Tag Archives: Tolkien

The place of choice

We all have. Place of choice, in some cases we have many. For horror it is the Nostromo, for Fantasy it is Lothlorien, for action it is whereever the action is you watched in a game or in a movie. So when I saw ‘How Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Franchise Subverts the Sci-Fi Genre’ I was puzzled. This translates to ‘undermine the power and authority of fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes’ from these we see that Guerrilla did more than the right thing. They offered a side of sci-fi that was new, unique and appreciated by millions of fans. The Gamerant article also gives us “Most notably, it blends futuristic elements with primitive ones to produce a unique new aesthetic. Additionally, instead of looking to the stars and imagining a future where the problems of humanity are solved by taking to the stars, it instead plants its feet firmly on Earth and imagines a future where humans instead try to solve the planet’s ecological problems.” It is a view, one that is shining with science fiction, in addition we see “The appeal of this dream is easy to understand, as Earth, as beautiful as it is, has finite resources which would seem to be incapable of continuously supporting a growing population. Furthermore, humankind’s time on Earth has resulted in ecological disasters from deforestation, warfare, commercial farming, and mining, to name but a few harmful human activities.” It is true and it also gives us a new setting, science fiction not as a setting of the future we desire, but as a setting it show us the flaws of realism. We can look at so many other games, but the larger stage is that we are destroying the world we live in and whilst we see President Biden play the Khashoggi card (as that would guarantee cheaper oil), the reality is that squandering oil will be the death of millions, and we did it to ourselves. Instead of embracing a future where we could exist better and longer, we seem to adhere to the Twitter vibe attacking Elon Musk and the setting of Fake accounts was never and is never properly addressed and the media is every bit as guilty on that part. 

We see media subverting reality whilst politicians, trolls, fake prophets buy clicks to forward their agenda. Kwork made millions on this, and consider that a firm offers 100.000 visits visitors for $20. OK, they offer more access, so it is not more twitter alone. But this setting shows that there is more and Twenvy offers 5,000 Twitter Followers Every Month for a mere $69 a week unless you want the ‘200 Twitter Accounts Sending You Traffic’ it will be more then, and that doesn’t require fake accounts, so where do these +6487 accounts come from? Explain please. I found a simple one in under a minute and there are thousands out there. Al making a buck out of Twitter. How do these connect? It fits the bill of major social changes, pretentious social changes that affect us all. We are given “Social media bots and Russian trolls promoted discord and spread false information about vaccines on Twitter to sow division and distribute malicious content, according to new research led by the George Washington University. Using tactics similar to those at work during the 2016 United States presidential election, these Twitter accounts entered into vaccine debates months before U.S. election season was underway.” What no one is considering, which accounts wee used and how long they remained active, there are no time lines and here we get back to the Horizons series. The story is all about a time line. From Zero Dark to Forbidden West we are shown a world consumed by greed, technology driven and pushed beyond its limits. In the games (both) Ted Faro, his greed, recklessness and lack of foresight led to the extinction of all life on Earth via an advanced military platform, also known as the Faro Plague, whose design and development he personally conceived and oversaw. A stage that was part of the story and never dug in too deep (it was not needed for the story) yet it is a reality that I shown in our world today, greed overarches common sense. Self-repudiation is ignored for what some call the comfort of the people, it does not give us the the part where self-repudiation halts automated revenue and slows down greed. A similar side is seen in security and as such we are given one part that is ignored. Science fiction tend to push outward, Guerrilla took it into a new direction and pushed it within us, pushed it towards the reality of today. It is science fiction and it could be seen as a new direction of science fiction. There was a reason Soylent Green was so good. I remember creating a prequel 3-5 years ago. In that version Chris Hemsworth played William R. Simonson when he was still young. The prequel still based on Make Room! Make Room! (By Harry Harrison) but the premise also looks at where we are almost now and that is the part, not realism but near realism and that is the part that Guerrilla got right. Not the technology of the old ones, but the mindset of the old ones and there we have a much larger stage. Guerrilla never subverted the science fiction genre, they added a branch, a branch that already existed and is now becoming a major branch in that tree of representation. The realisation how our dystopian future is based on our flawed screwed up self. I would call it a version that is true and real, but has enough fiction to make it a wondrous trip, fiction that is based on science. Star Trek might have preceded the mobile phone and the iPad, but the reality was that it was the people that drive it and as such we should ask the hard questions. Why is the media avoiding the fake accounts of Twitter, why are politicians using click farms to proceed their own agenda’s? Because they can and that is the premise of any dystopian future, it comes because nothing was done to prevent it. Perhaps Guerrilla is one of the best teachers of all, showing our flaws and showing that there is a price for everything. They aren’t alone, but their following is one of the largest at present and in that world size matters, it always has.

