Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 16:00 on 07-09-2011, Orion
What with all the rape and the "A noun proposition noun" title I was sure you guys were discussing a recently-unearthed George R R Martin text.
at 15:53 on 07-09-2011, Wardog
PS - I think everybody like Vico because of the Redemptive Power of Lurve. Essentially change is the currency of romance, and therefore the darker the place the hero comes from, the more valid the love (and consequently the heroine).
at 15:51 on 07-09-2011, Wardog
It's ... difficult. Oh yeah.


I don't know how to express this without sounding INSANE but I'm not objectively bothered by the notion that a rapist could also be a romantic lead (I read romance, after all, and although it's a horrible idea in real terms, romance is romance is romance). And the characters in ADwR are generally written successfully enough that I find them reasonably interesting and psychologically complex.

But what really really freaks me out is not the rape fantasy stuff - I mean whatever floats your boat, right? - it's the way rape is consistently presented as being based in desire. I'm sorry but people don't rape people because they *fancy* them. That's like saying you beat people up because you admire their strength. And I know it's a common romance/erotica trope but for some reason there's just something about the way it's presented in ADwR that freaks me the fuck out.

I think the Twilight analogy is an apt one actually - fantasy is fine, but fantasy *without awareness* is bloody dangerous.

The other thing that really bothered me about ADwR is there's so much sex and rape that it ends up *normalising* rape. There's even a hilarious line near the beginning where they're talking about the invasion of the castle and one dude turns to another dude and is like "this is totes srs business, dude, they're not even stopping to rape the women." (paraphrased)
at 14:30 on 07-09-2011, valse de la lune
I think of ADwR as the more extreme version of Twilight. Out of curiosity I played through the Vico romance (yeah, that's the brutal rapist dude). He goes wibbly for the princess and I threw up a little in my mouth.

I don't understand why the ADwR fandom likes Vico so much, and it's evident too that he's Valine's favorite character. :/
at 10:40 on 07-09-2011, Arthur B
Card is horrendous, I don't understand why the man still has a career. His ability to talk or write about anything other than his odious political opinions has shrivelled to the point where I'd swear if you asked him about the weather he'd grumble about gay thunderstorms.
at 09:16 on 07-09-2011, Wardog
Incidentally - that Hamlet thing. AWFUL. The worst thing I have heard about on the internet for a while.

I mean it's all just fail fail fail fail. The homophobia and the whole attitude to the text.

*cries in the corner*
at 09:13 on 07-09-2011, Wardog
Oooh, I played A Dance With Rogues. I, err, I didn't get on with it. I have no problem with, errr, people having violent sex fantasies (and I remember the author did say specifically she wanted to create a world in which everyone fancied the heroine - okay fair dues) but there was way too much rapin' for me. Shame because otherwise it was a really polished little game.
at 06:25 on 07-09-2011, valse de la lune
Ugh, and Sub Press published that? I'm... really disappointed.

Incidentally, the subject came up elsewhere but it got me curious: did anyone ever play the NWN1 mods called "A Dance with Rogues"?
at 05:45 on 07-09-2011, Guy
I'm rather amused by there being a buy link at the bottom of that review...
at 04:15 on 07-09-2011, Frank
wow. That is truly fucking disgusting.

I wonder what the English Dept at BYU thinks of it.
at 03:31 on 07-09-2011, Fin
I know I shouldn't be surprised (I mean, it's Card), but still... what the fuccck?
at 02:42 on 07-09-2011, Sister Magpie
What if Orson Scott Card wrote Hamlet?

Answer: It would be reeeeeallly homophobic.
at 00:18 on 06-09-2011, Michal
What if H.P. Lovecraft became president of the United States?

Have to thank Aladair for pointing out this site. I am just baffled at the amount of awesome material on John J. Riley's home page, but I also wonder why the website itself is so damn ugly.
at 21:39 on 05-09-2011, Sonia Mitchell
Are there any "Your adventure ends here" outcomes?

Yep. On my second playthrough I got sent home unmarried. The finishing screen did drop the hint that
'Part 2 of the game, "Choice of Intrigues," continues the storyline, but only if you are alive and romantically involved with the King at the end of Part 1. Try playing again!'
at 18:06 on 05-09-2011, Robinson L
Robinson: [Star Wars prequel fans are] decidedly in minority, but yes, we are out there.

Alasdair: Really? Just out of curiosity, what do you like about them? This isn't the setup for a joke or anything; I'd just like to know.

