I'm 30-something. I play games and sometimes type things. I summon deities and demons, shoot raiders and wish to settle down with another girl for turn-based battles on the beach, chocobo rides and torchlit dinners in ancient Nordic tombs.
When I'm not slaying dragons or saving the galaxy, I'm probably roaming the open world, rolling into a ball to access secret passages and seeing if my Paragon rating is high enough for discounts at the mall.
For other things and stuff about me you can read here, here and here. You will learn of my origins, my trials and tribulations, how I became a superpixie and what games I really, really like!
I don't have a lot to say about the whole topic of Jessica Rabbit as a mage. While I am very interested in people of various groups represented and treated with respect, the brawler genre - where mayors are fabled to have piledrived sharks - is not the first place I'd go looking for realism.
That's why I'm not really emotionally affected by the big breasted sorceress of Dragon's Crown. I've heard much ado about how this misrepresents women in a game where men are more barrel-chested than Donkey Kong has barrels to throw. Why are we raking caricatures over the coals here? Jessica Rabbit got a new job, that's all that really happened.
Want to see a real monster?
Hint: Its over on the right.
As someone that grew up with gender dysphoria, I'm not above or immune to the glorification and fictionalization of the female body that the media perpetuates. I've had the depression and breakdowns that come from it growing up, feeling like I'd never even get close to any standard of beauty. Not all games strive to make the unreal more realistic, though it happens, but real world's media likes to take the real and turn it into a grand fiction. Not even the models in the photographs can hope to live up to to the doctored photograph itself. That sort of imagery is dangerous to people in that business and society at large.
This CEO apparently wants it that way. He wants kids to be ashamed of their bodies. He wants to promote classism, rejection and depression in a time kids are just starting to figure out who they are. Fuck that.
This is the kind of business where even knees are held to a higher standard. Yes, knees. Did you know Forever 21 photoshops all of the knees of their models? Were they once adventurers? Is that why?
It begs the question what other so-called "imperfections" were modified. Some of these models have eerily similar hands and feet as well. Then there's the women of varying ethnicity that get whitewashed in the photoshopping process, so its not just body shame but a bit of racism going on there as well. Why can't any woman be seen as she is?
I mean, its one thing to photoshop out a pimple or make a lighting adjustment, but why an entire skin tone?
Video games might have their problems with sexism, but something they rarely do is promote body shame. Games are in the business of empowering and treating the player like shit seldom ends well. Games could do a great deal more to promote different body types and we should get on their cases about that, pointing to games like Dragon's Dogma where characters can be made to come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but we don't need to be getting worked up about some voluptuous mage - she's just one of the shapes.
While the Sorceress is a bit unrealistic, there are women that do exist in that ballpark. This is why you need to think before you go into Crusader Mode about sexism and body image - body shame is not cool no matter what the body type is. There was a time I found myself being rather callous about height and engaged in this kind of shame. I once made a joke in a college newspaper editorial about how the person behind our costumed mascot was too short.
It went to print. The next day my academic advisor pulled me into his office and let me have it. He told me just how wrong I was for making that joke. Turns out the short girl inside our mascot costume took great pride in what she did and I knocked her height while i so hypocritically and pridefully promoted school spirit in my editorial. She read that editorial and it made her consider quitting the squad entirely.
My advisor never told me her name, but I felt awful about it and very much deserved to. The following week when I had my next editorial opportunity, I did my best to make amends and say I was sorry, hoping the apology would reach her. I never found out if it did or the extent to which I had affected her, but I promised to myself I'd never treat someone that way again - not even as a joke
I of all people now know too well you have to make the best of what you're born with and not everything about your body can be changed. There are still days it eats at me, especially when I go to the mall. Its often a fleeting frustration, but if its not I play a game until those thoughts go away.
That said, I am hardly worried about Lulu 2.0 up there. If Christina Hendricks the Witch is a good fighter, I'll play her - but I have always, always favored the bow and will probably go with the petite elf ranger.
If anyone's knees end up photoshopped for what she does, I am not responsible.
One of the defining elements of my favorite RPG franchise, Shin Megami Tensei, isn't just the supernatural-cyberpunk post-apocalypse it inhabits but also in how it approaches conflict. In main series SMT entries - and even occasional spin-offs - you will have many random or even triggered encounters which can result in combat - but not always. Sometimes you can just talk to your enemies instead of killing them.
