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Month: May 2020

Constructed Language: Hobby of Insanity

[Image description: A screenshot from the Lord of the Rings movies. Fingers hold up a golden ring (the One Ring) with bold, glowing Elvish script.]

Whether you know it or not, the idea of constructed language is something that you’ve probably run into before. Even a lot of people that aren’t within the realm of fandom have. 

If it’s something that most people have encountered, why have you possibly never heard of it?

Most people are familiar with constructed language, or “conlang,” through two of the most famous examples: Tolkien’s Elvish and Star Trek’s Klingon. There are countless other examples out in the wild. A more recent and famous one is Dothraki from the Game of Thrones TV series and its base books, A Song of Ice and Fire

There’s also the very interesting example of Esperanto. It was an attempt back in the late 1800s and early 1900s to create a language for universal communication. It didn’t exactly work out as it was based far too heavily on languages found in the areas of Europe and India. However, there are now some native speakers of this conlang due to enthusiasts using it in their homes. 

The reason you may never have heard of the process behind making languages from scratch is because, like many things, it’s an extremely niche topic. I feel like awareness has grown in recent years, though, thanks to the internet. Even so, it remains a relatively obscure topic. 

The main people in these communities are people with an interest in linguistics, the science of the structure and function of language. This is not the learning of many foreign languages. (Knowing multiple languages can be extremely helpful when pursuing conlang, but it’s not a necessity.) Getting into conlang involves learning the entire field of linguistics which is why I called it “the hobby of insanity.”

Before we get any further, let me just say I’m not demeaning conlangers. I am, in fact, one myself. I call it “insanity” affectionately due to it just being a monumental task to take on. I’m actually a linguistics major in college specifically for conlang. It’s a lot of fun to learn the science of language and how it works at the deepest levels. 

My first major exposure to conlang was through Holly Lisle’s Create a Language Clinic back in the mid to late ‘00s. It’s…really not the best system to work off of. Her approach is basically “make stuff up as you go and just throw ideas at the wall, then see what sticks.” It obviously works for her well enough and there are probably plenty of other conlangers that it works great for.

But I’ve found that to be…lacking in efficiency. So I kind of gave up on conlang at that point.

The thing that really got me back into conlang was running into several of Mark Rosenfelder’s books: The Conlang Construction Kit, Advanced Language Construction, and The Conlanger’s Lexipedia.

These are absolutely fantastic resources for anybody interested in getting started in the hobby. However, they are basically textbooks. When I started reading The Conlang Construction Kit, I struggled a lot. It basically just throws you into the lion’s den. It introduces you to some of the various fields and disciplines that you’ll need to understand.

Some of the basic fields you’ll need to get acquainted with are phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics. 

I know that’s a lot of terms and I can explain them a.. 

Phonetics is the study of sounds and how they interact with each other. This includes studying individual sounds, how they interact with each other, how tones in languages work (look at Chinese for a prime example), and how things like how people speak can effect meaning.

Syntax is the structure of sentences. This might sound like a simple field, but it really isn’t. It goes heavily into grammar and picks out how different elements play with each other. This one is kind of difficult to describe because it’s one of the extremely theoretical, abstract fields.

Semantics studies the meanings of words. Admittedly, I am not the most familiar with this field myself, so I can’t comment on it too much in depth. 

Pragmatics is basically understanding how context effects the meaning of words. It involves looking between the lines for implication and what is or isn’t meant. Agan, it’s an abstract field I’m not super familiar with.

Sociolinguistics is the study of how language and culture interact with and shape each other.

And this is definitely not all of the disciplines within the field of linguistics. 

Yet you have to understand all of these to some degree if you want to be able to conlang. You have to be a jack of all trades in order to conlang. I don’t think you need to be a master of all, though. As long as you know a little bit about each field, you should be able to build a working system. It takes an insane amount of time and study to be able to understand each component then be able to put it together.

How about we go into one of the fields for a quick demonstration of just one thing that is critical to be able to conlang? Phonetics is probably the best; it’s one of the more “concrete” fields in linguistics. Plus, anybody’s that ever looked at a dictionary will at least know of the tool I’ll touch on. 

That tool is the International Phonetics Alphabet or IPA.

And what is it?

You know those funny little symbols in the dictionary that supposedly teach you how to pronounce a word? It’s those little things. 

Taken out of context, the IPA might not look so intimidating. It’s just a handful of symbols, right? 

Well, not quite. 

Those are select symbols out of the larger system. It’s part of a much, much larger scientific tool. 

Think about it like the weather. What you hear on the news uses a couple of things like wind speed, humidity, and dew point which most people can understand. Then you have some other stuff like low pressure and high pressure systems used. You might have a vague idea of it. But when you dig into it more, there are so many more technical terms and features that you can use to understand the forecast better.

The IPA is kind of like that. Some symbols are easy enough to understand. Like [d] and [b]. However, a lot of it just makes you go

[Image description: The confused Will Smith meme image.]

You see things like [i] and [ɪ] then wonder “how the heck are these different? Aren’t they both just ‘ee’ sounds?” You can probably guess that [i] is the sound like at the end of “thee.” What’s not so clear is that [ɪ] is the sound like in “bit.” 

If you’re already confused, welcome to dealing with the IPA. It’s an absolute nightmare to learn. 

The entire IPA chart is an overwhelming mess to look at, so I’ll spare you that headache. But how about we look at just one small section of it. 

[Image description: A trapezoidal shape with tons of different symbols in pairs. There are four levels going down vertically and three going horizontally. The top horizontal labels read “front,” “central,” and “back.” The four going down vertically, top to bottom, read “close,” “close-mid,” “open-mid,” and “open.” A footnote on the bottom says “Where symbols appear in pairs, the one on the right represents a rounded vowel.”]

So yeah, this is the IPA vowel chart. If it looks like a headache to learn, you’re right; it is. I won’t bother explaining how it works. The point of this is mainly just to show what learning one tool in one field in one discipline is like. There’s a lot more to the IPA and looking up the full chart if you’re morbidly curious isn’t hard. Google Image search “IPA chart full” and you can find it without difficulty.

And the thing with the IPA is just knowing what the chart looks like isn’t enough; each sound has a technical description attached to it which you have to learn. Like [i] is a “high front unrounded tense” vowel.

Yeah.

This is just a small glimpse into what a conlanger has to teach themselves. 

So why would anybody subject themselves to this?

Just like with anything, it comes down to love. 

A love for language, a love for history, a love for culture, a love for worldbuilding.

Language is just so much more than a way to communicate. It contains the history of the people who speak it. It contains the heart of those that know it. It connects people across the world. 

And, in the context of geek culture, it’s something that can be a lot of fun. It can foster communities of people wanting to learn languages like Elvish and Klingon. It inspires wonder in the hardcore fans that somebody built these languages from the ground up.

