Audio

New triumphant track – Celebrating finishing uni work!!

Hey guys, I am so so happy that I’ve submitted all my uni work…for now. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that this semester is over. Not that I haven’t enjoyed it but…basically, putting together a tour book is just really really time consuming (all my uni classmates will understand what I’m talking about!!). I don’t think I could have done any more than I did.

I haven’t been posting as regularly as I normally do (*snort* sorry. I’m so sporadic). I’m trying to spread my time between this one and the Arrogant Pixel blog and the Twitter. If you check back regularly to all the links, you might be able to keep up with me.

Nearly finished my masters degree and a game release under my belt, this year has been quite good to me! I’m excited about a lot of other things as well. Of course, Doris Episode II is on my mind constantly as we try and get a work flow going in order to finish in a decent time frame. For now, everyone is trying to catch a quick breath before we dive in again.

Assad’s new band has been making little ripples online with their game boy and live drums outfit, #HASHMATIKS. They’ve been going for about 2 months now and they’ve already secured a support slot with a HUGE artist that’s travelling to London all the way from Philadelphia. I will reveal who it is after we finalise a few more details with the promoter.

I’ll leave you with a quick little ditty that I made today just to blow off some steam. It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a chance to do what I want to do instead of working. Moving in a slightly different direction this time and flexing my production muscles. I’m a bit rusty – forgive me, haha.

My favourite festive tune: Kidnap the Sandy Claws (Nightmare before Christmas) – Korn cover

Nightmare before Christmas completely changed my life. I was two or three years old when this came out in cinemas in 1993 and I was enthralled. I actually think this was what lead me to become this tiny goth fanatic at such an early age. It lead me to Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Hammer Horror, Edgar Allen Poe, Dracula, Frankenstein…the list goes on and on.

This song combines my love for this movie and my love for KoRn whilst also being appropriate for Christmas times. I hope you enjoy.

I have grown out of metal slightly but this year in keeping with my anti-festive spirit, I have been listening to a lot more than usual. Though the “anti-festive” thing isn’t strictly true, I always have a good time at Christmas. This year was no exception, I just wish I wasn’t so anxious about a lot of other things. Having Uni work to do over the festive period has not really helped my stress levels.

However, I hope everyone has had time to relax and spend time with their loved ones. I’m thankful that the year is nearly over and looking forward to experiencing a kind of symbolic rebirth on new years. Happy holidays and roll on 2015!

The Last Unicorn – A new discovery

I recently ordered an excellent book online called “Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture”. On it’s recommendation, I dutifully googled “The Last Unicorn” written by Peter S. Beagle in 1968. It is considered an american classic and is commonly found on bookshelves next to Black Beauty and others in the pony book fiction genre. Don’t be turned off yet! The story itself is so stunning – the spiritual successor to Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, mix that all up with fantasy, romance and adventure. It’s my new favourite thing.

I started listening to the audio book online but couldn’t find a complete version. I stumbled onto a full-feature length animated movie that was created around the book in 1982. The artwork and animation is beautiful – I loved the music apart from a few songs that were a little cringey. I couldn’t ignore it, I’m sorry.

I’ll just provide a synopsis without giving away any major plot lines or spoilers. The unicorn is the protagonist of the story and when she learns from a magical talking butterfly that she might be the last of her kind, she leaves the safety of her enchanted forest home in search of others of her kind. On her journey she meets a magician called Schmendrick that agrees to help her on her quest.

After watching the movie, I really wish that I had read the book before I had seen it. I started getting so reeled in from the narration, I had to buy it so I could read it myself. Really looking forward to when it arrives! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy watching this. It’s still worth a watch if you’ve run out of things to do.

Jay’s Ramblings – We are 99.999% Empty Space

The picture below absolutely blew my mind. It’s a concept that most of us learn at school in physics but when it is presented in a visual style like this, it seems even more impossible. This is where I start wondering why we can’t walk through walls or…why there’s something when there should be nothing? Or why solid objects appear solid but aren’t really…etc.

Anyway, all these philosophical questions still exist because they are completely unanswerable. I like to think that the matrix probably exists. There’s no way of proving it doesn’t. It would make sense really if everything that we are is in our heads and doesn’t actually manifest itself physically. It would explain why everything is 99.999999% nothing. But how could the world possibly be a simulation? Maybe everything that we are is an illusion created in our minds. Does that even make any sense?

I don’t actually believe that the matrix exists but wouldn’t everything be so convenient if it was? Everything would make much more sense.

I’m glad I’m not a physicist. It would drive me insane, personally, but I have the utmost respect for those that choose that long and arduous path. The road to seeking new knowledge while sitting right on the brink of the unknowable is a challenging life to lead indeed.

