Anime Plots Badly Described Jan20

Anime Plots Badly Described...

Your friend finally asks you the most dreadfully exciting question in the entire world: “What’s [insert your favorite anime title—possibly mispronounced] about?” Like a would-be author suddenly faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch the publishing company of her dreams, you have about 15 seconds to sell your curious questioner on the most sugoi anime ever (potentially, their first anime ever). This could be their gateway to the medium—the beginning of their lifelong pursuit of all things otaku; the beginning of feels and final forms and chimera memes…! No pressure, right? You could recite the plot synopsis that you memorized from the back of your Blu-ray collector’s edition box set… or you could give them a hook so weird that it’ll haunt their memories until they binge watch. These anime summaries may not make the best elevator pitches, but they might just be… different enough… to snag the attention of that special someone you’ve been pestering for the past two years. Can you guess these badly described anime? Answer key is at the bottom. A hunchback with a sugar obsession tries to stop a college student with a potato chip obsession from writing in his diary. While screaming and zip-lining, an angry German kid takes on a tribe of deformed, naked cannibals who won’t let him go to his basement. A mercenary (who somehow manages to smoke more often than the barrel of his gun) teams up with a cross-dressing King Arthur against a failed artist, a starving student, a bug addict, a Catholic, the recipient of the 1994 Worst Father of the Year Award, and that professor you had in college, in a battle to the death over a wine glass. An unemployed bald guy, who punches stuff and goes to the supermarket for...

Can We Forgive Rogue One’s Heroes? Jan18

Can We Forgive Rogue One’s Heroes?...

In a film about good intentions, heavy consciences, and tainted legacies (also, lasers), the cry for redemption is what stood out to me the most. The line between scoundrel and hero is blurred in Rogue One. Galen Erso, the lead scientist behind the construction of the Death Star, wonders if history will remember him as one of the Galaxy’s greatest villains. Unwilling to die like his wife (who makes a stand rather than be a slave to the machinations of the Empire), he makes a deal to help complete the Death Star, believing his actions will be justified by adding a kill switch in secret. Guilt, when faced head on, transforms its subject into a willing sacrifice for good. Captain Cassian has compromised so much of his conscience as a saboteur, and he wonders if there will ever be a momentous enough victory to justify those actions. If he kills for the ideal of freedom that never appears, is he no different than an empire filled with men following violent orders in the name of a peace that is never established? Saw Gerrera, a fanatic, leads a militant terrorist-like group in the face of the Empire. Gerrera has fought too long, making too many compromises to feel like a hero. When in possession of a turncoat Imperial pilot who brings news of the Death Star’s flaw, Gerrera tortures him. While he saved Jyn Erso as a child, he abandons her when she comes of age in a perhaps misguided effort to keep her identity hidden. It’s another difficult choice to weigh heavy on his conscience, but made with good intentions. Desperate circumstances have led these men to embrace disgraceful methods, and they are all of them ashamed. The Turning Point Galen Erso, Cassian Andor, Saw Gerrera, and many of the Rebels...

Episode 63 – YouTube Rabbit Hole / People Jan17

Episode 63 – YouTube Rabbit Hole / People...

It’s time for Commander Shepard’s favourite podcast on the citadel, Infinity +1! This week Jason, Kyle and Allison muse about A Series of Unfortunate Events, and why it’s so delightfully bizarre. Then Jason takes us back down the YouTube Rabbit Hole with two (sorta) channels from his ever-deepening subscription list. Question of the Week: What interesting or strange book series would you like to see brought to life on Netflix? Then in the second segment, the article When You Treat People As Things by Kevin Cummings makes us take a long hard look at how we see people when they’re inconvenient to us. All three hosts share their experiences in learning the perspective of being one person in a big world. Jason’s YouTube Rabbit Hole: VetRanch DemolitionRanch OffTheRanch Games Done Quick Support FanQuest on Facebook and Kickstarter The song in the break is Failing Job Prospects by Lazy Nerd 204 [used with permission] Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @VorpalJason Kyle’s Twitter: @videogamefaith Allison’s Twitter: @AllisonBarron12 Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy original Geekdom House merchandise from...

