Brief Hiatus

Hey guys, it’s me! I just wanted to say I’m super sorry for not updating for a few months- I’ve had a hell of a lot of stuff going on in my life. Summer has started though so I should have more time to blog. I think having a casual blog is good because it means writing articles isn’t as set in stone but for my readers it can become a little sporadic. Again, I’m super sorry I haven’t been around. I hope to get some stuff to ya’ll soon. In the meanwhile, I’ve started writing for Panels and Pixels! You can find some of my new articles over there at www.panelsandpixels.com and as always you can find me on twitter and tumblr @gee4arika. Hope you’re all doing well and living wonderful sparkling lives! Hope to see you all soon! <3

Gee4 32#- Indie-Visuals

Reading comics is a lot like picking up books. Sometimes you’ve got to know what genre you like, sometimes you can pick up a bestseller and it’s perfect. Other times you can be disappointed by an author’s sudden change of style or not understand why people love a book about sparkly vampires. It can all get very hit and miss and become a very hard task to find anything worthwhile. That’s where I come in! Today I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite indie comics, some of which you have probably never even heard of. I guarantee you these gems will be a valued addition to any comic nerd’s collection or a great start for any newcomer. So here’s to the guys and girls who write phenomenal comics and don’t get nearly enough applause for them.

First up is Marc Ellerby’s “Ellerbisms”. I happened to pick this up in my comic shop on an impulse buy. I love slice-of-life style stuff and it seemed like something nice and laid back. I was very wrong. I was up all night reading it with a tissue box and I cried days afterwards thinking about it. There is something extremely comforting about reading a life comic- because you know it is true you can really relate to it. I found myself nodding or rooting on Marc throughout his life and I can assure you, he is a total cutie in real person too. On the surface it’s a record of his relationship with his recent girlfriend but it becomes much more complex than that. You begin to think about your own life and your decisions, the way others live and how people perceive events. It’s a real thought-provoking volume that can please almost all genre fanatics within a few pages. Check it out and if you ever see him around, say Hi- he may draw you a cute sketch like he did in my copy!

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Next up is Gunnerkrigg Court. Despite being praised by Neil Gaiman, this ongoing web comic (now published in volumes too) doesn’t get as much limelight as it deserves. I came across this at the first Thought Bubble I ever attended when I was just a teenager. The author, Tom Siddell, grabbed me in the crowd as I wandered by and was extremely positive and excited about the story he had on offer. His kind and warm personality had me sold but the actual comic was something I never expected. It tells the story of Antimony Carver, who enters a boarding School called Gunnerkrigg Court. What sounds like a bad Harry Potter fan fiction becomes the exact opposite and concentrates more on the adults and the past than on the children themselves. It is equally hilarious and charming as it is dramatic and emotional. A perfect blend of magic, crazy mythology and delightful characters has me still hooked four years on. I buy a volume from Tom every single year and it’s always one of my Thought Bubble best buys. I absolutely adore it and I cannot wait to see how the story unfolds each week. Definitely check this out, especially if you’re a Morning Glories fan.

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Supurbia is a more mainstream than the above indie comics in that it’s actually published by Boom!. It started out a single volume small-time miniseries but grew into an ongoing soon after. It’s not very well known and is often overshadowed by the bigger, showier superhero comics but I think Supurbia brings a whole different side of superheroes to the field. It focuses on the home life of heroes, specifically their partners and children. Some are retired, some just settled down and some still on the streets whilst having steamy affairs. It makes what seems like a ridiculously fantastical genre become more human and has originality in a sometimes stagnant setting. Another great thing about it is the way it plays with the expectations and conventions of the reader. It bends gender binaries, twists villain and hero divides, flawlessly narrates struggle with homosexuality and heterosexuality alike. There are so many characters and plots it’s hard not to find something you like about this hidden gem. Unfortunately, the current season has finished and there are no plans as of yet for a renewal but if it gets some sales and some fan base behind it we never know! Regardless it ends in a way that is a good enough ending whilst still leaving some openings- a good read no matter what happens at the end of the day.

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All of these can be found on Comixology. Their new section “submit” is another great place to find all these wonderful gems from the self-publishing, indie world. Support the small guys and they will give you lots of love back believe me. If you’re feeling like a change or simply want to give something new a try, definitely do a little exploring and I’m positive you’ll find an all-new favourite.

As usual you can find me on twitter and tumblr @gee4arika!