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Franchise to the left

And legend to the right, we all have been in that setting; we all have had grander then life dreams and imaginations. For me it started when some British bloke brought a new level of fear to the cinema (Alien), it could be the American that made us afraid to go swimming (Jaws), yet for the most we all have had that moment. For some reason that feeling got awake again with the setting of Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel, directed by William Eubank. I am talking about the movie Underwater. I am trying to make sure that I am not giving away the plot, because the movie is well worth watching. We all have made fun of Kristen Steward, not because of the girl, but because of the franchise. I have nothing against the franchise and even as I have never read the works of the writer, I get the feeling that she is well worth reading, I got that sense when I saw the movie the Host. Anyway, I got the limited Twilight edition of Charlie’s Angels (one additional romantic scene, ha ha ha) and that was that. But she shines like a well cut diamond in Underwater, the cast is awesome and the movie is a lot better then anyone realises, because in my case Underwater took me back to the original feeling of unease that Jaws and Alien instilled, I actually missed that feeling and it got me thinking. We all look at the Middle East, we all saw Aladdin, but there is a lot more than the proverbial Argo. What if we dispense with the musical dreaded scene of the room in the dark, what if the dark becomes a much larger stage, a stage where you will not sleep, never ever again with the lights off?

That was the setting I contemplated, but it never gave me the idea, the idea was already there, yet in this case the idea altered a little. I am talking about the concept of the Ifrit. Then today (yesterday as well) when I was replaying AC Origins, I stumbled upon the idea again, it was when (in the game) I entered the city of Letopolis (and the story behind it) and it gave me the idea in more degrees. Yet I was contemplating the city of Per-Amun and the Battle of Pelusium (525 BC). A stage where we see the confrontation of Egypt and the Achaemenid Empire. Now consider that an Ifrit was held captive in Per-Anum, it was taken and moved to the western province of their domain in the city of Gerrha, in a secret tomb under houses the prison of the Ifrit was kept and lost when the caretakers fell ill and it was forgotten, that prison is found after 2500 years by a western teacher exploring his connection to Islam and he is filled with the rage of a demon held captive for 3000 years. We now have a stage where Islamic doctrine might hold a solution, but the wielder is in doubt of his faith and in the mean time the rage of the Ifrit takes on a turn of another nature. When we consider that the larger stage of the Achaemenid Empire is now Iran, Gerrha is (now) in Saudi Arabia and we are confronted with a demon, not merely in thirst of blood, but also a stage of intrigue setting up a war of Saudi Arabia against Iran we get a new stage, one never seen (as far as I know). We look at horror, but what if horror is set (drenched) in political settings, as well as religious ones? Especially when we consider “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.” A stage which we get from ‘Heavenly Journeys, Earthly Concerns: The Legacy of the Mi’raj in the Formation of Islam Routledge, 2004’ by Brooke Olson Vuckovic. We have all the markings of what could be an awesome franchise, yet as far as I can tell, no one looked in that directions, I wonder why. 

5 large streaming houses, a dozen large studio’s and no one looked or contemplated this direction of ideas? I merely watch movies, I am not (and never really had the notion of becoming) a movie director, I am for the most a storyteller and an analyst. Yet the idea of creating something totally new (not the first time) is both appealing and overwhelming. So as I (and others too) consider looking to the left hoping we have created a new franchise, we also look towards the right hoping to see the shimmer of the ‘legendary label’ in this all storytellers are the same, we love the idea of any new story we create, but to create one that becomes legendary as other great storyteller did before us is always in the back of all our minds, we all want to become the next Rowling, Tolkien, Hubbart, Sheckley or Clarke. We always want to measure how close we got to our idols, as far as I can tell, there is no exception to that rule and every storyteller has his or her own idol, the achieved person that drives us. All that and the thought of knowing the person who overhauled the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis and whatever they found under there is always the wink towards the unknown. Some merely see the “outstanding example of an ancient Roman burial ground”, yet what if this happened before and what if we ignore the old saying to keep buried what was buried? What happens when you open the door to someone who can traverse the seven stages of the Jahannam? And what happens when someone figures out that there is more to The Remorse of Orestes?

The Remorse of Orestes

We see overlaps and connections in Islamic stories that connects to Christianity (Gabriel) and Greek (Furies), what if this is not a casual link? You see most film makers never seemingly looked deeper into that side of things, why not? If they are more becoming about streaming and franchises, I think the Middle East has a whole range of stories that open up more and optionally also a larger audience. 

#JustSaying

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