auronlu: (Default)

I'm in the middle of packing for a trip to visit relatives, and I'm also in the grips of a four-day migraine. HOWEVER, as today is the log-off-Tumblr protest, and I have always resented getting sucked into Tumblr despite myself, I wanna take time out to natter about Final Fantasy stuff.

(Image of Auron Logging The Hell Off...)

A few of my things for Tumblr users just joining us.

  • My FFX Game Script, useful reference when geeking or writing fanfic.
  • Two of my best FFX discussion posts: Spiran Geopolitics (I've brought up some of this on Tumblr) and What are Unsent, Aeons, Fayth, Fiends, Etc?
  • My old Final Fantasy playthroughs are on hold (so many fandoms, so little time, and Life Happens So Much). But you may be entertained/illuminated by the playthroughs for 1-6, which I finished.
  • In addition to all my Auron/Lulu fanfic of yore, written to relieve grad school stress when I became enamored of FFX's cranky badasses and chaperones, I was also bound and determined to initiate some Final Fantasy F/F shipping, even if I had to build it from scratch. (This was before FFXIII gave us Fang/Vanille in canon.) So I fastened onto Elma and Lucil and wrote quite a few drabbles and shortfics for them.

Which reminds me.

I like to think Yocun and her guardian were lovers, and that there was some scandal about that and/or a warrior monk and Crusader teaming up. Remember, this would've been the Final Aeon/Sin that Braska defeated.

Last but not least, what am I playing right now? Sadly, due to arthritis and lack of time, I'm continuing to dink away at Final Fantasy Record Keeper (which I've played for years now; the retro graphics are cute and a bite-sized dose of FF is a pleasant diversion most days). Not so sadly, I am involved in an extremely active city-wide community of Pokemon Go raiders, some young and some of us middle-aged gamers like me who are attempting to remain limber by walking a lot. My triumph for the week was catching a shiny Lugia with almost-perfect stats. It's my new baby. Named Antares, because I name all shinies after stars.

And now I'm going to run to dinner and read TwigCollins' FFXII Balthier & Fran fanfic, A Kind of Integrity, for the nth time instead of reading something new. Highly recommended.

auronlu: (Default)
Getting sick and then starting a new fibromyalgia medication with NASTY SIDE EFFECTS during the adjustment period ate my November, and now the festive season is upon us, when I visit my relatives for two weeks and have to find Multiple Presents for them. Good news is of the side effects have gone now except for excessive sleepiness which makes writing challenging.

Also, hilariously, it's induced a ton of Pokemon Go because I can fight off the urge to nap by walking. Except then my hands hurt if I catch too many mons. Last week I cracked 50km for the first time, which is huge, since I was barely walking last March.

Back in Final Fantasy land:

I'm mourning that the Tumblr snafu has thrown Mintywolf's wonderful Lulu & Yuna magnum opus (graphic novel) out of order, flagging perfectly innocent pages and then tossing them to the front of her blog when they passed appeal. It's still in the correct order on the DeviantArt mirror.

The great edit of my FFX novella, Love Her and Despair, finished before I got sick. I have made headway on following chapters, but it's still not done. This worries me but not unduly. It's the main creative project i have on deck now, other than various bits of art. I've been able to do a lot of it on iPad, which is great because it means I can take it with me. Also I've bought myself a bluetooth keyboard to help.

I'm still playing FFRK, but not as consistently. I'm not enamored of their OC inserts into FF storylines, although the retro graphics versions of FFX, FFVIII and XIII are *adorb*. Also, it's fun replaying III, which has always charmed me for its innocence. I'm slowly banging on 3* magicites, having yet to break through 4*. I tend to focus on augmenting characters' sphere grids, mastering new soul breaks and upgrading/combining the best weapons.

Apparently giving characters new abilities and making them stronger is one of my favorite bits of RPGing? I notice I do the same thing in PGo; I'm always working on improving my favorite critters after painstakingly identifying those with the best base stats (not necessarily the ones experts say are the best fighters).

The Tumblr upheaval is annoying, especially because I can't seem to wean myself off the site. There's too much Who community and other communities still remain there. But we've seen it all before. This Vox article is worth a skim.

I've expected this ever since Yahoo bought it, but I kept hoping the incompetent programming would continue to go hand in hand with benign neglect.
auronlu: (Default)
Tumblr is such a dumpster fire, but sometimes reblogging can be useful for purposes of finding things later.

Anyway, [personal profile] sarasa_cat  was discussing several problems with Tumblr, including the tendency for misinterpretation, wank or tangents to set off a long reblog chain, partially or wholly unrelated to the original post, and often removed from its context. And by the time the OP can reply to the initial wank and correct any misunderstandings, it's too late: the Discourse has taken on a life of its own.