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond - I was out of town all weekend with no internet access. I just know that after I post this, at least three people are going to jump in and explain why they think the prequels are awful. Which is just fine (I'll probably even agree with some of the points), but these are some of my reasons for liking them. I recognize numerous places where they are flawed, but I love them anyway.

Okay so, my reasons for being a fan include:

The score. John Williams' work on the originals has rightly been praised far and wide, and I believe he did a comparable job on the prequels. "Duel of the Fates" and to a lesser extent "Battle of the Heroes" and the one that plays at the end of Phantom Menace are just spectacular, as far as I'm concerned.

A lot of the dialogue in these movies gets (deservedly) mocked, but there are a number of really good lines, too. Anakin's and Obi-Wan's banter in the first half hour or so of Revenge of the Sith is great, and so is the way they play off each other in Attack of the Clones (even when the other isn't really there).

While we're on the subject, a lot of the relationships between the characters are really good. Anakin and Obi-Wan of course, but also Anakin and Palpatine and a lot of the smaller, background relationships. The "love dialogue" between Anakin and Padme often makes me cringe, as do the parts where Anakin acts like a total idiot, but I find there's more to their romance than just those, and what's left over strikes me as really nice.

And I do like the characters. Anakin gets annoying at times, but I think a lot of the stuff he does is actually pretty cool, like casually hopping out of a speeder to catch the would-be assassin in Clones, or landing General Grevious' flagship in Sith. I like Padme as well, though I feel Lucas ultimately wasted most of her potential as a character. I like Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon and Mace Windu and Count Dooku, and I think Palpatine in the prequels makes for a much more awesome villain than he does in Return of the Jedi, honestly. Honestly, I even like Jar Jar Binks.

I could go on all day, but that's probably more than most people on this site are interested in hearing anyway. Does it answer your question?
at 14:16 on 05-09-2011, Wardog
I'm pretty sure if you marry the boring one you end up stuck in the country being bored for the rest of your life...
at 01:08 on 05-09-2011, Andy G
Finally gave Choice of Romance (and Intrigues) a go ... good fun! Are there any "Your adventure ends here" outcomes?
at 01:08 on 05-09-2011, Andy G
Finally gave Choice of Romance (and Intrigues) a go ... good fun! Are there any "Your adventure ends here" outcomes?
at 16:20 on 04-09-2011, Jamie Johnston
Choice of Games sure looks shiny these days.

Not sure I like the new front page but I enjoyed Choice of intrigues (though I feel like I did badly at it).
at 13:26 on 04-09-2011, Wardog
Oh God, we saw Conan with Arthur. It was, to be fair, my first 3D experience which made it mildly more interesting than it might otherwise has been.

But it was just ... plain ... bad. Boring. There wasn't even a "so bad it's good" vibe. Just so blah. I think the best way to describe it would be "half-arsed."

There, is however, a really hilariously unfortunate scene in which two dudes fight literally on and over a chick strapped to a wheel. Lol.
at 13:25 on 04-09-2011, Arthur B
I'd actually say it's worse than Conan the Destroyer, in that Nispel was given a golden opportunity to drag the franchise from out of the shadow of Destroyer and the miserable legion of formulaic barbarian movies which came out in the wake of the original... but instead ended up following the barbarian B-movie playbook anyway.
at 01:35 on 04-09-2011, Michal
Well, it's not awful so much as just uninteresting and bland, for the most part, and featuring some things I'd rather not have seen (battlefield sword C-section baby delivery is as stupid on screen as it sounds). There's also rather noticeable gaps in the narrative where stuff was obviously cut for a shorter running time, and an irritating tendency for characters to announce a location immediately before or after a location title appears on screen("We sail to Messantia!" Next Shot: Title: MESSANTIA). I would wait until the inevitable unrated extended cut comes out--which probably won't be long from now-- if you're interested any, since that might possibly be okayish.

It was better than Conan the Destroyer, which is about as complementary as saying "it was better than staring at a steaming pile of feces for two hours". But the character really deserves better than this.
at 01:03 on 04-09-2011, Kellicat
It sounds better than this year's Conan the Barbarian, at least, which I actively regret watching.

It was that bad? I was mildly interested in it, but I'm not going to pay for a theatre ticket if its a stinker.
at 22:33 on 03-09-2011, Michal
It sounds better than this year's Conan the Barbarian, at least, which I actively regret watching.