM companies also have long user agreements that state the player doesn’t really buy a game but only a license of use that could be revoked for several reasons. There are DRM-free online gaming stores, such as GOG. However, almost every online gaming store uses DRM, including Steam, Epic Games, PlayStation Store, Nintendo Store, and Microsoft Store.

Dungeon Crawler

Dungeon Crawlers are games focused on exploring labyrinths filled with creatures and traps to find some treasure. While Dungeon Crawlers are usually based on medieval fantasy, there’s no actual thematic limitation for games that use this specific loop for creating their adventures. Dungeon crawling adventures are frequently featured in RPGs, such as Torchlight, but more recently, they are an essential part of Roguelites, like Moonlighter, Darkest Dungeon, and Slay the Spire.


Image via Dolphin, Nintendo


An emulator is a piece of software that tries to imitate the functioning of a console. While emulators are frequently used for piracy, they are not actually illegal. Should you own a copy of the original game, it’s perfectly legal to use an emulator to run the game on your computer. In addition, an emulator is an excellent tool for games preservation and experimenting with older games by modifying some of their features and improving their visual quality. Unfortunately, as great publishers close online services and delist older games, some titles can only be played with emulators.


A player reaches the endgame when they are at the climax of story progression and everything present on the main game is already unlocked and available. This is the point of a game where the whole map is already open for exploration, all the collectibles can be grabbed, and the player reaches a power level that can be considered final [Editor’s note: or at least sufficient to complete the main campaign’s challenges.] All you have to do is face the final boss and go for the last collectibles, should you be a completionist. There’s also a phase of the game known as post-game in which new challenges are added after the main story, specially tailored for players who are already at the peak of their power. For instance, in Monster Hunter World, the post-game starts once the player gains access to the Guiding Lands.

Endless Mode

A game has an endless mode when it has no time restraints and a match can last forever. Usually, endless modes are available in the postgame of Arcade games, Tower Defense, and even Strategy titles. Without a clock to control the length of the match, the player must survive hordes of enemies or other challenges for as long as they can. An endless mode is usually ranked according to the player’s performance, adding an online dimension to the game. Both Frostpunk and Orcs Must Die! 2 have great endless modes available for players on the postgame.


Image via Nintendo


Walking is boring. Luckily, in video games, this can be solved using fast-travel, a mechanic that allows the player to teleport and traverse long distances almost instantly. Some games, such as the Dark Souls franchise, only allow the player to fast travel to specific points in the map. Others, like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, allow the player to fast-travel to any previously discovered location. While many modern games make fast travel available from the start, older titles, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, only unlock the mechanic after the player reaches a given milestone. In any case, fast travel is a huge time saver, allowing the player to focus on their energy in the fun parts of the game.


We say a game has a first-person perspective when the camera available for the player overlaps with the field of vision of the avatar. That means first-person games allow the player to see what the character inside the game can see in that given situation. A third-person perspective, on the contrary, shows the avatar entirely on the screen, giving the player a wider field of vision. Resident Evil Village uses a first-person perspective, while the Resident Evil 2 remake uses the over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective.

Fog of War

The fog of war is usually part of Strategy games and represents a part of a given map that the player cannot see. While Strategy games typically allow the player to change their field of vision by moving the camera across the map, some parts of the map will be covered in shadows or fog. These map areas will only be fully revealed once the player sends his own units to the region. Thus, the fog of war represents the field of vision of the units a player controls in a Strategy game. Both StarCraft and Total War are franchises that use fog of war in their games.

FOV (Field of Vision)

Since “field of vision” is too long to write, gamers and developers usually use FOV to refer to what a given character can see or what’s available to the player on the screen. The player usually doesn’t have access to the entire virtual world inside a game simultaneously, and each game has its mechanics to limit the FOV of a player, depending on the game’s mechanics. For example, platformers such as Super Mario Odyssey need a big FOV to give players enough space to time their jumps. On the other hand, horror games like Outlast usually have a small FOV to make players afraid of what might be hiding around every corner. [Editor’s Note: You’ll often hear streamers and PC gamers adjusting their “FOV Slider” to a preferred setting; this value is fixed on console titles more often than not.]


A First-person Shooter (FPS) is one of the most popular action subgenres. These games limit the FOV of the player to a first-person perspective and make the primary goal of the game to shoot targets, which are usually mobile, dynamic enemies equipped with their own weapons. An FPS game like Prey can be developed for a single-player experience or, like Counter-Strike, aimed at a multiplayer experience. Also, you don’t need actual guns to have an FPS, as games like Splatoon trade bullets for ink while keeping the same mechanics.

