I was originally going to post this as part of my Melanin Mondaysegment, but, WordPress decided that my original post was a bit too radical and saw fit to DELETE EVERYTHING I WROTE! But, thankfully despite that I was able to salvage most of it with the help of WP’s nifty ‘History’ feature, so, it wasn’t a total loss…
I want to first clarify that this is not a review, but a critique of Cyanide Tea’s decision to create a game that featured characters of color, specifically Black and brown skinned characters, as slaves in a game that allows the player to romance said slaves. Let me say that again, THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF Taarradhin! I will write a proper review some time in the near future, but this post, is most certainly not a review, so if you are expecting a review, come back later. For everyone else, the opinions reflected in this post are my own, so, if you are uncomfortable with discussions of race or slavery, you might want to check out one of my other game reviews or discussion pieces…
Before I start this rant, I want to give you guys a bit of background about Taarradhin.
Taarradhin is a Pay-What-You-Want original English language visual novel (OELVN) from Cyanide Tea (Lorelei and Auro-Cyanide). The game was created for NaNoReNo 2014 and features two potential love interests (GxG and GxB) with five endings. It’s a rather short game taking between 30 mins to an hour to complete.
A seven-year drought plagues the entire region surrounding the country of Nishtif, leading people to wonder if their goddess Scheknt has abandoned them. In contrast, young noblewoman Neqtia has lived a comfortable life insulated from hardship and suffering. One of the poorer surrounding countries, Djedi, sends their usual tribute of natural resources and livestock to Nishtif in exchange for the larger country’s aid and protection. Rumors that two attractive slaves are among the cargo intrigue Neqtia. What lies in store for her after the slaves are brought to live at her family estate…?
Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Black History Month once again and with it comes the revival of Melanin Monday, the post series where I talk about the representation of Black and brown characters in pop culture. While I mainly focus on the nerdier side of the pop culture spectrum, from time to time I will cover more personal posts about my experiences as a Black nerd.
This started as part of Black History Month 2017, but you guys liked it so much that I decided to keep it going, albeit rather sporadically. However, for the month of February I will try to post one of these every Monday.
This week I didn’t really have anything planned since this post coincides with my OWLS Blog Tour post, and I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to do anything… So rather than focus on a particular form of media, I’m just going to talk about the importance of representation in general… as a rant.
Edit (9/25): I have been receiving a large number of comments from players that are receiving bans for reasons other than turning back the time on their devices. If you feel that you have been wrongfully banned, contact Cheritz directly and submit an official report on the issue through: email@example.com!
Edit 9/24: The petition was removed from Change.org due to negative backlash on twitter. The creator posted an explanation on Instagram, but it has since been removed.
*Cheritz has lifted bans on all wrongfully banned accounts, read the full post,HERE!*
I really thought that I was done writing about Mystic Messenger, but the recent update has many in the fandom up in arms and I think it’s time I gave opinion on the matter.
I do not stand behind that silly Petition, in fact, I think the whole thing is utterly ridiculous! For those who don’t know, Cheritz just released an update that changed some things about the Mystic Messenger experience:
Players that were/are resetting their device times to replay missed chats will now have their accounts PERMANENTLY BANNED!
Max Speed in chats will now be reserved for VIP members only. VIP membership can be purchased from Cheritz, HERE.
Cheritz will also be restricting the number of save files players can use for free.
Finally, 5 HOURGLASSES will be used every time players load a save file!
First, I see absolutely nothing wrong with these updates. Cheritz is still a relatively small developer and they spent a lot of time and money to make this game a reality. So, it only makes sense that they would try to recoup some of their investments. Developing a game, especially a voiced game requires a considerable amount of money and time. And the fact that Cheritz decided to make the game a free to play app is very generous on their part! So when I saw that some angry fan went out and created petitions against Cheritz on Change.org, I was a little pissed off and here’s why…
*This post is my opinion and it’s cool if you don’t agree with it, I am open to hearing what everyone has to say, but I WILL NOT TOLERATE any personal attacks. Do not use my comments section to attack anyone, be sure to keep all discussions tame.
Disclaimer: I am going to warn ya’ll in advance, this review is my opinion feel free to disagree with me if you will… But keep it civil, I have no patience for trolls (consider yourself warned). Also this post will contain some strong language, do with it what you will.
I like to think of myself as a conscientious buyer, when it comes to games. I have a three step process that I use to vet my games before purchasing, and this is all games (indie or otherwise)!
I look the game up and read the description. If I like the premise I move on to Step 2
Read reviews and comments. Usually a quick run through of the comments in the App Store or on Google Play will suffice. But, if I notice a high concentration of troll posts, I might expand my search to blog reviews or gaming review sites. If the reviews seem positive I move on to Step 3
I then download the game and play through the free trial and or prologue. If I am still interested at this point, this is the point in which I actually make a purchase.