Conlang is easily the hobby of insanity, but within that insanity is a beauty that only a small, select number of people can truly understand and appreciate.

Sources:

Wikipedia Contributors. (n.d.). Esperanto. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto

Star Wars Manga and Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

There’s big news for Star Wars fans, from the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ Series to even a Star Wars manga releasing from Yen Press. If you love Star Wars as much as I do then you’re in for a real treat of content.

The beloved characters from the Star Wars series have made an impact on everyone’s lives. No matter if you’re a Sith or Jedi you can relate to almost any of these characters. One character in particular fans are extremely excited about is the classy and sassy, Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Why? Well, Obi-Wan is getting his own series on Disney+ which has many people theorizing what it will be about, who will show up, and what situations Obi-Wan will be getting himself into. Let’s hope for more jumping out of windows scenes.

However, following the show’s announcement last August, there’s been reports that script issues in January with the result being a new writer being brought on in early April, it’s possible that predictions on the show’s air date being delayed until June 2022 will come to fruition.

That’ll mean a full seventeen years will have gone by since McGregor was on screen and wielding a lightsaber (unless you count the recent trilogy’s voice-overs). Waiting a little bit longer will be worth it, particularly if we here at All Ages of Geek still get those window scenes.

Yen Press to Release Two New Star Wars Manga

What’s even more exciting is how the Star Wars Universe is expanding from books, comics, and now manga. We’re hoping to see an anime in the distant future too because that would be epic to see Obi-Wan and even angsty Ani in anime form.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Star-Wars-Rebels-1.jpg

Star Wars Rebels

Story and Art by Akira Aoki

A manga adaptation of the hit 3D animated series Star Wars Rebels seen on Disney XD.

The animated series launched with the first two episodes titled Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion and was followed by four seasons that aired from 2014 to 2018. The critically-acclaimed show featured fan-favorite Star Wars characters, such as Kanan Jarrus, who was the focus of his own novel and comic book series, and Chopper, a droid who made a brief appearance in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Set during an era when the Galactic Empire is hunting down the last of the Jedi, a fledgling rebellion against the Empire begins to take form. Star Wars Rebels takes place in the area surrounding the planet Lothal, where the Galactic Empire battles against Ezra, a teenage con artist with latent Force abilities, Kanan, one of the last surviving members of the Jedi Order, and the rest of the ragtag rebels on board the starship Ghost

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Star-Wars-Leia-1.jpg

Star Wars Leia, Princess of Alderaan

Story by Claudia Gray

Art by Haruichi Furudate

A manga adaptation of the beloved YA Star Wars novel, Leia, Princess of Alderaan, by Claudia Gray.

The never-before-told story of how young Leia Organa comes to join the rebellion against the evil Empire. Claudia Gray is the author of Star Wars Lost Stars, a Star Wars YA novel adapted into a manga published by Yen Press.

A young Princess Leia spends her days learning the ways of politics, aiding those in need and preparing for the traditional ceremony in which she declares her intention to one day rule Alderaan. But as Leia prepares herself to be named the heir of the throne, she becomes aware of the growing distance between her and her parents, who behind closed doors are leaders of the newly-formed Rebellion. Upon learning her parents’ secrets, Leia must now make a choice between her responsibility to the people of Alderaan and her responsibility to save a galaxy crushed by the rule of the Empire.

What Star Wars news are you most excited for this year? Let us know in the comments down below!

Rohil Reviews 2000s Anime: Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry is Studio Madhouse’s 2007 loose anime adaptation of the loose manga adaptation of the popular video game franchise, “Devil May Cry,”… which was initially supposed to be the fourth game in a whole other videogame franchise, Resident Evil. Truly, a journey. The 12-episode run, directed by Shin Itagaki, centers around Dante taking on odd-jobs to keep his devil-hunting business afloat. I’ve always wondered what an insurance plan would look like for “incase of demonic attack.” What would they cover? Partial to full demon possessions? Portal debris clean-up? 

Most of the show functions as self-contained adventures, with vague hints at a more significant threat, which only come into play late-series. I was a fan of the video games’ proclivity for self-aware, action-fantasy grandiosity and family melodrama. Devil May Cry 3 is almost Shakespearean in its depictions of brotherly rivalry and the inner turmoils of being caught between worlds. I remember a considerable effort in high school, trying to find this show on various streaming sites, all of which emitted strong back-alley energy. Not an uncommon method of finding anime during the 2000s, though often unfruitful. 

I’ve finally been able to watch the show in its entirety and was surprised by the stark tonal difference from the video games. The anime is decidedly less playful and comedic, with Dante’s personality being drastically nerfed. Dante, who is usually portrayed as charismatic, high-energy, and brimming with cheesy one-liners, presents as more of a typical silent-type anime protagonist, chillin’ with a sleepy affect. This blandness covers all the characters in a foggy blanket of unimaginative dialogue, lacking any banter or chemistry. Lady and Trish really should be much, much cooler. How are you going to do two of the most iconic women in the devil-hunting industry so dirty like that? You hate to see it. 

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Dante is also tasked with taking care of a young girl, Patty Lowell. I suppose, functionally, this was to provide Dante with some higher stakes other than his failing endeavors in commercial exorcism? Unfortunately, this relationship remains underdeveloped; neither of them offers the other any potential for character-growth. 

Another key aspect hindering Dante’s growth is his overpowered status. He dispatches every demon with the same amount of ease, and all these bouts are brief. He only experiences a minimal amount of trouble at the very end, and by then, we’re not worried about his safety. Dante is excessively powerful in the video game too. However, he still gets his butt whooped a few times — which is essential for world-building and framing the hierarchy of characters’ supernatural capabilities. A protagonist needs to experience at least some form of challenge to give the plot weight and justify the core objective. I have no interest in watching someone with half-devil half-human privilege waltz their way through life. 

Dante continues doing odd-jobs, and on occasion, we see a gremlin-of-a-man named Sid creeping around, conveniently turning up after Dante’s fights, and scavenging loot. He ends up using all these garbage trinkets to summon a demon called Abigail, who serves as the big bad of the series. It’s a rushed set-up, again, removing any real investment in the fight. 

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There is some redeeming fight choreography, though, and the demon character designs are legitimately imaginative and creepy-looking. Ultimately, the Devil May Cry anime leaves a lot to be desired, given the source material’s vibrant characters, action set-piece insanity, and rich, expansive lore.

Double or Nothing Review

Before we get directly to the article, just two quick things and that’s first, for whoever’s reading this pre-post, sorry that you have to read this article in Comic Sans. Yes, you have the option to change it to Times New Roman the moment you see it.

