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An Introduction

Due to circumstances beyond my control…

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am entering a new chapter in my life – and so I thought it’d be nice to have somewhere to articulate any thoughts I may have. But being the attention-seeker that I am, I thought I may as well put it online.

It is the hope that through doing this I can not only help those who are curious about my reenacting hobby understand more about it, but enable a few more academic discussions, and allow me somewhere to express any thoughts I may have about life, society, the universe, or whether jam or cream goes on a scone first.

Feel free to disagree, and leave a comment – or just stop reading, all the same to me. This is just a place for me to leave my endless witterings to laugh at in 10 years time.

There will be 3 categories of post:

Tales from the Field: Basically I hope to start doing event summaries for any reenactments I attend. These will be a mixture of eras, of event types, and of course will only really be about my perspective.

Historical Topics: As a student of history, I occasionally like discussing bits of history which not so many know or care about. In these posts I will endeavour to make a point, or provide a debate, on some maybe more niche bits of history.

Thought for the Week: When I don’t have the above 2 to post, I’ll do something more of this – a general thought I’ve had that week about anything. This is the more rant-y/vent-y bit of this, and is really just for me – but hopefully someone might agree with me on something, eventually!

Hope you enjoy!

From Print to Screen

A short rant about book-film adaptions.

So this is my thought for the week. The last 2 decades have been awash with film adaptations of books – The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Fault in Our Stars, 13 Years a Slave…I could go on. Nearly every genre has its fair share of book-screen, even Eat Pray Love is based on a book. The point of this entry though, is not so much a diatribe against converting a novel into a screenplay – but a rant about the way it’s done in modern film making. I’ll tackle historical accuracy another day.

See, when a film proudly presents the label “Based on the book by …”, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect it to be as close to the book as possible. Now, I know not everything works onscreen (POV written books famously have this problem, since without narration its hard to convey that many emotions facially) – but there comes a limit, and this limit was reached, for me, by Percy Jackson. I love these books. Seriously, I spent so many years wishing I was part of that world. And then it was announced there’d be a film. And my heart soared! Until I saw it. Seriously, read the book and then watch the film. They not only changed the plot in so many different ways, for what I can see as very little reason – but the way they portrayed the characters was just not right. I mean, they got Grover and Chiron pretty much right (and I will admit that Steve Coogan as Hades was a stroke of genius), but the rest of the characters they took liberties with for the sake of manufactured drama. And it annoys me when the book is written without the need for a screenwriter to insert their own take.

Another example is The Hobbit (as you knew I was going to bring up). My favourite book of all time. My biggest bugbear isn’t Smaug. Or Bard. Or Dain. Or Mirkwood. Or Bombur’s experimentation with barrel-based acrobatics. Or Tauriel. Or the Battle of the Five Armies. Or the Spiders. Or the Eagles. Or Beorn. Or the Trolls. It’s Bilbo. In the book, he is out of place right from the beginning. Tolkien wrote him to ensure that his sons would empathise – taken right from his comfort zone, thrust into the unknown with no friendly face and no knowledge of what to do. In the book, he stumbles through nearly every major obstacle until Mirkwood. Getting there by luck makes Bilbo’s sudden grasp of his responsibility all the more poignant, because he has been forced into this position. In the film, Martin Freeman heros his way through every major obstruction – to the point that he guesses the correct answer in Gollum’s cave, which is so out of character for book Bilbo I have to skip one of the greatest scenes in literature when I watch the film for fear I will punch the screen.

My last example, and it’s not one I know particularly well, but The Spiderwick Chronicles. Now I accept that this is a different kettle of fish – however I think the point still stands. Because they tried to (I think unsuccessfully) adapt 5 books, the screenwriters purposefully sped up certain elements of the plot to get the conflict looming quicker (notably Lucinda’s storyline, and the initial setting up of Arthur’s fate). They also left out one of the five books. Now I know this is me being picky, but if you say based on the books – you base it on the books! Personally, because they tried to cram 5 books into 1 film, it also made it unsuitable for kids. It got quite intense on screen, for books aimed at 8 year olds…and so didn’t work as an adaption, but did in its own right.

 

Because that’s my problem – go ahead, make a film about a Napoleonic captain called Jack Aubrey. But unless you’re going to adapt large parts of the plot and characters from the book, verbatim, you shouldn’t be saying “based on”. It not only raises the expectations of the audience, but implies you have a respect for the source material. Which in case of Percy Jackson (especially the second one!), to some extent Harry Potter, and especially The Hobbit…they didn’t.

