rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
Instead of taking another stab at Nier Automatica or finishing Gris, I started playing Ocarina of Time again.

Ocarina of Time is a beautiful and perfect game, but some of its dungeons are rather difficult, and there are the infamous one hundred Gold Skulltulas to collect. I therefore haven't ever played the game without a walkthrough, meaning that the experience can sometimes feel a little like homework.

What I'm trying to do this time around is to train myself to memorize the game so that I'm able to get 100% completion without a walkthrough. This involves playing two save files simultaneously, the first with a walkthrough and then the second entirely from memory.

Back when people were still posting shitty hot takes about "walking simulators," I often heard the opinion that playing a video game shouldn't be like walking through a museum. I actually really enjoy walking through museums, and I'd like to be able to walk through Ocarina of Time like a museum. I think it's very relaxing, not necessarily to know exactly where you're going or what you're going to see, but rather to have confidence that you're not going to get lost or stuck or miss something important.
rynling: (Default)
Last night I had a dream that I was reading the synopsis of the new Star Wars movie on Wikipedia. It was both very detailed and very boring. Also, Adam Driver himself came to me in my dream and told me that Reylo is canon. I had to tell him that he is a very sweet man but that I don't care about Reylo. He seemed disappointed, and I felt bad. That was it, that was my dream.

When I was in college I drew a comic strip for the university newspaper about how I had never seen a Star Wars movie in one sitting from start to finish. The running joke was that I couldn't keep the plot straight or differentiate between Star Wars and other big American sci-fi franchises like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, which I had also never seen in their entirety. The real joke was that, as a real person and not a fictional version of myself, I had somehow managed to acquire an encyclopedic knowledge of all of these franchises and was therefore able to play metafictional games with their worldbuilding and narrative elements that were borderline clever enough to be amusing to a few other people.

I'm not sure "pretending to not know things about Star Wars" is a joke that would translate well into the present, and I'm grateful that this comic does not exist online, but I enjoyed myself. The fact remains, however, that I'm not emotionally invested Star Wars, and I probably never will be.

Still, it's a lot of fun to watch people get excited on Twitter, and I'm genuinely happy for them that they have something to be excited about. As much as I don't care about Star Wars, it's a wonderful experience to see people actually being nice to each other on social media.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
"I hate lesbians," my nonbinary friend says to me with a complete absence of irony, "because I think it's disgusting how they sexualize the female body."

"I also hate gay women for... being women... and gay," I stammer, struggling to figure out the correct response.

I don't identify as male or female, but I've been having a lot of trouble dealing with the misogyny of nonbinary communities both online and in person. I'm also frustrated with the double standard that dmab nonbinary people can present their gender however they want while dfab nonbinary people all have to look like fourteen-year-old boys in order to be accepted by the community. And I'm not saying that it's wrong to enjoy or identify with a certain type of idealized androgyny, obviously, but the tyranny of The Three LGBTQ-Approved Haircuts™ is real.

I think I'm going to drop "nonbinary" and identify as "genderqueer" from here on out.

"But your gender identity is a slur!!1!"

Yeah, it sure feels that way most of the time, to be honest.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
So I found a short essay…

Ten Simple Ways To Get More Attention For Your Fanwork

https://melannen.dreamwidth.org/354977.html

This is all reasonable, at least in my experience, but the truth is that fandom engagement seems to have dropped off for most writers during the past two years. Almost no one posts or links to their fic on Tumblr anymore, but what I do see are posts with massive numbers of notes about how painful it is to be ignored by your fandom, possible reasons why no one leaves kudos anymore, and so on.

There’s a pervasive idea that you can build your own audience if you’re consistent and good at what you do, but the most popular thing I ever wrote was a steaming heap of garbage that I posted on FFN back when FFN was still mainstream in, like, 2009. I think a lot about how maybe I missed a window of opportunity, and how maybe I just wasn’t born in the right year. Like, maybe if I were a little older, maybe I would have been able to “make it” before social media blew up and collapsed in on itself. Or maybe, if I were younger, I would have had access to the resources and platforms that could have helped me develop my skills and community when I was still a student.

I’m afraid that the real truth is that some people are never going to make it, and maybe I’m just one of those people, unfortunately. Even worse, maybe my entire generation is never going to make it.