The second thing, it relates to wrestling. As I write this early on May 20th before the show actually happened for this article, Shad Gaspard, who was a wrestler for WWE with former wrestler JTG in a team known as Cryme Tyme has unfortunately died on May 17th at Venice Beach, saving his son from some rough waves and unfortunately, a riptide took him away, and he died from it. His body washed ashore today, and it was confirmed that it indeed was him.

My thoughts and condolences go to the friends and family of Shad, the former employees who worked with him and JTG, and rest his soul for his sudden and untimely passing away, and putting his family first in such a situation. He was 39 years old

R.I.P. Shad Gaspard

1981-2020

It’s now 6:30 on Sunday morning as I write this and I’ve watched the show, and unfortunately, we lost another one, this time, because of cyberbullying. Hana Kimura, a Japanese wrestler who wrestled for women’s wrestling company Stardom, and wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling, took her own life and was confirmed dead yesterday, on the day of the show. She made two final posts before she took her own life, and she was only 22 years old, four months before her 23rd birthday. As you know, we here at All Ages Of Geek are here to spread positivity, to fandoms and geek culture where there has been notorious amounts of toxicity, and that’s been the goal here since the beginning. And to know that someone who is literally only two and a half years older than me, took her life because of the cyberbullying, just sends chills down my spine on how messed up people can be. Wrestling has been known to have the most toxic fanbases to exist, but this has unfortunately taken it too far, as no wrestler, at 22 should take their own lives because of what some person, or some people say on the internet. So just like how Kat dives into an anime and/or internet series that have notorious fanbases for both the good and the bad, I’ll be making the same stance with giving you guys a PayPerView wrestling review, whether it be AEW, WWE, NJPW, ROH or MLW, I will give you guys a wrestling PayPerView review in the notorious wrestling fan base, and this incident that has happened, paints wrestling fans like me, in a bad light.

My thoughts and condolences to the friends, family and co-workers, past and present, and the fans who have been affected by the untimely passing of Hana.

R.I.P. Hana Kimura

1997-2020

As I now sip on some coffee for the early afternoon, man, what a freaking show it was last night. It was a mixture of fun, entertainment, hardcore, straight-up wrestling, and a lot of holy shit moments to boot. As you guys know, WrestleMania 36 was supposed to be the only wrestling review I planned on doing, but because WWE decided to up their creativity and their booking (for the most part) for Money In the Bank, AEW went Double or Nothing [pun very much intended] with this show, and they sure as hell won the double on this. Not only that but when this article goes up, it’ll be one whole year since the first Double or Nothing event that kick-started the company into the position it is in today.

Like I did with Money In the Bank, the main event is gonna be talked more than the other matches, but that’s because there’s a whole lot to talk about with the main event, and believe me when I tell you, there’s gonna be A LOT to talk about with the main event of this show.

With that being said, get your casino chips, bet on black, catch 21, and saddle up for some cowboy shit, because it’s time to review the second iteration of AEW Double or Nothing.

Match 1: Private Party vs The Best Friends

In our AEW Buy In match, which is basically their pre-show, we get Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen of Private Party against Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta of The Best Friends. Now, this match is actually for being the #1 tag team on AEW, and it’ll give them an opportunity on taking on the AEW Tag Team Champions. This match gets off the ground pretty well, but there are some moments where Private Party weren’t doing too well, there were a few sloppy moments, but that could be attributed to ring rust as they haven’t wrestled much during the pandemic, but kudos to Private Party for making a tribute to Shad and Cryme Tyme hitting the G9. Overall, this match ends with The Best Friends going over in 15 minutes with a decent outing making them the current #1 Tag Team on AEW.

Match 2: Casino Ladder Match

So this match was pretty bonkers to start the entire show. So the winner of this match, with a large casino chip hanging from the rafters you need to get, gets a title shot at the AEW World Championship. Our contestants are Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford and Jimmy Havoc), Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin, Luchasaurus, Joey Janella and a mystery person, due to Rey Fénix getting injured on the go-home show of AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite.

This match was total chaos from beginning to end, with some crazy insane spots, to some of the more funny stuff you’ll see, although there was one hoaky as hell spot, where Marko Stunt, who’s like 5’2, “chokeslammed” Orange Cassidy, and I was like “okay, that’s a bit too much even for me.” Ultimately, Brian Cage was the last entrant of the match and he cleared house at first, got taken down, then cleared house again and became the winner of the ladder match in 28:30, which means he now has a shot at the AEW World Championship.

Match 3: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs Jungle Boy

Fun fact before I get into talking about this match, but I actually got heeled on by MJF back in December for the MLW tapings for the Opera Cup. Long story short, the street team that I’m part of, got a chance to talk to Low Ki, and while talking to him, MJF just yoinked my fedora off my head and threw it on the ground, and did the Flair strut away. I thought one of the guys of the street team was taking the piss outta me for a sec, and then I realized it was MJF, and I can’t even get mad because he’s a heel, and damn it, he does it pretty well.

Now for the match, it was a really good match from start to finish. It felt like an old school wrestling match, with some new school elements to it. Also throughout the match, I was wondering where Wardlow was, since he’s usually at ringside with MJF, but he was literally nowhere to be found. Fun fact as well, Jungle Boy is the son of the late actor, Luke Perry. Ultimately, MJF gets the win with a pinning predicament to get the cleanest win I’ve ever seen him get in 17:20. I honestly never thought I’d see an MJF match where he wins as clean as he did, but man, it was cleaner than I expected.

Match 4: Cody Rhodes vs Lance Archer for the inaugural AEW TNT Championship

Before we get into the match, firstly, Iron Mike Tyson is on AEW on this show. Second, that belt, Jesus Christ, it’s a massive no from me. Now Tony Schiavone, one of the commentators, and the maker of the belt have since confirmed that the belt is not complete yet because of the entire pandemic that has happened, which is totally understandable. I do wonder how the belt is gonna look post-pandemic, but right now, that belt doesn’t look too good, it looks kinda rough, but at least we got the idea on how it’s gonna look.

Now for the match, it was, once again, a pretty solid match. Cody before this, and really for the past year, has had a lot of high profile losses, even one where he can’t compete for the AEW World Championship, due to losing to Chris Jericho where he lost and can’t compete for the championship at all. Or at least I think so. This really felt like a match that Cody needed to win, or else it’ll feel like he’s constantly losing these high profile matches over and over again, which already happened a lot in WWE with Braun Strowman. Arn Anderson, who’s with Cody, crotched Lance when he was on the top rope, which prompted a ref to come out and ask Mike if it was true, which he said yes and Arn was thrown out, but to make it even, Jake “The Snake” Roberts was also thrown out, but it seemed like he wasn’t havin’ it, and neither was Mike Tyson, as Jake was coming down the ramp with a burlap sack, assumingly with a snake in it, Tyson takes his shirt off and confronts Jake, prompting him to flee away. Ultimately, Cody does get the win with two Cross Rhodes to Lance to become the first-ever AEW TNT Champion in 22 minutes.

