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Cool art by @sicknethi. Check it out at Magic.

Cool art by @sicknethi. Check it out at Magic.

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Summer in the City

Did you know that caterpillars can sting? It’s true, and my itchy red neck was not happy to learn that fact this weekend. I was talking on the phone when the bug plopped onto my neck and nuzzled/stung me until I threw it and my phone onto the pavement. And here I was telling my dad what a nice summer day it was. Caterpillars have no shame.

Full size images over at www.mattmarquez.com

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If only I’d brought my speedos.

If only I’d brought my speedos.

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Brooklyn Bridge Stroll

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Full-size images over at my my legit blog at www.mattmarquez.com

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Tokyo

I spent a couple of weeks in Tokyo with my family last month. It’s a huge place that reminded me of the crowds and energy of New York City but cleaner and with much more sophisticated toilets.












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The Banner Saga

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This past week I played The Banner Saga and it’s making me excited about video game storytelling in a way that I haven’t felt in a while. I used to play RPGs all the time, and they always felt like they were cast with random boys who grew into invincible warriors because saving the world and killing the bad guy was their destiny and I was just along for the ride. The Banner Saga manages to make it seem like my choices — even the small ones where I have to decide how to deal with a drunken buffoon — mean the difference between life and death for my band of ragtag followers.

Much of TBS’s Norse mythology-laced story is told through gorgeous hand-drawn cut scenes, but it’s basically the semi-random, multiple-choice questions that pop up occasionally that drew me deepest into the game’s story. They’re like SAT questions on how to lead a flock of survivors in a dangerous world: Do you recruit warriors that want to join your band, or do you insist they stay with the townspeople who are unlikely to survive without their swords? Accepting the warriors’ help could land you powerful allies, but I turned them down because I’m a big softy and the town’s leader gave me a shit ton of food as a thank you.

There’s never a clear-cut right answer and even seemingly benign choices can have lethal consequences. One time, travelers gave me food in return for my warning of an approaching army. At first I was like, score! But a few days later a bunch of my followers keeled over because the food was either poisoned or Taco Bell. The setup reminds me of an older game called King of Dragon Pass, but it’s easier to imagine a version of The Oregon Trail filled with grueling dilemmas and half the answers lead to deadly bouts of dysentery. That’s the level that The Banner Saga plays at, and I’m all up in there. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book as all bloggery types seem to, but maybe instead I should work on a text adventure filled with moral quandaries, death and Taco Bell.

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catp0rn:

this is it. this is the most important gif on tumblr.com

So important.

catp0rn:

this is it. this is the most important gif on tumblr.com

So important.

(Source: 4gifs, via newsweek)

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When I was freelancing full time I used to sleep really strange hours so at 9am I was often still awake after plugging away at a story all night. I’d go to the corner bodega and get a toasted bagel and OJ, and then walk back with a quiet, peaceful sense of calm that seemed to be reflected in the streets around me. Or maybe it was the city that was resting and I was simply luxuriating in the moment. Whatever the case, I’ve missed that feeling for almost a year as I’ve aggressively slept in every Saturday morning to recuperate from the work week’s splintering weight. Perhaps it’s time to take up yoga. 

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(via The Dust and Grit of Our Interstellar Future: The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon | Tor.com)
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(Source: yimmyayo)