Frame rate (FPS)

The frame rate measures the rendering speed of graphics in video games, usually in frames per second (FPS). While 10 to 12 images per second are already enough to create the illusion of animation, the higher the frame rate, the more the game looks fluid, as the time gap between each new frame is shorter. While most Nintendo Switch games run at 30 or 60 FPS, modern high-resolution screens can reach 240 FPS. The new console generation, including the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, can reach 120 FPS.


A game is free-to-play if you don’t have to buy it with currency, only with your time (and sometimes with your soul.) Free-to-play games make billions of dollars every year by offering paid content presented as entirely optional for the player. Most free-to-play games demand a lot of grinding, a time-consuming gathering of materials or experience, which induces players to buy small packages in order to speed up their progression. Why pay $60 for a complete game when you can mortgage your house to buy as many $2 gem packs as you’d like? Many free-to-play games also make a profit by offering (or occasionally “forcing”) the player to watch ads. Remember, kids, if you got it for free, the product is you! Some popular free-to-play games include Candy Crush saga and Pokémon GO.


Image via Hempuli Oy

Game Jam

While game developing is a marathon, a Game Jam is a short race. During a Game Jam, a person or a group of people try to build an entire game as fast as they can, usually for bragging rights. There are hundreds of different Game Jams, each with its own schedule and themes, and they are actually a great way to prototype a game idea before dedicating months to build a commercial game. Some of the greatest games launched in the last couple of years, such as Celeste and Baba Is You, were first prototyped during a Game Jam. One of the most famous Game Jams is the Ludum Dare, in which teams of developers must build a game in only 48 hours.


If life were a videogame, grinding would be work. A player is grinding when performing a tedious task repeatedly, usually trying to get some reward — such as a rare treasure, experience points, or some extra vacation days. Players generally see grinding as a lazy resource developers use to extend the length of a game. Some genres, however, like RPGs, usually have some level of grinding to balance leveling-up and player progression. Free-to-play games also tend to include a lot of grinding to incentivize the player to buy extra resources.


A game has an isometric perspective when its viewpoint is positioned at an angle that allows players to see details that would be hidden both by a lateral camera and by a top-down camera. By focusing on a diagonal perspective, isometric games create the illusion of a 3D environment, even when all game graphics are fully 2D. An isometric view is most commonly used in RTS games such as Warcraft, RPGs such as Divinity, and for hack ‘n’ slash combat like the one featured in Hades.

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While JRPG literally means Japanese Role-Playing Game, the term is not used to define games created in Japan. Contrary to ARPGs, JRPGs usually don’t have real-time combat, using the classic turn-based combat created by the first big gaming RPG franchises, such as Final Fantasy. JRPGs also are more focused on a linear story, while ARPGs usually feature some level of free-roaming and exploration. Lastly, most JRPGs also have a party system that allows players to personalize their team of characters to suit their playstyle better. As time goes by, JRPGs also include many ARPGs elements, with Final Fantasy XV even developing an interactive combat system.


While movies can be dubbed or have translated subtitles, games need extra work to reach people in different parts of the world. We call localization the process of adapting a game to other languages. This means, of course, translating all the available text. However, as menus and puzzles are also highly dependent on language, the process of localization might need to tweak some gameplay aspects for a game to be entirely understandable in different languages. Games published by Devolver Digital usually have amazing localizations, capable of adapting jokes and Easter eggs to diverse cultural landscapes.

Loot boxes

Many free-to-play games use loot boxes to reward the player with random items while also selling additional loot boxes for real-world currency. Each loot box has a set number of items, but the player doesn’t know what they will get before opening it. Loot boxes have been recently compared to gambling, as the player is pushed to keep buying loot boxes until they can get rare items. For that reason, Belgium already altogether banned loot boxes in the country, while several other countries pushed laws to minimize their negative impact. One of the worst loot boxes implementations in gaming history happened at the launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II, which forced the player to either pay extra or play hundreds of hours to unlock a single character.


Image via Blizzard

The more a game presents the player with different choices, the more it will have metagame discussions. The metagame refers to the best strategies found by a game community to achieve victory. Every online game with an active community has a metagame, as players try to find out which are the best possible combinations of weapons, classes, items, and anything else a game has to offer. Developers of online games are constantly rebalancing the game to disrupt the metagame, as matches can become dull if everyone chooses the same options all the time. All the discussions surrounding the best cards in Magic: The Gathering are part of its metagame.