Match 5: Kris Statlander vs Penelope Ford

It was a pretty standard match. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D was supposed to be in this match, but she injured her knee, Ford took her place and I had no idea about the story behind the match, so it was kinda eh for me. Plus, I just do not get the whole “from the Andromeda Galaxy” gimmick Statlander has, it just seems both very unbelievable and unrealistic, it just keeps throwing me off every time I hear it. Statlander gets the win in 5:30.

Match 6: Shaun Spears vs Dustin Rhodes

This was more nothing than a match, but it was admittedly entertaining to watch. Long story short, people thought Dustin was retired because he got his ass handed to him during the TNT Championship tournament, but he showed up, kicked Shaun’s ass, pretty literally too, and won the match in 3:20.

Match 7: Nyla Rose (c) vs Hikaru Shida in a No DQ Match for the AEW Women’s World Championship

This match was a hell of a match from these two ladies. Nyla Rose has been a pretty dominant champion throughout her reign as champion, and this was a hell of a way for her to go out in a blaze of glory. The brutality and the animosity, along with the feeling of Hikaru really wanting this win and doing everything she can to win this championship, it was all there without a doubt, and both of these ladies did a hell of a job in this match. The match ends with Hikaru making one final swing with a Kendo Stick to Nyla’s head, breaking said stick from impact, and knocking her out with the running knee, to win the match to become the new AEW Women’s World Champion in 16:40.

Match 8: Jon Moxley (c) vs Brodie Lee for the AEW World Championship

This match, I was a little bit nervous about it. The last match that these two had were in CZW and unfortunately, the match wasn’t well received at all. Luckily, this match was very well received.

This was more of a straight up fight than a match, and man did they fight. It was pretty much the second of three massive brawls in this entire show to happen, and they went all out with this. The biggest spot in the entire match is when Moxley hits Lee with a Paradigm Shift through the stage, which prompts all the refs and the medics to check up on both of them, and while Moxley was fine, Brodie was busted open and bleeding right around his hairline. Moxley hits another Paradigm Shift, and Brodie kicks out at one, and just keeps going at Brodie. He hits a second Paradigm Shift and gets a two count, which Moxley turns into a bulldog chokehold into a sleeper, which Brodie passes out and Moxley retains his championship in 15:30, this was a hell of a match.

Match 9: Stadium Stampede Match

Folks, I must tell you now that you’re gonna want to watch this match, and grab some popcorn, juice and snacks, because this is gonna be a long dissection of this match, possibly a lot longer than the Money In the Bank dissection.

This match is happening inside the empty TIAA Bank Stadium where the Jacksonville Jaguars play at, and this match has a ring right in the middle of the 50 yard line, and on opposite ends, on the right side you have The Inner Circle, which consists of Jake Hager (formally known as Jack Swagger in WWE), Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz, and Lé Champión, Chris Jericho, while on the other end, is Broken Matt Hardy and The Elite, which consists of Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) and… where’s Hangman Adam Page?

Too late, the match is underway and both teams start charging at each other to the 50 yard line into a big ol’ brawl. After a few minutes, we now see Hangman Page on a horse, and he then chases after Sammy, which Sammy ultimately outruns the horse and Page. There’s some action in the ring, but eventually everything disperses since there’s so much going on in this entire match. The Young Bucks are brawling with Sammy and Jericho, and Matt did a massive moonsault off the goal post, only for a two count, and the action spills into the stands. Santana does the Irish whip to Kenny, and goes into the stadium, and it’s a nice little nod to WWF No Mercy for the N64. Adam is still finding Sammy, but tells the horse to stay, as he literally goes to the bar to have some drinks. Nice.

So our next chunk of the fight, it’s Santana and Ortiz as they brawl with Omega and Matt Hardy. Omega puts a barricade on this set of cocktail tables, only for him to be put on it, and both Santana and Ortiz hit him with a massive powerbomb through the barricade and they cut away in a perfect timing, because Ortiz looked like he fell after the move was hit. Ultimately it was a two count as Matt Hardy broke up the count and he takes on the both of them at the same time into a pool that’s in the stadium. How many stadiums in the U.S, Baseball or American Football have pools? I’m curious. Funny little tidbit, but as Santana is going in on Matt, Ortiz is saying he can’t swim. The pool is about three and a half feet of water, and I couldn’t help but laugh at that. He eventually gets in and they both try to drown him, and surprisingly, the water was filled with water from the lake of reincarnation and Broken Matt Hardy became Hardy Boyz Matt Hardy for a blink and you miss it moment. Then the screen changes to MATTer of Fact which I cringed but laughed at, because it meant that we got V1 Matt Hardy which even though it was before my time, and I hadn’t really watched a Matt Hardy match in his V1 gimmick, it was still pretty cool to watch nonetheless. Santana and Ortiz seemingly drowns him, but Broken Matt Hardy is back AGAIN, pulls them both back in the pool and Ortiz is the first out, struggling to get out of three feet of water might I add, and Ortiz is put on a table, Santana charges and gets flipped into Ortiz right through the table. Excalibur on commentary makes a nice nod to Metallica by saying “For Whom the Bell Tolls” after the backdrop, a nice reference. But literally right after Matt puts Ortiz under the bell the Jaguars ring after every touchdown, rings it, and Ortiz just sells the absolute hell out of this to the point where I was laughing hysterically. He was basically having a standing seizure from the bell, and then Matt sat him down on a wheelchair, and duct taped him to the chair, and he’s still convulsing. Matt and Santana keep brawling, with Matt putting Santana in the packaged ice box and locking it up with a lone broom, and that is the end of this chunk, and the end of Santana and Ortiz.

We now see Jake Hager looking for Page, he sees his horse and goes into the bar where we see Page sipping on a glass of triple whiskey. Matt if you’re reading this, you can judge me if that’s an actual thing, that’s what the commentators said and I’m going by what they said it is. Page pours Jake a glass, and we have a full on whiskey fueled bar room brawl between the two. It gets pretty intense and Jake gets the upper hand and slams Page onto the pool table, then puts Page on the counter of the bar, and just drags him from end to end like an from an old western movie. Just classic stuff. Jake does a gut-wrench powerbomb through the table for a two count, and here comes Kenny Omega for the save of his tag partner. They absolutely batter him with four bottles full of alcohol, and Omega knees him, and Page uses Omega as leverage to use the Buckshot Lariat on Jake, taking him out of the match. Page pours out a cup of milk and Omega a whiskey, which looking at it now, it’s a bottle of Jack, but I bet because licensing, they had to cover it up, and Page drinks the whiskey and Omega gets the milk.

