Browsing through my blogging history, I came to notice that it had been a whopping five years – slightly more than that, actually – since I last replied to one of those tags that travel around the WordPress universe every once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I never appreciated the recognition or anything of the sort: I love it and I am quite grateful for it. It is just that I always ended up putting those posts on a pile of future pieces that I needed to get to, but then so much time went by without me sitting down to write them that I felt publishing a reply kind of lost its point.
However, I guess that it is never too late to overcome a somewhat bad habit, and for that reason I decided to – for the first time in forever – answer the questions proposed by a fellow blogger who was kind enough to give this humble space a nod. The writer, in that case, was AK from Everything Is Bad For You, who I have known – virtually – for what must be over a decade. We have been following each other’s posts ever since my years as a Gamespot user, a period which began all the way back in 2006 and lasted until 2013.
I cannot remember exactly when we first bumped into each other, but I am willing to bet it was much closer to the beginning of my time there than to the end. He must have been, alongside themancalledscott from Wizard Dojo, one of my first followers and friends on Gamespot, back when I was coming out of my teenage years and still developing not just my writing, but also my English skills. I am glad we are still out here – albeit on a different platform – posting and keeping track of what the other is up to.
Anyway, thanks to AK for nominating Nintendobound for The Real Neat Blog Award as well as for the long-standing support. Now, let me get to his excellent questions.
1. How do you feel about content warnings and rating systems (like the MPAA and ESRB rating systems and the famous RIAA Explicit Content sticker?) Are they effective, or is the point of these ratings the same as it was when they were created?
I guess that, with the absurd freedom the Internet gives to kids from a very young age, it gets progressively harder for parents to control what they see, read, play, and listen to. So, as time passes, ratings get increasingly meaningless in terms of sheer effectiveness. Truth be told, they never were truly effective in the first place.
As Bob Dylan once sang, “Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command”, which is a message many adults who have kids will learn in ways that will rock their world, but I digress. Kids will be kids, and if they want to play that M-rated game, you had better bet they will find a way. Still, I guess it is nice for parents to have that warning available to them. It is their right to try to keep their little ones away from content they deem inappropriate; I can relate to that feeling even if I don’t have children. I guess it also helps parents throughout the land to sleep well at night, although their comfort is a bit of an illusion.
2. Do you have hard limits as far how short or long a game should be? Or a book, movie, or album — whichever you have a strong opinion on.
Not at all. I both love and dislike books, movies, albums, and games that have varying levels of length. Of course, whenever one produces a work that is bigger than average, they run the serious risk of creating a monster that is either bloated or that occasionally drags. The book Les Misérables comes to mind in that regard: I quite like it, but at least 400 of its pages are completely unnecessary. The same complaint regarding excess applies, as far as I am concerned, to Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, to Elton John’s Blue Moves, and to Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2, to mention one product of each format. Still, I don’t dislike any of them; on the contrary, they are all great!
On the other end of the spectrum, I cannot think of any books, movies, or albums that I felt were too short. I could, however, list some games that fall into that category, like Inside, which I recently reviewed. I understand why some gamers feel some titles are overpriced because of their brief running time, but I tend to disagree. Once again, I feel I can’t condemn a work because of its length.
Quality is ultimately what matters; the journey has to be enjoyable, not always, but through most of the way.
3. How do you keep yourself occupied during your commute or while on a long trip?
I spend between 40 and 50 minutes on the subway every day when I go to and return from work.
When I am going, I always listen to music: the train is too crowded to do anything else, really. I have the habit of listening to at least three new albums every week, so that time on the subway is a moment of my day I can really just focus on the music and try to grasp all of its details; as opposed to when I listen to albums at work, when I am usually busy taking care of a task.
When I return home, I read a book. The station closest to my workplace is the terminal, so when I am going back to my place, I am among the first to hop aboard the train, which allows me to stay safely tucked in a corner with a book in hand.
4. Is there a certain character in a work that you strongly identify with? What is it about that character that you identify with?
I have always identified with those who fight in their own way – through the right means – to achieve what they want, always going all-in when they reach for their objectives; as well as with those who do not conform to the norm that surrounds them. I am not sure he fits the mold entirely, but if I had to choose one as an example, it would be Eddard Stark, to pick one that is quite well-known.
I am by no means as noble or honorable as the guy was, but I see myself quite a bit in how he would rather take a hit than do something he judges to be wrong and in how he downright refuses to play games, be dishonest, or do things in a way that is not his own. Plus, as I have discovered in recent years, I am usually among the last to see hidden schemes behind other people’s actions, so hopefully I won’t wind up beheaded due to a combination of all of these factors.
5. Have you ever read/watched/played a work with a protagonist who you ended up hating, even though you were meant to like them? Who was it and what put you off about them?
Recently, I went through the book Madame Bovary, and, well, I hated the main and titular character. I disliked her so much that I am not even confident that it was the author’s intention for her to be liked by the readers. Essentially, all she does during the book is complain about what she has and seek to quench her dissatisfaction elsewhere, only to find more reasons to grumble when she attains what she thought was going to change her life entirely.
She has a rather tragic ending, which did make me feel sorry for her when it was all said and done, but during most of the book she is simply unlikable, and her sense of entitlement – the idea that she is meant to have some sort of big reward in life – just causes destruction everywhere she goes, including to herself and to her devoted husband.
6. Do you prefer to listen to studio or live albums? Or does it just depend on the band/artist you’re listening to?
It’s studio albums all the way for me. I can probably list all the live albums I have listened to. I only go for them when they are considered to be ultimate classics, such as The Who’s Live at Leeds.
7. Is there a series (of games, films, novels, whatever) that you used to enjoy but that eventually lost you? If so, what do you think happened to cause that?
When I was growing up, Saint Seiya, the anime, was quite a big deal here in Brazil. I am honestly not sure if it reached the same level of success overseas, but around these parts it was pretty much everywhere during the early and mid 90s. I was one of its many devoted fans, so much – in fact – that I had a whole birthday party themed around it when I turned five.
Recently, a bunch of close friends were raving about how they had re-watched the series and fallen in love once more. So I gave it a shot and went through a few episodes only to find out it left me completely cold.
I am not sure I can pinpoint exactly what happened that made me stop liking it, though. The appeal was just lost on me. Perhaps, it is because I have grown old and dull.
Thanks for reading, and I will try to make a habit out of replying to these tags.
I opted not to conclude this post by asking questions of my own. However, fully aware that I am going to end up tragically overlooking someone, I will give a nod to fellow bloggers who I admire and who create excellent content.