Since my final exam last Monday Iíve finally had some time to play the good old video games again for the first time in at least a month. Mostly Iíve been spending time with Hotline Miami and The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles. Meanwhile Iíve been looking for a decent job for this summer, but Iím not having much luck so far. I donít want a shitty call-center job or whatever but itís starting to seem like thatís the only thing people will readily let me do. Itís kind of getting me down right now.
Another thing thatís been on my mind recently; Iíve started to notice over the past few months that Iím not engaging in the big discussions anymore, either here on Dtoid or elsewhere. Weíve had a lot recently, not all of them equally valid but there we go, but I donít think Iíve participated in any of them anymore. Even when I was reading Elsaís blog this week I felt like I had to leave a comment, but I didnít know what to say for the longest time. I used to. I used to be able to do this shit. I used to have my opinion up and ready to go. I used to love getting into these things, figuring out what point to make and how to make it. But for some reason I donít have the energy anymore. Whenever something pops up Iím simply like ďFuck it, they can have their discussion.Ē
All of the discussions nowadays are starting to feel like I should be holding one very specific opinion, and if I donít not only am I wrong, Iím demonstrably being a bad person for thinking differently. And it works both ways. Iím not allowed to have problems with Dragonís Crown Sorceress because that would be censorship and Iím just being a ďwhite knightĒ (<- by the way, I HATE that term something fierce) who doesnít know art. On the flipside, Iím not allowed to think that ďdongleĒ-jokes are harmless because that makes me a privileged bigot (<- by the way, I HATE that term too). My views usually arenít even extreme, I make damn sure that I think before I say and that I wonít regret my words five minutes down the line, and I wouldnít be studying to be a judge if I was radical about anything. Yet the sense keeps crawling up on me that Ďmiddlingí isnít good enough. Thatís it either full agreement or bust. That the best thing I could possibly do is reply to a Ďcorrectí opinion with ď^This, a thousand times thisĒ and be done with it. And in a way in the middle is the worst place to be, because youíre getting it from both sides. †
- Protip: Do not Google ďgetting it from both sidesĒ.
We have grown this culture of conformity, where disagreement is shouted down by name-calling, bile, anger, and hostility. Itís starting to wear me out, if it hasnít already, to the point that I really donít care about these discussions anymore. I remember having a very good conversation about US guns laws with Tekbunny, and one on freedom of speech with Tristrix. Now Iím sure they donít remember that, but I do because they were important to me. They stand as examples where I got some people to talk calmly to me about issues that are pretty damn Ďhot-buttoní, that didnít end with agreement but with respect towards othersí points of view. That feels like a long time ago now, though.
Maybe itís simply because weíve been seeing so many these discussions, but I also think one reason I donít want to do that shit anymore is that I donít have very thick skin. Never have. Nanbu actually called me out on it a good while ago, and she was right. In fact, Iím a wuss. Iím massively insecure, Iím the most sheltered person youíll ever (internet-)meet, and I canít handle conflict. Thatís why I want to be a judge rather than a lawyer. Lawyers take a side and fight staunchly for it. But Iím not strong enough for that. I need my time to make up my own mind, and I need time to write it down so that I donít step on anyoneís toes. I want to see people leave my courtroom not necessarily agreeing with what I just said (because hey, somebody has still got to lose) but at least being at peace with it. That takes time and care. But the internet doesnít work like that. Itís starting to seem like the internet wonít allow me to have an opinion unless itís already common consensus. And when on Tristrixí blog yesterday I tried to make a passing comment about Samantha Allenís claim that she ďdidnít fire [Allistair]Ē coming off as disingenuous, it got deleted within minutes because apparently that topic was off-limits now, even if the post specifically promised not to pursue it further and expressed concurrence with everything else in the thread. That seems like a small thing to get bothered by (it is!), but those kinds of things pile up and get to me sometimes. My opinion wasnít allowed even phrased as carefully as I could, and I feel like thatís happening more and more often lately, although I guess usually not quite as explicitly.
I donít enter discussion anymore because for all I know someone could take my words and decide Iím the bad guy. I canít deal with that. I try every day to be as thoughtful, reasonable, understanding, and a lot of similar words which Iím not sure are synonyms or have nuances that make them different, as I can be. I study my ass off to be able to do that for a living. And if thatís not good enough for internet discussion, it can go fuck itself.
(I never know with these Ėisms.; maybe this shouldíve been a blog instead. Whatever. Hereís a little insight into what makes me tick and I hope itís appreciated. Reading back all of it seems disjointed and Iím not really sure what the point of any of it is. Iím not really sure of anything right about now. I feel ďoffĒ somehow and I donít know why. Maybe Iíve just been alone too much over the past month; exams tend to do that. Hopefully playing New Super Luigi U later today will cheer me up.) †
Villains in all media, not just video games, can end up being a dime a dozen. Far too often, a villain's motives boil down to "I am a bad, and so I do bad things. Fear me." While this format has worked for countless stories, at this point in my life (the ripe old age of 20) I‚Äôve become jaded and grumpy, finding myself rolling my eyes when I see yet another antagonist wreaking havoc with no background or reasoning presented as to why they‚Äôre being such a butthole.
What‚Äôs far more interesting to me is when a villain‚Äôs motives or actions come across as justified, perhaps leaving you rooting for them to defeat the protagonist [insert Elder God Tier villain meme here].
My favorite example of this would be Meruem from the Chimera Ant arc of Hunter x Hunter. While he doesn‚Äôt necessarily fit the exact mold I laid out above, he‚Äôs easily one of the most dynamic and curious villains I‚Äôve ever come across. For the sake of not spoiling what is perhaps one of the most exciting, action-packed, and tear-inducing arcs in anime history, I won‚Äôt delve into the details of what makes Meruem so great. Instead I encourage anyone who hasn‚Äôt seen Hunter x Hunter to set aside some time and plow through the series. Really, it‚Äôs that good.
But hey, that‚Äôs just how I feel. I‚Äôm sure there are folks out there who prefer their villains to be simple. If I ever met one of these theoretical people I might have a panic attack, but I‚Äôll deal with that should the time come. I‚Äôm sure after some deep breaths we would get along. Maybe we could even snuggle, should my husband allow such an event to transpire.
All said and done, we arrive at the topic of this month‚Äôs Bloggers Wanted: Villains that did nothing wrong. Due to communication errors, this entry in the hallowed halls of Bloggers Wanted is a tad late. Regardless, all you have to do is head over to the Community Blog section of the site, and whip up a Cblog about a villain who you feel was secretly the good guy all along.
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