I described those participating in such a thread as "discourse lemmings." (I was thinking especially of those who react to the posts at the bottom of the reblog chain rather than to the OP.)

A term I'd already forgotten, and it might come in handy, so, there. Free to use.

XENA SMASH

Mar. 7th, 2016 02:14 pm
auronlu: (Fang)
Mintywolf is a saint.

For four years, she's been posting Guardian comic every week. She's up to 111 pages. 

The story focuses on relationships between female characters. On every page. From Lady Ginnem's mentorship of Lulu to Ginnem's kickass sister Imogen to Yuna's friendship with Valefor to NoPantsCrusader/LadyYocun'sBiggestFan  the nuanced portrayal of Lulu's friendship with Yuna, which evolves and grows over time. 

It's a well-written, convincing love story in which the protagonists are not het and not in a sexual relationship. It shows, not tells that female friendships can be every bit as powerful as the standard "boy meets girl" romance.

Just as with the game of FFX, the bulk of the story is actually flashback, recalled at the end of the journey. The "present" is the scene in which Lulu volunteers to be Yuna's fayth. That scene is reprised at the beginning of each chapter, only now it's ticked forward to show that Lulu IS going to become Yuna's fayth, in this AU.

Yet reader comments often seem oblivious to all of the above.
  • Readers are excited when Tidus shows up, because now, at last, the story can be about Tidus/Yuna. (It hasn't been.) Some post a burst of Tidus/Yuna art right after she posts an emotionally powerful Lulu & Yuna scene.
  • There are comments like "whoa whoa, Lulu, that almost sounds gay" when her headspace-narrative describes her feelings for Yuna. 
  • Commenters jokingly scold Lulu for being sharp-tongued at Wakka, because she shouldn't be talking that way to her future husband. Did they play FFX?

Today someone wants to know if/when Minty's going to get to FFX-2, because this fan can't wait to see Lulu spawning the Wakkababy.

Even though Mintywolf's already showed that Lulu's going to become the Final Aeon, diverging from the X-2 storyline.
Even though Mintywolf's been focusing on female friendship and cuddles.
Even though Mintywolf's been avoiding sexual content all along.

Said fan kept poking, and Mintywolf deflected with tact. As she always does.

It is difficult for me not to snark at readers so desperately trying to find the het in her story, so determined not to see what the story is about, and has been about, for one hundred pages. 

When we were talking about this, Minty pointed out that "where is the straight?" comments on stories about female relationships are hardly unique to Guardian: Sister Claire's had such comments just this week.

I'm not surprised that these comments happen, of course. I'm just very frustrated on her behalf that people can't see, appreciate and engage in what she's trying to do, and has been doing very effectively, for years.

All I can do is support it. 
auronlu: Four warriors of light from Final Fantasy I (ffi)

There are rumblings that Yahoo may have to sell its internet businesses, including Tumblr. This may be a bunch of empty hoopla. But it's yet another reminder that fandom sites come and go.

Listen. On a still night, you can hear the ghosts of geocities wailing faintly on the wind.

Meeedeee has a tut on how to backup Tumblr on Wordpress.com from a blog you own to a private Wordpress blog. I'm giving the tool a test run on my own website, because I've got oodles of space.

That means importing 4500 posts. I'll let you know how it goes. (Note: setting entries private by default is a must, to avoid posting other people's content without permiss. I'm just trying to archive my own meta and liveblog posts.)

(X-posted to Tumblr)

auronlu: (Default)
I've been meaning to set this up for a while, but never got around to it. Now and then I was manually copying Dreamwidth posts over to Tumblr and adding cross-links, but that doesn't show a comment count. IFTTT adds that minor but helpful bit of functionality.

So here's what I did.

Read on... )
auronlu: (Default)
Moogle_university (aka Rina) has been doing an awesome commentary and playthrough of a few games, including just-finished FFX, and I need to catch up on all your awesome commentary huzzah.

