Archive for November, 2015


A Bone

Out of nowhere, I’ve got a job interview on Monday.

I say “out of nowhere” because I haven’t submitted a job application in a month, and I wasn’t expecting to have any job-related news until after Christmas.

Turns out that a firm to which I submitted an application on September 30th decided to throw me a bone. Cool.

Obviously, expectations have to be tempered here. I went 0 for 8 on interviews just a few months ago, and this time around I don’t have the comfort of seven other opportunities in case this one goes pear-shaped.

On the plus side, the applicant pool has thinned out considerably since August, which theoretically means that I’m going up against lesser academic competition this time around. Then again, if this process was solely based on marks I’d have a job already, and I’m sure there are plenty of others just like me out there.

Ultimately, regardless of the quality of the competition, they still outnumber me ten to one, so it’s going to be tough. I wasn’t expecting to be out of the woods before Christmas, and so if I don’t get this I don’t think I’ll be overly disappointed.

But man, it would be so nice if I could nail this. I don’t have the words to tell you how nice that would be.

Putting this job search to bed before Christmas would allow me to enjoy my holiday so much more. It’s been so long since my mind has been at ease that I’ve forgotten what it feels like.

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Ties

Towards the end of every stage in my academic career thus far, I’ve felt a little sad knowing that I’m about to be separated from the people I’ve been close to for the last X number of years.

This time around, I don’t think I’ll feel that way.

I’m five months away from being done with law school, and at this point I don’t see myself really missing anyone that I’ve met since I started here in 2013.

I’ve made friends, but I haven’t made any close friends here. None that are as close as the friends I made in elementary school, or the ones I made in high school, or the ones I made at U of T, anyhow.

There are a couple of people I’d like to stay in touch with, but given that my relationships with said people largely revolve around playing video games online, there’s no reason that those ties couldn’t be maintained. But if they aren’t, I don’t think I’ll feel sad about it.

And that’s a little sad.

Pointless Censorship

A game I played recently has got me thinking about censorship in entertainment.

I’m actually cool with censorship so long as it’s actually protecting some individual or group.

What drives me crazy is when I see censorship that serves no purpose whatsoever, and there’s a lot of that in games that are brought over from Japan.

This is one area where I think video games are worse off than books, movies, and TV. With a book, the script is all you’ve got, and so when a book is translated the translator’s goal is to be as faithful to the original as possible. A translator who goes around screwing with the characters will find themselves out of work real fast. With movies and TV shows, sometimes the translations can be a little looser, but nothing substantial ever changes.

But with games, anything goes. Names, ages, and personalities of both main and minor characters are often completely rewritten, and that bothers me because it butchers what the writers originally intended.

Take the game I alluded to earlier, for example. It’s the typical RPG tale of a gang of teenage misfits saving the world from certain doom. There are also a couple of budding romance subplots thrown in for good measure, and as part of these budding romances there’s a sprinkling of sexual innuendo.

Or at least, that’s the original script. When the game was brought over to North America, all of the innuendo was removed and the characters were aged up from 15 to 18.

That’s the sort of thing that makes me shake my head. What are we doing here? Who are we trying to protect?

We’re not trying to protect children here. The game is rated 13+, so young children (in theory) shouldn’t be playing it at all.

And surely we’re not trying to protect teenagers from language which is less explicit than what they’re already being exposed to on a daily basis, right? I was 15 once, and there was a whole lot more than harmless innuendo floating around back then.

Are we trying to convince adults that 15 year olds are all completely pure of heart and never talk about sex with other 15 year olds? Is that it?

All of the possibilities seem utterly ridiculous to me, and so I can’t help but conclude that absolutely no one is being protected by censoring this content.

Even if the script had a 40 year old man using suggestive language towards a 15 year old girl, I’d argue against censoring it because it would set up that 40 year old as a particularly creepy villain and give the player some real motivation to go kick his ass.

But it doesn’t. It’s 15 year olds hitting on other 15 year olds. That should shock your conscience about as much as me telling you that 15 year olds sometimes drink alcohol. Are North Americans and Europeans so uptight that we can’t accept fictional 15 year olds talking in snide undertones about sex? It doesn’t make any sense to me.

This is just one of countless examples. The subject matter that gets filtered out varies from game to game. Sexual innuendo is a common one, but I’ve seen characters edited to make them more macho, less cruel, less feeble, more heterosexual, et cetera.

But… why?