Gee4 31#- All My Stars- Tales of Life

This week’s “All My Stars” (back from hiatus due to university work) is larger in scope than usual. Rather than focusing on one product I’m going to focus on a series of games that have always been my safety cushion of gaming. There are days when the formula of JRPG’s gets super boring- the antifeminist tropes, the big blurry eyes, the same quest and story rehashed over and with hours of grinding. It’s enough to put you off the genre for a lifetime. I’ve always found the “Tales of” games to please me though. I know when I’m picking one up or replaying it that I’m going to have a good time, lots of room to breathe and it’s going to be of a reasonable difficulty. I’m not going to need to grind much, the story will flow well and the gameplay is easy to pick up and enjoyable. One of the best bits of these games though is the story itself. What on the surface would appear to be a run-of-the-mill anime game would prove to be something both beautiful and emotionally involving.

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The first “Tales of” game I played was Tales of Symphonia. I got it for the Gamecube at Christmas along with Animal Crossing and Paper Mario- what a combination. I didn’t actually pick it up however until about February after coming home from a week long school trip ridiculously home sick. So I nestled in my living room in a blankie and started playing. It seemed like an average friendship based anime- let’s go on an adventure and fight bad guys and stuff! The battle system was new to me though- the idea of running around and hitting things myself with a variety of different buttons and styles was fun and fresh against a background of turn based waiting games. Yet the thing that made Tales of Symphonia so good was the twist. The story is so intensely dark and unique once you get going and there are so many different narratives going on at once. It tackles issues with race, culture, religion, relationships and much more. What was a normal fantasy game turned into something much deeper and more exciting than I could have hoped for. So from there on out I was hooked.

The only downside to this newfound obsession as a tween was until recently, not many games have been translated or received much fame. Most of the games I had to wait for over two years to see it in English or there was no localisation at all. This was back in the day when Japanese games were still a bit of an enigma and not very mainstream. Publishers didn’t have confidence in the sales of these games and the industry itself was still in a period of great change. Over the last couple of years this has gotten a lot better however and I can happily say I have played many more of the series and never been disappointed. There are certain ties through all the games- strong themes of friendship and the way in which people shape and effect their world. There’s always this brilliant universal scale to everything I find fascinating but the games stories all differ a lot. They all keep the emotionally involving tone but the characters and plots themselves greatly vary. The female leads can go from quiet and strong to complex and wild. The designs themselves are fresh every time and the leads are different each time. One thing I found with Tales of the Abyss (released in Europe for the first time on the 3DS port) is that I hated the main character at first, which seems extremely odd. Why would I play a game where I was forced to control a snot nosed spoilt brat? I was patient though, as the supporting cast and world were intriguing. There’s a reason this kid is such a dick- and there will be consequences. We see the world change and become warped through this person’s decision and it highlights a great contrast on the traditional heroic RPG.

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“Tales of” games are so reliable in that I’m never disappointed. It’s like a quality assurance sticker on a face cream- you just know instantly that you’re going to enjoy this in some way or another. It’s a good money investment in a world where consumers are desperate to one-up each other and have to fight tooth and nail for sales. I’m all for change and innovation but Tales remains a classic in my heart. There are so many platforms and stories you can choose from- from the more science fiction based on Xbox 360 to the purer fantasy rereleases for PS3 and PSP. If you’re bored waiting between titles or just want something a little different, I highly recommend any of them. Tales of Symphonia is still my favourite and the HD port is just about to come out in Europe next month, so please check it out!

Apologies for the lack of activity. University essays are handed in and I’m more active than ever now! Please feel free to follow or message me @gee4arika on tumblr and twitter!

Gee4 30#- Fictional Characters Saved My Life

There are very dark times in a lot of people’s lives- you can’t have light without darkness too, but the light will always be brighter. Happiness and peace are always around the corner if you just invite it in. Fiction, whether it be in books, video games or other media has been condemned for its escapism qualities but I’d like to think that a lot of anything can form an addiction. I detest people being made fun of because they take comfort in fictional characters or worlds. Seriously, this has to stop because it is giving people reasons to live and be happy.

I’ve heard hundreds of stories about how children have been given courage by their favourite cartoons, the sick surviving through will power guided by Batman and Superman. Yet no one ever talks about how comics keep Al going as he looks after his ailing mother, how a depressed girl learns to be strong thanks to badass female heroines in demon hunter books. I think creativity is one of the most valuable things on the planet because in our imagination absolutely anything we want can exist. There are no laws or boundaries and we can express ourselves in the deepest ways possible.

