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media are plural Posts

One of the differences between blogs and radio is that old radios are cool collectors items, while old blogs usually represent a medium in its awkward teenage phase. Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay.

Lessons in the differences between blogs and radio

I’ve been back at this blogging thing for a few months now and I’m enjoying it a lot more than I did the first time…

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Not a lot of good, free images available that illustrate video games that feel like work. This Playstation 5 controller was photographed by Sergey Galyonkin and made available under CC BY-SA 2.0. I cropped this image slightly.

I need to complain about video games that feel like work

Let’s talk about video games that feel like work. There is much discussion about gamification – a strategy of making work easier by making it…

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Not exactly a Royal Flush, but I'll take it.

I made a story mode for my favourite card games

I had a lot of time on my hands over the holidays. That’s the only way to explain how we ended up here. During those many free hours, I wondered whether I could create stories that correspond with the gameplay of various card games. Basically, I wanted to see whether I could create a story mode for these card games. It turns out it was possible and not that hard.

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Retrospectively I realize I should have gone all out and done a Wolverine cosplay for this. Maybe next time.

Remember the good old days when 2016 sucked?

Remember in 2016, somewhere around the summer or maybe even the spring, when everyone realized “damn, this year sucks”? Saying that 2016 sucked became a bit of a meme (and a T-shirt). By December, posts decrying the year were everywhere on social media. A quick search of the people I follow on Twitter yields dozens of posts, and I remember seeing myriad Tumblr posts about it too.

How cute we all were back then!

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This is a redo of a photo from the old blog. Back then I had a much smaller phone and night mode didn't exist.

Media Are Plural vows to spell doom for doomscrolling

Let’s be honest: It usually sucks to use social media. There are (far too many) advertisements that know too much, famous people posting bad takes, endless flows of negativity, and often using it straight up stresses us out. The process of consuming negative or upsetting content despite the effects doing so is having on your mental health is called doomscrolling. The term got popular early in the pandemic, but neither it nor the practice has gone away. I’ve certainly done it. I keep doing it. It seems like most of us do. But I realized this blog gives me an opportunity to do something about it. I’m going to try to be an antidote to doomscrolling.

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This screenshot is from Game 3 of Rooftop Cop.

Cyberpunk media you won’t be asking to refund

So, the Cyberpunk 2077 saga somehow became more of a shitshow. Sony has pulled the game from the Playstation 4 store. It is also offering refunds to anyone who bought it.

Meanwhile, I’m still playing games from that Be A Better Cyberpunk bundle I wrote about on Tuesday. And I’m far from alone. The bundle has smashed its goals and raised US$43,797.07 from 680 contributors. The US$10 version has brought in another US$5,066.57 from 437 contributors. Both remain available until Dec. 24.

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A screenshot from Visual Out.

Give me cyberpunk, but make it better

So, Cyberpunk 2077 is a bit of a mess eh?

Even before its release we knew the developers were dealing with crunch conditions and the game had a lot of problems regarding its handling of trans characters. Once the game came out, players found it to be a buggy mess on Playstation 4 and Xbox One, including one bug in which the player’s genitals or breasts stick out of their clothes. The PC version (coincidentally, the one that reviewers were forced to work with) has fewer bugs. Every version of the game contains sequences that could trigger seizures and no option to make those scenes accessible. And you know, why not throw in some racism too?

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You know these guys aren't playing Bublé covers. Original photo by Wikimedia user Leif Jørgensen, available under CC BY-SA 3.0. I cropped the pic and adjusted the brightness, contrast and saturation.

Christmas music for people who also despise Bublé

Christmas isn’t the same when you’re older. When I wrote the 2016 version of this post, I chalked that up to the retail-based musical bombardment we must endure while shopping for loved ones. Well, I haven’t heard Christmas music in a store in about a year. I’ve hardly been to stores at all since March. This year, Christmas isn’t the same because there’s a damn pandemic ongoing.

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This skeleton used to be playing a video game, but it was simply too long and they expired. Illustration by Ronan Lyver.

Video games are too long and I don’t know how to feel

Like all the best Media are Plural posts, this one is inspired by a meme. It argues that contemporary video games are too long, the workplaces in which they are produced are exploitative, and that the medium … you know what, I’m not doing a critical analysis of a meme. Just look at it:

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These are some of my favourite cards from back when I played the Pokémon TCG.

TCGs provide a fascinating multimedia experience on each card

I’ve wanted to do an article about trading card games (TCGs) for ages – before the old blog went offline, in fact – but inspiration never struck. They’re difficult to write about because they’re a polarizing subject. Fans tend to be quite invested, so a broad article rarely appeals to them. It’s similarly tricky to find a topic that appeals at all to people outside the hobby. You either tailor your content for the fans or create something that’s boring to them that has a low chance of appealing to anyone else either. Not a recipe for the type of cornerstone content the SEO plugin I use keeps suggesting I make more of.

But I came up with a topic sure to alienate both the fans and people who don’t care but opened the article anyway. I realized that TCGs are a master class in the art of developing multimedia experiences.

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