Nerd Crossover: The Wizarding World of Splatoon

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Since Nintendo has crossed realities between Inkopolis and TMNT, let’s invite a little magic in. If inklings faced the Sorting Hat, what would their house culture look like?

Ravenclaw – My house first! Since we’re smart, resourceful and creative, Ravenclaw inklings would be versatile players. Intuition would drive their ability to read other players’ styles and pick up the slack to optimize teamwork (and win ratios). They’d be agile with a bit of a creative flair in their battle. You’d find them studying (and writing) playbooks, reviewing matches, or hanging out at the museum for inspiration and re-calibration.
Stages: Shellendorf Institute, Inkblot Art Academy, The Reef
Weapons: Dualies, Splat/Splash-o-matics, Brellas
Position: Versatile

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Hufflepuff – The Puffs would take a much more laid back approach to battle. They’d likely be squid partying or blazing at the Kelp Dome. If they were taking a match seriously (or as seriously as they can) they’d focus strictly on coverage. They’d be super fun and easy-going. No rage-quitting or squidbagging from these inklings.
Stages: MakoMart, Kelp Dome
Weapons: Rollers, Sloshers, Splattershot Pro
Position: Objective

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Slytherin – This inkling house would be full of squid-bagging, bragging, panicked and reactionary players. Always up to no good, they’d rock their death eater masks proudly… from a distance though. Most likely, they’d be charger mains or carry the giant Hydras, fueled by their desire to do as much damage as possible while staying far away from danger.
Stages: Snapper Canal, Walleye Warehouse, Port Mackerel, Sturgeon Shipyard
Weapons: Hydra, Chargers
Position: Defense

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Gryffindor – The few, the brave, the focus of 7 books and movies. Inkling Griffindors would be athletic skilled players. They would likely take an offensive role and prove to be fiercely loyal teammates.
Stages: Musselforge Fitness, Camp Triggerfish, Manta Maria
Weapons: Blasters, Octobrush, Shooters
Position: Offense

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Which house would your inkling be?

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Looking for LA Recommendations!

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I’m heading to E3 in a few weeks, guys! Having never been to LA, Glux set up a map of things we should check out while we’re there, but we need help! I hatehatehate being a tourist, so I’d love to hear about the coolest local spots to check out.

Here’s where we’ve landed collaboratively so far:

I’m likely going out a little longer so I can take a day trip to San Jose and knock the Winchester Mansion off my life goals. And I’m working through my carney connections to get some access to Universal Studios (mostly to do some Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary shopping). Street artist, Invader is currently installing new pixel art on buildings around LA so I’d love to go hunting for some of them! The ones I’ve found in NYC have been all over #GamesIRL.

So where should we eat? Where should we stay? I’m looking at several retro/mid-century style hotels. What should we see? Any good witchy shops? And aside from the big guys and some of my indie darlings, what booths should we check out at E3?

Sunday Stats

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*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

+2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Guitar lessons are going well. I learned part of a Bad Religion song. My fingers still hurt, but it feels like PROGRESS.

+2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
I wore lipstick every day this week. It felt kind of weird, but it was a nice change. I blended red with a little gold powder for a shimmery Splatfest look.

+2 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
I made it to the gym! I also hit a new Move streak record. Yeah for keeping things moving!

-2 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I didn’t take care of my mental enough this week. There was a lot of fighting and sadness and general feelings of being drained. Next week I’m going on I schedule a crystal bed session for next week or something.

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
I got drinks with the co-manager of our Nintendo Switch Meet-Up group to scout some new potential hosting spots in Williamsburg. She moved back to the states from Australia not long ago and I’m SO glad to have her back!!

+3 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
Dog sitting biz this year continues to explode! Three new clients this week, which pushes me to over $4,000 TOTAL in that account and 40% of that was earned this year.

Look at this cutie

How did YOU level up this week?

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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Admittedly, I’m not the most loyal South Park fan. But we’re in a bit of a doldrums for Switch releases until July, so I picked up South Park: The Fractured But Whole with some birthday money. I had no expectations going in. I might have been a little afraid I wouldn’t like it because I didn’t know what I was getting into and I’ve been out of touch with the show for so long.

My character is the gassy new kid in South Park and eager to make friends. All the kids are playing superheroes and Cartman reluctantly invites me to create a character and join his group – Coon and Friends. We all have character sheets DnD style that you complete by talking to various adult characters about gender and sexuality and religion.

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I’ve totally fallen in love with it. All the kids have their own unique superhero personas with the most creative costumes and phrases. Mosquito is my favorite! The way he plays off the actions of others in battle always makes me laugh. When Cartman/Coon attacks, Mosquito will say something like “Coon makes ’em bleed so it’s time to feed!” All of his blood puns and digs are brilliant. I keep him in my party all the time, both for the jokes and his powerful life-draining attack.