Remember the Duel with Westley Jan16

Remember the Duel with Westley...

“You must be that little Spanish brat I taught a lesson to all those years ago. You’ve been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that’s about the worst thing I’ve ever heard. How marvelous.” Count Rugen’s response to an injured Inigo Montoya, the swordsman looking to avenge his father’s death in The Princess Bride, pained me when I first heard it as a child. Would this horrible man kill Inigo, just as the swordsman was close to achieving his lifelong goal? How unjust! It was difficult for me to watch Inigo, my favourite character in the movie, get stabbed repeatedly by Rugen, the one I most despised. It’s strange for me to think, but I identify quite strongly with Count Rugen. Not the sadistic, child-scarring, torture-inventing aspects to him, but the “Oh, I can’t believe I had such an impact on you” part. Just as Rugen is surprised by discovering that his foe is the boy he “taught a lesson to all those years ago,” I’ve been realizing lately that we all leave impressions—some profoundly strong—on people all around us, whether we intend to or not. The truth is, I have no idea how my words and actions will impact those around me. Unfortunately, just as with Rugen, some of those impacts I’ve made are through actions that are regrettable. As a teenager, I was a relentless bully. I thrived when I could generate laughs at the expense of others, particularly at an overweight classmate. Day after day I would make fat jokes, pushing him down to puff myself up. He and I eventually went to different schools, and when I next saw him, he had lost significant weight. He was also bitter and unwilling to talk to me...

Seven Ways to Mess with Your Party Jan13

Seven Ways to Mess with Your Party...

So you’ve been running a few sessions and have a pretty good handle on how this whole DMing thing works. However, your players are also getting a good handle on how the game works. In the routine of gameplay, you have lost the element of surprise and can no longer catch your players off guard. They’ve started to predict your every move! While I disagree with the “DM vs. Player” mentality, I do enjoy messing with my players from time to time. This is a fun list of strategies I have used in my Dungeons & Dragons games to make things more… interesting. There’s nothing wrong with freshening up a stagnant session and adding some surprises. 1. Conduct early planned skill checks. There are two kinds of skill checks in D&D: spontaneous and planned. Spontaneous checks are in-the-moment actions that your players initiate without prompting from you. Planned checks are ones that you, the DM, initiate and don’t require action from your players in order to happen. These planned checks are where your control lies. You have prepared for them and the players don’t need to know why you ask for them. The results do not need to be immediately obvious. For example: You know that a monster will attack one of your players at night. Ask all your players to make a will save well before nightfall and then continue through the day as though nothing has happened. It hasn’t… yet. 2. Hide the results. Most of your players will get to the point where they start predicting the results of your skill checks. It’s obvious whether a player leaps across the chasm or falls to his death, but whether the thief noticed the treasure in the corner can be a mystery. If...

Deadpool’s Unlikely, Perfect Love Jan11

Deadpool’s Unlikely, Perfect Love...

Usually a movie lets you know very quickly who the hero and villain are, painting the hero in the best possible light. Sometimes that hero is a brooding, troubled stranger in need of love or a reluctant, gruff, loner who is forced to become the hero we know he can be. Every now and then, the hero is just a regular person who must face impossible odds and overcome—regardless of the circumstances, the hero ends up being good and the movie lets us know it. Even in a movie like Suicide Squad, where the protagonists are villains, we are constantly shown that there are other ‘bad guys’ because they keep doing good things. We can’t help but tell stories where our heroes are good, and even if the hero is doing questionable things (Captain America: Civil War, anybody?) they still have good intentions. But that isn’t the case with Deadpool. Right from the beginning, he lets you know that he is “no hero” and then spends the rest of the movie being his brutal, crude, and disgusting self. The good guys—Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead—make it very clear that he is not really on their side, although they leave room for hope; the bad guys make it clear he isn’t on their team either, although you wouldn’t know it based on most of his actions. Rather than knowing exactly where he fits, you have to decide if Deadpool is hero, villain, or something in between. Right from the beginning he lets you know that he is “no hero.” Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is not a good guy. He’s a dishonourably discharged black-ops soldier with several confirmed kills and a bad habit of using his considerable repertoire of vulgar and disgusting language to offend those around him. Now...

