Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Watch it again!

There is a nice side to the 90’s. We all had a go at new things, there was the start of a new side of gaming, there were new frontiers in IT, there were all kinds of approaches to marketing and there were all kinds of new movies, movies that before that were never pushed to the larger extent. It gave us David Cronenberg, it gave us comic books and there was a new side of horror, at times more playful, but for the people who loved the comics, it was just awesome. One of these makers (Clive Barker) was already pushed into a few realms, but one side was to often ignored, I cannot tell whether it was because of how the non knowledgeable try to sell it, perhaps the review line of “a commercial and critical failure” was linked to it. Yet the story of the Nightbreed, Cabal and Median has potential, not as a slasher movie, but as a horror thriller that needs to be really dark. The kind of story that will make any average psychiatrist decide to retire on the spot. The story has so much to offer, that I am a little bewildered how movie makers 32 years later are ignoring that gem. Craig Sheffer played it decently (considering that there were the 90’s). And. Personal speculation is that he might have been chosen as he more roughly resembled David Boreanaz in Angel (and Buffy) and the makers knew how excited the ladies got over him. Yet I believe that Craig played a decent Boone, the rest of the cast was OK. That is not against them, but against the film makers who were all about slashers and posturing and not about maximising the impact of the large amounts of side stories that Cabal represented (as did Median). I reckon that Nightbreed might too large for a movie, and a miniseries (4-6 episodes of an hour) might make it a lot better and lets face it, this station is ruled by Clive Barker, wasting material that excellent should be considered a crime in TV and tinseltown land. 

Is there more?
Well yes and it is not limited to Clive Barker (although if I can ever revitalise Lords of illusion, I would). Consider the amazing result that IT became and what we saw in the works of Anne Rice in other movies. Now consider the challenge that the Mayfair witches leaved the film makers with The Witching hour. Anne Rice drenched the story in all levels of controversy and that works great in most horror, now add new levels of darkness that we can push for today and you have three books that could ultimately be a next generation focal point of fear for decades, I reckon that the film makers can push into this when the film maker looks at the colour black and considers it to be too light. That is where the boundaries are pushed and there is a larger station, the books of Wes Craven, Clive Barker and Anne Rice have shown them to be masters, they were used for quick revenue fixes and discarded, yet the people at Netflix, Amazon and Disney can make that into a realm of options with 3-5 movies, or larger miniseries with several movies in 5-7 parts, not as a cash cow, but as a station of creating new levels of fear. We can see Neil Gaiman stories making it into that realm, yet he need not be alone (even though he might like it), there is plenty for a while range of stations and now, 30 years later it is time to drill into those treasure troves again, the darker film maker is the most likely winner here and you only have to look at successes like American Horror Story to see that I have a decent case here. 

I wonder if someone in Tinseltown wakes up to that part of the equation, first come, first chance of becoming an accomplished winner. The 90’s produced a whole range of excellent ideas for the big and the 75” screen. 

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The evolution of god

Yup that was more than a mouthful. Peter Molyneux was ahead of his time, and in all this he was not limited by imagination, he was limited by hardware, as was Sid Meier, as was Richard Garriott, as was David Braben. They made gaming great and their ideas live on, even though in at least one stage it was corrupted by a greed driven corporation hoping that micro transactions would safe them. But what if the next generation consoles and cloud generation gaming is the foundation of new games, what happens when we take the original concept and make it into something serious in a sandbox environment? If we think back to the ‘original’ gods, what happens when we can revisit the age of Hades, Poseidon and Zeus? What if we have the ability to become a god? What if it starts small? What if the game evolves through us, not that WE evolve in a set game?

Consider that energy grows, so consider that we start with accumulating via a bees, wasps, hornets, ants, or termite colony? We get one choice and we still have to find the right colony. Now we can spend time trying to find that colony or we can take a gamble, and as one colony grows the power within us and we row by directing the colony, we get a larger stage, because the colony is merely a first step. From the colony we can grow towards larger herds, towards singular animals and they too provide energy, they provide power and optionally evolve us in other ways too. You see in the old games it was about one person, one setting you and your antagonist, but in this day and age it is outdated, computers have grown more powerful, have grown towards multi creatures, and in all this we merely think of the old god the three, then we get Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Apollo, Artemis. But what if these templates are merely that, mere templates and you get to decide what kind of a god you become? We think back to (the good old days and) a game like Black and White, which was awesome but what happens when our power is depending on how we grow the initial power base? We can rely on the biggest termite foundation ever, but life is a setting of checks, balances and equilibrium, because without  stage of equilibrium you always end up with nothing. So far no game ever went there. We might consider that before the PS4 it as not possible and you might be right, but now in the PS5 era, we see that games like Elite Dangerous become larger than the original creator thought was possible on a BBC Micro B. That is no longer the case and even as I would love to play Populous 2 again, time moves on and we need to push games forward too. As far as I can tell, no one has made a clear push forward in setting a new stage of the god games and in light of the options within cloud gaming that is slightly weird. Cloud gaming is by default the stage where these games can evolve, so what I stopping game developers from going there? A lack of creativity maybe? It took me a moment to pause nd a little of pondering to set a new stage, and if I can do it, those wannabe great software houses should be ahead of me by a lot, so why aren’t they?