We go back to the field where Sammy and Matt Jackson are having a scuffle and at the endpoint of the field, Matt does a northern lights suplex. And another. And another. And another. We’ll get back to them later on. Meanwhile Nick and Chris Jericho are having a fight. Matt is still suplexing Sammy and now they’re at the 50 yard line. Nick and Chris are still fighting, and after Nick gets a good distance from Jericho, he’s just consistently launching footballs to him. 100% completion as well since all his throws have made contact. Jericho takes Nick out for a bit and we see Jackson DeVille challenging Jericho, and he’s having none of it, as Jericho hits DeVille with a Judas Effect, just leveling him. Matt is STILL going, and he’s close to a touchdown. And now Chris Jericho is the wicked witch of Canada as he puts a cone on his head. We’ve all been gnome’d. Nick superkicks him and they’re back to brawling, with Jericho pulling out his baseball bat, Floyd to take out Matt, but only for a two count. I’m not joking when I say this, but Jericho challenges referee Aubrey Edwards two count and they go to the replay booth, and it’s obvious it’s a two count and a frustrated Chris Jericho just says “you’re a shitty referee” and Aubrey says “it was two.” As you can tell, I’m having a blast writing this. TOUCHDOWN from Matt Jackson as he literally suplexed Sammy from end to end and spiked Sammy’s head into the ground, but while celebrating, the ref threw a flag for excessive celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct. Matt’s rebuttal? Superkicks him, no reply. I wish I was joking, this is all actually happening. Nick and Chris are still brawling and Matt comes in to save Nick, and puts Jericho on the table, and Nick runs from the top of the seating section, to the railing, and does a massive splash to Jericho, taking him out for the rest of the match as well. Page walks out with a line marker, probably drunk and lines Jericho. Just, yes.

We reach the final chunk of this Shakespearean match as Sammy gets woken up by the field sprinklers. And then, we see Matt Hardy and Omega in a golf cart, reminiscent of when they ran over Sammy with one a few weeks prior on Dynamite. Time for round 2! Sammy just books it and does the Lambeau Leap over the walls and just starts throwing everything to hold back the entire team, as he’s the last man standing now. He gets on a platform making his final stand and while he tried to choke out Matt Hardy, Vanguard 1, who was destroyed, came back as the new and improved, NEO 1. The match reaches its ultimate ending as Omega sets Sammy up on his shoulders in an electric chair, Matt Hardy is screaming “DELETE!” and we see the biggest One Winged Angel onto a wooden frame with a crash pad below, which was a 10+ foot drop, pins Sammy, and The Elite with Matt Hardy wins the match, in one of the greatest 30+ minute matches I’ve ever seen.

Double or Nothing 2020. What a fantastic show. Only two matches on the card were pretty meh, but everything else was good or great, to the mastodonian ending of the Stadium Stampede Match. Brian Zane of Wrestling With Wregret gave the Stadium Stampede Match 6/5 stars and I’d agree, it was that damn good. Overall, this is a must watch show, hands down. Wrestlemania was pretty good for what it was, and Money In the Bank was the most entertaining PayPerView WWE had put out in a while, and I wondered how AEW would pull this off, but they blew Money In the Bank out the water. I have to recommend watching this show to the highest degree and give AEW Double or Nothing 2020 a five star rating. A fantastic show from beginning to end, entertaining as hell and an absolute must watch for the Stadium Stampede Match, as it will be a PayPerView etched into the annals of wrestling history.

AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Interview with Creator of Indie Game Untrusted

All Ages of Geek was able to interview the creator of Untrusted! “Untrusted is an online multiplayer (10 to 16 players) hacking/social deduction game currently in development, inspired by the Werewolf/Mafia genre and similar games. It will soon be available as alpha build for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows systems.”

Q:What inspired you to create the game?

A: Mostly, I had to scratch an itch: I had briefly worked professionally as a game developer in the past, but in recent years – as well as today – I’ve been working as a software developer for a company that is not directly involved with game development. The Idea of going back to make another game has always been in the back in my head, and discovering social deduction games last year gave me the push to actually start making a game again.

Q:Tell us about the game?

A: “Untrusted – Web of Cybercrime” is a social deduction game set in a not-too-far dystopian future. The main faction of the game – NETSEC, a hacking group – has been tasked with taking control of a specific computer on a target network. Unfortunately for them, there are undercover agents in their midst, which will stop at nothing to prevent the hack from happening.

The core aspect of the game is very similar to many other social deduction games (Mafia/Werewolf or more recently, digital hits like “Town of Salem” and “Throne of Lies”) with players being assigned a specific role while now knowing anything about every other player: every turn (which is punctuated by a day and night cycle) players will be able to commit to a specific action which will have certain effects on the game (be it other players or the network on which NETSEC is operating).

All of these actions are crucial, as the game revolves a lot around information analysis (such as hard proof, for example, connection logs left on a machine) and social deduction clues (for example, looking for contradictions in chat) in order to advance: the NETSEC faction has their strength in their numbers but they virtually have no information.

Their opponents (the AGENT factions and more often than not, certain special neutral classes) will have to lie and misdirect as they take out operative members one by one, either by arresting or killing them. As you can imagine this open a lot of fun scenarios, as non-NETSEC players will have to forge a believable story, and stick to it until the end of the game.

Q: What can players expect when they are playing?

A: Untrusted, like all social deduction games, is fun because there are never two games alike – players will use different strategies, make mistakes, lie to your face and turn against you without notice – personally I enjoy a lot of difficult situations where mass hysteria controls the game, it makes for a lot of unexpected and fun situations. Try telling in chat “Dr.Orange is evil” and see how many will start voting for their death just because they don’t know how is telling the truth: the reactions never get old!

I am personally very bad at social deduction games. The feeling I get when a lie I concocted is accepted as truth in the main chat by the majority of players, is something I rarely felt in other game genres. So people should probably expect to be confused (at least at the beginning) and then having a lot of fun, with strangers or – even better – with friends. If you’re looking for something new, this may be a good change from the classic game genres you’ve played so far!

Q: What is something you’d like the players to get out of the game?

I have changed the social deduction game formula seen in most games out there a bit (where most of the time the only way to win is to completely remove the other faction from play) by adding the whole hacking gameplay elements – it’s not a huge change, but it’s significant in how the game is played compared to other similar games. This means that the NETSEC group has to work a little harder in order to coordinate (they have an operation leader who can anonymously message everyone but cannot be replied to) so creating a chain of trust is always interesting and can sometimes lead to fun and unexpected scenarios!

A: Tell us more about the game!

