Drowning in essays, that’s what. And yes that is Sylvia Plath’s face.
As normal humans begin to make merry and hang twinkling Christmas lights from the rafters, students buckle and flail beneath the strain of essay word counts in the black shadow of looming exams. Right now as I write this I sit in a library surrounded with notes and books trying to apply various critical theories to the works of Sylvia Plath. Sound interesting to you? Doubt it. Luckily my final essay is due tomorrow, and then my focus turns entirely to the last boss of any college term, exams. So with my pen of wit and my hat of +5 warmth, I will brave the winter colds write reams of paper on metaphors in The Bell Jar and reader-response theories in relation to Ariel. But what am I doing in my precious moments of spare time?
Steam had a few sales recently, so obviously I impulse bought a handful of random crap.
Darkest Dungeon is a game I’ve wanted to play for a long time now, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to pick it up. A side-scrolling dungeon-crawler (a dungeon-scroller?) where you collect a crew of slightly deranged adventurers and hope they don’t start frothing at the mouth and biting their comrades half way through your expedition. I credit Dark Souls for the surge in difficult games that are crushingly atmospheric and Darkest Dungeon is the cream of the crop. A wide variety of character classes that can be built in a variety different ways, dynamic and strategic battles, town management. I can’t wait to really immerse myself in this twisted reality once I have the time, but having faced Joyce is there anything that the depths of hell can drudge up to scare me?
My other purchase of note which I’ve played maybe an hour of is Papers, Please. Most of you have probably heard of this little game; it got a lot of press when it came out for making bureaucracy fun. You play a border patrolman who stamps people’s passports. That’s literally it but the game begins to pile on work permits, ID cards, permits and it’s up to you to ensure it’s not all forged. Additionally there’s a boatload of difficult moral questions. Do you separate the young couple by denying the wife, or allow her access despite her incorrect documentation and have your pay docked and be unable to pay for food? From the tiny amount I’ve played I can’t say more than two things: I’m looking forward to playing more and GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA!
Other than for my course? Well recently I’ve been chipping away at a roughly 800 page tome on the history of the Crusades by Thomas Asbridge. I’m about a hundred pages in and (spoiler) the first crusade has just captured Jerusalem. I’ve been meaning to read about the Crusaders for years now since it’s a gaping hole in my knowledge of medieval history, so it’ll be nice to be able to sound off paragraphs of facts about it whenever it creeps into conversation. I can’t help but imagine that the story of the First Crusader would make an incredible TV Show. Maybe as a Band of Brothers type mini-series? It certainly has an interesting cast of characters, plenty of drama, and some epic battles. Maybe I’ll write that someday. Anyone know the people at HBO?
I also have a shelf creaking under the weight of unread fantasy novels that I’m hoping to tear through come Christmas time. In particular I’m hopeful I’ll take a big chunk out of Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance, the second book in the Stormlight Archives series. If you love you some epic-fantasy with a hard “F” on fantasy, then you’ll love Sanderson’s work (which I’ve previously gushed about).The downside to these massive sweeping worlds is that reading them is an undertaking all of their own. These are some hefty door-stoppers so if you’re planning on walking through this incredible world make sure you put aside a couple of weekends.
Not really. I sadly haven’t seen ANY films this week and my backlog is getting longer and longer. Between the new Pixar offering, a couple of franchise blockbusters and the glut of Oscar contenders, I have a lot of catching up to do. No shortage of work during the holidays then!
Lastly on my to-do list is Christmas shopping, which I’ve began with just enough time left in the month that hopefully it won’t result in last-minute panic. And that’s me. Hoping all of you had your essays done well in advance, and for those like me? I’m sure we’ll start better next year. Have a good one guys!