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I retreat from life to fiction a lot. I got through school constantly thinking about the novels I was writing and I still think about it today, though not as much because I look upon life in much more positive light. I still find my inspiration and confidence from some of these fictional sources though. I look at the characters and I think “if they can survive that, then I can do this.” Sometimes it’s just simple; I enjoy the immersive fictional world so much it just makes me really happy. I mean there’s a reason Disney is still standing strong. It is somewhere on this planet this is magical and no one can deny that in any way shape or form.

I find fiction can help you cope with things in a lot of unexpected ways too. Whenever I get anxiety, I instantly sing “Let It Go” from Frozen in my head. It gives me strength and stops anything I’m thinking immediately as I’m transported to the snowing mountain where Elsa says NO; I will not be what you want me to be. When I’m depressed I list off all the brilliant things in my life, from pear-scented soaps, to bishoujo action figures, to fluffy doggies.

Another really important factor of fiction is the values it instils in us. Growing up I had a great love of Pocahontas. It was my favourite Disney movie and it influenced my personality a lot. I am very outspoken as she was and I have a great love of nature and spirituality. I’m neither girl nor tomboyish; I am a mixture of all different kinds of culture. I grew up with a role model of someone who was free and stood up for what she believed in- it was so immensely valuable to me and still is.

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There’s lots of different ways you can integrate your heroes and heroines to make your everyday life better. I wear a lot of fan-based clothing. I recently got a Kate Leth shirt that says “I’m a taco. I’m the best taco!” from her webcomic on anti-discrimination and self-confidence.  I also wear an angel pendent replica from Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. It reminds me to love myself and that I’m always protected and safe. My angel watches over me and always sits close to my heart. I have one friend who has the Night’s Watch chant from Game of Thrones on her wall which is a great inspiring piece of writing to wake up to in a morning. It is strong and loyal and deep. It reminds her of her love of fiction and ultimately her love of the world. It makes that much of a difference!

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It doesn’t matter what it is, just remember the world is a wonderful place above all the darkness and there will always be a place filled with love and wonder waiting for you. Never compromise; be yourself, unashamed and unafraid. Because creativity is the most beautiful thing in life and gee, you’ve got tons of it.

I apologize for the short absence! As always you can find me @gee4arika on twitter and tumblr!

Gee4 29#- All My Stars: For a Better (Reading) Future

This weeks All My Stars features an old favourite that is still standing strong and becoming a rising star in the world of indie comics. If you listen to the Lying Cat Cast or follow me on twitter/Tumblr you’ll know I’m a hard-core Morning Glories fan. Heck, I’ve written about it here various times if my memory isn’t playing tricks on me. It’s the comic I follow most passionately, I’ve met the writer twice and it was in fact the thing that got me into comic’s altogether. It takes something special to dedicate yourself to a new medium and this series is my North Star.

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Popularly described by Spencer as “Runaways meets Lost”, I stumbled across MG almost by accident. I’d read a couple of comics over the year but nothing I massively stuck with or that got me into the idea of buying issues. My brother was already a big fan by this time and suggested I give it a try. He’d read a couple of issues and said it seemed like my cup of tea. I like things with a school setting; probably because my own school life was so hilariously awful and I like a reimagining of the setting. I don’t like the teenage angst side of stuff however. Harry Potter drives me absolutely mad with its two dimensional characters and wish fulfilment, so I’m a lover of playing with normal scenarios in new ways. MG is the master of twists and turns. What starts out as looking like your average teenage school mystery turns into a supernatural slash-fest. There are lots of different elements in this wonderful comic I’d love to explore but here are some of the top things that make MG unique and stand out from the crowd.

One thing I find enchanting about this series is the characters. We start off with a set of six teenagers, appearing as archetypes initially. You have straight A student, flirty cheerleader, emo girl; dorky guy, flirtatious jerk face and quiet loyal friend. Sounds like cliché but stay with me! These kids have flaws and that is what ultimately makes them amazing. They have conflicted feelings, dramatic pasts, baggage, emotions and every moment the narrative is questioning and probing why these kids are the way they are. Why is Ike such a womaniser? Why is Zoe so depressed? What’s the deal with Jun and his quick temper? These are questions asked in the first couple of issues alone that we’re still finding out the answers to.