Next week I’ll be starting off with an event summary of the medieval tournament-thing I’m doing this weekend! Ta-ra!

An Ordnance Survey

My report on this weekend’s antics in Northamptonshire!

Right, having mostly recovered from the weekend it is now time to share my thoughts on a wonderful event with you – the lovely people of the internet. Also, a quick word before I start on this. My last entry about stupid questions from the public has hit over 170 reads. Can I say from the bottom of my heart a huge thank you to all those who read it, enjoyed it, and wanted to make their thoughts known on here or on facebook. It means a great deal that this little thing I started to keep myself busy has garnered that much attention. Now, on with the show!

A little bit of context first. Weedon Bec is a village in southern Northamptonshire housing one of the most forgotten buildings in British military history. In 1803, with France building its forces for an invasion of Britain, it was decided to construct an arms and munitions depot as far away from the coast as was possible. The exact point is is Derbyshire, Weedon Bec is only 40 odd miles from there – but was still central enough to be deemed an appropriate spot for a central store, which was constructed in 1805-6. The depot consists of 8 warehouses and 4 powder stores, all connected via a central canal with portcullises at both entrances. It’s an imposing complex, and was at one point apparently counted so integral that it was going to become the Royal Residence if London fell. It was in use until the 1960s, but during its time serving as the central ordnance depot for Victoria’s Empire regularly held nearly 1 million rifles on its premises before they were despatched to all 4 corners of the Empire.

That said, we can begin. The last time the 44th was there for an event, we were camped on the canal – on top of turf which can’t have been deeper than half a foot. For this reason, and to make space for quite literally thousands (I may be exaggerating) of classic cars, we were put in the far corner of the depot complex. Billeted between some Polish paratroopers, 3 very large mules, and a small detachment of WW1-era Northants infantry, it was a snug campsite and was a lovely sheltered place to be staying.

The first night Dominic and I put my tent up, and then left to go and stay in Weymouth with friends – so twas just me. Well, then I wandered down to Ed (our CO)’s house, barely 10 minutes away, for a small chat, before Jack (the one other staying on site, who’d arrived at that point) and I retired to the campsite. I opted to walk, and as I walked past one of the warehouses in the depot I heard the sounds of laughter and merriment from the upper floor. I looked up, and there were several people sitting half hanging out one of the huge windows. I greeted them, and it transpired that it was someone’s birthday. They invited me up! I said I would return, but when I got to the campsite Rob had arrived. So I busied myself getting the fire out for the weekend, we helped Rob get his tent up – and then I returned to the party! What I didn’t realise is that almost all the warehouse upper floors are rented out by various companies. These people were part of a photography studio who rented out this particular space, and the guy who runs it had turned 50 last week – so they’d thrown him a surprise party. Twas a lovely affair, and they didn’t seem to mind at all that the birthday boy had invited a stranger! I retired around midnight, after sampling some absolutely lovely scotch.

The next day began with a hearty breakfast of bacon butties courtesy of Angela, and then began the preparations for the day ahead. This mostly consisted of setting up Steve, our Sgt,’s tent, clearing the camp of modern paraphernalia, and getting the fire in a fit state to be lit when required. We also had another 2 redcoats join us for the Saturday – generally a very chilled day. We did flag at 10.30, a firing display at 12, and then Rob, Matt and I went on a little wander. We had some Chinese food (consumed authentically of course!) before exploring the stalls the warehouses were playing host to. There was a lovely variety, although it did transpire that we missed one last warehouse of craft supplies. The later firing demonstration we did saw me get 4 shots off in 65 seconds! Almost 4 in a minute!

After flag down, and the public had gone, we began the drinking and merriment in earnest – with eager support from the WW1 chaps next door who I found to be most agreeable. We walked to the pub for dinner for 7.30, and it was a lovely experience to be able to buy us all a round. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. The meal (I had a 12oz rump steak, rare) was exquisite, all supplied with copious amount of hobgoblin on tap, and came out at £10 a head (not including drinks)! Very satisfied with the Heart of England – a plug they well deserve! We then returned to camp for a fire and some more less intense drinking.