Untrusted is mostly a text-based game with a retro/console looking style with a moderately steep learning curve, so I took a lot of care in making the game as easy as possible for people that are new to the genre: the UI has been designed with ease of use in mind; for example, compared to most social deduction games where you have to manually type in your actions, in untrusted, this is done via a userfriendly mouse-only interface (although hardcore players still can type in their logs manually if they prefer), there is a chat isolation feature (which means that by clicking on the name of the player, you will see easily all the messages sent in chat by that player) and other little things I felt were missing in some games out there. That said, most players are up and running smoothly (and having fun!) after their first couple of games!

Untrusted is still being developed and is currently in alpha stage: we regularly set playtest sessions on our discord (http://discord.playuntrusted.com ) so everyone is welcome to play, both for fun and to direct the development of the game to a stage where it’s fun for everyone – the community has been super helpful in finding bugs and highlighting game mechanics that needed some touch-ups. You can download the current build (Windows and Linux) from https://www.playuntrusted.com/download/ to play the tutorial or you can just stay connected with us to learn when the next playtest will be live!

At this time the game features 19 different classes with more than 50 unique skills: while these may sound a lot, they are actually quite fast to learn. There are some classes are there obviously easier and some other that are harder, but learning them (and how you could fake successfully being one of them) it’s in my opinion also part of the fun!

Everyone is welcome, from players who never heard about social deduction games to veterans! So if you’d like to play, simply join our discord or stay in touch (either via twitter https://twitter.com/playuntrusted or our mailing list ( https://www.playuntrusted.com/community/ ) to know when the next game session is scheduled.

Top 5 Video Games To Play During A Quarantine

We are at an unprecedented time where everyone is stuck at home, but at least we still have video games to escape our boredom. With the internet, it’s even better that we can also connect with others online and play most of these games together. With so many video games out there to choose from, it’ll be difficult to know which ones are worth it during our new reality of life. Well, to help you all out, we have chosen some of the best games to check out if you want to play with your friends and have a good time while everyone is in the comfort of their own homes.

Fortnite

If you are among those who haven’t joined the craze of this Battle Royale game, now is your chance to join in on the fun. Think of it like this, imagine you are among a group of about 100 people launched into an island with nothing but an ax at your disposal. The main objective of this game is pretty simple, just be the last one remaining on this island. The only thing is you have to survive long enough to win, and in order to do that, you must eliminate the competition. On this island, there are plenty of weapons you can find and even build yourself some cover against other players. In this game, you can either compete solo or become part of a squad. The only thing is, once you lose, the game is over for you and you start over in a new game. It’s a highly addictive game with millions of players online, whether it’s on a console, PC, or even on mobile. 

Mario Kart Tour

Mario Kart has been an instant classic for Nintendo ever since it’s inception for the Super Nintendo. It has grown with lots of sequels across many different consoles over the years. This new version of the game can be played anywhere on your phone and it’s absolutely free either on an iOS or Android device. The game has had a recent update where you can know play against other players around the world. Every two weeks, the game sets up new courses to keep the game fresh and exciting, so you’ll never get tired of racing though the same tracks. There’s also tons of unlockables like new characters, costumes, carts, and parachutes. It’s the perfect game for new and old players alike.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

With everything happening in the world, sometimes you just want to find a sense of escapism from reality. Ever since Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out, everyone has suddenly found their new home away from home with their slice of paradise. Creating a home on a getaway island is only half the fun as you can customize your character and grow different kinds of fruit as well as crafting materials for your island. You can even visit other players’ islands to trade or even check out their version of a sweet escape. Under these circumstances that we face, it seems like now is the best time to check out this game and see what all the craze is about.

Jackbox Party Pack

It’ll be hard to invite friends over for some party games, but thanks to certain games, everyone can still have a good time while in isolation. Back in the 90s, You Don’t Know Jack grew in popularity with their crazy and insane trivia games. Since 2008, developer Jackbox Games saw a resurgence during the age of mobile gaming. With Twitch, anyone can play these games on the latest consoles. Filled with dozens of party games, Jackbox Games can make any night into a friends’ party night. Whether it’s answering insane questions on Fibbage or playing a fun game of charades in Drawful, these mini party games will surely be fun for those who just want to let loose during these unfortunate times. With the Jackbox Party Pack, you can enjoy all these different mini-games with friends just by streaming it online for everyone to partake. What’s great about these games is that even if you aren’t playing the games, you can still participate with just your phone and cheer on for your favorite person to win. 

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Grand Theft Auto series has had a lot of success over the years with their games. The latest entry, Grand Theft Auto 5, ended up becoming their best selling title and breaking huge records. It’s not just for the story that’s bringing players in, it’s also the online mode. In Grand Theft Auto Online, the game offers a different experience from the single-player campaign as you go through the city of Los Santos robbing banks with your crew, participate in street racing, and completing some fun missions. The online community is still going strong for a game that released back in 2013. Ever since it’s launch, the game continually makes the online experience so much better with free updates being added. With up to 30 players in one session, the amount of content and things to do in this open-world is endless.

Culture in Animal Crossing

| by Guest Writer William Allison

For most of us, we have been staying inside. Some are learning new skills; others have taken up some old hobbies. Myself, I have been playing some games. One game that rarely leaves my Nintendo Switch is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It is honestly a really calming game with cute animal characters. Two characters that you meet in the game are Tom Nook and Jolly Redd. Both of these characters have showed up in past Animal Crossing games. In fact, they have showed up in every single mainstream Animal Crossing. What is interesting is these two are more than what they appear, and they are in fact, connected.

Tom Nook is a character that you either love or hate, least that how it seems. In 2003, there was an award for best villains for Nintendo Power, and one nominee was Tom Nook. His role in every single game is giving you a home for free, or at least at first it seems like that. You do get your house, but you have to repay a loan. At the beginning you have a whole zero bells, bells being this games currency. Now already that sounds harsh, but one thing that is there is no interest on your house, and you can repay it as fast, or as slow as you want. Some say he is a loan shark; others say he is just in the real estate business. However, he has a past. Tom Nook grew up in a small town with some other villagers. He was, according to Sable of the Able Sisters (in Animal Crossing: Wild World), a very kind person who dreamed of having more financially and becoming a great businessman. Eventually, he left his small town and moved to the big city. There is no certainty of what happened there. All we know is he lost all his money due to being deceived by someone and came back to his small town. Again, according to Sable, he became a colder person and distanced himself from his friends. After all, the big city seemed to have chewed him up, and spat him out.

Now that is merely his role and lore in the game. Tom Nook may look like a raccoon, and the game address him as so, to be specific he is a tanuki. A tanuki is also called the raccoon dog, they are basically interchangeable. Tanuki may sound familiar (besides the name Tom Nook. Tanuki) due to the tanuki suit in the Mario franchise. What is interesting is the tanuki has a place in Japanese folklore. The tanuki is a trickster of sorts, nothing malicious, but annoying sorts of tricks. Like what you would expect on April Fool’s Day, nothing that would cause little physical pain if any. 