Depending on the situation, your allies, their abilities, the moon phase and sometimes moral alignment there are a number of different ways these quirky conversations can play out. The payoff in these negotiations is commonly the recruitment of a new ally into your ranks - turning an enemy into a friend - but occasionally money, items or healing can also be the reward. Sometimes if the enemy is made aware a member of their clan is in your ranks, they will cease all hostilities toward you and tell you to take care of their friend. However, if that's not the case and you respond to conversation in a way that displeases them, you may just be locked in combat anyway.
Sometimes enemies even approach you out-of-the-blue and offer to join you because you're that awesome.
Given all the opportunities for violence in the series, these conversations provide the player a means to break the monotony of combat and shows us the worlds of SMT are about more than just exchanging blows, but having conversations and making other choices as well,
And I think in a lot of cases, that's a missed opportunity for a lot of video games. Even barring the lack of conversational options, sometimes discretion and non-lethal options are better tools for winning the day.
Nowhere is this better expressed than the Metal Gear Solid. Snake is a killer, but its not like bringing death to others is something he takes great pride in. He dislikes the praise and occasional hero worship he sees purely on the basis that he's taken the lives of enemies, friends and even family to complete a mission. Killing is making a choice and as the MGS series has evolved, the choice to not kill your enemies has become rather integral to the game design of the series.
In MGS3 killing an enemy outright removes the potential to interrogate them and learn new things about the immediate area he might know - or in MGS2 killing at least deprives you of a potential human shield/hostage when you're low on ammo and need to BS your way out of a fight. In many situations a dead body is certainly quieter than a sleeping one, but a sleeping guard laid out in the open would make the enemy think one of their allies is sleeping on the job. That could serve as an extra distraction so Snake can sneak away - meanwhile a dead guard tends to place other guards at full alert if you didn't bother to hide the body.
Factor in MGS: Peace Walker and killing enemies can also mean the loss of potential, kidnappable recruits for your army. These recruits could serve as more than just combatants in your army, too. Some of them might have technical expertise that would better serve your R&D division on Mother Base, add staff to your medical team or maybe you just need a good cook for the mess hall to boost army morale.
In Peace Walker even enemy commanders are fair game for recruitment. It will be a hard fight taking out a tank commander and his troops without killing them, but once his allies are skyhooked off the playing field, you are free to break out the heavy artillery and peel the commander out of his armored shell.
Getting back to talking, in Deus Ex Human Revolution or Fallout New Vegas, we occasionally get the ability to talk our way out of a fight or a situation that could end in needless death. Depending on how you handle these conversations (or what your skills might be, in the case of Fallout), you can avoid needless bloodshed, possibly gain an ally or informant and other rewards.
Or you can attack and kill them. That's still a thing.
Whether its cyberpunk dystopian Detroit or the Mojave Wasteland you're still going to see lots of opportunities for violence, but as with Solid Snake you can make sure Adam Jensen keeps his hands as clean as possible during his journey. The Courier, meanwhile, will still be exploding heads and dismembering limbs in VATS - but The Courier will see their choices reflected in the long run by way of reputation, karma and how they chose to complete quests. History will remember if The Courier was a bloodthirsty monster or a saint, even if war never changes.
Though I hear Solid Snake disagrees with that sentiment about war.
Violence is going to be a thing in games and there's really no way around that, but there is a lot that can be done to make games more than just about violence. Seeing a spark of humanity in an enemy NPC - to see they're just a working Joe, that they have a sense of humor or are having a bad day - may be enough to make a player reconsider violent action and seek out another way.
That said, if we had more opportunities to talk things out in games and occasionally avoid a combat situation entirely, I think that would be good progress, too. There are also other means, other options to explore beyond what is laid out and not all of it needs to be conversational or morally just, either. Games like Dishonored prove that framing, blackmail and public exposure are also non-lethal means by which to dispose of an enemy.
All it takes is putting a little more thought into game design and realizing there's more than one way to give a player a satisfying outcome to a potential confrontation. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go chase down a demon I've been bribing to join my group for the last half hour.
So from the title I suppose you can guess what I've been playing for the last two weeks.