The second day began with a slight hangover, for me. Not a huge one, but enough that I wasn’t feeling 100% for a good few hours after awakening. The quite extensive drinking had taken its toll – but a toll that was shaken rather well after a small nap, and a rather lavish breakfast. Brace yourself: 3 sausage, 3 eggs, 3 bacon, 3 black pudding, 3 slices of buttered bread, mushrooms, beans, and 2 tomatoes. Extensive, even defeating our young ensign, but it ensured I was recovered by the time of flag up! The rest of the day was much the same as the first. Matt and I enjoyed another wander round, this time discovering a bookshop courtesy of our daytripping other ensign Simon – at which I wasn’t able to restrain myself and found a copy of one of John Keegan’s works (a military historian I have much cause to reference in essays). I was also chosen to partake in a demonstration of firearms in the 19th century; showcasing the evolution from flintlock, to percussion cap, to breech loader, to bolt action. I was particularly happy with the morning’s performance by managing 4 shots in 62 seconds. So close now! The latter shooting display didn’t go as well, just scraping the 3 rounds a minute, but no matter…

All in all, a wonderful event – some new friends, some old ones met (it was particularly nice to see Alan!), and more public educated! Next, a medieval bash in Kent, and then onto my biggest multi-period event of the year at Detling.

 

Photo courtesy of Steven Hars

Why the Public Worry Me

A Guide to Stupid Questions

“Is that a real fire?”

I seem to hear this almost every event. And I hear this from every re-enactor too. If you’re at a reenactment, with live fires, someone will ask if it’s real. Because of the sheer amount of questions that are asked at events which are…not as interesting as could be asked, I thought I’d bring my experience to the table (for Napoleonic, specifically) – to suggest alternative answers to the more standard replies.

Is that a real fire?

Don’t say: What the hell? Are you blind?

Do say: Well how else do you expect us to cook food? *if they respond with a comment about takeaway, resist the urge to slap them*

Are you hot in that?

Don’t say: Are you serious? *glowers*

Do say: Interestingly, this has consistently been a problem in British military history. In the swamps of America the tunic was reported as cumbersome, and even in Afghanistan there was issues with the supply of bomb suits being prepped for Belfast rain not Middle Eastern heat. Keeping to the period, Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington) actually paid for silk tunics for his regiment when they got to India – because he accepted it was too hot to fight in. So yes, I’m hot. The army knew this, but wool was cheap.

Especially don’t: Pull them over to your camp, find a jacket for them, and shove them into your next drill.

So why don’t you fire faster? Why aren’t you more accurate?

Don’t say: You try *hand them gun*

Do say: Explain the loading procedure, and the smoothbore mechanism. Now’s also the time to go into an explanation of why it took so long for armies to adopt percussion cap, and latterly breech loading, weapons – namely cost and practicality. Worth noting that Ferguson invented a breech loader during the War of Independence. It regularly shattered at the swan neck, and would jam frequently.

Re-enacting’s expensive isn’t it?

Do Say: So’s golf. So’s driving. So’s owning a dog. It’s my choice, shushy.

For my Medievalists: Swinging a sword’s easy, isn’t it?

Don’t say: You try *hands them sword*

Do say: If it was that simple, knights wouldn’t be trained for decades before being allowed into battle. If it was that simple, the quite simply thousands of treatises we have available to us wouldn’t have been written. If it was that simple, anyone could fight well. It’s, unfortunately, not. *continue rant as applicable*

For my North American Friends: So are you the North or the South?

I mean, at ACW events this is fair. But if you’re in red, with the Royal Union Flag flying metres away…

Do say: Go read a textbook. Seriously, I have little patience for people who don’t understand even the basics (namely that the ACW wasn’t the only war to matter before the Second World War) – although this isn’t entirely their fault. Still…

Why do you do this anyway? It’s nerdy/weird/insert other condescending insult

Do: Ragequit.

Don’t: Restrain yourself. I’ve encountered some very judgemental people at events (thankfully they are in the vast minority) – so go to town on their problem with your hobby 😉

 

Hopefully you guessed that some of this is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it is a serious problem. I’m not entirely sure why some people ask the questions they do – probably these reasons vary; the important thing to remember is not to bite their head off about it. I know I succumb to the habit of being annoying/resorting to derision far too easily, but when someone asks a question of you (a living historian), you’ve got to see it as an opportunity to educate. No matter how ‘stupid’ the question may be. So that’s my piece of advice for this post.

Have you had any questions in this vein? Please let me know! Or maybe if you’ve asked one of these questions, why? I would argue that fires look pretty real, but still people ask if they are…

 

Photo by Edina Hancock

Dunkirk

Spoiler free review!