Just a FYI for Minty and others who may still be eyeing this blog from time to time. 
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
 So, over the past two days, I've watched the classic Who world of text graffiti wall explode into an incredible outpouring of the entire collective mind of a fandom, often with many different people writing simultaneously, and it was hilarious and awesome and eye-rolling and amazing. Every in-joke is there (often in triplicate.) Every meme. Every point of canon contention and discontinuity. Subfandoms. Amazing ascii art. Drabbles. Shipping discussions. Meta discussions. Discussions of the production team and trivia and mistakes. Vile puns. Jokes. Pranks. Touchy-feely comments about fellow fans. People posting their fandom blog URLs and ages and networking and chitchatting about this and that. Polls. More in-jokes. It's just...
  • HERE IS YOUR BRAIN
  • HERE IS YOUR BRAIN ON OUR FANDOM
  • ANY QUESTIONS?
Now, Final Fantasy fandom is a good deal smaller than classic Who fandom — they've got a good 30 years headstart on us, after all. We're all scattered to the winds and busy with real life and work and other things. So I don't expect anything on that scale. But I'd love to see what happens if we put our minds to it. Sort of like capslock_ff in the old days but with meta discussions and everything else thrown in, too.

Are you with me? 

Then enough expository banter; GO TO THE FINALFANTASY WORLD OF TEXT and start posting. Stream of consciousness. Anything Final Fantasy. ANYTHING.

auronlu: (Lucretia)
I propose that we make 2014 the year of the Mary Sue. This is the year where women writers take our women-driven fandoms and unapologetically write our own wish-fulfillment fantasies, our idealized, heroic characters, our self-inserts and our ways of escaping from the reality of our less-than-ideal lives. I propose that we take the term Mary Sue and treat it just like the name James Bond: A cool, kickass character that all look upon with adoration or fearful respect, who gets to go do exciting things, meet cool people, look fucking hot and awesome all the time, kick people in the face and go back to the hotel for a drink and a fuck. Because female fans, female fandoms, and female characters shouldn’t have to gain permission to be badasses.


~ skadi-again-again

[personal profile] vieralynn has been writing good stuff about (a) the validity of reclaiming Mary Sue and (b) the way a lot of fandom escapism doesn't speak to her because it tends to suit the tastes of white / straight / anglo-american fans.

Incoherent nattering about my own tastes in Mary Sues )

Why

Sep. 13th, 2013 10:46 am
auronlu: (thatslife)
Over the years, some of my favorite writers — who wrote the fanfics that I’d go back and find and read again, over and over — have deleted their journals, deleted all their fanfics.

And I feel guilty for hoarding the few bits I’d downloaded to listen to because of my vision problems, and now I’m like OMFG iPad never ever die because it’s got THOSE fics on it, and I don’t want to lose them, but I feel guilty for keeping them because the writer had some reason for deleting all those wonderful stories.

I’d hunted down eBook editing apps just so I could give them fancy custom covers instead of the default covers.

And it just…

Why?

Why do people remove huge swathes of their fanfic? I still have one single piece saved from the lost canon of cupcakemonster, and now I have a few more treasures, but iBooks is being stupid and only letting me back up the eBooks I’ve purchased, not ePubs I’ve downloaded from AO3.

I hate losing the stories I love. But they belong to the author, not me. And copyright includes the right to erase them.

It makes me sad, like mummy cartonnage made of paper scraps from Alexandria, like half-remembered snatches of song of the High-Elves who have set sail.

ARGH

Sep. 6th, 2013 01:28 pm
auronlu: (wishes)
"I never understood why people liked pairing characters of the same gender together, or what gave people the idea that two characters were possibly in a romantic relationship—for any game, not just Final Fantasy XIII. I never personally tried to understand this because mentally, I could not imagine two characters of the same gender in a romantic relationship."

— well-intentioned, generally insightful commenter whom I really like.

The context: Dunquixote had a good write-up of first impressions about FFXIII. In response, among other things, I asked about how DQ saw the Fang/Vanille relationship. I should be able to accept differing interpretations.

However, "I can't imagine two characters of the same gender in a romantic relationship" seems a little different to me than "No, despite the hints, I don't think the game made it explicit what their relationship is."

I don't know how to respond tactfully. It's very important that I do respond tactfully, because this may be a moment for a little gentle consciousness-raising.

Except I can't, because I'm irked.

/frustrated
auronlu: (phear da crack)
Everybody get over to Sev's journal for a glorious Final Fantasy commentfic attack. She had stress today and called for minific prompts, and has been writing brief snippets of fic to everyone's insane prompts, and there's a full-on brainstorming session of Ashelia the Vampire Slayer happening over on one comment, and Auron is giving everyone (even Quistis!) detentions in another comment, and I don't quite know what's happening with that dolphin but I'm not going to ask... Er. Anyway. Go join in. Whatever fandom you love, it's there somewhere in small bite-sized bits. Or just add to the brainstorming and general crack.
auronlu: (Default)
*nosebleed*

For those sensible souls who are NOT following me on Tumblr...


[ETA: So apparently fanservice still works on me. DAMMIT LULU.]

After I got done ogling old friends, my eyes were drawn to that durned inscription.
I swear the second line starts with "aerith." (See Spiran main alphabet.)