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This leads neatly into the biggest element of MG which got me hooked so much. There whole thing is one big mystery. There are a thousand questions and every time one is answered we get a million more. Why are the kids at such a tortuous academy and why are they killing some students and worshipping others? “For a Better Future” is the motto of most of the teachers here but what does it all mean? Whatever you think the answer is straight of the bat, you’ll be wrong. The scale of MG is insanely massive. The fabric of reality is being messed with and it’s not just the kids who are the main players. Expect time travelling, alternate realms, dreams and every other enigmatic plot twist you can throw in there for one juicy read.

The final thing I want to highlight is MG’s way of looking at the world. Like I’ve said, this isn’t a teen drama- it’s a supernatural mystery story about the world in general and authority. It explores themes of religion, emotions, psychology, philosophy, media, and culture, everything possible you could think of. It’s definitely one that makes you think. It struck me most in volume one when I kept think about my family relationships. There are scenes where we see the kids cut off from their parents and refusal to see them. We see different types of families as well as strong and weak bonds. It made me reflect a lot on how lucky I was and just how deep and complex human relationships can be. I always noticed the idea of authority being tossed about a lot. The school system itself is like a prison but beyond that, what are we ultimately serving? Who is to say what is right and wrong? It empowers me a lot to believe I can shape my own destiny however I like.

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Morning Glories is like a dream you cannot get out of your head. It is nonsensical at times and cryptic in all its wonder but it entrances you. You dig to find the deeper meanings and you keep replaying it over and over in your head. Everything happens for a reason here and there’s one phrase that sticks in your head over and over. For this comic it is:

“The hour of our release draws near.”

If that doesn’t get you pumped I don’t know what will. Try it but be warned- this is a world of gore and violence, questions and little answers. You’ve got to be invested and vigilant to make the most of this fantastic piece of art and story making.

Gee4 28#- All My Stars: Paper Games

A new feature has arrived! “All My Stars” is a new feature every week where I’ll be reviewing some of my favourite games, comic books, movies, books, anime and so on. Some will be fresh new things; others things time may have forgotten. From retro to rising stars, this is the space to get wise on some of the best things the nerdiverse has to offer.

This week we’ll be revisiting a series very close to my heart. Something I grew up with and have always quietly burned in the background. It’s a me, Paper Mario!

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The Paper Mario series has spanned across consoles quietly enjoyed by many a Nintendo fan for years. From N64 to 3DS, the spin-off of the popular character has always sought to be different, fun and creative. Constantly changing up their style and gameplay, Paper Mario is an excellent experimentation and exploration of a more complex Mushroom Kingdom.  The first one I played was the Gamecube version: Paper Mario- The Thousand Year Door and it is by far still my favourite. If you have a Wii or Gamecube kicking around, hunt this game down- it is fantastic and ages brilliantly.

Paper Mario TYD starts out looking like your average rpg Mario-style. The princess is captured and we’ve got to go on a quest to collect seven lucky items to defeat a terrible evil. On paper (ohoho word play) it sounds like a pretty boring game but there are several elements that blast this game into the realms of fun, imaginative and creative. The first is the idea of a princess- Peach isn’t going to be sitting around anymore. At the end of each chapter, you’ll get to run around as Peach, explore where she is captured and get a deeper look into the quirky villains of this game. Befriending a giant computer, there are all sorts of fun mini games, exploration and dialogue.

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That leads me neatly into my second love of this game- the dialogue.  Paper Mario has a wonderfully charming cast of characters. The game is heavy on side characters and their personalities. The lands you explore are not simply “grass level”, “snow level”- they are real villages with their own backstory, families, history. It is equally enchanting and intriguing to explore these areas whilst battling it out in a super cute turn based style that using the somewhat limited Gamecube pad to the max.

Finally, Mario lends it visual style to its title. The use of paper in this game is fascinating. Not only is the visual style adorable but the gameplay elements involved are works of creative genius. From rolling up yourself into a tube, to becoming a paper plane, this game redefined platform elements within a traditional RPG format. I absolutely adored the puzzles even if the dungeons were excessively large.

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I have played this game so many times and I am already getting the urge to go back again and explore this hidden gem. Paper Mario TYD is an absolutely charming game. Hilarious, cute, inspiring and hours of fun, it was a great part of my growing up and will always have a special place in my heart. I would recommend this to absolutely anyone- there’s something for kids, rpg hard-core gamers, puzzle enthusiasts, anyone. Please play this and warm your heart up with me this Christmas.