So I’ve just got back from seeing the film for the second time, and thought I’d let all those who haven’t (and those who have, I suppose) who want to hear my opinion. Like my other film review, I’m going to break it down into several aspects to help give structure to my thoughts. This time it’s going to be Acting, Effects, Music, and Historical Accuracy.

Acting

You will have probably heard a lot about the star studded cast – Tom Hardy, Ken Brannagh, Mark Rylance, even Harry Styles. All I can say is that they all fit their roles perfectly. I don’t want to spoil what happens to each one, so I shall choose my words carefully. Tom Hardy at this point has almost a job of not having his face shown on the silver screen; he does a similar thing here, and its a testament to his skill as an actor that he can show emotion with just his eyes and forehead. Ken Brannagh I think plays himself, as a Pier Masters: he’s the most experienced actor on the film, I think, so it’s nice seeing his character match who he’s becoming in the world of holly. The guys who portray infantrymen – namely Fionn Whitehead, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, and Harry Styles – all do, I think, an excellent job of helping the audience understand the fear experienced by those trapped on the beaches. Saying that, the camera and music were instrumental in creating some of those understanding moments – but more on that later. My personal highlight was Jack Lowden: glad to see his talent was not just wasted on 1 BBC period drama!

Effects

According to all interviews they took the time to make everything as practical as possible. And it really shows. Like with Baby Driver, the filming a physical vehicle in motion makes the film that much more real – so the fact that the plane sequences were shot with actual planes really adds a great deal to the film’s effect on the audience. The same with the boat sequences, and the fact that they actually shot with 6000 extras. It’s an amazing example of what impact it has when filmmakers invest the time and money in stunt crews and real SpitfiresOn a computer screen it wouldn’t have had nearly the same cinematic focus.

Also, the fact that they shot on 65mm film means seeing it in the IMAX screen really does enhance the experience. Normally I don’t feel it’s necessary, but you really do need to see it on that screen!

Music

Hans Zimmer is a genuis. Not all the time, but some of his work really is timeless. The score for this is an interesting thing – almost always present, but only noticeable at the moments it matters. That’s really the skill of a film score; being able to craft the music to be in the background the entire time, not detract from the action and story, but still feel like a part of the narrative. There have been comments made about Baby Driver that the soundtrack feels like a member of the cast, and I would argue that Zimmer’s work for Dunkirk fills a similar role. Even in the cockpit of a plane, the music is there with us (the audience) to help us empathise for the characters.

And he put Nimrod in there. Because why not?

Historical Accuracy

I will admit that early WW2 is not my era, although part of me does want to start reenacting it now, but I can make a few comments in my vague role as a history student. On the whole, the costumes are all correct. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the buttons, however the disarray we see the troops on the beach in is remarkably well done. Also, I was so happy that one of the infantrymen refers to his gun as a “303”. That is the calibre, .303, of the British army right up until the more modern Nato ammunition became standard. It wasn’t called the Lee-Enfield at the time, and I was so glad to see that even something as small as that made it into the script. On a more general comment, apparently the weather wasn’t as bad as the film portrays it (athough I understand why they made the decision to show it as such. The constant pressure of the weather really does add to the narrative the film tells). The pamphlets at the beginning apparently aren’t the correct design but, again, fulfil the role for them the film intended.

It was also lovely to see some Spitfires flying, and flying well. Actual Spitfires, on loan from the IWM.

 

I’m unfortunately not qualified to comment on the rest of the accuracy – but the small stuff I have mentioned proves they did their research. And I can respect that. Basically I really enjoyed it, and if you want to see something which may well be redefining the genre slightly then go ahead. Or if you like war films. Or Tom Hardy.

Also, here’s a photo my mum found of me in the ’37 Pattern Webbing from years ago.

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20 on 20

Generic birthday stuff, y’know.

Sorry this is later in the week than usual, I got a little too busy to get one out earlier – so instead I’m going to write what I was going to on Monday tomorrow. Wait and see dear reader! But for now, since it’s my 20th, I thought I’d shamelessly rip off every youtuber ever. So I present to you, 20 life lessons learnt – my 20 on 20. Enjoy!