This process has served me well in the past, hell, I’d go so far as to say it’s damn near fool proof. If I follow all of these steps, I avoid wasting money on shitty games, even when I don’t use this process it’s still extremely rare for me to accidentally buy a crappy game. Like I said, I pride myself in my ability to sniff out shit games, but I am human and I have been known to slip up….this was one of those times…Before I continue on to the actual review, I want to talk about my critiques of games, for reference, because I assure you this game deserves all the rage I’m about to type out in this review.
*So you may notice this has absolutely nothing to do with otome/otoge…sorry…maybe the next post…*
I love movies…I love books…hell, I even love movies based on books….But with that said, it is a fact that few things translate perfectly across media. They can get close to the original source, but nine times out of ten, they just don’t match up. Don’t get me wrong not all movies based on books are crap, some are far better than their book counterpart (I’m having a hard time thinking of any right now…but I’m sure they exist). The Harry Potter movies, while not as awesome as the books, definitely did a good job at channeling the magic. But, more times than not a director will take some liberties when translating a beloved story to the big screen.
For true fans of a work film adaptions may seem like a watered down or diet version of their book sources. But in their defense movies have to contend with time and audience attention. I for one am not willing allot more than two hours on a movie…anything longer than that better be damn good! The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies are the exception…and even then I had to fight the urge to take a nap!
I have seen my share of duds… some movie adaptions have made me cringe, cry, and just walk out of a theater in frustration (and with ticket prices at $13, that says a lot). But there have been others that so perfectly captured my image of the characters and story that I could have sworn the director had been peeking into my imagination. But then there are some adaptations are so different that its hard to find the connection to the source material.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”
Like when your boyfriend of five years breaks up with you, just when everyone you know is getting married or engaged. I mean come on, if I had a dollar for all the engagement notifications on my Facebook timeline…let’s just say I’d never have to budget my otome/otoge spending ever again…
It’s like the universe has a series of checks and balances that always manages to produce the worst possible outcome at the worst possible time…eerie! So lets make the best of a crappy situation…
Like all full-time students I am confident enough to say that I know the value of the dollar. Sometimes money just doesn’t stretch the entire 30-31 days, in any given month. Between rent, food, bills, food, metro fare, food, books, tuition, and did I mention FOOD!? money seems to disappear at an alarming rate…
But my pitiful part-time retail slave paycheck still allows me some pleasures…and by pleasures I mean paying for the company of sexy 2D pixel men…
So this semester the professors have turned it up to 11 with the amount of work they want! One professor has assigned THREE papers within a week of each other and they are all due sometime at the end of the month!
I mean come on, can I finish the first paper BEFORE you give me another one?!? And that’s just one class! I’m taking four (for grad school that’s a lot).
Then there is work..Let’s not get started on the personal hell that place is, but it pays the rent and supports my habit…so that is an inevitability…
So where am I going with this?
Nowhere really…I just wanted to rant! But I suppose if I had to come up with something on the pop fly, it would be that:
I may be slow about posting for a little bit, at least until I get my assignments started. In the event that I do post something there is a strong possibility that I will be procrastinating on some paper or another or clearing out my drafts.
Before I start singing the praises of the genre here is a brief overview of some BL/Yaoi basics….
Yaoi, aka Boy’s Love (as defined by wiki) “is a genre of fictionalized media focusing on romantic and sexual relationships between male characters, typically aimed at female audiences.” Yaoi is a more sexual off shoot of shounen-ai, which depicts more tame male-on-male relationships. Most BL and yaoi focus on men, with little or no female presence within the plot. Male characters are plentiful and fit into one of two categories: Seme or Uke.
Semes usually, but not always display masculine characteristics. These men are referred to as the “tops” and are the dominant participants in the relationship. These characters are often more aggressive than their partners and are the ones who “give” during sexual intercourse. These men are usually strong, well built specimens who appeal to both men and women, and are often seen pursuing their prey uke.
I generally like confident and imposing semes, but that’s just me. It’s even better when the seme has a cute side that only his uke gets to see. There is something sexy about a man blushing that gets me all hot and bothered…now put some glasses on that seme…
Ukes on the other hand are the “receivers” or bottoms. They are often more feminine in appearance and physically smaller than semes. These characters are often more reserved than their partners, rarely pushing the relationship. Most BL is told from their perspective giving insight into their thoughts and feelings, making them more relatable to the reader. Seme/Uke roles can be both permanent and impermanent with some couples choosing to reverse roles within the relationships (I personally like this). Also age has no bearings in who is a seme and who is an uke. Semes can be younger than their partners and ukes can be older and vise versa.