Episode 62 – FanQuest / Passengers Jan10

Episode 62 – FanQuest / Passengers...

Now with more infinity than ever before, it’s Infinity +1! Back for the first episode of 2017, Jason, Allison and Kyle talk about a few of their favourite things from the last year and share some details about the new convention Geekdom House is part of called FanQuest. Question of the Week: What were some of your favourite things this year? Then in the second segment, the new film Passengers is the topic of a discussion about the morality of hard decisions under extreme circumstances along with some questionable science and the concept of leaving everything you know behind for a new life. FanQuest on Facebook and Kickstarter The song in the break is Tracking Eva by Lazy Nerd 204 [used with permission] Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @ThatVorpalEdge Kyle’s Twitter: @videogamefaith Allison’s Twitter: @AllisonBarron12 Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy original Geekdom House merchandise from...

When You Treat People as Things Jan09

When You Treat People as Things...

There wasn’t supposed to be a war that day. Captain Jankowski of the Earth Alliance cruiser Prometheus was exploring to expand Earth’s territory. He never expected to come nose-to-nose with a flotilla of Minbari warships. For their part, the Minbari hadn’t been expecting a war either. Theirs was an errand of investigation, an attempt to confirm recent sightings of a feared and ancient enemy, the dreaded Shadows. But naturally, when they encountered Captain Jankowski’s ship, they offered a greeting of respect as their tradition demanded: they opened their gunports. As a warrior and a man given to quick judgements, Captain Jankowski misinterpreted the intent of the Minbari and fired. He couldn’t have known that the ship he attacked contained the Grey Council—the ruling body of the Minbar Federation. Dukhat, a beloved leader, was killed in the attack and the council reacted with instant hatred. In a unanimous vote, they declared war upon the Earth Alliance. This battle and the ones that followed formed an important part of the backstory for Michael J. Straczynski’s series Babylon 5. A misunderstanding sent two races stumbling toward Armageddon. We mentally classify people, neatly sorting them into the boxes we have in our minds. This story isn’t the first tale of interstellar conflict born from misunderstanding. When Ender’s Game opens, humanity has survived two major wars with the alien Buggers. In the most recent engagement, the hero Mazer Rackham defeated them when he realized that they operate as a hive mind. Fearing a third invasion, the governments of Earth built an international fleet headquartered on the asteroid Eros. The stated purpose of the fleet was to defend Earth from a third invasion. In truth, the governments of Earth were preparing to end the war permanently by taking the fight...

Seeing with the Heart in The Little Prince Jan06

Seeing with the Heart in The Little Prince...

Netflix recently released a film version of The Little Prince, one of my favourite books. They placed the story in the context of a meeting between the author and a little girl who really needed to hear the tale. This little girl was being forced to grow up way before her time; she had loss upon loss heaped upon her without any acknowledgment or assistance in processing it. She lost her father’s presence in her life through divorce, with snow globes he would send from his travels as a poor substitute. Her decisions for her life were replaced by her mother’s vision of life—a barren calendar packed with busy tasks but perfectly empty of meaning or joy. The collapse of the mother’s hopes for her own life made her so fearful for her daughter’s future that she controlled every aspect of it that she could. At one point, the stress of future success was so burdensome that the little girl fainted. Her world had become so small and so focused that there was no room for error, no room for failure, and no time for fun, friends, or rest. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” When a life becomes so narrow and so devoid of hope or joy, it can become something of a mini-apocalypse. Here’s a funny thing about that word apocalypse; although the current cultural meaning of it has become “a great calamity” or “disaster,” the true meaning is “revelation.” The association with disaster comes from the Book of Revelation, whose title in Greek is Apocalypse (interpreting it as a disaster is very unfair, but that’s another story for another time). What is more interesting is that when disaster strikes in our lives, it is an amazing...