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season! As always you can find me on twitter and Tumblr @gee4arika. Please check it out!

Gee4 27#- How to be Vulnerable

Society at the moment would like to teach us that being shy and insecure is pretty. From Bella Swan to songs that objectify weak-women, we have glamorised the image of someone who cannot be brave and honest. I think this forcing woman and men to be weaker thing is just disgusting. I think we have this all the wrong way round.

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Someone the other day asked me why I was good at writing and after laughing my thanks I told her it was down to a mixture of years of practise and pure luck. What I didn’t say to her was the deeper truth and so I’ll put it up here instead to pass it on to the world; hopefully making up for my cowardice. See, if you look at all your idols and the people you admire, they have all been through a certain amount of suffering. Bullying, life threatening illness, tragic circumstances, even just falling over a whole lot- they have all been tried and tested. All this (and many TED talks later) I came to realise the one thing that will guarantee a most adventurous and wonderful life. Dig deep within you to the darkest corners where no one has ever looked before, grab the shard lodged inside your heart and pull it out. Let the darkness pour out and show the thorn in your heart to the world. Take that piece of vulnerability and share it. That is the bravest possible thing you could. Show what you really feel, be honest and true to yourself and know that you can fight every single demon in your life and come out standing strong. Every word you speak will beat with its own soul and suddenly, you’ll be human and people will be able to relate to you.  If you breathe life into your art, it will shine.

I find that often the people we think who have the most perfect lives of all are the ones who have a lot of troubles because they hide their hurts. The perfect grades come from nights of sleepless studying. The cool confidence has a silent voice of negativity and the flawlessly fashionable comes from a long time staring in the mirror hating what you see. It’s because they don’t let the darkness out- they’ve thrown a blanket over the fire in their hearts because it burns too hot. On the surface, my life could appear very privileged and very glamorous to some. I go to University, I have writing jobs, free time, money to spend on my hobbies. I have a loving family, friends and a loud voice that keeps people laughing. I am not being arrogant- arrogance comes from fear you are inferior to others. I’m just stating a fact. Glossing over the surface of my life I would appear fine. Despite this wonderful life I now live I still have my battles to fight and have just ended a war with myself that lasted way too long.

Growing up in a “good Catholic family” kind of setting, I went to school that prided itself on its good behaviour and high standards. I didn’t realise until a decade later but this would be the start of constant fight for perfection. I didn’t have many friends from about the age of 8. I spent many lunch times wandering around alone, reading or sat inside my own imagination. I was a lot quieter than my other peers and always branded as more mature. Even when I did achieve a friendship group I found it hard to voice my feelings appropriately. By the time I was 11 I had developed depression and OCD. There was a time I couldn’t even touch a doorknob for fear of germs that would kill me. I spent my days washing my hands til they bled and desperate escapism through books and video games. My adolescence was filled with seas of tears and misery- I wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for the support of my family.

It took me many years to finally win the battle against mental disorders and social problems. I have many scars but I wear them proudly because I know that my suffering has made me a better person. I stopped judging people, I treated others with more love than ever and I was not afraid to be myself in all my nerdy, feminist, emotional glory. If I had not gone through what I had I would have probably lived a very mediocre life. I would do well in school, look down on anyone without good grades, get a boyfriend with arrogance over kindness, and have a good career that turned me into a cold and hard person. My creativity would have died. I love my parents for helping my creativity flourish and I love my battle. I know what suffering and happiness is. I feel like I’ve lived a few lives already and I’m only just starting out.Image

This is me being brutally honest. This is me trying to tell you to reach out and ask to be heard and not be ashamed of whatever you are. Fight- fight for your dreams and your love. Please love yourself and never hide yourself away. Humans are extremely beautiful creatures when they admit they are human to begin with.

Gee4 26#- The 3rd Place

There has been extensive research into the subject of virtual communities due to the rise of MMO’s as of late. I think it’s a fascinating subject. This nicknamed “3rd space” has become a really important social factor of some of us in society.

