Sunday Funday: Video Games

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After watching a flashback gaming video I’ve come to a realization. I don’t play video games as much as I used to and I’ve been sad about that. I didn’t really know why until now. I’m an arcade gamer. Since the previous console generation, the focus shifted to AAA titles having incredible graphics, theatrical stories, and very long campaigns. They’re passive forms of entertainment from an industry that gained popularity from it’s interactivity.
I don’t care about that stuff. I just want flawless gameplay mechanics that test my skills, challenge my mind, and are easy to pick up and enjoy. Also where did the community go? There hasn’t been many local multiplayer or co-op games since the invention of Xbox Live and the PSN. Do kids chat about games on the playground? Does a friend help them get past a part in a game they’re stuck on or do they just look up a tutorial?
Thank you, indie game scene for holding on to what matters. I hope more of you get the funding you deserve to make amazing games.
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Thoughtful Thursday: Passive Racism?

The more time I spend alone the more introverted, attentive, and observant I become. I feel like I’m generally more aware of social nuances and more adept at interpreting things than the average person, but when my interactions are limited my awareness is heightened during those moments. When I have a conversation with someone I pick up body language, facial expressions, voice inflection, and speaking patterns even more clearly.

So, because I’ve had another bout of seclusion (4 months), I thought I’d share an observation with you.

I’ll set the scene for you. My younger sister (2 years my junior) had been planning her Halloween costume for a few weeks now. She has bought clothing, materials, and constructed it. She was making it, because one of her friends said she was having a Halloween Party. So just yesterday being October 28th, she felt a little regretful of spending time and money on her costume. I was a little confused. I asked her why and she told me something all too familiar to me. “I feel like I spent too much money on it and I might not get to wear it. My friend hasn’t responded to my text or said what time her party is.”

The only thing I could think was, this is stupid. They must have forgotten about her. This has happened to both of us a lot these past few years. We get invited to something or make plans with someone and one of two things happens:

1.) We try to get a hold of them beforehand to solidify the details and never hear from them, at all.

2.) They finally respond the day of the event. They likely respond an hour or minutes before it was supposed to take place and they cancel.

Now I’m sure some of you can relate to this. As it’s pretty common among people our age, but I’m going to travel a risky path with this next question.

Is this passive racism?

You know like passive aggression, but with racism. I feel like we get forgotten a lot and it might have to do a little bit with race.

We live in a predominantly white town.

87% White;
5% Hispanic/Latino;
2.6% Asian;
2.3% Black;
2% Native;
1.1% Other;
(5.4% Mixed [included])

We are mixed black and white, which here is seen as black. Now being “black” and having a white single mother we see things differently than most. We are aware of racism, but we are usually on both teams so to speak. This makes us a little pensive and wary of these discussions.

Here are some of my examples.

Riding downtown in the car with a white friend. I see a black guy walk along the cross walk at the intersection. My friend locks the doors.

I find out a group of my close friends were all hanging out or threw a party together. I find out about it a day (sometimes many days/months) later through conversation. They ask why I wasn’t there. I wasn’t invited or even knew about it. Each one says they thought one of my other friends invited me. They say I must have told someone I didn’t want to go. This is odd to me. These people are my friends.

At a party I’m expected to dance. Not only dance, but also be the center of attention while dancing, because all black people know how to dance.

While hanging out someone does something they all deem “hood”, “gangster”, or “thug”. They do it in a mocking fashion. I point out that what they just did was what they think black people do not what thugs do. Not tipping at a restaurant or intricate handshakes are not thug stereotypes they are black stereotypes. They’re basically saying all black people are thugs.

Sometimes when I’m around friends or acquaintances I feel like I’m not their friend to them. I’m their black friend and I’m not part of the group. I’m more like an accessory.

When I’m with my best friends I’m just their best friend. I can tell the difference.

 

Is this Passive Racism? If so it’s very common here and honestly I’d actually prefer active racism to this.

Fan of Art Friday: Ida Eva Neverdahl

Fan of Art Friday – Introduction

Yet another Fan of Art Friday. This time hailing from a magical place we have Ida Neverdahl.

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Bio

Ida Neverdahl is a young lady from Norway. Her alias on deviantART is JellyVampire, which so happens to be the name of a comic series she created.

