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  1. Just came here to post this, it’s brilliant. “A historic moment in videogames. When a developer presented the player with a challenge that could not be overcome with a controller.” ”There is no difficulty setting in-game or in life to make forgiving someone easier”. Bravo.
  2. Moz

    Outer Wilds

    Outer Wilds is now out on Steam in case anyone hasn’t bought the official best game ever yet.
  3. I’ve seen lots of people online mistake the Abby Owen sex scene as male-trans male, usually on account of the position. You can really separate the men from the boys/incels on that topic. also
  4. Yikes. There’s a whole conversation about how he feels inside between Abby and Yara. Not to mention he changed his name. The arguments about “TLOU2 deadnames a trans character” are really silly though. In context it makes perfect sense that the scars know him as Lily. (He is voiced by a trans male actor, too).
  5. I assumed Abby’s appearance is: Showing her single-minded training to complete her mission to find Joel, and also her self determination. And the fact she’s leading a life where she has structure and time to pursue hobbies. A bit of visual character building. A comment on the typical depictions of genders in videogames and how unusual it looks when switched, as woman are typically designed for male gaze rather than strength and suitability to the task before them. I really liked it, being built doesn’t make you trans!
  6. She’s not breaking free of Joel though. She already forgave him. She’s breaking free of blind grief and rage as a motivator. She’s choosing to recognise his capacity for growth and forgiveness and wanting to emulate that, allowing it to override her selfish desire for revenge. The guitar symbolises Joel’s warmer, vulnerable human side and his growth since his horrible act of selfish love broke their relationship. That she can’t play it anymore and leaves it behind is a metaphor for her grief transforming from anger and hatred to acceptance and healing, as it eventually does. ”If I ever were to lose you I'd surely lose myself”.
  7. I think the "clue" (if you can call it that) to the storytelling intention is the fact that while about to kill Abby, when Ellie flashes back to the moment she forgave Joel, it's a shot of him playing guitar. The guitar motif features throughout and represents the non-violent emotional side of Joel's complex character (as seen when he bares his soul to Ellie in the Pearl Jam scene). Joel removed her agency and her meaning by rescuing her from the surgery. When Joel is killed, revenge and grief finally give her a reason for living and she sets about trying to achieve that goal using all the violent, calculating skills taught to her by Joel. In TLOU2, Joel is seen as an improved man - making music, whittling animals, learning about space, learning to talk about his feelings, being selfless and thoughtful, saving Abby, and showing imagination and growth. There's also an interesting moment where he references "the lord" implying he still holds some Christian views further complicating his personality. The townsfolk mourn him with Ellie. During his time in Jackson he rediscovered his capacity for growth and found some peace and redemption from his worst act, growing as a person to the point he was able to confess and Ellie was able to forgive him. It eventually comes back to get him killed, sparking the events of the game, but those years in Jackson, the evidence of which is seen all over his house and in cutscenes throughout, are extremely important. Elie realises that her memory of Joel's death, seared into her memory and overriding everything else, doesn't take the full spectrum of his kindness and cruelty into account. It's not simply that she recognises they're trapped in cycles of violence and that she doesn't want to become him, or that she remembers forgiving him and decides to do it again with Abby. It's that she recognises the growth Joel underwent, how it allowed her to forgive him and begin healing. She chooses to adopt that mantra of healing and forgiveness despite suffering and causing unimaginable loss in his memory. Maybe it's not too late, despite everything, for Dina to forgive her or at least for her to redeem herself from her actions just as Joel did. And maybe to forgive herself. It's not just she "doesn't want to become Joel", it's because she wants to embody the positive aspects of him, his growth and their relationship. Her grief and need for meaning clouded her ability to fully contemplate him, his complexity, and their relationship. People expecting TLOU2 to feature a Joel redemption arc failed to notice that it already happened between the two games, as much as is possible in the murky world of TLOU, and that redemption arc echoes from the first moments of the game to the last. (sorry if anyone's quoting this right now, I've edited it about ten times)
  8. Did anyone post this yet? I really like this fella usually. I disagree with a lot of this though.
  9. The show runners and parent company are investigating (via a third party) and the rest of the cast have spoken out in support of the victims. Bit of an awkward one, especially as he’s been such a huge cheerleader for the show and engaged in so much promotion in his own time. I wonder if there’s any way back from this.
  10. I also felt this way. But I think it’s intentional. Abby’s redemption arc ends with her being brutalised for two months, and Ellie’s vengeance arc ends up with her saving Abby. It’s almost as if they went the opposite way to convention at every point, almost for the sake of it. I found the Santa Barbara stuff a bit too distasteful for a simple reason. The focus is on Abby, but Lev is there too and I don’t think they really thought that through. Lev is a teen trans male who began to transition and then fled the seraphites after discovering he was due to marry an elder. For Naughty Dog to deliver an ending for Abby and Ellie, Abby is subjected to months of physical and emotional torture, no doubt including sexual assault. So far so misery porn. But she killed Joel, right? She’s far from innocent. Trouble is, Lev didn’t do anything wrong, so his arc is “escape trans persecution, watch sister die, watch mother die, get captured, help Abby find the fireflies and in the process get captured, get physically/emotionally/sexually abused for months, get rescued by accident”. The thought of a trans male teen being raped by a bunch of bikers for months as collateral damage in Ellie and Abby’s story doesn’t sit right with me.
  11. The game is very elliptical. The opening-ish scene of Joel playing Pearl Jam to Ellie didn’t affect me much first time round. Second time round there’s an instant lump in my throat. Fun Easter egg I spotted. At one point in Seattle you’re in an office with design documents for a CG kids movie all over the walls. When you restart the game, that’s the movie being shown at the kids movie night on a poster board in Jackson.
  12. Oh no Oh no What have you done Alex Kamal
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