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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)

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I love these oral histories, especially when they’re about my favorite team beating on the Kings. Hedo and Bibby, the Maloofs and those damn cow bells were all the worst. But it was impossible to hate on Bobby Jackson’s fearlessness; and the way Webber and Divac kept the team flowing was a thing of beauty.

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Just over a year ago I interviewed Kevin Russ for VICE’s MOTHERBOARD about his crazy plan to travel the country and support himself with sales of iphone photos. It was one of the most sincere and open conversations I’ve ever had as he talked about his loneliness and fear of failure. But a year later I’m happy to see that Kevin is still travelling and taking photos and is surrounded by more friends than ever. Way to go, Kevin. (Photo via kevinruss)

Just over a year ago I interviewed Kevin Russ for VICE’s MOTHERBOARD about his crazy plan to travel the country and support himself with sales of iphone photos. It was one of the most sincere and open conversations I’ve ever had as he talked about his loneliness and fear of failure. But a year later I’m happy to see that Kevin is still travelling and taking photos and is surrounded by more friends than ever. Way to go, Kevin. (Photo via kevinruss)

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Another Day in the East Village

Another Day in the East Village

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Close But No Cigar
@ The Strand

Close But No Cigar

@ The Strand

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Up And At ‘Em
Ollieing the motorcycle was easy for this guy, it was jumping the trash can at the curb that kept getting him. 

Up And At ‘Em

Ollieing the motorcycle was easy for this guy, it was jumping the trash can at the curb that kept getting him.