I don’t have a positive conclusion, except to say that I’m happy to be a shill for anyone who asks; it would be an honor and a pleasure. I’m actually planning on making a post about this at some point before the end of the month, but first I have to figure out what a sustainable level of “shill” would be for me.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
I haven't been doing much writing recently, and I think the only way to deal with this is to just sit down for ten to twenty minutes every single day and write. The joy and feeling of freedom and flight will come, but first I have to put my butt in the chair.

The problem is the first five minutes of each writing session, during which I am utterly consumed by self-loathing.

There's also the walk to my car in my apartment building's underground parking deck (which is where I write these days since it gets no wireless signal), during which I feel super self-conscious and remember every single mean thing anyone has ever said to or about me on Tumblr.

I really enjoy writing, but I wish it didn't have so many negative associations for me. I've tried all sorts of sensible ideas (as well as downright weird ones) to knock myself out of this cycle of negativity, but I think the only thing that's really going to work is to get some sort of positive feedback, and I have yet to figure out how to make that happen, unfortunately.
rynling: (Needs More Zelda)
- My Haunted Haiku zine is printed and in my hands! I sent a bunch of copies to friends and then created a listing for it on Etsy. Creating four zines in four months feels like an accomplishment! 

- I also applied to the DC Zine Fest just about as soon as the application went live. Tables are distributed according to a lottery, and I have never won anything in my life, so I probably won’t get in, but wouldn’t it be great if I did?

- I’m still working on putting together a Wind Waker haiku zine, and this week I made a bunch of art for it and got started on the layout. It’s going to be a really cool book when it’s finished, if I do say so myself.

- I commissioned one of my favorite Dragon Age artists, @geezmarty on Tumblr, to draw Balthazar and Ceres from The Demon King. Their illustration is gorgeous and super cute, and I love it! I’ve been sending artists various descriptions of the characters and the novel, and it’s been a lot of fun to see how they’re interpreted. Once the semester is over and I have a bit more free time, I’d love to start drawing all of these designs myself.

- Speaking of which, I’ve also been working with @evaisonart on Twitter to design Zelda and Ganondorf for my newest Zelgan fic, Malice. This has been an incredible experience, and it deserves its own post, so I’ll write more about it once the finalized designs have been posted.

- I also worked on another commission with a Zelda fandom artist whose work I just discovered a few months ago. We had a great conversation via Twitter and email, and she created a phenomenal illustration, but she never posted it. Since she’s very active and friendly, I was a little surprised, but then I went to her Twitter and saw that she recently made a series of tweets about how people in fandom should just ignore other people in fandom who like characters and ships that they don’t like, and… This could just be me being paranoid, but I get the feeling that something unpleasant went down. I linked to my account on Tumblr in my initial inquiry email, so I don’t think the artist has a problem with me specifically, but I can’t help but think that I unwittingly dragged her into some sort of stupid fandom discourse. I’m not gonna lie, the possibility that this is what happened hurt a lot, and I feel awful for the artist (even if what prompted her tweets has nothing to do with me). In any case, what I think I’ll do is wait a few months and then ask if she’s okay with me posting the piece myself.

This week I had my mandatory annual in-person Title IX training seminar, and it triggered the shit out of me. I don’t object to sexual assault prevention education in principle, of course, but the way the State of Virginia handles it is far from ideal. “Compliance” took just about all of my energy this week, and I wasn’t able to write.

But I did have some great conversations with artists I admire, and I was able to spend some quality time with Photoshop while listening to the Game Grumps playthrough of Skyward Sword. This wasn’t the best week, but somehow I made it through.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
- I sent off my essay on Ganondorf to Games and Culture. I’ve been working on this for so long that it was difficult to let go of, but I think it’s just about as good as it’s ever going to be. Keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t end up in the hands of shitty straight male editor.

- I sent the PDF of my Haunted Haiku zine off to the printer. I also designed a bookmark and a promotional postcard, which I’m printing with another service.

- I’m putting together a zine for my “Video Games and Japan” class featuring student work. This past week I formatted the text, and this coming week I’ll edit and insert the images.

- I got started on the third and fourth chapters of Malice, as well as the third story in A Hero’s Inventory.

- I also got started on two professional book reviews.