And all this is before you consider Neil Gaiman with American Gods, where the new gods get their energy and power from a very different stage, so what is keeping game makers from evolving as well? 

And all this is set to a stage of western gods, I haven’t even considered what a place like India could add to the mix. And I got this far on only one coffee.

Have a great weekend

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Tripped by a thought

Yup, this happens. We watch things, we read things and it mixes into an idea. The first element in this was the movie Kingdom of Heaven (by Ridley Scott). I love this movie, for some reason it feels more real than any of the other movies that are founded on the crusades are. There are a few other reasons, there is always a good reason to watch any movie with Orlando Bloom and Alexander Siddig and the fact that it also had Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and several others did not hurt that cause either. I was struck by the charisma that Ghassan Massoud brought to the screen in Kingdom of Heaven. That movie is pretty much forever in the back of my mind. The second element was something I read. The quote “An ifrit can further be bound to a sorcerer, if summoned”, as well as “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it”, this struck a chord as it is the only reference I have seen at present where Christian faith and Islamic faith crosses (perhaps there are more). But it got me thinking. What happens if an Afreet, a dweller of the sands is confronted by the invasion armies of the west? The Crusaders, the Templars, the Teutons, and some of these organisations still exist today. So what happens when an Afreet goes on a quest to understand the enemy of its sands? The idea is not entirely new, the Afreet made an appearance in True Blood and in American gods, but in both cases it is less seen from the view of the Afreet, and as a demon they are part immortal, or at least can exist for thousands of years, anyone with that level of timespan has a different view on matters. As such the Afreet can be in the past and the present giving us a very different stage.

We have been so obsessed with the western folklore, that we forget that there is a large area of folklore that has almost never been tapped into and when we consider that Netflix is present in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, I wonder why we get this oversight. Of course they can also go for the other movie I came up with ‘How to kill a politician’ which optionally might be a big hit in the Islamic world, it might not be something that a person like Geert Wilders likes, but it is a door he opened himself and France added spice to that soup. 

All options I did in mere hours, as such I wonder what is keeping some so called creators in creating actual new stuff (instead of a new version of old stuff). It is as I personally see it the difference between iterative and innovative. A stage that America is shifting in, they are moving more and more towards iterative because they can no longer find the innovative people. A sad state of affairs as I personally see it.

Is it me? Am I tripped by a thought, or am I seeing it correctly that we are missing out on true innovation in both movies and TV series? I am not ignoring the stage where we are told that there are “In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532”, I am not doubting that, I am merely noticing that other places in the world, these series are missing, or not shown. And to be honest, I have my doubt on all 532 series being actual innovative series. There is nothing wrong with iterative series, but they are a prolongation of something else. Another CSI, another NCIS, another Star Trek, another Superman. I will agree that there are plenty of fans for them, but at times we need to offer something so new people gasp at the notion of difference. I get the setting that this does not always ends up being positive (Firefly, Dollhouse) but they were true innovations, they were different and they have scores of fans, but it was not meant to be. I get it and perhaps my ideas will never become reality either, but I remain innovative in my thinking, it did lead to several 5G IP parts and I expect a few more in the coming year. 

Yet in this I do not pursue a path, I let it was over me just like the Afreet did, just like the soon to be dead politician (in the Movie) and the stage of being between two universes (Keno Diastima), a stage I found in mere hours, yes I agree they are not finished, yet I did most of the work by myself in mere hours. So I wonder what others are capable of making, even if we do not see these results on Netflix, Stan, Youtube or TV. I wonder what became of the 532 series, because so far what we get to see is “Find Out Which Series Will Return for Another Season”, a stage that we accept, but there is more then returning series, they are an accepted and essential part of TV (and streaming), but where is all the new stuff? 

It is a thought that is tripping me and making me trip (to coin a phrase).

And all this is happening whilst I am trying to find a new and original way of levelling up a character in the RPG I have been writing about. We tend to see RPG’s in missions, kills and achievements. I want the levelling to be different, but I am still seeking a way, perhaps I will return to the mission stage of levelling up, but I am trying to avoid it, an RPG can only stand on its feet when it offers more and different stages, not merely more of the same, we have all seen that and as such I am considering other methods, yet the thought of how is not clicking into the frame of mind and the frame of gaming, yet I hope that to be a temporary thing for now.

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