While there is a lot of disagreement as to the definition of a Metroidvania, the presence of an interconnected overworld that is not open but gated by specific abilities the player collects as they progress through the game more or less fits the consensus. As a subgenre of the Action-Adventure genre, Metroidvanias are also games focused on combat and exploration. Finally, the exploration is non-linear, with many secrets hidden in the overworld. Many gamers and critics also use “Metroidvania” to define only 2D games with lateral perspective and platforming mechanics. The term is inspired by both Metroid and Castlevania, the two franchises that consolidated the subgenre. Other known Metroidvania games are Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Axiom Verge.


Microtransactions refer to any kind of in-game purchases. They are primarily present in free-to-play games. However, many recent AAA games such as Marvel’s Avengers and Grand Theft Auto Online also include microtransactions. Players don’t mind microtransactions too much when they are put in place to offer only cosmetic items like skins. However, big companies are always trying to push more microtransactions into $60 games to generate extra revenue, something that’s badly perceived by the gaming community. The worst kind of microtransactions are connected to loot boxes, with the player spending money without even knowing what they will get in return.


A Massive Multiplayer Online is a kind of game that allows thousands of players to interact with the same online world, both in cooperation and competition. While every genre can have its own MMO game, almost all successful MMO titles are also RPGs. That’s the main reason why MMO is frequently (and wrongly) used as a synonym for MMORPG. A great example of an MMO that’s not an RPG is Forza Horizon 4, based on racing and driving simulations. Some of the most popular MMORPGs available in the market are World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2.


The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, is a game genre based on online matches between two teams of players. MOBAs are played in arenas. It’s up to each team to define the best strategy to reach the goal of killing the enemy team, destroying a specific structure, or conquering a given territory. During a MOBA match, each player controls a single character, which demands coordination between the teammates. Since they are highly competitive games, MOBAs usually develop local and international championships. Most MOBAs are also free-to-play, which means they feature a lot of microtransactions. MOBAs became famous thanks to both DOTA 2 and League of Legends.


Image via Blizzard Entertainment


While balancing weapons, classes, and items, developers can either increase their power or decrease it. When an element in the game has its power decreased, we say it has been nerfed. When its power is increased, it has been buffed. Nerfing can sometimes be poorly received by players used to a metagame. However, sometimes nerfing comes after a request from players that claim something is too powerful (or OP, as in overpowered) and hurts a game’s delicate balancing.


An NPC, or a non-player character, refers to every character in a game that the player cannot control. While the term could be correctly applied to every enemy a player must defeat, the term is currently used to classify allies or neutral characters. The old man who gives you a sword in the first The Legend of Zelda is an NPC. (Also, take note for the future: NPC can be used as an insult to define someone unable to think for themselves.)


An open-world is a vast map that the player can explore at their own pace. While the term became mainstream and is often used to promise players freedom, an open-world only exists if there are no locked regions the player cannot explore until progressing in the main story. The best open-worlds offer a lot of extra content for the player, with secrets hidden everywhere to reward exploration. Bad open-worlds are empty, forcing the player to walk a lot more than they should. Both Minecraft and Witcher 3 are great examples of a well-implemented open-world.

Party game

Party Games are developed to be played by a group of people. Since the goal of Party Games is to please a diverse ensemble of players, they usually offer simple gameplay and luck mechanics. The simple gameplay allows people with different gaming backgrounds to learn how to play with ease, while luck mechanics ensure everyone can win, regardless of their skills. Party Games also have quick matches so that they can be played in small bursts. These games are usually chaotic and fun as they are aimed at creating a collectively good time. While the Mario Party franchise remains the best example of this genre, many great Party games are available, such as Overcooked and Ultimate Chicken Horse.


Platform games, or Platformers, are games in which the goal is to defy gravity and reach a specific point on the map by navigating a series of, you guessed it, platforms. While Action games are focused on combat, Puzzles on riddles, and Adventure games on exploration, Platformers are all about movement. The best Platformers have responsive control and fluid movement, giving the player pleasure by only moving a character around. Platformers can have many collectible or short levels, but they all involve traversing a level that’s usually filled with danger. While it is easy to think of Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog as examples, this is one of the most prolific genres in the gaming industry, with hundreds of noteworthy titles.


The point-and-click mechanic defines the literal action of using a mouse/cursor to select objects on a screen. Since touch-screen and mobile gaming became popular, the term is also used to refer to applications that only need simple touches from the users. A lot of Isometric RPGs, such as Pillars of Eternity, have a point-and-click control pattern. However, the term is often used to define classic adventure games like Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island franchise, in which the player only needs to click on dialogues and items to progress through the full game.


