This week I attended the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience. At least I think that’s the official name for it. Stadium acoustics aside (it was in the arena where they often host hockey matches), it’s an amazing touring event led by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi, who serves as the evening’s conductor, musician, and host. The orchestra that played was a local one, which was a nice touch for this particular show of a touring performance.
When I was in middle school, I visited a tiny library in a very tiny town near where I lived with the intention of finding a new book to read. I visited a lot of libraries growing up. As an avid reader, I was always looking for some new book to devour, but I didn’t have a lot of recommendations other than whatever my teachers had me reading at school.
So on this occasion, I chose a book based on a few important factors: a.) how big it was, b.) how it felt when I picked it up, and c.) how it smelled. I liked long novels in crinkly covers that smelled like old musty parchment paper. I was a weird kid like that, though I have faith the rest of you who were also nerdy children can relate!
Today is the launch of the new Mass Effect game, Andromeda. As a huge fan of the original Mass Effect trilogy, this game is a day one purchase for me that I’m excited to sink the next few weeks of my life into.
But it’s those first three Mass Effect games — the original trilogy — that made me fall in love with this series. The first games follow Commander Shepard, and I have an extreme fondness for that character and story. They’ll stick with me forever.
I recently played the Variable State game Virginia, which embraces the genre of “walking simulator” almost to a fault. Navigating a handful of environments in first-person, there is almost no exploration to enjoy; you usually have a single action you can take, which is often as mundane as opening a door. Virginia is also a narrative game — but that narrative is confusing at the best of times. There is absolutely no dialogue in the game, so you must rely on your vision — take in the watercolor palette, the characters’ stern facial expressions, the objects that take up space but don’t allow you to interact with them in any way — to comprehend the story. Or what there is of a story.