 

  1. When doing a manual labour job, you will get attached to machinery you work with.
  2. Back up your phone contacts.
  3. Have something of just yours in a relationship.
  4. Learn to like lager.
  5. Find something which you enjoy, is repetitive, is therapeutic, and is productive – lawnmowing, hoovering. Will make living alone easier.
  6. Netflix is worth it, provided you share it.
  7. Never treat those who serve you poorly.
  8. Travelling is fun. Travelling alone is not.
  9. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone. I’ve got a number of friends just because I was bored and said hi to someone random.  I even met a Rory in Canada because I had nobody else to talk to and he was standing near me! Or if someone asks for hot water…yes, I’m looking at you Melissa!
  10. Try any music. I don’t like metal much, but I do like Sabatton.
  11. Plastic currency notes are just better – Canada got this right a while ago.
  12. Performing is something which I truly enjoy, but is one of those things you can or can’t do, for a number of reasons.
  13. Memes make politics bearable.
  14. Distance isn’t an obstacle if both parties want to put the effort in. A uni colleague got married this week to his girlfriend of 2 years. They’ve spent at least half of that time across the Atlantic from each other. (This also applies to friendships, but congrats again Richard and Megan!)
  15. Blogs are just diaries for attention seekers. Probably. Or it’s just me.
  16. Make time for your friends. You never know when your life will take an unexpected turn and you will need them. And then when things change for them, you can return the favour.
  17. Get paperwork done when you get it. Otherwise it’ll loom over you but you’ll never find the motivation to get it done.
  18. 15 years ago Facebook didn’t exist. Bear that in mind when considering how fast global trends can take off.
  19. Ice Hockey is literally the best sport ever.

And a lesson I keep needing to remind myself of – life has no schedule!

Hope these made you laugh, made you think, and probably made you question why you’re still reading these. Tomorrow I’ll be posting a spoiler free review of Dunkirk, but for now I’m off to mourn no longer being a teenager. Ta-ra!

There and Back Again: A Rory’s Holiday

Home at last, from a well needed break!

For those who didn’t know, I’ve been on holiday the last 2 weeks (and got home late last night) in the county of pasties, tourism, and landscape shots with Aidan Turner in the foreground – Cornwall! Basically I thought I’d just update those who still read this damned thing with what I’ve been up to, and a couple of nice photos.

Well, after the summer thus far I thought I could do with a break, and so took up a friend from uni’s offer of going down with him and his mum to stay in their holiday cottage near(ish) to Land’s End. It’s been a while since I’d been down to Cornwall, but blimey if its isn’t a long way down! We left mine at 11.30, and even with a good hour and a half allowed for breaks it took us over 8 hours to get to the cottage – definitely worth it though. The place is absolutely beautiful, as is the whole county! A sea view, and sea breeze set the scene for my first week. We spent our time walking to a nearby beach, coastal path hikes, and with a trip to Penzance!

While in Penzance Will and I wasted time in CEX, and I found myself a pasty (they’re everywhere!!!) – but our best find was a little leatherworking shop just off the high street. A lovely guy, whose son reenacts, and a really nice way to discover the area.

Other notable moments from that week? I went to visit another friend in Perranporth, which is a beautiful area and has some rather affordable pubs! Will and I went to Land’s End, walking from Sennen Cove to the End proper, before treating ourselves with a pint (because what else do you do after a walk? Oh, and we went to the Minack! The Minack Theatre is essentially an Amphitheatre carved into the side of a cliff, facing right onto the Atlantic. A beautiful place when its not raining, but it did rather a lot until Birdsong was cancelled after the first act. But no matter, because it was still a lovely experience – and meant we got to light the fire one last time!

The second week I spent with a friend who lived further towards civilisation (sorry, mainland England!) near Truro and St Austell. Her and her family are building a new house, and so I volunteered to help where I could in exhange for a week’s accomodation! Unfortunately I was only able to help for one day (through a mixture of circumstance and weather), but still shifted 200+ 18kg breezeblocks. My forearms ached for nearly 2 days! It’s fascinating understanding how a house is built, and really has given me a sense of pride being able to have helped in this enterprise. In fact, it also makes me want to fulfil a more recently acquired dream of building my own! Probably with some help with the tougher bits though…

Katie and I were, however, able to go on several walks of the surrounding area; it’s surprising how similar the inland countryside of Cornwall is to many other counties in Britain. The coastline, however, is completely unique.

