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Memory Leaks: You Don't Know Jack, Vol. 3

ðŸ‘Ļ‍ðŸĶē Go On Up, You Bald-Head... You Don't Know Jack  was a series of pop culture trivia CD-ROM games from JellyVision that first launched in 1995. The game took the form of a game show where up to three contestants would compete for cash prizes. In reality, the game was played by up to three people sitting around the same computer keyboard. 1995 was a trip, yo. The series was successful enough to have released something like sixteen titles, not counting re-titled games for different platforms. The format was simple: there would be 7 or 21 questions played out over a series of rounds followed by a "Jack Attack" final round. Whoever had the most money won. Volume 3 was released in October of 1997 and it was the last game in the series that kept to that formula. How I Remember It... I had a friend freshman year of college who collected trivia games. (He also had several different iterations of Trivial Pursuit  and playing them was a pretty common way to kill a weekday eveni
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Stray Thoughts: The Catholic Problem

⛪ Back On My Bullshit... So it looks like Missouri is, amongst other states, about to legally outlaw abortion. If you follow me on Twitter, you've no doubt seen me retweeting a lot of women and journalists sharing their thoughts about the consequences and fallout of this decision. It's not that I don't have opinions, it's just that it didn't really feel like it was my moment to speak, so I elected to use my platform to amplify others. That said, this here website is my personal blog, so it's a place tailor-made for my opinions, so I'm going to give them now, but rather than retread what a bunch of better-informed-than-me people have already said, I'm going to talk shit about religion, something that I feel amply qualified to do. Oh, that reminds me: this is one of those posts that's going to be hyper-critical of Christianity, so if that's not your particular bottle of vodka--or if you're my mom--maybe give this one a pass. KTHXBYE So, a few y

Memory Leaks: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

🐗 It's a wild, wild life... The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  simultaneously released for the Wii U and as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017. The game was a departure for the series, which had recently been telling linear stories rooted in the lore of the franchise. Breath of the Wild , by contrast, features very little lore, a fairly scant story, and a rich open world to explore with challenges that can be tackled in any order or skipped altogether. Link awakens in a post-apocalyptic land that has been devastated by Calamity Ganon, a magical maleficent force occupying Hyrule castle and locked in a century-long struggle with the Princess Zelda. But her power is failing, and she has called up on you to defeat Ganon and free Hyrule. The game was a tremendous hit. How I Remember It... On March 3, 2017, I decided to get a Nintendo Switch. Well, I'd made this decision some weeks before, but I'd missed the preorders, so I decided to try to get one on

Stray Thoughts: The Future of Smash

✊ When everybody's smashing things down... Last year Masahiro Sakurai, creator and long-time curator of the Nintendo video game series Super Smash Bros , announced that he would be retiring from the series after the last new fighter was released for Super Smash Bros Ultimate . As part of the announcement, he speculated that whoever took over for him would need to take the series in a new direction for the next installment. That's because Ultimate --appropriately named--is effectively a summation of the entire franchise. In addition to all the new content, it also contains every fighter and level that came before (I'm 99% sure, which means someone is going to fact-check this and point out that the Nintendo Light-Zapper was a playable character in Melee ). Whatever comes next for  Smash , it's going to have to feel different. And this makes sense. Smash  is fairly unique among Nintendo franchises in that it doesn't get re-invented every console generation to take adva

Hoo-Boy, Twitter Just Got Itself Acquisitioned?

ðŸĶ Well, Shit... There's a lot of ink spilled--and yet to be spilled--about Elon Musk's sensational and highly publicized attempt to purchase Twitter and what that means. He wants to bring it back to its roots as a platform for free speech, etc, meanwhile Leftist Twitter has been shitting its collective pants and threatening to move to Canada. A number of new social media platforms have sprung up to collect Twitter's refugees, and a few that previously existed are getting a bunch of new acolytes and their servers are crashing. (Bee-Tee-Dubs, you can friend me on counter.social  at @kurtpankau) Amidst a lot of this are a few points that are getting lost that I want to call attention to. So, in no particular order, here's why I'm pissed about this mess and, oh yeah, shit's going to get political and sweary in this post, so with that in mind... "Free Speech" is a Dogwhistle Y'all know that, right? Speech is roughly as free as it has ever been. We'

Memory Leaks: The Legend of Zelda

🐗 You could break my heart apart, I've got the power... The Legend of Zelda  is a top-down fantasy adventure game released by Nintendo in February of 1986 in Japan and over a year later in North America and Europe. It was inspired by designer Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood exploring the woods around his home in Kyoto, and is considered an important forerunner to the action-RPG genre of video games. The series is one of Nintendo's most enduring, having contributed launch titles to both the Wii and the Switch systems. Its protagonist, Link, is among the most popular and recognizable characters in Nintendo's roster, despite his being several different characters across the series. He's behind Mario in that department, but still... How I Remember It... I'm about 80% sure I received this game as a Christmas present in 1987. It was wildly  popular. It had been touted as "the best video game ever made" and that was undoubtedly true in 1987. At the time I got i

RUSSIAN DOLL and Non-Diegetic Storytelling

  🕰️ Time is on my side, yes it is... The second season of Netflix's Russian Doll  is dropping next week. If you didn't watch the first season, it tells the story of Nadia, an NYC programmer who is struck by a car after her birthday party and finds herself stuck in a time loop. It's a darkly funny drama about helping others and forgiving yourself, and it had the kind of conclusion that prompts inane "The ending of ______ explained" think-pieces and YouTube videos. Similar to Encanto , this is a show where the thematic elements bleed into the literal narrative, and re-watching the first season has had me thinking about the ways that works. So, with that in mind, let's talk about non-diegetic storytelling. SPOILERS FOR SEASON 1 OF RUSSIAN DOLL... AFTER THREE PARAGRAPHS OF TABLE-SETTING Let's do some vocabulary work. Diegesis is the world of the story. It's what characters are aware of and interacting with. You frequently hear this term in the context o