There are three main types of relationships in an average person’s life. You have your family- blood relatives and lovers. Then you have your circle of close friends, some of may also fit into the family category if you’re particularly close. Then you have the outer community, a place where you are accepted but it specifically separate from the other two groups. This could be anything from school, a workplace, a religious group such as a church, a sports club, anywhere that is not your home but a place where a community gathers. Virtual communities have slowly become part of this category too. See back in the day, humans were a lot friendlier to each other. If you’re from a small town you’ll know what I mean- everyone knows everyone, you’re all friendly and there’s always someone to visit or something to do. Yet in our new paranoid society where we are mistrustful of strangers and staying inside our tiny houses all too much we have cut ourselves off a little from this feeling of community. So MMO’s become a harmonious society for a lot of us.

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Being in a guild is pretty cool. You instantly have a helping hand, a friend, a leader, someone there next to you no matter what. Because you are in this defined group, you create tightly knitted relationships because you’re all part of this wolf pack structure. It’s amazing. I remember my first ever guild in Warcraft was the Stormwind Guard. A group of roleplayers vowing to uphold the law and act out elaborate criminal vs. authority slam downs. It was glorious in its day but I moved on. IT got me through my teenage years though. I had barely any friends, ill health and a generally miserable attitude on life. I could log in every night and people would greet me warmly. I am still close friends with a handful of people I met there and I’ll never forget what they gave me. Faith that I wasn’t odd- a place I belonged. Friendship, laughter, life lessons. I cried, I laughed and I grew up with these people. They were my world for a long time.

My parents at the time weren’t all impressed at the amount of time I was spending online but I think there’s a general misconception about these communities. I could be whoever I wanted; no one knew anything about me and I was completely free there. It’s not just escapism; it’s getting back that feeling of being a part of something.  We are a community of people who care about each other, share the same interests. For nerds who don’t seem to fit into the world’s status quo, we finally found our place.

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Ah I’m emotional now! Just thinking back to the old Warcraft days makes me super nostalgic. I miss them a lot. I have a great guild on Swtor, don’t get me wrong but there was a wonder about WoW I’ll never get again. I had so many people I knew, so many role-play plots, so much to do. The guard I was in was so closely knit. We shared our lives together, spent endless nights adventuring. It’s like a fairy tale and I miss the freedom I once had. I’ll never forget those people. I’ll never forget how they kept me going through the day, knowing there was something warm to come home to.

Do you have a community online you couldn’t live without? Let me know on twitter and tumblr @gee4arika.

Gee4 25#- Catfish Boy

New look, new topic. Hope you like the new theme and navigation guys! It’s part of a new push to get my blog going. There’s lots more coming! Watch this spot.

The real topic for today though is something close to my heart. I talk about nerdy pass times a lot but once in a while I like to get serious and address problems that affect all of us. I’d like to talk about Catfish. Many of you will have seen the popular MTV show “Catfish”- about a team of awesome guys investigating internet romancing and trying to bring love and truth together. A “catfish” is slang for someone who lies about their identity on the internet via fake profiling and so on. It has become a serious problem in a world that has become more and more centred around romance online.

I don’t doubt many of us have flirted, romanced and even dated someone online. The ease that comes with electronic messaging, the endless closeness and the lack of time intensity is a great lure. For the nerd community especially, we sometimes find it hard to find those who share our interests and so we go online to share our nerdy love. I am no stranger to this. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this but I’m begging you; please be careful and look after yourself first.

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A few years ago I was playing World of Warcraft and joined a new Worgen guild on my new character. A fresh toon, a fresh start and new people to meet. I instantly hit it off with everyone there but one boy in particular stood out. The moment I started chatting to him I felt a connection with him. He was cheery, optimistic and had a hilarious goofy sense of humour. Suffering from depression at the time and in the awful aforementioned college years (see “I Need Feminism” for details) I took refuge in this guy’s comforting words. Soon we were chatting every day and he had become a part of my life without even realising. It took me months to realise just how much I liked this guy. I literally sat down one day and it all just clicked. This guy was whom I wanted to be with. We lived at opposite ends of the country- meeting was not an option anytime soon. I had just come out of a messy relationship though and I was young and stupid. I confessed, knowing my feelings would be requited and we started going out a few weeks later. We only spoke on the phone once but I would jump with joy in the morning when I got my good morning text message. He knew exactly what to say, exactly what to do. He was my coping mechanism- I had begun to use him as medicine.