Mara Jade, a Redeemed Villain Jan04

Mara Jade, a Redeemed Villain...

There was a time when Mara Jade had it all. She was a favoured agent of Emperor Palpatine, called by the title “Emperor’s Hand.” She enjoyed a life of privilege, which included a personal starship, a droid companion, and private quarters on Coruscant. All she had to do was carry out the Emperor’s will. Acting on Palpatine’s behalf, she eliminated corrupt Imperial officials, Jedi who survived Order 66, and anyone else the Emperor deemed worthy of death. Although few in the Empire knew about her, they would have been jealous of her if they had. She was, after all, advancing the Empire’s interests. Then Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance ruined everything. When Palpatine died at the Battle of Endor, Mara’s life crumbled. She blamed Skywalker and made it her life’s ambition to kill him. It seemed like the right thing to do. Not only is she flawed and human, but she also finds redemption. When Timothy Zahn first introduced Mara Jade in Heir to the Empire in 1991, he could not have foreseen her popularity. She has become a fan favourite and has appeared in novels and comics well beyond what Zahn originally intended. Her backstory—which he sketched out in his novels—has been extensively documented in other stories. Ask any group of fans about her and one or two of them will likely say, “Mara Jade? She’s awesome! I love her.” Really? Why? She was an assassin; a tool the emperor used to destroy his enemies. That hardly qualifies her for “role model” status. I think part of the appeal is that she is a strong, complex character. We can identify with her struggles. She commits evil acts, but her heart sometimes betrays her and she is drawn toward the light. In other...

Star Wars Watchalong – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Jan03

Star Wars Watchalong – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi...

It’s bigger, badder, and shielded from the forrest moon of Endor, it’s Infinity +1! Join Jason, Jedi Master Michael Boyce and podcast regular Dustin Schellenberg as they watch through the original finale to the Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi. This episode was recorded just days after the announcement of Carrie Fisher’s passing and is dedicated to her and her legacy as Princess Leia Organa. This episode was brought to you by Ai-Kon’s Winterfest Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @ThatVorpalEdge Dustin’s Twitter: @PDschellenberg Michael’s Twitter: @mwboyce Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy original Geekdom House merchandise from...

