The Professional Gamer - June 24, 2019

Hi all. Very excited to be talking to you this week from what might be the first and last week of summer for Colorado this year. I’m joking of course, but this has been one of the coolest springs that’s happened in Colorado for many years. In the middle of last week we had some warm weather, up into the 80’s, and it felt like summer. Then, over the weekend, the daytime highs are limited to the 60’s with overnight lows going into the 40’s. This feels highly unusual! But, it means I’ve been super happy spending my time indoors writing a paper and playing some video games. As I write this post on Friday night, I’m planning to spend a good portion of tomorrow with my brother-in-law who will be moving away soon, and then spending the next day at Denver Zine Fest. I’ll have to let you know how that goes next week. Let’s get on with talking about how I spent my time this week.

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The Professional Gamer - September 7, 2018

Hi everyone! I've had several busy weeks in a row. August 25 and 26 was Fort Collins Comic Con, August 31 through September 2 was Nan Desu Kan, and then I was at Yosemite National Park for work from September 4 through 6. So, I haven't really had time to write for several weeks. Let's catch up on what I've been up to.

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The Professional Gamer - August 17, 2018

I've come to the end of another week, but feel like I haven't done very much for fun or for myself. I had some drama at work, not really related to me, just some stuff that's happened to other people around me. It affects me somewhat, in terms of my workload. The bigger issue is just feeling really bad about what happened, and I'm just emotionally drained. On top of working on some political stuff, I didn't have a lot of energy left for geeky activities. Let's talk about what I did do this week.

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The Professional Gamer - May 15, 2017

Hi everyone! There still isn't a whole lot to report on my end. I've been running a lot this past week to get ready for the Bolder Boulder which will be coming up in a few weeks. This hasn't left me with a lot of time to very many geeky things. I've spent most of my evenings watching Crystal play Breath of the Wild and finishing Ouron High School Host Club. I'm not ready to start talking in depth about BotW yet, so let's talk about Ouron instead. Although the rest of the series is largely a clever satire of shoujo tropes, there are some problematic parts to the series. Let's take the points one at a time.


First, let me lay out some assumptions, since these things are not well defined within the series itself. Ryouji Fujioka's gender identity and sexual orientation are not explicitly defined in the anime; therefore, I will be assuming the Ryouji is a straight (or possibly bi) male identifying person who enjoys cross-dressing. Having gotten through that, other characters referring to him as a "tranny" is highly offensive. Even if "tranny" is the most straightforward translation of the Japanese used in series, the adaptation staff could have spent a few minutes to explore alternatives. Perhaps, "queen" or "drag queen". Maybe the intention was to show that although the Host Club is tolerant of Haruhi cross-dressing, they are not accepting of a man cross-dressing. But without a moment in the script of someone (especially Ryouji or Haruhi) pointing out that this is a slur, this comes off as both the original creators and the English adaptation staff condoning transphobic language and attitudes.

Poor Pacing in Late Series

After a leisurely pace in the middle of the series, taking full episodes to develop most of the members of the host club more fully, the end of the series is incredibly rushed, with a bunch of new characters, completely new plot lines, and character developments that come out of left field. This leads us to the last issue:

Poorly-defined Character Motivation

Kyoya and Tamaki's fathers are introduced in the final episodes. They are initially portrayed as very hard-nosed, thinking only of the family reputation and profitability of their companies. By the end of the final episode, however, they are joking about how they were actually nice guys after all. Eclair is a similar case. She's comes out of nowhere in order to cause trouble for Tamaki and the host club, with no real defined motivations. She seems to just enjoy jerking people around, but even this is not established as a trait that has some grounding in a personal history. Nope, she's just a jerk cause she likes to be a jerk.

I think I've talked enough about that at this point. Come back next week and see what I've been up to. Game on!

The Professional Gamer - March 6, 2017

Hello readers! Welcome to Nintendo Switch launch weekend. I'm still waiting for my console to arrive, fingers crossed that it actually does. There was a bit of a mix up with our credit card to make the payment with, so, not sure that its going to go through. In light of that, we purchased a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U. We are also horribly impatient people and could not wait a few more days to receive our Switch. Instead, Crystal has spent most of the day playing, and I've been watching her. The game is very big. Remarkably big. And the designers have done a very good job at rewarding players for exploring.

I haven't really done much else this week. I've had a long week, with a trip up to Badlands National Park and having to dedicate a lot of time to reading scientific papers in preparation for preparing a conference paper. That's all for now. Have a great week and game on!