- I was invited to give a talk as part of a panel at a small local gaming convention, and I gave a short presentation on video game translation and localization. This should have been easy and fun, but I was already running on fumes and ended up crying a lot (in private, of course). It’s difficult to explain how being mentally exhausted can be physically painful, but my god it is. Still, the event went well, I think.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
(from Shipping Isn't Morality)
https://shipping-isnt-morality.tumblr.com/post/183726148328/yknow-its-been-a-while-since-i-made-this

When I say "abuse is the fault of the abuser," I don’t mean in just a pure metaphysical, "everyone's responsible for their own actions" kind of way. I mean that abusers start with their abusive behavior, and then fill in whatever behavior and excuses they have to to justify it to themselves and their victims. Maybe it's media. Maybe it's substance abuse. Maybe it's past abuse that they suffered. Maybe it's some psychology mumbo-jumbo about projecting past trauma onto you. Maybe it's mental illness. Maybe it's anything. [...]

Abusers choose to hurt you. They know that their actions will hurt you, and they choose to do it anyways.

Everything after that is an excuse.

This is a good post in the ongoing pushback against fandom purity discourse and respectability politics. I ended up reading through almost two dozen pages of this blog last night, and it was an enlightening experience. This person also runs an anti receipt blog (that posts screenshots of harassment, rape threats, and so on), and I admire that they're so good-natured despite having seen and experienced so much garbage.

I also found another good chain [here] about how, basically, "if I was eight years younger and wandering into fandom for the first time, I can guarantee that the culture right now would've fucked me up and ground me down and taken away all my healthy outlets."

I still haven't found much of anything that addresses some of the particular problems I've experienced in the Zelda fandom, which are much more intersectional than most of the issues I see discussed on fandom positivity blogs. I will keep looking, but it's been a journey.

I should qualify all of this by saying that I'm not a huge fan of the idea that fandom has to be therapeutic or serve some purpose in order to be valid. There's another good chain [here] that highlights the misogyny and homophobia of the assumption that female and queer fantasies need to be "productive" in order to be allowed to exist. Sometimes you just want to see attractive people have kinky sex for no good reason, and that's okay.
rynling: (Terra Branford)
I actually write every single day, because that’s my job.

But I only wrote fiction on 18 out of 31 days during the month of March.

I decided that I needed to take a break from creative writing after finishing The Legend of the Princess, and it’s been difficult to get back into the habit. My fiction writing in January and February was so sporadic that I didn’t even check in to GYWO during those months. If a community mod hadn’t messaged me directly, I probably would have given up entirely.

I’ve always been terrible at starting projects, and I’m happy to have found people that will give me a push in the right direction and say, “Hey! I know it’s tough to get started, but I believe in you!”
rynling: (Default)
The bogus “Momo challenge” internet hoax, explained
https://www.vox.com/2019/3/3/18248783/momo-challenge-hoax-explained

A flurry of TV reports, along with both local and national news, began breathlessly advising parents on ways to "protect kids from a disturbing internet game." Lost in any coverage, however, were any examples of the authenticated versions of the Momo challenge, including screenshots of "threatening messages" or confirmed videos promoting violence.

It shouldn't be too surprising that a viral urban legend (and likely hoax) targeting kids would be able to sweep the globe. The internet can be a hellscape of unsavory experiences for anyone; parents face the added challenge of wrestling with how to adequately protect their kids without being overbearing. Indeed, inappropriate content often does make it past automated platform security and monitors — just look at YouTube's persistent struggle with combating child exploitation, online bullying, or extremist conspiracies.

I'm teaching a class about demonic women in contemporary Gothic fiction this semester, and some of my students are obsessed with the Momo Challenge. I have vague memories of the Blue Whale Challenge from an old group conversation on WhatsApp, but I didn't pay any attention to it then, so it's been interesting to watch this urban legend spread and develop in real time.

By the way, maybe this is just me being weird, but I think Momo is actually kind of cute.
rynling: (Ganondorf)
> I am going to start and finish reading House of Leaves.

I finished House of Leaves more than a month ago, and I still can't figure out anything nice to say about it. I read every single word, including every single word in every single "citation," and not one of these words was any good.

Honestly, I think I'm kind of done with books written by straight men.

There are a few exceptions, but I'm starting to feel like male authors I haven't whitelisted need to be vetted by an expert panel of at least three people who aren't straight men themselves.
rynling: (Default)
- As of a few days ago my book has a page on the publisher’s website and a listing on Amazon, and they just asked me to pick out a cover. Apparently the official release date is September 10. I feel weird, like, are we really doing this thing?? I guess we’re really doing this thing. *nervous laughter*

- I finally finished an academic article on Ganondorf that I’ve been working on since August. This essay means a lot to me, so I sent it to a friend who generously agreed to help me with proofreading and formatting. He just sent it back to me, so this week I’ll go over it one more time before I submit it to a journal called Games and Culture.