One day I woke up and he was gone. There was no text message. No phone call. No chats ever again. I called many a time, sent many a message. I got very angry and very upset fast and some smart facebooking told me that nothing bad had happened to him. He had just cut me out of his life. It took me a year to stop caring. It messed me up mentally- I stopped trusting people, I refused any romantic advances from anyone. My self-esteem hit an all-time low and I was in a very dark place. I was taken advantage of by other guys and I was a mess. I did work through it though. With some conscious work on my pessimism and self-worth, I realised that this man meant nothing. He did not help me- I helped myself. I was the one being optimistic- I was the one who was true and living right. He means nothing to me now other than a valuable lesson to not be swept off my feet.

What I’m trying to get across here is to be careful who you give your heart to and know who you speak to online. I’m not discouraging online relationships- I know they can work tremendously and some of my closest friends I met and keep in touch with online. I had the great pleasure of meeting up with a friend from Swtor in April and we had a brilliant day out together. The point is to never underestimate your own strength. You don’t need their love at the end of the day if you have your love for yourself. You are the strongest and most important person in your life. Don’t let someone else control you when they’re not even physically with you. You are golden and beautiful- don’t let someone else pull you down.

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As ever you can find me on @gee4arika on twitter and tumblr!

Gee4 24#- To Never Losing

Weird title right? Don’t worry it will make sense in time. I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been really under the weather and had a really bad month or so recently. I won’t go into details but I had some social issues going on, as well as my anxiety taking a giant dip and starting university again. After a few weeks of dragging my feet through rock bottom, I felt like someone switched a light back on in my heart and I could breathe again. Now I’m back to my old self and ready to spread the sparkles! Explanation over- now to the real article.

Computer games are neat right? So much fun titles coming out this month! Pokémon just came out (if you’re into that kind of thing, which I am not); Batman Arkham Origins is on the horizon wedged next to the new Ace Attorney! Ah the sparkles are abundant. With all these new ways to blow our money though I thought to myself- what do I play to keep me going? I come home from Uni, I’m exhausted and I’ve spent all day reading so only the most brainless comics need apply for night-time stories. I need a quick fix to keep my attention, relax me but not require too much brainpower. Then I remembered the wonder of replaying games. It’s a great excuse to get back into the stories as they continue in new instalments this month but there are also those little things you’ll love no matter what. You’ll never lose the fun feeling you get when you play them. I read something C.S Lewis supposedly said the other day (I can’t remember where and who cares because C. S. Lewis was a bit of a nut-job anyway,) and it said something along the lines of “what is the point of buying a book if you’ll only read it once?” And the dude has a point. When you buy a game, are you just buying it to go along with the hype? Will you do one play through then shove it on the shelf with all the other one time pleasures? If so, then maybe you should consider renting instead to be lighter on your pocket and storage spaces. Think about what you really loved playing and get them out again. I used to think there was a little shame in playing Warcraft for so many years but the thing is- if you’re enjoying it then why the hell not?

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Currently I’m replaying the Ace Attorney series. I’ll admit I’m not doing the original three as they are beginning to feel a little dated. Apollo Justice is a brilliant game though. It still looks fresh and new, the stories and dialogue are always much fun and the extra mechanics help break it up nicely. I haven’t looked up much about the sequel looming on the horizon- I don’t want to blow away the story but I know Apollo makes reappearance and so I’m excited about that. I find if you brush up on your story details before continuing the journey you pick up on so many delightful little hints. The next article I’m doing even talks about foreshadowing and Easter eggs!

Kingdom Hearts is the word on everyone’s lips which is amazing if you think back to a few years ago when we all thought they’d never get round to do a –real- sequel. With the announcement of 2.5 final mix HD, the release of 1.5 HD and a gameplay trailer for KH 3 (albeit a pretty crappy trailer) they are determined to not be forgotten. Square Enix seem to be trying to recover from the awful planning they’ve had over the last few years and finally get their priorities straight. So why would you not want to replay them? I haven’t bought KH 1.5 yet- @panelsandpixels owns the PS3 in the household not me so I don’t get much time to play it. I happily plant my seal of approval on the 3DS game however as well as the PSP title. They both have a nice solid story with lots of references but they are something that stands strongly by itself regardless. I’m looking forward to all the fun board games and extras that ensue there!

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So I beg of you, dust off that old console, route through the bargain bins, take a trip down nostalgia lane! Don’t waste your money by only playing something once. I myself am going back to SWTOR after a 2 month absence. Spread the love people!

Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter @gee4arika and now tumblr @gee4arika too! Hope to see you there!