Thomas Was Alone
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Jet Set Radio (downloading now, used my PSN $10 voucher from all that Persona stuff I got last month)
Soul Hackers is kind of a monster by itself so I didn't need much else on 3DS, but its been rather nice to offset my RPG focus on the 3DS with different games on the PS Vita. And given the PS Vita does most my main smartphone functions well enough (or better, as Youtube and email goes), i also moved on from an iPhone with Verizon and switched to Virgin mobile's much cheaper plans and a boring old phone
Better games and money saved, though. I'll upgrade to a shiny Android phone sometime.
Guacamelee was good fun, I don't think it was the best Metroidvania I've played, but its one of the better ones and I enjoyed its music along with its boundless love for a number of classic and contemporary retro games - though some platforming sections and trap door bugs made me want to hurl my Vita at times. I may return to this one for speed runs later on.
Well, after my thumb heals, i burnt it bad over the weekend and it was already a great day because this little punk! Iwas watching is my sister's dog this weekend and Boots here loves sneaking away to all the dusty places I can't easily clean, becoming a living dust bunny and then begging to sit in my lap which sets my allergies ablaze.
She thinks she's so damn cute, too. I'm glad she went back home... bitch.
After finishing up Guacamelee, I downloaded Thomas Was Alone off PSN and it was a neat little game. Short, sweet, entertaining and easily possessing one of the best atmospheric soundtracks I've ever heard. David Housden is someone I'm going to have to look out for on the music front.
I also thought it had a neat little and largely unspoken message behind it - that we all come in different shapes, colors and sizes; we can run the risk of getting trapped inside our own problems - but when we get past that and come together we can accomplish great things. No big, fancy budget for graphics or expensive cast of voice actors needed to communicate that idea, either. Just blocks, jumping and a narrator.
It was finished in just a few hours tops, but one of the more memorable experiences I've had in games this year, I'd say.
"Freedom" was probably my favorite track from the game. Here, have a listen:
Soul Hackers is a neat treat. I'm really only starting to hit my groove with the game, learn the quirks of the demons and fiddle with all the apps you can install into your COMP. For a game made back in the late 90s it holds up extremely well even compared to Persona and the Persona 2 games. Its actually rare to see a game like this age so well and get updated just enough to fit into the modern age of RPGs (yes, I did install the new Save Anywhere app, sue me).
I do have to say the "world of tomorrow" facet of the game is so corny I can't help but enjoy it. That and I think Nemissa is starting to be one of my favorite female heroines in the SMT multiverse.
And now Jet Set Radio finished downloading. Its time to get my paint and skate on with the Rudies in Tokyo-to. Kinda bummed knowing not all the music could be relicensed, but its still an old favorite from the Dreamcast. If Sega would port Panzer Dragoon Orta to Vita that would also be awesome.
Anyway, that's where I'm at right now with my games. 3DS is really starting to shine and Vita's getting up from that crawl and starting to walk now. A few more months and I think Vita will come into its own - especially when those other indie gams and some of the summer retail games hit.
Though really, Sony, I'd love it if you'd dropped some memory card prices. Juggling what I have on a 4GB card stinks :P
Tomorrow is the day Soul Hackers finally comes to America.
Sixteen years ago it was released on the Sega Saturn and fourteen years ago it could have been a PSX game but noooooooo, Sony didn't want it because it had no new content. That's all in the past now, though, because just shy of half my lifetime later its coming out.
Providing the world doesn't end today, at least.
And before you Europeans get all bitter and cranky about this, I think Atlus' new publishing dealie with NIS for European releases will be answering when Soul Hackers is coming to Europe so please just let us American SMT fans have our day - we've practically waited just as long as you have on this one.
Devil Summoner is a series that by SMT standards is a bit more campy than the main series and its other spin-offs. The soundtracks are more jazzy, characters more swanky or just plain goofy and this series loves to wear its movie and TV influences on its sleeve. If the Raidou games riff on old 1920s detective noir, then Soul Hackers loves to play up cyberpunk, a "world of tomorrow" vibe and a little bit of the X-Files. Let's just say Spooky looks like Fox Mulder for a reason.
The "world of tomorrow" thing is incidental, though. Back in 1997 we didn't know what shape the internet or technology would take so the portable PCs this game loves to play up almost seem quaint in a time where everyone has a smartphone. Even the kids in Devil Survivor were up-to-date with demon summoning cellphone apps, so its hard for Soul Hackers not to feel just a bit dated in that charming Fallout way..