- I finished putting together my Haunted Haiku zine. I’ve been working on this every day during the month of March, and I’m starting to get excited about showing it to people. The cover, which was created by Sarah Winifred Searle (whose graphic novel Sincerely, Harriet is phenomenal, like easily 15/10 stars), is a true work of art, and I’m playing around with her design in Photoshop so that I can make a bookmark to send out to people along with the zine.

- I finally got around to translating the third page of Nintendo Dream’s Wind Waker developer interview.

- I posted the second story in the A Hero’s Inventory fic series. For some reason it hasn’t been easy for me to put these story ideas into words, and I’m only averaging a sentence a day. Thank god these stories are supposed to be short by design.

- I posted the first two chapters of that Contemporary AU Zelgan idea I wrote about earlier, which I’ve decided to call “Malice.” I’m already super emotionally invested in this story, and I contacted dark fantasy artist extraordinaire Monica Doss to inquire about commissioning character designs and a cover illustration.

- Speaking of commissions! I just discovered the work of the indie game dev Bynine, and I like their style a whole lot, so I commissioned them to draw Yunobo from Breath of the Wild. Because why not? Yunobo is my secret favorite character from the game, and this artist has a talent for drawing Gorons.

It seems like I got a lot done now that I’ve written everything down, but you know the funny thing? I feel as if I accomplished nothing because practically no one is paying attention. I keep hearing that there’s a minimum seven-year line to breaking into any given field or market, but it sure would be nice to have some external validation right now. I’ve been feeling super worthless for the past few months, so I’d like to start up these writing logs again. We’ll see how this goes, I guess.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
There's no way to filter content on Patreon.

Probably the less said about this the better, but let's just say. For example.

Let's just say, for example, that there's someone who's into a certain fetish that many people might not be comfortable with, like explicit age gaps, and that they make repeated requests to the artists they're supporting on Patreon to draw content of their fetish. I'm a hardcore believer in "don't like, don't read," and I stand behind the idea that everyone's fantasies involving fictional characters are valid, but I also don't particularly want to see, for example, impish ten-year-olds happily being molested by forty-year-olds if I can help it, nor do I want to see "soft" versions of the same concept while knowing why that specific person requested it.

I also feel bad for people who rely on Patreon for financial support, like, how comfortable would they be turning down a request for fetish porn if it meant possibly losing a longterm supporter?
rynling: (Mog Toast)
I like when people use Patreon as a tip jar.

Some of the most talented and prolific webcomic artists and indie game developers I know do this. They’re like, “All of our content will always be free and open to everyone, but leave a dollar if the spirit moves you.” They then use the platform as something resembling a development blog, with all posts unlocked.

(If I were ever going to set up a Patreon – which I’m not – it would be like this, I think.)

What I don’t like is when people use “reward tiers” to incentivize people to give them more money each month. That’s gross capitalist bullshit, and it makes scrolling through your feed on Patreon distinctly unpleasant, like, YOU AREN’T RICH ENOUGH TO SEE THIS POST LOLOLOLOLOL.

I like when people use Patreon as a subscription service.

I support a few people who come out with a new set of postcards or LINE stickers every month, and they use Patreon as a way to distribute them. I also support a few people who do this with their zines and use Patreon’s option of charging supporters by “work” instead of by month.

(I’ve fantasized about doing this, because I love designing paper goods and sending things to people in the mail, but it also kind of seems like a full-time job.)

What I don’t like is when people use Patreon as a subscription service according to reward tiers. This can go wrong in two ways. First, if someone shows something cool to people in lower tiers but then says YOU’RE TOO POOR TO AFFORD THIS, IT’S ONLY FOR PEOPLE WITH MONEY HAHAHA, that’s kind of shitty. Second, I’ve known people who say that they’ll send you their zines if you give them, like, $20 a month, but then they only come out with maybe one or two zines a year. I love zines, but there is no zine in the world that’s worth paying someone more than $100 on Patreon.

Basically, I hate capitalism. It’s not that I think independent creators don’t deserve support; rather, I think it’s disgusting how Patreon normalizes using exploitative methods to extract as much money as possible from people who want to support independent creators.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
(1) I hate feeling as if fandom is filled with advertisements, like when people affix messaging such as "If you pay me you can get BONUS CONTENT!!1!" to every post they make.