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Art Style

Neverdahl’s art style consists of cool hues (pink, purple, blue, green), hearts, stars, harsh cell shading, and organic shapes. Her text bubbles along with the text itself and the encompassing comic panels are all imperfect and natural. Everything is either shiny or flat pastels. It’s some sort of Softcore Unicorn style.

Opinion

She has this bizarre combination of dark humor and mystical whimsy. It reminds me of a Cartoon Network series called Flapjack. Where as, on that show it was about pirates and the main character was a naive little boy, Neverdahl instead casts herself as the main character of Jelly Vampire and clashes between an ugly reality and a sugary fantasy world. Her mainstays seem to be unicorns and rainbows along with serious issues such as anorexia, disease, rape, and gory violence. If you could imagine the sketchiest place you’ve ever visited, had a glittery candy bomb go off and ground zero became a 24/7 rave party that’s what Neverdahl’s gallery would resemble. Thanks for the new perspective Ida ^__^

Fan Art Friday: Piper Thibodeau

Fan Art Friday – Introduction

I skipped a post last Friday, because I didn’t feel like making one. My blog doesn’t get very much traffic so I figured I could be lazy for a week and nobody would notice. This Friday I was just too excited to be lazy, because we have Piper Thibodeau in the spotlight.

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Bio

Thibodeau goes by Cryptid-Creations on deviantART. She is a young illustrator from Montreal, Canada who is just about to finish school in animation. Her goal is to become a Concept Artist for storyboards and visual development.

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Art Style

Thibodeau uses pencil sketches, solid coloring, and small brushstrokes for texture. She makes great use of organic shapes and applies medieval fantasy attributes to each piece. Her color pallet is very soft as is her lighting.

Opinion

I really enjoy her take on common characters. She captures their essence while skewing them quite a bit. Their proportions will differ from the original’s. The shapes they’re consisting of will also be switched out for bolder choices. I also love when she incorporates patterns into a character that otherwise is void of texture. Sometimes she’ll add a tribal, Aztec, or scaly pattern on them and it makes them feel more mystical or ancient. Thibodeau is another one of my favorite artists that does daily sketches. The discipline to practice everyday must be a guarantee for improvement. I’m certain of it now.


Thibodeau also has a student film coming out in May 2015 called Sídhe and I’m pumped to see it. She has art from the early stages of the film in her deviantART gallery, so go check them out by clicking on either of her images above. Good luck on the film Piper!

Fan of Art Friday: Pascal Campion

Fan of Art Friday – Introduction

I’ve had family over this last week, so it may have influenced my choice a bit this Friday. Not that that’s a bad thing though, because we have the family man Pascal Campion for you.

Happy_Face_by_PascalCampionBio

“Pascal Campion is a prolific French-American Artist, Illustrator, Concept Designer, Character Designer, and Animator. His clients include: Dreamworks Animation, Paramount Pictures, Disney Feature, Disney Toons, Cartoon Network, Hulu, and PBS. Passionately inspired by his wife and kids, he is best known to his tens of thousands of fans and followers for “Sketch of the Day”,a ritual of drawing a new image first thing in the morning from his home studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, Pascal expanded into fine art with a solo show at Galerie Arludik in Paris, France.”

when_they_least_expect_it_____by_pascalcampion-d6yiw9wArt Style

Since Campion makes most of his work in a short time span, you can see his quick digital brushstrokes. He defines his characters really well and keeps the scenery a little more vague. They’re full of spots and squiggles that work together to form objects. This is usually seen in traditional painting and is sometimes lost in the transfer to digital artistry. His color palette is usually soft and/or muted hues of greens, yellow, blues, and tans. I don’t know for sure if he draws inspiration from painters from the impressionist era, but I see similar techniques being used in his landscapes.

Opinion

Campion has a great way of portraying the finer moments of life. You can feel exactly what the subjects are feeling in each piece. I feel like it’s these little things that matter the most. He paints a beautiful picture with lovely emotions. The fact that he’s so good he can make a quick sketch look like he spent hours or days on it is incredible. Practice may not make perfect, but what it does make is some great art. If only I could get my self to sketch everyday I could one day be as talented as Campion. Thanks for the inspiration Pascal.