I'm just glad its finally almost here. I was doing cartwheels when it was announced in December and while it wasn't the last Atlus announcement I freaked out over, it was still a good one.
While it may just be a fan effort, I think Zelda: Clockwork Empire is a mix of interesting ideas and flawed ones as well. Where it gets it right conceptually, it nails it but it also seems to undermine a lot of who Zelda and Link are just to make Zelda the lead protagonist.
The thing about that is much of it just isn't necessary. Zelda doesn't need to be a commoner, Link doesn't need to be a prince and the less common ground they have in terms of fighting abilities and origins, the better.
Let's start with the basics of the Zelda canon - and there's going to be some Skyward Sword stuff here so if you've still not played it, you may wish to click back now. Before I get to the SS stuff, though, we all know Link, Zelda and Ganon are part of a fated cycle. For years Nintendo just made up history as they went along with the Zelda series, but we know these characters were fated to be reborn over and over and repeat the cycle even without Skyward Sword's extra details.
So we now know from Skyward Sword that Ganondorf and various other evils that may plague the land of Hyrule come from the reincarnations of the evil god, Demise. We also come to learn that the one that originally sealed Demise away was the Goddess Hylia, but that her power was spent in doing so and she was later reborn in mortal form as Zelda, Zelda goes off on a pilgrimage with Impa to awaken some of her latent power and gains a great deal of wisdom along her journey. Link became her protector and went through many trials to prove his courage and forge the Master Sword. Demise wishes only for power, subjugation and destruction of the weak.
Its here we see Link and Zelda purge the evil with the magic of light and the Master Sword. Later their reincarnations are bound even more deeply to fate as the Triforce breaks apart and Link, Zelda and Ganondorf literally become avatars for Courage, Wisdom and Power during the events of Ocarina of Time. This is an important theme to keep in mind when approaching these characters. Each of them is part of a rather conflicted whole.
Clockwork Empire does its best to acknowledge Zelda's alignment with magic and wisdom. From her magic gauntlet to her family's links to the Sheikah Tribe, this fan work hits most of the right notes in how Nintendo could tailor a game to the character of Zelda. The use of magic, stealth and acrobatics aren't really Link's best strengths, so emphasizing them for Zelda and building a game around such skills is a great way to set her apart and in how The Legend of Zelda could be played
But give her the Master Sword and you're already undermining her qualities and stealing Link's alignment to courage in the process. That's a big problem. Wisdom defines Zelda, courage defines Link. This is just the way the series is written and going against it leads to poor writing and lots of other contrived ways to make Zelda a Female Link rather than Zelda as a protagonist.
Also contrived is Clockwork Empire's desire to make her a commoner. Zelda is often portrayed as royalty and while its true this has not always been the case - as Wind Waker and Skyward Sword prove - she's always been a natural leader whether she's a schoolmaster's daughter or pirate captain. Simply put, a Zelda without that sort of station and commanding presence just isn't Zelda. Again, there are exceptions to this - like her cowardly, selfish and ghostly incarnation in Spirit Tracks - but on the whole Zelda is a respected and collected leader.
But just because she has such a high station as princess doesn't mean she can't sneak away from the castle as herself or in disguise to have some adventurous fun. If Brave's Princess Merida can sneak off off to shoot arrows, ride her horse and go rock climbing - why can't Zelda?
There's plenty of rebellious, headstrong princesses in fiction. I'd actually like to see a Zelda that, while noble and wise, was also a bit headstrong. I think there's something inspiring about a royal that fights out of a genuine love for her people and doesn't give a damn how she's perceived for doing things considered below her station if the disguises fail or she's caught in the act by nobles and knights.
With this in mind, I'd like to keep Zelda and Link as they've always been. In fact, one of my favorite interpretations of the characters is having them be friends since childhood, which both Skyward Sword and The Minish Cap draw upon. Why can't the princess just be the friend of the local blacksmith's nephew? This again shows Zelda is about more than her status as a princess, that she truly loves her kingdom, friends and probably better understands the weight of her status than she lets on. I would even say her greatest fear is to not be able to live that way and be unable to protect her people. An evil could rise that preys on her worst fears just after she started to get a bit more bold.