Completing challenges for townspeople allows you to take a selfie with them and gain followers. Building your following helps you level up and unlock new objectives. Here I am with Morgan Freeman at his taco stand.

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My “superpower” comes from my time-bending farts. Collecting certain mission items allows me craft special Mexican dishes and unleash powerful farts that turn back time to negate an enemy’s turn or stop time so I can get around dangerous situations and get some free shots on a 6th grader. I can combine my farts with other kids’ super abilities to solve puzzles and reach new areas of the map. There’s also a hilarious toilet mini-game in every bathroom in South Park. Some toilets are harder to master than others.

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The battle component is super entertaining. Aside from the witty superhero banter, the battles can take on various forms with nontraditional objectives. In a battle with Towelie, the goal isn’t to defeat Towelie; it’s to burn four piles of weed scattered around the room to get him high. There are roving hordes of 6th graders around town that will give chase until you defeat them. Once you talk to the PC Principal, there’s a new battle mechanic that gives you a free punch when your enemy says a microaggression.

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Of course, being South Park, the content is rarely clean. There are naked breasts. Hilariously offensive themes, language and items to pick up (I laughed for a good 10 minutes when I acquired a jar of “boogers and cum” and the jingle played. I had to battle two Catholic priests to avoid molestation and beat up Raisins Girls. I’m not even that far into the game, I don’t think and I’d had to give a drunk man a lap dance… AS A FOURTH GRADER. In a rockin’ shark costume.

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There are definitely some uncomfortable moments that are a little harder to laugh at. And most shocking is that it’s now on Nintendo Switch. I wrote to Nintendo every month for a year asking for Binding of Isaac on 3DS and that’s MUCH tamer comparatively!

What I love most about this game is that it takes place in the imagination of a child. I’m reminded how I played games as a kid. My imagination made so many worlds and abilities real for me. There’s no greater period of creativity than childhood and South Park: The Fractured But Whole lets me return to that time, while simultaneously being shocked at the incredibly adult level of inappropriateness.

Book Report: IT

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Synopsis: IT weaves across parallel stories – one in 1958 that follows and one in 1985 (even the last numbers of the years mirror each other). In 1958, 7 misfit tweens form an unbreakable (and necessary for childhood survival) bond over their common encounters with a strange shape-shifting monster and their isolating social identifiers: Bill stutters, Ben is fat, Beverly is poor and abused, Richie is weird, Mikey is black, Stan is Jewish and Eddie is an asthmatic hypochondriac. This “Loser’s Club,” as they call themselves, spends most of their summer trying to avoid a roving group of bullies- Henry Bowers, Belch, Victor Criss and Patrick Hockstetter are the most vicious and violent group of troubled youth I think I’ve ever encountered in truth or fiction- who are out for their blood. The Losers realize there’s a monster killing kids, including Bill’s little brother, in their hometown of Derry, Maine and resolve that it’s up to them to destroy It before It uses It’s mind-bending and shape-shifting abilities to lure more children to their deaths.

When they defeat It, they take a blood (and sex?) oath that if the killings start happening again they will all return and defeat It again. The 1985 storyline introduces us to the 7 heroes as adults and brings them back together to face/process their childhood nightmares and defeat Its final form – a giant spider from space – for good.

Characters:
There are so many characters in this story. SO MANY. There were whole sections written from the POV of townies who never appeared again and literally didn’t matter. Most of the boys were pretty generic boys. I was as incredibly irritated by the literal spelling out of Bill’s stutters and Richie’s character voices as I was grateful for them. Those idiosyncrasies helped me keep at least those two apart, but disrupted the story for me. Stan and Eddie could have been the same person. Mike had entire (unnecessary) chapters on Derry history and aside from being the anchor that called them all back, served very little purpose. I get that 7 is a powerful number, but I could have done with fewer protagonists.

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LIC has a lot of It streetart

The monster was more of comical character than a scary one. It took on silly forms – a clown, a teenage werewolf, a giant eyeball – and popped out of toilets and drains. That’s pretty classic comedy. It was often described in gory detail, but more in a gross-out way.

The bullies – particularly Henry Bowers and Patrick Hockstetter – were the truly scary and dangerous threats. Detailed descriptions of the physical pain Henry inflicted on the Losers and Patrick’s explicit, deliberate murder of multiple animals over the course of a whole chapter were absolutely HORRIFIC.

Themes:
Reality 
Particularly how our realities change from childhood to adulthood. Imagination creates a magical and powerful reality as children, but adult reality took their power away. They forgot each other and their own pasts. Patrick believed he was the only “real” person in the world, and killing reinforces that. When IT manifested as creepy little things – like blood in the sink or a beetle in a fortune cookie, the other members of the Losers have to agree it’s real. If it’s not real, you can’t see it and if you can’t see it, you can’t beat it.