I also had the pleasure of accompanying my hosts to an auction – my first time at one of these bizarre happenstances. An interesting experience, since I didn’t see why some of what was selling was selling for the price is was selling for! But then, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and there was such a variety of stuff being sold. Old magazines, wardrobes, old tools, books, a pram, slate, a piano, planks of wood; I even found an anvil. As I commented then, I think I found the dictionary definition of miscellanous! After this excursion we travelled up a county to a pub located opposite Finch Foundry in Devon, to the Taw River Inn. This is the only place I’ve ever encountered which sells 32oz steaks, with all the trimmings! I endulged in a 24ozer, and it was sublime. Rare steak is a treat anyway, but that much was…exquisite – all washed down with some lovely local ale. Seriously, Cornwall brings some incredible beer to the table of British pints.

On Wednesday, it being a day I needed a distraction, Katie and I also made a trek to the cinema to see War for the Planet of the Apes. I may do a review of it, if people want me to, but suffice to say it is a good film. Andy Serkis deserves awards.

The train back was long, but not too arduous – and that brings me home. I have a couple of events planned in August so I shall be able to post them over the coming month, but I hope you’re enjoying my personal life’s exploits as well! See you Tuesday!

Perfection Incarnate?

A distraction piece.

The last 7 weeks haven’t been easy, but one way of getting through times of boredom and sadness is to invest hours into the computer. Sort of like I have done with this (although if you think it takes me hours to write these then you are sorely mistaken!). Today is not a good day, for reasons those who need to know are aware of, so I thought I’d spend some time pondering a past-time many people globally have many opinions on. Gaming, or more specifically, what constitutes a perfect game?

Now, your immediate react may be to scorn my very existence – how can I even ask such a question? Obviously the perfect game is Lego Star Wars! *insert your own semi-serious chidren’s game here* I’m aware that perfection is incredibly subjective, as is most things in life. Other than Stephen Fry: he is a national treasure. For that reason I’m going to go through different definitions of perfect games, at least to my mind, and see how different games match up when considering different criteria. These will be mostly computer games, as opposed to console games, because PC Master Race.

The Perfect Game to Sink Time Into:

I would argue that the Civilisation series is the perfect example of games which fulfil this purpose. I was given Civ. 6 in February, and despite the circumstances surrounding this I still love that game. I can waste hours on it. And that’s because it creates One More Turn Syndrome – the ultimate timewaster. It’s half 12, I’ve been playing for 8 hours…but one more turn! The 6th offering in the series is such a beautiful game, is so unpredictable, and is so enjoyable to waste time on; I would argue that it is a perfect game to sink time into, especially if one’s preference is for long campaigns which eventually pay off.

The Perfect Game to Play With Friends:

Mount and Blade is a series of games best described as ‘slightly more historical Skyrim with inferior graphics’. And whilst the campaigns are a different kettle of fish, M&B: Warband has an expansion for the Napoleonic Wars. And whilst the game isn’t that great as an example of the art of game-making, I love playing the game with mates. It doesn’t require that much concentration, is quite simple to run on even the slowest of computers, but is a perfect game to just chill and talk to friends. Modern tech allows us to communicate with those miles away, and there’s nothing better than talking to a friend while shooting those dastardly French down with them!

The Perfect Game for Being Just Thoroughly Enjoyable:

The Halo franchise is world famous. Having sold over 65 million copies globally, it is probably the most influential game series created for the Xbox – and possibly even on any console ever. And I love playing Halo: Reach. When it was released the online community was brilliant, and made playing online a joy. The character development and plot were genuinely engaging (when characters die you actually feel!) throughout the story. AND Forge World has given the game countless hours of replayability. In short, I just love playing Halo: Reach, and I only wish the online community was as active now as it was then. The Gears of War Franchise is another supreme example of this. The plot, gameplay, and general feel of the game make it an experience I always enjoy.

 

But then again, those last 2 are games from my youth. Star War Battlefront II has the same problem: I love playing the game, but I will admit that graphically it’s lacking somewhat and could be better optimised for modern platforms. The reason I love it, and Halo, and Gears of War, is that I have some truly wonderful memories of playing them with friends when I was younger. So nostalgia therefore must play a part in my, and others’, views of any and all games. Just as I have happy and sad memories from Vancouver, and from University, and from school…from this last summer, my feelings of nostalgia affect how I see these games.

So basically, perfection is not only subjective, but flawed through how our emotions and feelings of nostalgia colour our views. And that’s the happy thought to leave you with this week.

 

On a separate note, thank you to everyone who’s been so supportive so far this summer. Today will not be fun, but knowing people are there for me – and want to read my ramblings – is of great comfort.