While creating games, developers usually choose one or more platforms (not to be confused with Platformers) on which to release their projects, be it consoles, PCs, mobile devices, or a combination of the above. This is an essential step in game development, as each platform has its own software architecture and hardware limitations. A game built for the PlayStation 5, for instance, might not run on the Nintendo Switch without a lot of changes both in code and in the assets. A port is an adaptation of a game to a platform it was not initially developed for. Bad ports, such as the PC version of Death Stranding, don’t consider the different hardware and end up with lots of game-breaking bugs. Great ports, however, can achieve miraculous feats, such as making Doom Eternal run smoothly on the Nintendo Switch.


While developers make games, they do still need to eat. That’s why many developers try to get the help of a publisher. A publisher is usually charged with funding the game by investing directly or finding external funders. It is also the publisher’s job to take care of everything that’s not directly connected to the game’s development, such as marketing and legal concerns. The best publishers trust their developers and leave a lot of breathing space for the creative team; bad publishers try to interfere with the game’s creation by demanding the inclusion of specific features or acting as censors. In the end, the goal of a publisher is to make money, and only a tiny part of the revenue from a game’s sales gets to the hands of developers. Square Enix, EA, and Ubisoft are all AAA game publishers.

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A PvE game pits the Player against the Environment, which means the challenges are developed for and controlled by the game’s code. Every single-player game with combat is technically a PvE game. However, the term is mainly used for online games to discuss challenges that demand cooperation in opposition to competition against other players. Online games that have only a PvE component are more usually referred to as cooperative games. However, PvE is also a term that shows up to define games that also have PvP phases, such as online RPGs.


Contrary to PvE challenges, PvP refers to any game that pits Players against other Players. While competitive games such as MOBAs are also PvP games, the term is mainly used by online communities of games that also feature cooperative play. Both PvP and PvE are frequently used to define different challenges in online games with multiple phases, such as MMOs.

quicktime event

Image via Naughty Dog

QTE (Quick Time Event)

A Quick Time Event happens when a game demands the player react quickly to an input shown on the screen by pressing the right button on a controller or keyboard almost instantly. QTEs are frequently used during cutscenes, but they are sometimes received as poor substitutes for actual action-based gameplay. As a result, modern video games have been dropping QTEs, also improving accessibility, as these events are sometimes impossible to perform by people with reduced mobility. However, franchises such as Shenmue are still known for the widespread use of QTEs.

Replay value

A game with a high replay value is a game that players might enjoy replaying multiple times. To increase replay value, many games include unique modes that are unlocked only after beating the game once. This is the strategy of games like Devil May Cry 5, in which specific modes are only available for players who already proved themselves in lower difficulties. Recently, with the resurgence of Roguelites, many developers try to include randomization features to create a game that can be replayed indefinitely, as each run is unique. For instance, Spelunky can offer hundreds of hours of fun because every new trial is unique.


Roguelike is used in the videogame industry to define games like Rogue, a game with randomly generated levels and permadeath. The term was widely used to describe games with these two characteristics until the 2008’s Roguelike Development Conference — yep, this is a thing — defined a list of essential traits any Roguelike should have. This list, known as the Berlin Interpretation, also makes it mandatory for the game to happen all in a single screen, have tile-based movement, turn-based combat, and not allow any kind of progression. Officially, then, Roguelikes practically don’t exist, and the genre can never evolve and integrate new things. That’s why the industry usually offers Roguelite as the term to define the same kind of game, but not that many restrictions. A more unofficial interpretation separates Roguelikes and Roguelites by the presence of permanent progression.


In order to avoid stepping on anybody’s toes, the term Roguelite was created to talk about Roguelike games that are not Roguelike enough for some people. (Assigning names can indeed be a touchy activity.) A Roguelite is a game with dungeon crawling in which the dungeons are randomly generated, making every visit to a dungeon unique. Roguelites also feature a permadeath system, meaning that when the player dies, they go back to the start of the dungeon. Each new incursion is called a run. Although they feature a game loop based on repetition, Roguelites feature a permanent upgrade system. Less forgiving systems, such as in The Binding of Isaac, only unlock new entries in a journal. Games like Hades, on the contrary, highly increase the player’s defense and offense over time. Most modern Roguelites have a defined goal and allow the player to reach an ending.

RTS (Real-Time Strategy)

Real-Time Strategy games invite players to manage buildings and units in real-time, which means there are no turns in the game, and the players need to think and act fast to achieve victory. As part of the Strategy genre, RTSs offer multiple solutions to the same problem, usually offering both PvE and PvP matches. RTS games typically involve gathering resources, building units, and upgrading technology. To achieve success in an RTS match, the player needs to micromanage units while macromanaging their resources. Both The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth and Command and Conquer are successful RTS franchises.