Our Favourite Things from 2016 Jan02

Our Favourite Things from 2016

Charles’ Anime Picks 1. March Comes in Like a Lion Very rarely have I found media that’s both rip-roaringly funny and genuinely touching. March Comes in Like a Lion, a story about a shogi prodigy (think Japanese chess) trying to find his way in the world is just that. Memorable characters, beautiful artwork, and catchy music—all of which you’d expect from the spiritual successor to Honey and Clover—are the icing on the cake for a series that tackles issues like loneliness, adoption, neglect, illness, and poor parenting. This is the best anime of 2016. 2. Re:Zero A video-game-playing shut-in is spirited away to a fantasy world where he makes friends with would-be princesses and assassin maids, fights creepy cultic leaders, and dies agonizing deaths before restarting the “game.” Oh, and did I mention there’s an entire arc based on Moby Dick, but with flying whales? 3. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash A show that takes place in a world with some similarities to Sword Art Online. But Grimgar is far more intense and takes unexpected turns that advance the story of comrades learning to survive in a harsh world. The animation is very pretty and the show has lots of thoughtful, quiet moments, but be prepared, Grimgar is violent—most of all, to the viewer’s heart. Jen’s Superhero Movie Picks 1. Captain America: Civil War You can’t go wrong with a Captain America movie, but this one was especially awesome. Besides being action-packed, fun, and full of great characters (loved Black Panther!), it was relevant to the real sense of division that many people are feeling these days. The intro of a couple of new characters to the Avenger group and a storyline that I can’t wait to see developed really made this movie stand out in the Captain America series. 2. Doctor Strange This movie was visually interesting and had super cool special effects. The storyline was compelling and thought-provoking. I like that Marvel is bringing out some of the lesser known guys like Doctor Strange. I also really enjoy seeing the birth of a hero and watching Strange come into his. The during credits sneak peek vignette was the best one yet (Yay Thor!). 3. X-Men: Apocalypse I love Magneto (and Michael Fassbender), so any story giving insight into his character is good in my book. The scene with Quicksilver was the best part of the movie, and the theme of family was a good one—that’s really what the X-Men are, after all.   Kevin’s Animated Movie Picks 1. Kubo and the Two Strings This movie is simply beautiful. The visual design of the stop motion animation evokes feudal Japan. It explores the importance of story and themes of love, loss, sacrifice, and redemption. It’s my favourite animated film in a year crowded with amazing entries. 2. Zootopia Zootopia took us to another world populated by anthropomorphic animals. The structure of the story is heavily influenced by the classic film noir stories, but the bright colours and sheer inventiveness of the world-building made it an amazing journey. 3. Moana With stunning visuals, a Chief’s awesome daughter (emphatically NOT a princess), an epic quest, amazing songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Alan Tudyk as a chicken, this is one of my favourites. Honorable Mention – Sing! While not a great film, this movie has an exuberant third act which will sweep you away. Victoria’s TV Show Picks 1. Stranger Things This was one of the best shows I’ve seen in years. I binge-watched it over two days—twice. The acting was superb, the plot drew me in, the characters were original and delightful, and I still quote lines from the show on a regular basis. 2. The Muppets Though this show only lasted one season, it brought me back to my childhood. I adore Muppet humor and this show had me laughing out loud. I loved seeing Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang...

The Best of Area of Effect 2016 Dec30

The Best of Area of Effect 2016...

Happy new year!! If you’re new to Area of Effect or want to catch up on some reading you might have missed, here are the top Editors’ Picks from 2016. Let us know your favourite article in the comments, and what you hope to see us write about in 2017. Cheers, y’all. ANIME 1. “The Gift We Can’t Earn” by Charles Sadnick — on Clannad After Story 2. “Pain Can’t Keep us Together” by Casey Covel — on Kiznaiver 3. “Choosing Peace in Nausicaa’s Wake” by Charles Sadnick — on Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind COMICS 1. “One of Your Many Toys” by Dustin Schellenberg — on Suicide Squad 2. “Losing to Win: Doctor Strange and Fear” by Victoria Grace Howell — on Doctor Strange 3. “A Bizarro Kind of Love” by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry — on Superman the Animated Series FANTASY 1. “I Must Not Tell Lies” by Kyla Neufeld — on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2. “Of Mice and Words” by Casey Covel — on the Redwall series by Brian Jacques 3. “Call Me Treebeard” by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry — on The Lord of the Rings SCI-FI 1. “Stranger Things: The Villains in Authority” by Michael Boyce — on Stranger Things 2. “I Ain’t Afraid of No Truth” by Kevin Cummings — on Ghostbusters 3. “Identifying with a Sarcastic Martian” by Allison Barron — on The Martian TABLETOP 1. “Confessions of a DM: NPCs are People Too” by Sheela Cox — on Dungeons and Dragons 2. “Keeping it in the Game” by Michael Penner — on Settlers of Catan 3. “Not Just a Board Game Design Class” by Kevin Cummings VIDEO GAMES 1. “A Colossal Lie” by Casey Covel — on Shadow of the Colossus 2. “Our Response to Fear and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” by Dustin Schellenberg — on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 3. “Life, Death, and Mario Kart” by Kyle Rudge — on Mario Kart HUMOUR...