Power
While power was never strictly defined, the power of belief was strongly present. As kids, the Losers created magic to chase off the monster because they believed it was possible to defeat. They believed each other. They believed what they saw and that solidified the monster into a tangible shape. Power of friendship was the key to their success. They didn’t remember why or how, but they all returned to Derry when called, aside from Stan who killed himself. They all stood behind each other every step of the way, even when they terrified to near insanity.

Questions to think about:

  • Where does power come from? What IS it? What gives you power?
  • At the end, the adult Losers start to once again forget Derry and each other, but Ben and Beverly run away together. Wouldn’t they forget each other too?
  • What the FUCK was up with that 11-year-old girl explicit sex scene? I couldn’t even get through it. I was so uncomfortable.

 

Sunday Stats

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*Since my family first got an NES, I’ve had a controller in my hands. Exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and experiencing stories… in some ways, I’ve just connected better with the world through games. However, it’s also very important to me to be present in my life, to improve myself, to go out and MEET the people I’ve connected with online and to expand my knowledge. I spend hours in games; how do I level myself up?

In this weekly series, I’ll chronicle how I’ve improved my “stats” with completely arbitrary scoring.*

-2 Intelligence – How did I make myself a little smarter? What did I learn?
Aside from usual responsibilities and guitar lessons, I didn’t actively seek out any new learning. I spent all my free time reading and playing Splatoon.

-2 Charisma – How was I less awkward or more beautiful?
It was a lazy week. I didn’t even wash my hair ONCE. Luckily, curly hair tends to look better after 3-4 days of not washing it, but I stretched this mess like 5 days when it really should have been washed on day 4. I was just too tired to get up early enough.

-3 Strength – New workouts, breakthroughs, challenges.
And too tired to get up early enough for the gym. I got my steps in, took the stairs and walked a couple subway stops more than I usually would to make up for it, but next week it’s 7am wake up call 4 days a week.

+3 Defense – Where did I consciously avoid or deflect negative energy?
I’ve been really good about keeping the peace around this week. My relationship with Ryan has been really great. When he’s in a bad mood, I’m learning how to give him the right kind of space and not engage in his nonsense.

+1 Luck – Something good that happened this week
A company from last week’s brand workshop sent me fancy ass chocolates and they’re so decadent I can’t even show you a picture because the craving for chocolate would burst your brain.

+2 Wealth – How did I save towards my goals?
I hit the $1,000 milestone in my Stash account! Checking Stash daily is such an exciting part of my day. Seeing my stocks grow and comparing with Ryan’s investments (I ALWAYS beat his returns) gives me such a sense of pride and accomplishment. THIS is an adult thing! I highly, highly recommend signing up for an account – it’s a fun way to learn about investing and watch your money work for YOU. They’re NOT paying me to tell you this, but if you sign up with my link, we both get $5 to invest. And right now there’s a chance we can both win 2k. Hey, they JUST added a Gamers, FTW stock bundle so you can invest in Blizzard, Nintendo, Activision and more. Worth it!

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How did you level up this week?

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn Interview

The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn is by far the most challenging in my collection. There are 21 unconventional arcana cards in addition to the traditional 78, including Void cards and four Fools! The personality of this deck is, in the artist’s words, “fully prepared to give you the finger.” But I adore comic book style imagery with sexy sci-fi twists.

Check out my previous deck interviews.

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Tell me about yourself.
0 of (Void) – a small white butterfly with a rainbow trail on a black card
I am free of associations. Not bound by the elements or astrological ties, my energy precedes the constellations and will outshine the last star. I am chaotic. I am raw potential. I am unformed power.

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What are your strengths?
Princess of Swords
There’s no one like me. I’m wild. Unconventional. Unpredictable. I am a cocoon of opposites and madness so thick that I could suffocate, but I thrive despite myself. My ambiguity is my strength. I am never wrong because I am never right.

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What are your limitations?
Ace of Pentacles
1. I wear many identities. Sometimes I lose myself in my masks. Sometimes you will not be able to see through them
2. I can be a destructive force. Like fire,  I can’t help what I am.

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What are you here to teach me?
99 of Wands
Transcendence, in a word. How to grow your inner magic enough to create the right conditions for your being to go on to other worlds and lives after death.

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How can we best collaborate?
4 of Pentacles
Retreat internally and focus. Achieve mental and emotional stability despite any potential flaws in your world and I will be able bring you the most clarity in my complexity.

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What’s the potential outcome of our relationship?
4 of Wands
Peace, solitude and riches in your own little ivory tower. But beware ⎻ as you well know, towers eventually crumble.

When I started this interview, I had a lot of anxiety. I was afraid of these cards. They’re the smallest of all my tarot cards, but they felt so aggressive and almost ominous. The more I handled them though, the more they got to know my energy, they began to change and feel more malleable. More comfortable. This deck will always be tough. I might always need to rely on the book for help interpreting the cards, but it also has the most potential.

Want to know whats in your cards? I’ll read them for you starting at just $5!