Run-and-Gun are special Shoot-‘em-Up games in which the playable characters are on foot. While Shoot-‘em-Up games can exist in all shapes and sizes, Run-and-Gun are usually 2D side-scrollers with platforming mechanics. The subgenre was made popular by franchises such as Contra and Metal Slug. More recently, the subgenre received new life with the release of Cuphead.


Image via Hello Games


Sandbox games don’t have any specific goal, allowing players to explore and build whatever they like in a highly interactable virtual world. Some game experts claim that sandboxes are not actually games, as they lack a goal. However, one could argue that sandboxes allow players to create their own purpose instead of setting an objective. Some games with clear objectives still have sandbox mechanics, as they offer a vast universe to explore without the need to complete any mission. Some famous sandbox games include Garry’s Mod and No Man’s Sky.

Season Pass

A season pass unites several DLCs into a single package. A season pass is usually offered with some kind of discount, making it cheaper than the summed price of every individual DLC it includes. Most AAA games already offer a season pass at launch, months before any DLC is available. Online games can also offer multiple season passes along the years as new content becomes available each season, usually lasting six months.

SHMUP (Shoot-‘em-Up)

A Shoot-‘em-Up is a subgenre of Shooter games focused on non-stop action and destroying as many enemies as possible. Although the industry never coined a precise definition of SHMUP, the term defines a Shooter that presents bullet hell mechanics. While Shooters, in general, can include different mechanics to make their core loop more diversified, SHMUPs are entirely focused on the destruction of the enemy. The term SHMUP is also most commonly used for 2D games. Vertical scrollers such as Ikaruga and twin-stick shooters like Nex Machina are frequently defined as SHMUPs.


Skin is an in-game item that changes the appearance of a character. At first, skins were offered for free in games as a reward for beating tough challenges. However, as free-to-play games emerged, many developers started to sell skins to monetize their games. Nowadays, many AAA games offer alternative costumes in microtransactions. A skin doesn’t change gameplay, and it’s only a cosmetic option to make your character look different. Online games like Overwatch and Rocket League are constantly releasing new skins for players to collect.


A softlock happens when a game remains playable, but players cannot progress due to a bug or a design flaw. A hardlock, however, occurs when the game becomes completely unplayable. As developers nowadays can dispatch fixes through the internet, softlocks, and hardlocks are quickly solved. Nevertheless, gaming history is filled with permanent softlocks, such as the one in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles computer port, in which it was literally impossible to make a jump and finish a level.


Some people like to enjoy their time with a game, absorbing every little detail the developers took so long to craft. Other people just want to rush to the end as fast as possible. To speedrun is to try to finish a game as quickly as possible. Gamers worldwide compete to hold the title of the fastest speedrun, both by allowing the exploitation of glitches and by trying to beat the game without cheesing it. Speedruns can also be done by just trying to finish the game as fast as possible or by having to 100% it. Games Done Quick is an organization that features many speedrun events, and it’s awe-inspiring to watch people getting creative while trying to shave a few seconds off their playtime.


Image via 2K Games


A turn-based mechanic pauses the game until the player chooses an action. That means games that use turn-based mechanics value strategy and critical thinking instead of real-time reactions. Most JRPGs use turn-based combat, and Turn-Based Strategy (TBS) is a subgenre of its own. Persona 5 is an RPG that uses turn-based combat; XCOM is one of the most prominent examples of Turn-based strategy franchises. To avoid players taking too long before deciding what to do in a turn, some games also introduce a countdown to each turn. One of the most creative solutions for speeding up turn-based combat is in Chrono Trigger: The enemies have a cooldown before they can act again; the player can take as long as they want to finish a turn, but that means the enemies will have a lot of extra turns in the meantime.

Visual Novel

Visual Novels feature text-based interaction with a linear storyline followed by the player as a book. Visual Novels usually feature static illustrations or simple animations, as the goal of this genre is to tell a good story. It is not unusual that Visual Novels have multiple possible endings, defined by the player’s dialogue choices. Since Visual Novels are fast to develop and easy to play, hundreds of new titles are released every year. Among the most famous Visual Novels is the Danganronpa franchise.

Walking Simulator

In Walking Simulators, the player is invited to move through a virtual world, interact with its objects, and observe all the elements around them. Walking Simulators don’t feature combat, don’t usually have hidden items to discover, and typically don’t feature puzzles. As they are less interactive than other gaming genres, Walking Simulators are often underestimated by players, who can even use the genre name in a derogatory way. [Editor’s Note: See also Death Stranding.] However, there is no lack of remarkable stories told by Walking Simulators. Some of the greatest indie classics of the last decade are Walking Simulators, including The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, Firewatch, and What Remains of Edith Finch.