Redd is, in every single mainstream Animal Crossing game, is a con artist and is known as Crazy Redd, but in New Horizons he is called Jolly Redd. His role is a seller of art, including forgeries. He says all the art is genuine, but he lies. The only way to see the real deal from the forgeries is looking at the differences in them. Redd is also a smooth talker, calling the player cousin, saying how they are practically family. In New Horizons if the player leaves his shop without buying anything, there is an undertone of anger coming from Redd. As if he is upset that he could not pull the wool over the player’s eyes. In New Horizons, Redd sells art and some furniture on a boat that visits the player’s island. You can go to Redd’s boat before you meet him for the first time. If you do this, your character will say it is shady and you should not go in there without permission. Despite all of this, in the same Nintendo Power magazine issue with Tom Nook, it listed Redd as one of the most misunderstood characters 

Redd is fox, a clear reference to the red fox. In Japan however, much like Tom Nook and tanuki, Redd is called kitsune, which is literally fox in Japanese. A kitsune is very intelligent, wise, and has supernatural abilities. One of these supernatural abilities being shape-shifting. I bring this up because, though it may be a stretch, a forgery of a person. Much like tanuki, kitsune are also tricksters. In Japanese folklore, tanuki and kitsune are bitter rivals. Tanuki are tricksters, but they are not evil, unlike kitsune which are represented as pure evil. This is why I bring this up. Tom Nook lost all his money in city because he was deceived…by Redd. It is because Redd that Tom became bitter at the world. 

Luckily, the story does not end there. Tom Nook now has Nook Inc. He crawled up from nothing, all the way to having his own corporation, while Redd still gets by with one shop selling counterfeits, how fitting that the jolly raccoon beats the clever fox again. Instead of magical prowess, it was with economics. Honest business versus a scam.

Nostalgia Aside, ‘Star Wars’ Has Always Been Weird

I need everyone reading this to take a deep breath real quick, because this might be one of the hottest takes you will ever read. Take a seat, get comfortable, and above all else, know that I am not trying to attack you personally by saying this. With that in mind, here’s why I think that the Star Wars movies haven’t decreased in quality. 

Let me try to give this opinion some context. Star Wars has always been front and center in my mind when it comes to pop culture. The first film I was ever brought to see in theaters was Attack of The Clones when I was about four years old. It’s one of those stories that my parents love to tell to friends at dinner. While my older sister had loudly talked through films in theaters, I sat quietly, eyes wide, taking in the magnitude of what I was seeing. People jumping and spinning in the air to loud, exciting music. Swords made out of white-hot light. Space. 

My little mind didn’t care if the characters were badly written or the effects were bulging, unsavory CG that would age like whole milk in the Florida sun. All that mattered to me was that I was seeing something that I could never see anywhere else. Everything else was just window dressing. 

I’d seen the original trilogy before, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t have remembered it. I know that I watched all of them dozens of times after that, though. My personal favorite? The Phantom Menace. Yeah, I can practically hear you all rolling your eyes and grunting in disapproval now. But it’s true. Ani was this small protagonist, damaged, yet still triumphant. I wanted to pod race and go to an underwater city. And Jar Jar Binks was the friendliest, silliest character a six-year-old girl could imagine. 

Everything about it was perfect to me then. As an adult, I can understand the criticisms leveled against it. I honestly have a hard time watching it now, mostly because over the years I have gained this deep disgust with the look of CGI, which is completely unavoidable in the prequels. But remembering them through the lens of childhood, I think of them fondly. Especially The Phantom Menace

When The Force Awakens was released, I was thrilled by it. Was it a safe return? Absolutely. But it was everything a Star Wars movie should be. It was bright and loud, with characters that any kid could look up to. A definitive “right” and “wrong”. It was perfect. 

Then, The Last Jedi. Was it a little confusing? Yes. Did it drag a little? For sure. Did I still cry when I saw puppet Yoda? Uh, most definitely. It wasn’t perfect, but it was satisfying. I definitely didn’t leave the theater pissed off or even annoyed. I had my complaints, but I also knew that I had complaints about all of the Star Wars movies. And I was still excited to see the final installment. 

I went to see The Rise of Skywalker with a romantic partner on opening weekend. I only tell you that to illustrate to you how divisive the opinions seemed to be here. I loved it. I’d cried, laughed and, of course, had my criticisms. But when the lights came up in the theater, I took a deep breath and smiled. I loved it. When I looked over at him, I could tell that he was furious. That spawned a fight that would, essentially, end our relationship. Because I just wanted to enjoy Star Wars, and here was another unsatisfied fan ruining my time. 

I grew up with Star Wars. As I write this in my parent’s living room, I can see maybe forty different Star Wars figurines. There’s an Empire Strikes Back lunch box directly to my left. I don’t lack knowledge or experience, here. I’m saying this from the perspective of someone who grew up completely surrounded by this property, it’s characters, the stories. I know what a Star Wars movie is supposed to be. And, to be honest, all of them have been Star Wars movies. Director/producer/writer be damned. 

Show the original trilogy to almost any adult who didn’t watch them as a kid and watch them be yawn, check their phones, ask how long each one has left. Because, let’s be honest, we are all wearing rose colored glasses when thinking about those films. They’re good, yes, but they aren’t paragons of film. 

They’re filled with a ton of jargon that we don’t understand. And, to be blunt, Harrison Ford so obviously carries the brunt of the original trilogy on his back with his wit and charm. Without Han and Chewie, would anyone sit through the snooze fest that is Luke’s training sequence?

I know that all of this is going to get a lot of people upset, so I want to remind you that this is not a personal attack. Even more importantly, I want to remind you that I love these movies. I was raised on them. They are part of my very being. I love everything they stand for and can’t imagine a world without them. For fantasy nerds, they are everything you could want and then some. But they are also, at their core, eye candy. And almost all of us started our love affairs with them when we were kids. 

I guess all of this is to say, ask a kid today what they thought of the latest Star Wars movie. I’m certain that they will tell you how amazing it was, how many times they saw it, how it’s their favorite movie. That’s because no matter how many original characters die off or things from the extended universe are forgotten, the essence is still there. A fun, exciting adventure, with characters that kids can look up to. That’s still intact and, hopefully, will never go away. 

Justice League Odyssey Review

DC Comics takes a voyage to the far reaches of space as a new team of heroes comes forth in Justice League Odyssey. The team assembled is one by chance and luck being Starfire, Cyborg, Azrael, and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. 

Joshua Williamson writes a journey for our heroes filled with depth and ambition as it brings about a forgotten and hidden history beyond that of all existence. The ongoing series continues to develop the unknown mysteries of the universe as the team overcomes each obstacle. 