(2) I hate feeling guilty for not "supporting artists" because I'm constantly bombarded with messages that I should be spending more money, as if being able to access the media that the fandom is based on isn't expensive enough.

(3) It's not a big deal to give one person a few dollars every month, but even small expenditures can add up quickly, and I hate having to choose between equally deserving people.

(4) I don't like the feeling that fandom should cost money and that people without money are barred from accessing certain parts of fandom as a result.

(5) Your friendship with someone shouldn't be dependent on how much you pay them each month.

(6) Putting up a paywall around access to community spaces feels really gross to me.
rynling: (Ganondorf)
During the past week I finished another playthrough of Link’s Awakening. I now have two Nintendo DS systems, one Nintendo 3DS, and one Nintendo 3DS XL, all with Link’s Awakening downloaded onto the console and three perfect save files on each version. I’m not self-actualized enough to be able to say whether Link’s Awakening is my favorite Zelda game, but wow I sure do play it a lot.

Shigeru Miyamoto has said (as quoted here, for instance) that he intended for the Zelda games to resemble miniature gardens that you can visit anytime you like, and that’s exactly what Link’s Awakening is for me. The game is a lovely green space that’s relaxing to wander around while following any number of branching paths, and it’s almost meditative in that I often find myself thinking about other things while I “walk.” As much as I enjoy the stories of the various Zelda games, I think it’s nice that you can play most of them without having to bother with too much text or context.

And honestly, although I’ve probably overanalyzed the game halfway to death, I play Wind Waker for the same reason, to chill out and clear my mind. I’m looking forward to the day when Nintendo releases the game for the Switch (or another portable console), because it’s exactly the sort of digital garden I’d like to be able to walk through the next time I’m stressed out on an airplane or in a hotel room.
rynling: (Default)
I enjoyed Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! so much that I ended up returning to Pokémon Sun to play through the postgame content. It took me 45 hours to finish the game, and I think I did just about everything I can do after that (not counting the competitive battle systems), bringing me to a total of 53 hours.

I only caught 115 pokémon. I’m sure that I could spend many more hours filling my pokédex, but I think I’m good. Up until about five years ago I would log close to a hundred hours on each of these games, and never once did I ever complete a pokédex. You need a solid management strategy and an extended support system to do something like that, and that’s not why I play video games.

I don’t have anything new or interesting to say about the game. It’s still reasonably fun but needlessly complicated, and my cute team of cute animals is still very cute. The main characters are still loveable, the villains are still fantastic, and the teenage lesbian love story is A++++++ forever.

Also, the strategy guide for Pokémon Sun and Moon is really nice! I appreciate that the Pokémon Company (which publishes these guides directly) is putting effort into making handsome books that include character art, creator interviews, and peripherals like bookmarks and maps. I usually don’t go in for game merch – I don’t even have that many amiibos – but I think I’m probably going to order the shit out of a special edition guide if they release one for Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Speaking of which, I was planning on spending some time in the UK this summer, but I’m going to have to cancel everything if the assholes in charge of Brexit don’t figure out what they’re doing. If the next set of Pokémon games is the only way I’m going to be able to visit the UK for the next couple of years, then I might as well make the best of it. Even though the real world is terrible, I’m heartened by the fact that we’re at least capable of imagining what a functioning utopia would look like.
rynling: (Gator Strut)
After the porn ban, Tumblr users have ditched the platform as promised
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/14/18266013/tumblr-porn-ban-lost-users-down-traffic

Tumblr’s global traffic in December clocked in at 521 million, but it had dropped to 370 million by February, web analytics firm SimilarWeb tells The Verge. Statista reports a similar trend in the number of unique visitors. By January 2019, only over 437 million visited Tumblr, compared to a high of 642 million visitors in July 2018.
 
Tumblr loses almost a third of its users after banning porn
https://sea.mashable.com/tech/2777/tumblr-loses-almost-a-third-of-its-users-after-banning-porn

But NSFW posts were the lifeblood of Tumblr communities, and when that left the site, many of the users fled with it. PinkNews reports that traffic fell from 521 million monthly page views in December to 437 million in January, according to SimilarWeb analytics. By the end of February, Tumblr only received 369 million page views. That comes out to 151 million fewer page views, or a 29 percent drop.