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Japan: amazing theme parks and attractions to visit 2021-2022 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 05:00:00 +0000 Forget the Olympics, which is why you should really visit Japan (Photo: We are about to say konichiwa at the Tokyo Olympics, but unfortunately thanks to Covid-19 there is no chance of seeing Japan in person this year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning for future trips to cherry blossom country, especially […]]]>
Forget the Olympics, which is why you should really visit Japan (Photo:

We are about to say konichiwa at the Tokyo Olympics, but unfortunately thanks to Covid-19 there is no chance of seeing Japan in person this year.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning for future trips to cherry blossom country, especially since there are plenty of exciting new openings for 2022.

Pokémon fans will rejoice at the opportunity to hunt Pikachu at a brand new Yomiuriland theme park attraction, while Disney lovers have a very special new kingdom to look forward to.

And if you need to travel through the iconic cities of Japan, a new fleet of high speed trains will be waiting for you soon.

Pokémon Wonder, Tokyo

Pokémon Wonder

Catch them all !

If your idea of ​​sport is less javelin, more “Pokémon fighting!” Then you’ll want to make a pilgrimage to the new Pokémon Wonder, located in a vast forest behind Yomiuriland, a theme park on the outskirts of Tokyo.

With games like Pokémon Go and the new Pokémon Snap, an entire forest is available for fans to walk around and soak up the treasure hunt experience.

Upon entering the 4,500m² space, you will be greeted by the legendary Pikachu and his research cohort, Professor Kureso, who will give you an orientation briefing.

Then it’s up to you to spot over 50 species of Pokémon, including Oddish, Diglett, and Rowlett, in the beautiful surroundings of the park. It runs until April 2022.

From £ 32 per person.

Click here for more details

Treeful Treehouse, Okinawa

Treehouse accommodation with sustainable travel company Treeful Jungle Awnings on the Japanese island of Okinawa

On tiptoe through the treetops

Japan may be overcrowded, but you can still find splendid seclusion. The sustainable eco-friendly Treeful Treehouse, powered solely by solar energy, is due
will soon open in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island collection.

Designed to bring guests closer to nature, its secluded private rooms are set amid the jungle canopy and offer 360-degree views.

There will also be a common Aerohouse area – outfitted with bathrooms, rest and relaxation rooms, and a kitchen – connected to the treehouse rooms by a series of floating walkways and jungle trails.

From your elevated base, you can explore the rugged coastal region, with both intrepid hikes and time spent on the beautiful beaches.

Price to be confirmed

Click here for more details

Triennale Oku-Noto 2020, Suzu

Oku-Noto Triennale these are from the 2017 exhibition

Art to the limit

Billed as “a leading art festival at the end of the world”, the Oku-Noto Triennale 2020 – delayed from last year due to the pandemic – takes place at the tip of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture on the coast, the other side of Tokyo.

The festival will take place in the city of Suzu, with 48 artists from 16 countries, including sculptor Noe Aoki, adventurer turned photographer Naoki Ishikawa and German visual artist Carsten Nicolai.

Don’t miss the Okura Zarae Project, which features local folk tools and other artifacts from the once-mundane past, as well as memorabilia from their owners.

The objects were collected from private warehouses with the help of local residents, folklore experts and artists.

From September 4 to October 24.

Click here for more details

Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea, plans an expansion that should open in late 2022 / early 2023

Visit a fantastic island like no other

Japan has creativity bleeding from its eyeballs, so it’s no surprise that the epic and over-the-top Tokyo DisneySea theme park is considering an expansion, which is expected to open late next year or early 2023. .

Named Fantasy Springs, the site will add four attractions to the park based on popular Disney movies, including Tangled, Frozen, and Peter Pan.

Visitors will be able to explore Anna and Elsa’s kingdom of Arendelle, the forest and tower where Rapunzel lives in Tangled, and Neverland, the home of Peter Pan.

Neverland already looks ridiculously exciting: an attraction will have guests soar over the jungle in a battle with Captain Hook and his crew to save Wendy’s brother John.

Click here for more details

ALFA-X High Speed ​​Train, Tokyo to Hokkaido

Next Generation Shinkansen Bullet Train Vehicle East Japan Railway Company (JR East) ALFA-X Car 10 at a media day in Rifu, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, May 09, 2019. JR East will start the test drive of the ALFA-X vehicle on May 10, 2019 to achieve commercial operation at 360 km / h, which speed will be the fastest in the world as a high-speed Shinkansen train.  EPA / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY NO ARCHIVE

Don’t dodge the bullet train (Photo: EPA)

No trip to Japan would be complete without zooming in on a bullet train, and two new ones will be launched in the next few years.