99%emptyspace

#GamerGate, Feminism and the culture war

It’s a really odd thought to think that there is a culture war going on right now. Video game culture is under scrutiny this time because of a hashtag: #GamerGate. In a nutshell, many people have accused Gamergate of being a hate group because people using this hashtag have been targeting female journalists and game industry employees to send abusive messages and death threats.

What started off as some vicious rumour spreading about the validity of a game review, the entire thing seems to have grown way out of hand. After reading some awful tweets targeting @FemFreq on twitter, it is clear that people are lashing out at women “getting involved” in a traditionally, male dominated industry.

I understand that games are about fantasy and suspending reality and that sometimes that there might be a historical context for sexism that is relevant to the content. However, I cannot agree with this glorification that seems to be all too common in entertainment products these days. It is not sending the right message to young people – of both genders.

Girls can make games too you know! This teen duo from the US show the boys how it’s done…

Two Teenage Girls Have Invented the Most Powerful Video Game of the Year

Two Teenage Girls Have Invented the Most Powerful Video Game of the Year

I’m involved with making games myself. I’m not afraid to say that I love games and that I’m also a feminist. What these people don’t seem to realise is that there is absolutely nothing that we can do about the past, we can only change the future. Games like Grand Theft Auto are notoriously sexist but it is clear that these games were targeted at a male target market WITHOUT consideration of the female audience and it still sold millions.

What the game industry needs to take away from this controversy is to put the same money, energy and time into games that are all inclusive rather than exclusive. At the very least, consider that, in reality, the mainstream target audience is no longer “predominantly male”.

I mean c’mon! It’s 2014! Video games don’t just belong to boys – we’ve been playing just as long as you have!

Jay’s Ramblings – Users and Abusers can Fuck off

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I have very little respect for people who expect to receive more than they give. All relationships and friendships are about mutual respect so being used by someone you care about is never a nice situation to be in and shows that they think they are somehow better than you.

I was brought up to go “above and beyond the call of duty” and have this problem with some people where I feel that I’m bending over backwards when they don’t seem to be putting in the same effort. I have found that although I feel I have grown more empathetic over time, my tolerance level for ignorance and selfishness has sharply dropped so I really have started to get quite annoyed with people over things I would have previously have left alone.

I found myself suddenly being asked for more and more favours with no sign of being reimbursed in any way. Our conversations  seem to be so sporadic, they never respond to texts or calls and when we finally do meet up, it’s only when they need something from me. Like a couch to crash on or free food…or whatever. People take advantage of the fact that I’m generous and too trusting in order to manipulate me into giving them everything without ever reciprocating.

Why do “Users” use people? Because it’s just too damn easy. Users spot people’s vulnerabilities and exploit them for their own means. They don’t care about you – they care about themselves. If you weren’t there, they’ll just find someone to replace you. In their eyes, “It’s not personal” but it is EXACTLY this attitude which makes it personal and even more insulting if there was originally a friendship there in the first place.

Today, I only give my love to people that give me love in return. It’s only fair. I have found that clean breaks are often the best way to move on with your life. If you feel that someone you know is using you, then you should really question your relationship and never undervalue yourself by giving in to their wishes and demands. It only encourages them.

Jay’s Blog – Ramblings: Nobody likes smokers

I saw a job advert recently for a Kitchen Porter which said: “We only hire non-smokers”. Which lead me to question – are smokers being discriminated against? Is that even allowed?

After a quick Google search, I discovered that yes, it is perfectly legal for employers to refuse applicants on the basis that they smoke. Now, I dunno about you, but I think that this is plain wrong.

Apparently (please – someone correct me if I’m wrong), the NHS do not give lung transplants to lung cancer patients. Which I kind of understand, apart from the fact that I pay almost 20% in VAT on top of an additional tax of 16.5% of the price paid at the till point. More than enough to pay for many lung transplant surgeries over my many years of smoking.

cigaretteLook, smokers aren’t stupid. It is a vice. Which is why we accept these ridiculous price increases year on year. We get that it’s supposed to be a deterrent and that many people see it as a dirty habit. But as a society, are we not pro-choice and have a right to live how we choose?

Cigarettes aren’t illegal yet because the government makes too much money off the back of the sale of tobacco products. According to the Tobacco Manufacturing Association website, £12.3 billion was made in Tax revenue from the sale of tobacco products in the UK in the years 2012-2013. In recent reports, it has been estimated that smokers cost the NHS £1.8 billion a year. From those figures, I’d say that we have more than paid for the right to free health care just like everybody else without being refused treatment. By that logic, anybody who does anything to harm their body in any way should be penalised in the same way.

I try my best to not smoke around kids. I can’t help it if your child decides to walk into a place where I’m smoking – I’m not moving my ass for no-one. There are RULES dammit! All I’m saying is that smokers are people too. I don’t particularly enjoy being tutted at by self righteous soccer mums so please don’t look down on us.

We’re just trying to look cool.