A Princess to Follow Dec28

A Princess to Follow

When I was growing up, I didn’t want to be the helpless princess in a tower waiting for someone to come rescue me. I wasn’t the Maid Marion or Snow White type. You’d never catch me in the forest chillin’ with the animals and singing “someday my prince will come.” Well, actually I did do that once, but it was straight parody. I wanted to be Robin Hood—or at the very least one of the Merry Men, the knight slaying the dragon, the spy defeating the despot, the rebel saving the galaxy from the Empire. I don’t meant to say that I wanted to be a dude—that was never the case. I grew up with brothers and cousins and now I have sons, and I am more convinced than ever that boys have cooties. But, in my mind, I could be a girl and a hero. I credit this sensibility to my healthy diet of stories with strong female characters. For every helpless Disney princess, there was Eowyn, Wonder Woman, Joan of Arc, or Judith (who lobbed off Holofernes’ head in the Bible). Plus, God made man and woman equal, both in God’s image and likeness, and there were tons of kick-butt heroines in the Bible. Every little girl who has the heart of a warrior will have a place to draw inspiration from. The Star Wars franchise portrays strong women in various ways throughout their movies. I particularly appreciated the roles of the Rogue One ladies. Lyra Erso was a wife and mother who believed deeply in the Force and tried to prepare her daughter for the likely return of Imperial baddies. When Director Krennic came and threatened her family, she didn’t cower. She died trying to protect her husband and daughter. Mon...

Star Wars Watchalong – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Dec27

Star Wars Watchalong – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back...

Recorded in a tree hovel on Dagobah, its a special episode of Infinity +1! Jason is joined by Allison and occasional guest/Jedi Knight Michael Boyce to watch what many consider to be the strongest entry in the franchise—Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and joke through the entire thing for your amusement. Stay tuned to the feed for watchalong commentaries for the rest of the original trilogy throughout December and January in addition to the annual Star Wars Holiday Special episode recorded after the premiere of Rogue One. This episode was brought to you by Ai-Kon’s Winterfest Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @ThatVorpalEdge Allison’s Twitter: @AllisonBarron12 Michael’s Twitter: @mwboyce Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy original Geekdom House merchandise from...

Apocalypse? We’ve All Been There Dec26

Apocalypse? We’ve All Been There...

Maybe it’s the recent American election, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the end of the world. This is not the first time in my life that my thoughts have been preoccupied with this. I recall when I was young, maybe 12 or 13, hearing about some preacher in the US who had proclaimed that the world was going to end. I remember my father, who was travelling on that appointed day, telling me, “I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not, but if Jesus comes know I love you.” This incident only occasionally comes up in therapy. As someone who grew up at the tail end of the Hal Lindsay, Thief in the Night brand of evangelicalism, I certainly remember an apocalyptic tone to some of the sermons I heard, but that was the only time I can recall, as an impressionable teenager, wondering, “is this it? Is the world as I know it going to end?” Since then, various prophecies about the coming apocalypse have come and gone. Some people were sure it was going to happen in 2000 and stockpiled food and supplies. More recently, California-based minister Harold Camping predicted the world would end in 2011 (first in May, then revised to October). I have also learned about the long eschatological tradition within Christianity—starting from the early Apostles, to the end-of-the-world cults pre-1000, to the Seventh-Day Adventists—that certain groups of Christians have been wholly preoccupied with figuring out the details. The apocalypse is not the sort of thing we should spend all our time worried about. Knowing something of this long tradition of apocalyptic thought in Christianity has not made me feel less uneasy when these “prophetic” messages make the news. In fact, it’s usually embarrassing. Some group...

The 12 Days of Geekdom Dec23

The 12 Days of Geekdom...

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, the one ring to rule them all (My Precioussssss) On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 Halo Riiiiiiings . . . 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them all . . . . . On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 wookies mrwwwararrraara’ing 11 Time Lords quipping (technically it was only 1 from 11 different times but at slightly different intervals and the first one was the last one to arrive and the last one was the first one to arrive so they know progressively less and less, or more and more depending on how you look at it . . . it’s complicated) 10 Red Shirts dying 9 Wraiths a’ringing 8 orcs exploding 7 wands a’waving 6 Zombies shambling 5 Halo Riiiiiiings . . . 4 green rupees 3 X-Wings 2 Grabthar’s Hammers And the one ring to rule them...