The scary part is that on the one hand I'm simply jumping all over this as a fan, but on the other hand, I've become a virtual freelance video game blogger /critic, so I'm allowed to do this for work.

Yes, I'm a bad fan )

So, with that understood, I posted old-vs-new comparisons on my article about the FFX Remaster here. (My pittance from that page is generally about 30 cents a month thanks to the header/sidebar ads. Whoopie.)

Back to geeking at FFX. My finger was hovering over the Amazon preorder button two hours ago. But I'm holding off in case they decide to release some fancy version with extras. For most games, I wouldn't succumb to the merch, but for this one? Yeah. I might.
auronlu: (Takei the Fabulous)
I was joking in some thread about procrastinating from school papers by writing Doctor Who fanfiction, and then I thought... Wow. I was DOING that back in junior high. Writing Jon Pertwee and Jo Grant in the Atlantis episode which I loved with great love.

That was the Third Doctor. True, in UK, they were on the fourth by then, but still.

There are junior high schoolers TODAY who are procrastinating writing Doctor Who fanfic. Only now it's what, the eleventh Doctor?

The same holds for Trek, really, although not quite so much since Trek output is in a bit of a lull right now. But after the next movie it will again be true.

Fandom is oooooooold. It's just that now it's a lot more communal than it used to be, when it was often practiced in solitary or shared with a friend or two.
auronlu: (Yuna's Final Aeon)
While replying rather incoherently to [personal profile] vieralynn about fandom reactions to fic that deconstructs characters, I casually mentioned something that has been central to my understanding of fandom for years, including my own: totemism.

I first brought this up with my therapist while trying to articulate why I'd latch onto particular characters with whom I self-identified, or who inspired me. Our modern culture is fragmented and has no unifying mythology, religion, belief or symbol system, so we're left flailing for symbols that give us psychological satisfaction, a prop for meaning, and a sense of significance, identity, and, yes, love.

People love totems. They love their gods. They love their symbols. They are familiar and provide a sense of belonging, identity, coherence, stability.

So nowadays we have Uhura and Yoda and Nightfall/Redlance and Lady Gaga and [insert favorite character or ship here]. And as Vieralynn put it, fans get upset and lash out when you "chop down their sacred tree."

So a lot of fanfic is celebrating, communing with that sacred tree, whether it's a ship or a particular character. The fic is trying to get at the essence of the totem. Story is secondary; it's the resonance with and reaffirmation of the beloved totem that's paramount, like the Pharaoh having to run through the same heb sed ceremony every year to re-establish and maintain his reign, Egypt, and the universe. (As a child, I was drawn to ancient Egypt, and instinctively understood that culture's emphasis on cycles, repetition, and writing/drawing the same thing over and over to keep reality renewed, as if it might crumble and fall apart if you didn't keep defining it.)

Whereas there is an entirely different approach to fanfic which is deconstruction, gap-filling, grappling with the world and politics and unanswered questions, character flaws and problematic subtexts and things that canon didn't cover or explicate or justify adequately.

Totemic fandom is all about repeating what's loved, what's obvious, what's accepted by fandom consensus. Meta fandom is about exploring what's inchoate, unresolved, uncomfortable, or ambiguous.

I'm oversimplifying here and setting up a false dichotomy. But I wanted to throw the idea of fandom as totemism out there. There's probably a better word than totemism -- I am afraid I'm invoking the specter of bad anthropology by using the term -- but I can't think of a better word to express it.


ETA: I think fanart lends itself particularly well to totemic fandom; people love seeing the characters they love portrayed in a way that romanticizes/epitomizes them, whereas fanart that challenges accepted depictions is rare and usually does not get many favorable responses. Also, my first impression of Tumblr is that there's a high degree of totemic fandom, largely because of the focus on images (icons).
auronlu: (Default)
...and probably should've tried to figure out how it worked before I did so.

I was extreeeeeeemely sick Wednesday night, unable to sleep — the less said, the better, but suffice it to say it involved the White Throne — so, to distract myself from my misery, I mainlined Summoner's Pilgrimage, an FFX liveblog. I left many and sundry comments and much squee.

I probably should've used replies instead of reblogging and adding my own comments. Also, that was a helluva lot of comments to post in one night.

I don't know. But anyway, I did that. I'm afraid I came off too know-it-all and abrasive, as I so often do. Academic writing, where you assert BS with bold confidence, la.

Now I have a problem. On Tumblr, how do you reply? Mintywolf left a comment after one of my posts, and I have no idea how to reply to her without reblogging my blog post and adding another comment. Which...er... would mean two posts in my blog? Or would it add my reply after my post?