Last year saw the testing of the new experimental Alfa-X bullet train on the Tohoku Line that connects Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuro in Hokkaido.

It is hoped that the new fuel-efficient service will cut travel times on the line in half thanks to speeds of up to 360 km / h (it broke records with 382 km / h in its test).

In addition, there will be an extension of the line connecting passengers to Niseko Ski Resort and Sapporo City by high-speed train from Tokyo by 2030.

Finally, a new six-car high-speed train called Kamome – which means seagull – will be introduced on the new western route of the Kyushu Shinkansen in fall 2022, connecting Takeo Onsen – a town at the southwestern tip of Japan that is famous for its hot springs – with the city of Nagasaki.

Don’t miss these iconic Japanese cities


View of downtown Tokyo focusing on the SkyTree

The Tokyo Skytree is one of the tallest structures in the world (Photo: Getty Images)

The bustling capital of Japan is full of must-see sights, hair-
elevate Shibuya Crossing to the old Tsukiji Fish Market and Tokyo Skytree (billed as the tallest tower in the world).


CPE719 Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), Kyoto, Japan, Asia

Kinkaku-ji is one of Kyoto’s most famous sacred temples (Photo: Alamy

Known as the “temple city” thanks to the more than 2,000 temples and shrines across the city, you can’t miss the gold leaf-covered Kinkaku-ji or Ryoan-ji, with its alluring Zen garden.


Takoyaki (fried octopus balls) served with sauce and vinaigrette

Takoyayi are delicious fried octopus balls (Photo: Getty Images)

Foodies should visit this city, as it is one of the best places to eat in the country.

Try local specialties such as takoyaki, fried octopus balls, and okonomiyaki, a tasty pancake.

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Dungeon-Crawling RPG Monomyth Gets Gameplay Trailer Ahead Of Kickstarter Debut Sun, 18 Jul 2021 15:39:33 +0000 New Today, developer Rat Tower released a new trailer for their upcoming dungeon crawling RPG Monomyth, showing off the gameplay. Published on July 18, 2021 Giuseppe Nelva Home ” New ” Dungeon-Crawling RPG Monomyth Gets Gameplay Trailer Ahead Of Kickstarter Debut Today, developer Rat Tower released a new trailer for their upcoming dungeon-crawling RPG Monomyth. […]]]>


Today, developer Rat Tower released a new trailer for their upcoming dungeon crawling RPG Monomyth, showing off the gameplay.

Today, developer Rat Tower released a new trailer for their upcoming dungeon-crawling RPG Monomyth.

The trailer was released to announce the upcoming debut on Kickstarter. The game has been in development for a while by a solo developer, but the developers see the crowdfunding platform as a way to raise funds to recoup the growing development costs as release nears.

The game is slated to launch in Q2 2022 and it already has a Steam page for you to enjoy.

You can check out the trailer below and read an official description.

As the sun sets over the empires of mankind and civilization crumbles under great storms ravaging the surface of the world, the people of Ariath retreat underground.

Amid the chaos of this dying world, your father, King Ferodin III, has sent an expedition to the fallen walled city of Lysandria.

It is said that within the ruins of the fortress is the primordial seed – a divine gift that can calm the wrath of the gods and put an end to the thunder roaring in the sky.

Led by your own brother, the expedition hoped to recover the sacred object, but it was never heard of again.

Against your father’s wishes, you decide to go to Lysandria yourself.

Find your brother and collect the divine gift, but beware: the old fortress is not as deserted as it seems …


An action-packed first-person RPG
Swing your sword, cast spells, dodge, parry and block. In MONOMYTH, you move freely around the battlefield, using a rich arsenal of deadly weapons and powerful magic.

A living and breathing world
Within the ruins of Lysandria you’ll find a highly interactive environment filled with objects, puzzles, monsters, and a variety of peaceful inhabitants. Talk to characters using a detailed keyword-based dialogue system and combine items to interact with your surroundings in interesting and exploratory ways. Trade, pick locks, smash doors, disarm traps or throw items! You can even bake bread!

Free character development
In MONOMYTH, you are free to develop your character as you wish. Invest in eight different character attributes to unlock dozens of different play styles. Will you be an agile assassin, a formidable combat mage, or maybe something completely different? The choice is yours!

Open level design
Lysandria is a vast, interconnected environment. Walk from tallest towers to lower caverns, find secret chambers, discover hidden passages, and explore a multitude of different themed areas. All without loading screens!

Unique frame
Set in an apocalyptic fantasy world, MONOMYTH combines magic and technology in a unique new setting. Open the gates of a dark and mysterious kingdom beset by horrific monstrosities and uncover the secrets of the fortress city of Lysandria.