And if Link's games start with courage and he gains wisdom along his journey to vanquish evil alongside Zelda, shouldn't Zelda's adventure start from wisdom and her journey be about overcoming fear and gaining courage to vanquish evil alongside Link? As Sheik, Zelda would give Link wisdom and a song to aid him on his quest during Ocarina of Time, why not give Link the chance to pass along some of his courage to Zelda before he's kidnapped and Hyrule Town is attacked?
I think these are really the things we should be starting with. Additionally, since Link goes through a trail to get the Master Sword - a trial that proves courage - why not have Zelda set out on a quest and trial to test her wisdom and obtain a sacred bow of some sort? Zelda has often taken to using the bow and light arrows - or just light magic - while helping Link seal away Ganon. I think focusing on the bow as a weapon is also another opportunity to give a game led by Zelda a different feel and style of play from that of Link's. I'm actually quite keen on the idea of Zelda being a stealth action character that uses magic and Shiekah arts to misdirect and terrorize enemies as she picks them off at a distance with a bow or crossbow.
Nintendo did once say they toyed with the idea of Zelda as a shooter and I think ranged weapons and magic are natural skills to Zelda. Having these along with stealth, magic and acrobatic platforming would naturally play into the puzzle solving and boss battles the series is known and loved for.
I'm not saying she has to strictly be about the bow and magic, either, as Twilight Princess does set a precedent for her making some use of a sword. I just think the sword would be best as a secondary weapon, a means of parrying attacks since she wouldn't have a shield - and that's distinction Clockwork Empire also makes regarding her.
Finally, since Light Arrows have commonly been dispensed to Link near the and of many games and the bow and light arrows are later taken over by Zelda in the final confrontation, it stands to reason Zelda - having gained much courage on her journey - could prove worthy of the Master Sword before it later gets handed over to its destined wielder, Link. The whole light arrow thing being left in the last or near-last dungeon has always been James Bond villain-level dumb, but grabbing up the Master Sword in the last or near last dungeon would stand to reason given the franchise's history.
So have a game that plays on what we know to be true of the Zelda character, build it around her unique skill set - emphasize magic, stealth, acrobatics and the bow lahead of swordplay. Make her about ranged combat, put her evasive and athletic skills to work. From there, give her all the usual tools - the bombs, hookshots, boomerangs and such - that she would need to solve puzzles and hurt or stun opponents. Tools are an area that can be exploited by both characters as it wouldn't really feel like a Zelda game without them - though I suppose they could devise some new tools to use exclusive to Zelda.
That aside, what we don't need a Zelda that's just Female Link. Its not inspiring or empowering - its just borrowing Link's role and that's boring. Its also pandering to radical feminists rather than creating a good female character. Zelda deserves better than that and so do her fans, so give a her a story where she can express her own strengths, her wisdom and rise to overcome fear, Give us an inside look as her life as a royal, the ability to sneak away from it and live among the citizens of Hyrule. Let us see the world from her eyes, the thrills she enjoys being away from the castle, her friendships among the citizens and her desire to protect them with her life.
I think that's really the Zelda we deserve to see and if Nintendo were to make such a game, it wouldn't have to be the last time Zelda was cast in such a role. Make her a Female Link, however, and I promise you her adventure will simply be a one-off. I don't think anyone wants a one-off.
Well, I hadn't planned to blog tonight, but a series of comments I made kinda set me on the course to doing so. Its very easy to be cynical about EA and in most cases I'd just like to see them crash and burn like anyone else. I don't think I've seen one company single-handedly do so much damage to this industry as I have EA and from the looks of it, they've hurt themselves rather well and haven't successfully changed the industry to their vision anyway.
I mean, I'm still playing single player games, alone and mostly without DLC or online passes. Sure, I bought Mass Effect and the Dragon Age games and enjoyed most of them, but I still bought them used on principle because EA's business practices on video games are not the future and I will not support that future.
But I'll give EA credit on its pro-LGBT stance and its really not because I claim two fo those four letters, but because EA is only one weight on the scale. Since I already said it in a comment I'll just post that.