Tumblr bewilders me. I am so words-focused, and so used to old-school blog format like what we have here.

Also, the focus on reposting other people's stuff feels odd to me, even though it's usually linked back to the source.


ETA: I really shouldn't post while sick. I wrote this entry in order to share the url of my Tumblr, here.
auronlu: (franservice)
I strongly recommend reading: “Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification by Courtney Stoker (found via [community profile] metanews)

I'm particularly taken with Olivia Waite's interpretation of Leia's "I will strangle you for making me wear this" slave costume.

Rambling thoughts in response to the essay... or just my own vague thoughts about cosplay.

I've always had ambivalence about cosplay: I rejected Barbie as a child, because I recognized the poisonous apple, and when I encountered cosplay, I thought (a) "Ugh, dress-up ... I hate clothes" and (b) "self-Barbiezation, double ugh."

I gradually overcame that because I learned that good cosplay is an art that takes great craftsmanship, it's fun, and it's creative. Also, I have a totemic relationship with fictional characters: I enjoy and feel satisfied when I see excellent representations of them, in the way that traditional cultures like seeing their gods or cultural symbols represented. There's something viscerally appealing about "Oh my gosh, there's Lulu FOR REELZ!" that still hits me when I come across a good cosplay photo, even though I've seen a gazillion good Lulu cosplays.

Which is fine: in that case, I'm just appreciating cosplay as a craft and as an activity. However, because I'm bi, there's also a part of me that responds to fanservice -- usually designed by and for guys, but it often intersects with my own tastes. (My self-chagrin being represented by userpic above.) In my case it's non-heteronormative, but still, I like looking at Teh Sexy. So I'm buying into and perpetuating fanservice by favoring female cosplayers with The Sexy bodytype, except that I have a slightly broader definition of that bodytype than some

Also, if a character is too visibly objectified and stripped of strength/intelligence/personality, I recognize the poisonous apple and recoil from what is my personal Uncanny Valley: a recognizable female character sapped of her soul for titillation purposes. Hentai does this in spades. Sometimes cosplay does it, mostly by body language and gestures that telegraph meanings which don't seem to me to fit the characters at all.

So anyway. Good essay, and that's my rambling response.
auronlu: (Ceilingcat FFX)
Apparently LJ has once again set off the Wrath of the Userbase and yet more mass-migrations to DW with their latest announced changes.

So, if you know anyone moving to DW, please point them thisaway to help people find fandom:

the
[ MULTI-FANDOM ]
LiveJournal DreamWidth
friending meme


My Auronlu LJ is a permanent account, so I'm not going to delete it. However, I'm a lazy boob and keep hoping everyone will migrate to DW so I don't have to keep remembering to check my mirrored posts.


[And in other news, OMFG the writing is SO BAD today. I couldn't get anything to flow. More editing/deleting/flailing resulted in negligible progress.




894 / 50000 words. 2% done!]
auronlu: (FF5)
SALARTA JUST REVIVED [livejournal.com profile] capslock_ff WITH A GOOD DISCUSSION

THERE ARE SO MANY WORDS OF WISDOM

BUT I NEED TO PRESERVE THIS QUOTE FOR POSTERITY

ON FARIS IN FFV:

I THOUGHT FARIS WAS A GIRL IN THE BEGINNING OF FF5, AND WAS SO CONFUSED WHEN EVERYONE KEPT CALLING HER "HE."

THE REVEAL WAS KIND OF A, "OH BUTZ YOU ARE REALLY STUPID AREN'T YOU, SHE IS LIKE SIXTEEN PIXELS HIGH TO ME AND I NOTICED" MOMENT.


-- FROM [livejournal.com profile] aiffe
auronlu: (Default)
Quoting from [personal profile] justira  since there's a few peeps on my flist that might be interested....

Posted on her journal here:
 justira.livejournal.com/385983.html
I realized that I even more belatedly did not signal boost this here! THE SHAME. You still have a day or two to do it =D

These surveys will help two great folks as they put together a panel on sexism in anime fandom. You can read a little more about the surveys at a post on Altair and Vega. They plan to keep the surveys running past the con, as data collection for possible future projects, but the deadline for data to be used in the Otakon 2012 panel is July 20.
Research Survey For Otakon Sexism Panel 2012: This one is for any of you who’ve attended a convention. We’re trying to get a sense of how people feel at events and how they connect to the community.

Sexism in Cosplay Survey for Otakon 2012: This one is for you cosplayers out there. If you’ve cosplayed or do so regularly, we’d love for you to take the time to fill it out.

Thanks!
 

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