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Lexington resident creates art with everyday objects Sun, 18 Jul 2021 09:25:00 +0000 From sculptures to works of art, Josh Poole is determined to leave a mark on Lexington and the world beyond. LEXINGTON – If you drink from a soda or beer can around Josh Poole, chances are he’ll ask you to use it when you’re done. The Lexington resident became known for the detailed mosaics he […]]]>

From sculptures to works of art, Josh Poole is determined to leave a mark on Lexington and the world beyond.

LEXINGTON – If you drink from a soda or beer can around Josh Poole, chances are he’ll ask you to use it when you’re done. The Lexington resident became known for the detailed mosaics he created in pewter, but his art went far beyond.

Poole, a full-time artist and a full-fledged local celebrity, is known around Lexington for his designs. Even though people haven’t met Poole, they’ve probably seen his work in the small college town. From the minute he wakes up until his head hits the pillow, Poole’s free time is focused on his art. From cartoon drawing to sculpture and writing, Poole has his hand in everything inventive.

Over four years ago, Poole made his first mosaic of soda cans. It was an iteration of “The Starry Night” by Van Gogh.

The piece consisted of a few thousand pieces, glued in place for about 100 hours. It sparked a frenzy that took hold in the best possible way. His most complete piece to date is a work depicting the 47 Ronin in a Hinamatsuri-inspired seven-level display. There are over 36,000 parts and over 800 hours invested in its current condition.

“I put it together over nine months and have been tinkering with it on and off since,” Poole said. “The base is poplar, but it’s encased in a cherry wood and acrylic glass case that alone took over 50 hours to create. “

‘There is a world where I go

For most, this big project can seem stressful. Poole admits it can be sometimes, but most of all, he loves his job.

“There is a world I go to when I sculpt or write. It is this marvelous limbo of the real and the imaginary that somehow replaces everything that happens in the background, ”he said. “At the same time, it’s not something I can stop.”

Now 25, Poole began his artistic career at a young age.

“I started with gag cartoons in elementary school,” Poole said. “I found myself falling for his incongruity, the way he distorts reality a bit and suddenly it’s humorous and captivating. “

Today, that captivating dynamism has propelled Poole into a world of design. In addition to his sculpted work, he also draws caricatures similar to those one might see in New Yorker Magazine. He publishes some of the drawings each month in a local digest. Poole is also known for his simultaneous drawing, where he draws with both hands simultaneously. He started registering in early 2020 and has racked up over a million views on TikTok.

“When I drew pictures for magazines and newspapers, I was always overwhelmed by the conundrum of coming up with ideas faster than I could draw them,” he said. “My solution was to learn to draw with both hands simultaneously. I could draw separate cartoons with either hand moving independently or create a single illustration very quickly.

Lexington canvas

If he doesn’t draw or sculpt, you might find Poole scratching his latest novel at his favorite haunt, Brew Ridge Taps, downtown. Poole has three completed novels. Now he is working on the fourth, fifth and sixth novels in a series with a co-author. He is also co-writing a play.

“In recent years, I’ve focused on writing a larger universe of urban fantasy and horror. [It’s] a loose interpretation of mythologies and cryptozoology that has just merged into more contemporary contexts, ”said Poole.

For Poole, the entire world around him is a canvas to explore. His inspiration comes from everyday life. For him, a gasoline pump is not a gasoline pump.

It’s “a giraffe head, and the octane level knobs are all speckles,” Poole said. “They can be cut into strips and laid out like a sunny post-impressionist sky.”

Poole finds passion in his work and enjoys giving it away, but he also sells it in the Lexington office Nelson Gallery.

“I was told I had to move there to make money with my job,” said Poole. “That may be true, but I grew up in this area and would rather go the extra mile to be successful here and attract money into the community than sell myself somewhere else and come back like a king coming back from their crusade with the spoils of war. ”

Building an audience beyond Lexington

In the long run, Poole dreams of first experiencing publishing success as an author. Then he hopes to use those connections to dramatically increase the value of his work to a more metropolitan audience.

“I hope the value of my work becomes significant enough that I can use significant sales to invest in the community here in Lexington,” said Poole. “[I want to help] with income assistance programs, developing and using my own connections to raise struggling artists who are just as talented as me but less fortunate. There is a lot of selfishness to unwrap there, but I think in the next 5-10 years I may be able to take a few steps towards that goal.

His latest sculpture project is a mosaic of downtown Lexington. He combined the faces of dozens of buildings into five structures on a 4 × 2 ′ board.

Poole creates commissioned works in addition to the gallery works he sells through commissions. For any serious request, he can be contacted at

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