A Biased Father and His Not-So-Cursed Child Dec21

A Biased Father and His Not-So-Cursed Child...

In the first seven Harry Potter books, sometimes I forget I’m in Harry’s head and can only see things through his perspective. Reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play written by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, causes me to question just how much bias colours Harry’s outlook. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and his friends are grown up with children, and his son, Albus, is one of the main characters. Unlike its predecessors, the play spans several years, highlighting the life of a Potter who is placed in Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. To Harry’s dismay, Albus becomes best friends with Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius, who—despite the fact that he’s a sweetheart—many despise simply because of his heritage. As it is not told through the lens of a single character, the play provides a more objective look into the wizarding world than the seven novels detailing Harry’s childhood. It addresses some of the bias I didn’t even realize was happening in the original series. Harry vs. Slytherin Harry’s prejudice against Slytherin started to bother me when I re-read the Harry Potter books as an adult; I realized that there couldn’t possibly be a house that only churned out evil witches and wizards. The world isn’t black and white; it’s a whole lot of grey that can be tricky to navigate. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hagrid says, “There’s not a single witch or wizard who went bad that wasn’t in Slytherin.” This has to be an exaggeration, and one that Harry takes to heart. As Hagrid is his first guide to the wizarding world, Harry has no reason to doubt the statement. He learns later on that Hagrid isn’t...

Episode 61 – Rogue One Holiday Special Dec20

Episode 61 – Rogue One Holiday Special...

It’s the official podcast of the Rebel Alliance, Infinity +1! This week is all about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—like, seriously, if you haven’t watched it yet don’t come anywhere near this episode, there are so many spoilers. Jason, Allison and Kyle came straight from watching Rogue One to record their raw reactions and opinions about the movie, and there might even be a special Star Wars Conundrum to celebrate the occasion. A huge thank-you to Ai-Kon’s Winterfest for sponsoring this episode of Infinity +1. Download and subscribe to Infinity +1 on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play Music now! RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/geekdomhouse/infinitypodcast Jason’s Twitter: @ThatVorpalEdge Kyle’s Twitter: @videogamefaith Allison’s Twitter: @AllisonBarron12 Geekdom House on Twitter: @GeekdomHouse Buy original Geekdom House merchandise from...

Call for Writers Dec19

Call for Writers

Do you want to write for Area of Effect magazine? We’re looking for a couple new writers who are excited about combining their faith, morality, philosophy, social justice, and more with their geeky interests. As geeks we tend to (over) analyze these shows that we love and our goal for Area of Effect is to take those same conversations we have all had, dig a little deeper, and publish it. What we are looking for in prospective writers: a willingness to put beliefs, ideas, and biases on the table for discussion (i.e. vulnerability is a must) professional writing experience—your work has been previously published at least three times in print or online an understanding of Area of Effect‘s writing style and content a commitment to a Christian faith (we do not require any specific denomination but look for an affirmation of the basics: a forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ, centrality of the word of God, and the Triune nature of God) a commitment to write at least one  700-1000 word article every other month (1001 words is too many and 1005 is RIGHT OUT) specialization in a geeky subjects we haven’t covered much is an asset creativity and sense of humour ability to write thoughtful, intelligent articles preference given to those who can hum any version of The Legend of Zelda theme song What staff writers get: to become a part of a community of passionate, geeky folks who love writing about their fandoms opportunities to grow with writers and professional editors 25 CAD for first article and 50 CAD for every subsequent article to give their editor cookies as bribery… er… we mean as thanks… How to apply If you are interested in writing for Area of Effect, email allison@geekdomhouse.com with the subject line “AoE Writer App.” Include...