Tumblr has lost 30 percent of web traffic since December
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19393500

This doesn't surprise me at all. I run a reasonably popular non-porn, submissions-based blog and immediately after the ban was implemented, our numbers tanked. Submissions dropped from 25-35 per day to around 10-20, while the number of notes (likes+reblogs+replies) per post has dropped from 600-800 to 200-400. Unfortunately, we still see about the same total number of spambots and fake blogs in our notes. So at least from my own anecdotal experience, the ban did nothing except drive away human users.

That last post reflects my own experience. I used to get around 600 to 800 notes a day in 2018, while now I'm only getting about 350. Then again, I don't really post anything these days, so that could be a factor as well. I was actually looking forward to Tumblr quieting down a bit, but the trolls haven't left yet. Because of the relative silence, their mindless barking seems to echo even further, unfortunately. I've been putting more effort into customizing Twitter to be a less chaotic experience, but it's still difficult to express a healthy and multifaceted personality on that trashsite.
rynling: (Mog Toast)
Although I'm doing a little better this year than I was last year, I'm still in a very bad place. It's weird that this is my life now; but, since it looks like I'll be here awhile, it's become necessary to reevaluate how I make decisions so that I'm not acting from pain, fear, and anger.

Part of being an adult is having to make decisions about things that are 60% bad and 40% good. Like, is the 40% good more meaningful than the 60% bad? Even if the 40% good doesn't justify the 60% bad, is the 40% good important enough to make the 60% bad a necessary evil? And, if it does, how do you develop the courage and the moral character to endure the consequences of the 60% bad? These are questions that smarter and wiser people than myself struggle with, and I don't have a definite set of answers.

What I've started to realize about myself, however, is that there are actually two versions of me, Normal Me and Anxiety Me, and that Normal Me has to make compassionate decisions for Anxiety Me.

Normal Me is ambitious and loves other people and wants to be involved in projects, while Anxiety Me is all about intense panic attacks, violent self-harm, and aggressive suicidal ideation. Normal Me wants to make the world a better place, but Anxiety Me just wants to make it through the day in one piece. I would like to think that Normal Me is always going to Do The Right Thing to the best of my understanding and ability, but Anxiety Me is capable of engaging in some truly shitty behavior for the sake of self-defense.

This is why, when I make a decision, I first have to figure out whether that decision involves Anxiety Me; and, if it does, I have to be very kind to Anxiety Me so that I don't end up putting myself in what will feel like a fight-or-flight situation. I'm still figuring out what triggers this response, but I think the most important thing is listening when Anxiety Me says, "I'm actually really not okay with this."

This feels like a strange way to describe the situation, but I'm still in the process of figuring things out. I'd like to think that I'm still the same person even with this illness, but the change of circumstances means that I can't rely on the same set of decision making skills, and it's going to take time to develop new ones.
rynling: (Default)
Echo of footsteps
A sharp fluorescent buzzing
Empty grocery store

I spent way too much time watching Dan Bell's Dead Mall series on YouTube last night, and it creeped me out. Dan Bell himself is appreciative of the period architecture and kitsch aesthetic, and he doesn't film in a way that attempts to create elements of horror where none exist, but there's still something upsetting about these places.

This video series is all very Rust Belt; and, based on the specific locations, I would assume that this slowly creeping neglect is connected to both rural depopulation and the institutionalized economic marginalization of Black communities. That's upsetting enough in and of itself, of course.

But there's also a more universal memento mori quality to these videos that inspires a dread of cultural senescence.

I feel like someone should make a video series along the same lines about abandoned websites, because they give off the same sort of energy. It's not nostalgia, because the affect is distinctly negative, but it's similar. I think what makes the urban exploration of abandoned malls unpleasant is that they're "abandoned" instead of "closed," meaning that the lights are still on and the water is still running. If they were completely shut down and gradually being overtaken by nature, they would be beautiful, but there are still people inside these almost-dead buildings, and that's disturbing. In the same way, online spaces like Blogspot/Blogger feel weird because there are still a few people using them, and websites for children's movies from the 2000s are a little eerie because someone is still paying to host them. You want to feel nostalgia when you look at the past; but then, when you realize that it's not safely in the past, it's uncomfortable and uncanny.

Also, can I be real for a second? Tumblr is starting to take on an "abandoned mall" feeling, and I don't like it.

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