The team enters the dreaded Ghost Sector, a lost area of space with hundreds of collapsed worlds. In this section of stars and planets our heroes encounter the tyrannical Darkseid. His motives are that of absolute domination as Cyborg, Starfire, Azrael, and Green Lantern discover a prophecy that can unravel all of reality. 

The artwork is by the talented Stjepan Sejic who creates exotic civilizations, creatures, and environments of fantasy and science fiction. The penciling creates a complete picture with exaggerated lines and colors. Sejic goes over the characters and objects with a steady hand. Freedom presents itself with the characters and technology presented within the story, which offers a defiant style to the reader. 

Sharp visuals complete the beautiful imagery that blend with the light source and action. A strong use of bright colors are green, blue, red, and yellow. The different pigments tend to fade into each other as if painted with a brush or water colors. 

This comic is for fans of space adventures with an appreciation for an odd set of heroes. Justice League Oydssey will ultimately push our heroes across the cosmos and potentially the entire DC Universe as a whole. 

Shadowed Flames: PTSD in RWBY Part 5

Disclaimer: These articles contain in-depth discussion on the topics of mental health/illness and topics such as abuse. 

The writer is also not a trained nor certified therapist. However, they have been writing for twenty years with a heavy focus on correct, realistic portrayals of mental health. They have studied PTSD and C-PTSD in-depth and speak from personal experience. Of course, they only speak from one point of view as PTSD symptoms and experiences are unique to each and every person. This is done from a clinical viewpoint, using sourced academic literature.

More technical jargon (namely the actual list of symptoms) will be given in more everyday language when and where possible.

Let me just throw the criteria up and then talk about what all of it means first.

D. Negative changes in perceptions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the trauma occurred (two or more needed):

1. Inability to remember important aspect(s) of the event(s), typically associated with dissociative amnesia and not related to drugs, alcohol, or head injury

2. Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” ‘The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).

3. Persistent and distorted thoughts about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead to the individual to blame themselves or others

4. Persistent negative emotional state (eg, fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame)

5. Noticeable decreased interest or participation in significant activities (ie, socialising, hobbies, etc)

6. Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others 

7. Consistently unable to experience positive emotions (ie, happiness, satisfaction, or love)

So now we’re starting on the changes PTSD makes to one’s perception of reality and mood and we’re moving into the more subtle stuff. This is where many portrayals of PTSD fall apart due to failing to understand these.

As I stated in the primer article, PTSD twists your perception of reality and isn’t just “LOUD NOISE = FLASHBACK.” It’s this set of criteria as well as the next one that really showcases it. 

However, I will admit that this is where things will also get…tricky to try to point to. These are all internal changes in thought processes and perceptions. In a visual series like RWBY, it makes it difficult to see these internal changes.

I feel like the three I can point to for pretty sure are D4/D7 and D6. 

So persistent negative emotional state is…very straightforward and we see it pretty well in V4 C3 “Of Runaways and Stowaways.”

The entire beginning of her introduction is literally nothing but a negative mood.

[Image source]

[Image description: Yang watching TV in the center of the frame on the couch. This is the first time we see her after the 6-8 month time skip in V4]

She’s completely impassive while watching the news.

[Image source]

[Image description: Close up on Yang’s face while she’s sitting on the couch but she has her head tilted over the back to look at Taiyang upside down.]

The greeting she gives Taiyang is extremely listless and not at all what you’d expect from her. She just tilts her head back and says “Hi Dad” in a relative monotone. 

The fact of the matter is that’s also implied to have been her mood basically since she did start to feel “better.” 

The end of V3 had Team RNJR leaving during the winter. 

[Image source]

[Image description: End of Volume 3. Ruby is off to the extreme left of the frame to look over her shoulder, taking up about a fourth of the screen in the foreground. From left to right: Ren, Jaune, Nora wait for her in the background in a snowy forest scene]

When Yang goes outside to get the mail, it’s obviously well into spring, if not into summer.

[Image source]

[Image description: Yang at the beginning of V4 getting the mail. She checks the mailbox with her left hand while tucking the letters under the remains of her right arm.]

I’m gonna combine D7 with this because they’re pretty related with one major example.

[Image description: Taiyang’s kitchen. Port and Oobleck sit at the table in the foreground with Port close on the left, Oobleck a little further in on the right. Taiyang is toward the center leaning against the counter. Yang in the center in her V4 attire. Subtitle says, “But…this is normal now.”]

In V4 C4, “Family,” Yang admits to her arm missing as being normal now, but there can also be deeper implications. 

This is how people with mental illness often talk. Once they’ve been in a low enough state, they’ll often just accept the fact there’s no such thing as ‘getting better.’ They’re willing to just accept the fact that their new circumstances are how things will always be from then on. A lot of people aren’t willing to fight or make efforts to get better.

Don’t think I’m talking down to people with mental illness. As I’ve said before, I have PTSD and C-PTSD. I also have severe anxiety and depression which is a pretty ugly cocktail. It’s not the fault of the people who have mental illness as it’s simply their brain’s reaction to the environment. 

What I’m getting at is that people just see it as safer to stay where they are. They’ve come to know the darkness of their mind and they’re afraid to leave.

Yang herself admits to it just a few seconds before.

[Image description: Taiyang’s kitchen. Port and Oobleck sit at the table in the foreground with Port close on the left, Oobleck a little further in on the right. Taiyang is toward the center leaning against the counter. Yang in the center in her V4 attire. Subtitle says, “Yang: I’m…scared.”] 

She’s gotten used to the feeling of just being flat and not doing much in life now. Her world has become a lot smaller, relegated mainly to the house on Patch. It’s no longer the entire city of Vale, let alone her ambitions of becoming a Huntress. When things have become routine and predictable without much upheaval, it just feels better. 

That’s honestly what the entire dream sequence earlier in the episode was about.

It honestly wasn’t so much about Adam and being unable to defend herself; it was more about her fear of what will happen if she tries again. By putting on the arm, she’s saying she’s willing to take the first step toward leaving what has become safe for her. 

This is what these two criteria are getting at especially when combined. 

As this scene shows on its own, Yang is capable of experiencing positive emotions. She’s laughing and teasing with her dad. She’s able to joke around, laugh, and have fun.

[Image source]

[Image description: Taiyang sats on the far left, Yang stands to his right with both leaning against the counter. Oobleck sits near her at the table and Port sits across the table from him. Taiyang and Yang are laughing.] 

People with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD can have good days and bad days. They can still have fun and act like neurotypical people. Just because they don’t “look” like they’re suffering from their conditions doesn’t mean they don’t still have them. And they can go into periods of remission before it comes crashing down over them again.

You can still experience good feelings, but it’s difficult to do so and especially sustain them. 

Well, join me next time when we tackle D6 and (probably) move onto Set E.

Sources: 

Ciccarelli, S. K., & Noland, J. (2014). Psychology : DSM 5. Pearson.