So its really not just EA, but a lot of other companies. And its not really altruistic, but it still does lots of good. People can be cynical as they like about the motive, but the last several weeks you can't argue with the results. If you've been keeping tabs on the gay marriage issue and the Supreme Court proceedings, its not been a slam dunk win but DOMA is going down from the looks of it. The momentum of public opinion is going to make gay marriage happen in several more states in the years to come no matter what happens/ Social conservatives have not only lost on the narrative against gay marriage, they don't have the corporate firepower to win the war, either.
But that aside I saw people insinuating that LGBT inclusion in EA's games is merely a token gesture. This is, again, extremely cynical. EA's track record on LGBT inclusion is far from perfect, but not all of it is bad either. Look, I'm transgender, I'd love to punch the folks that wrote the Dragon Age games in the throat for recycling the same tactless tranny joke from one game to the next and making most of the cast in DA2 weirdly bisexual. Skyrim I give a pass on this because its a big world with lots to do and NPCs there aren't deeply written, but I will rail on DA2 for making me feel like a creeper for pushing my sexuality on another intricately-developed character. RPGs might be power fantasies, but that's where I draw the line.
But then I have Liara, Samara, Samantha Traynor and Cortez from the Mass Effect universe to consider. There was nothing creepy about romancing Liara, Samara actually rejects you and Samantha was actually a really fleshed out character with interesting quirks. I guess it also bears mentioning the only guy I let one my FemSheps romance was Thane Krios and that arc didn't really even seem to be about sex, but loss. There was just something that ringed a bit more true with Mass Effect's cast as from start to finish - imperfect endings aside.
And its hard to really think about Mass Effect and its forays into sexuality without thinking of Star Trek and its racial and cultural diversity. They are, after all, space operas with social interests. Mass Effect clearly isn't as alone in its pro-LGBT stance as Star Trek was during a time the civil rights movement was gaining traction, but its still an interesting parallel to draw.between the two franchises..
And would anyone argue that Star Trek ever had a token cast member? We're talking about the show that had an interracial cast and the first interracial kiss ever televised. I've grown up a fan of the series and even collected biographies from the original cast, read the goings-on behind the scenes and I'm still surprised to be learning stuff,
Like the time Nichelle Nichols was going to leave the show. Yes, we might have had a third season with no Uhura which is unthinkable as not having Scotty or Sulu. She had her reasons, though.
That's exactly why I want women, people of different races and LGBT characters in my games. It might not matter to everyone but it matters to someone that these characters are there. If it can change hearts and minds - and media has that effect - games have no reason for not exploring every avenue open to them. So what if the characters aren't perfect? No person is.
We all come into this world with different hands dealt to us, but hopefully equal opportunities. If those opportunities aren't happening, however, that's something we have to discuss or things never get better. Games have a chance to matter here as much as anything else and it all adds up. The only time we need to be critical is when it turns destructive and artistic license departs from reality.
EA isn't the hero we deserve on this issue, but its one of the many we have and if its strength can be used for positive change - even if its not with the best of intentions - why should we turn it away? Sometimes you just swallow your pride and take the win.
Anita Sarkeesian might want to keep that in mind before she goes dismissing spin-offs and handheld games again, In her video last month, she dismissed pretty much every Mario spin off with a playable female character to deride the 2D and 3D platformers for not having said playable female characters. At the end of her video, she slaps down handheld games because they are not '"full on" console games. Well, I guess means all the heroines that show up on a portable don't mean anything, eh?
I'll just say it - Aqua from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is one of my favorite heroines in recent years and she made her debut on the Playstation Portable. She was strong, kind and quite honestly the adult of the group on this adventure, not to mention the original Keyblade Master. Everything the series tries to tell us Sora is yet he fails to be she was from the beginning, And while she fell after her friends fell, that didn't change her core merits - it made her even more noble in her fall because she never once compromised who she was or gave up believing in her friends. She was never broken as a woman even if she was a captive of sorts at the end of that story.
Now I kinda veered off the EA thing for a moment there, but can I please stop defending EA? Really, its making me feel dirty because I just threw Sqaure-Enix on top to bring it home and I don't really like them much lately, either. I'm due for a cold shower now.
The visibility of women, different races and LGBT characters are important and they come from many different genres and platforms, If we look for every excuse to dismiss them we're never going to have a lot of good examples to draw from, so don't dismiss the platform, the genre, the level of plot involvement or your ideal of what the perfect representation is - take the good where you find it and criticize the problematic when it shows up.