Tag Archives: PC

Should we put Woke to sleep?

The past tense of awake is woke, obviously. “I woke up,” is what someone could utter any given morning. The word has also been adopted as a slang word with a meaning that is ever expanding, but generally entails being in the know when it comes to social and political enlightenment. A word with such subjectivity allows people to feel a sense of “wokeness” when it comes to just about anything.

Has anyone ever told you to #staywoke? The term has existed for a while, and now got a brand-new make over with its existence on social media. Its social media presence is what caused many to refine or narrow down its meaning.

Many people have various interpretations of the word.

San Francisco State University biology student, Rosa Gutierrez, thinks “…it is when someone is enlightened, or trying to learn about something that is going on around them, and not ignoring the issues that are going on around them.”

American-Indian studies major, Shawnee Sample, believes that, “It’s about seeing different perspectives and different sides to everything, just being able to recognize what’s going down whether it’s political, educational, etc.”

“I think it means being aware of situations and problems that people aren’t aware of,” shares computer science major, David Harvey. “I feel like it’s being overused for now, but with time it will be used less.”

The great thing about social media is that it can get information to circulate on a broader scale. People all over the world can get a laugh from the same memes at the same time! And while that is amazing it’s important to realize that not just memes are being rapidly spread, so are these trends of activism.

We live in a time where big social movements involving hashtags can catapult through the likes of social media. Take #BlackLivesMatter for example, the entirety of that movement started on social media and without social media it would not have spread as widely as it did.

With that being said, even though a social movement as such holds much more value than a trend, it is treated the same when it comes to having a shelf life, which brings me to the topic of being or staying “Woke.”

Even though it has taken off on social media, the term has been around for decades in the Black community. Although not the most reputable source, The Urban Dictionary satirically describes it as “a state of perceived intellectual superiority one gains by reading The Huffington Post.”

A lot of people think that because they were there first they get to delegate what the meaning is and how others should be regarded within that term,” says Ghila Andemeskel, former executive coordinator for the Black Student Union. “In general it does open doors for discussion.”

At the peak of its existence in the world of social media, “woke” seemed to bring a lot of awareness to issues. It also became something that people were striving to be a part of because it was highly looked down upon to be considered not “woke.”

With that popularity arose various problems. On one hand people were beginning to just start calling themselves “woke,” unjustly throwing around the word like Northern Californians throw around the word “hella.” On the other hand, people began to develop this unwarranted sense of intellectual superiority, and additionally it led to a lot of talk of issues, but no action.

“Media is a tool that can be used positively and negatively,” explains Hanna Wodaje, an Africana studies Alumna who currently works at the Black Unity Center. “The word can be like a double-edged sword obviously if it’s used inefficiently.”

The overuse and misuse of the word by people wanting fit in led to a lot of folks misconstruing the meaning. While it is great to care for these issues and give them more attention, the only thing this superiority does is create a divide between people, as opposed to spreading awareness which was the goal from the beginning, which in my opinion is the cause of this dwindling trend.

Often people think that a simple double tap on someone’s “woke” post or a simple retweet is enough and that is as far as their wokeness goes.

“Social media things like hashtags have been an amazing way for people of color and marginalized groups to reclaim their spaces and their platforms,” Wodaje points out.

Even singer and Bay Area native, Kehlani, sported the word as a tattoo in giant letters gracing the back of her hand, which she had covered up at the beginning of this year.

“When I got the ‘Woke’ tattoo at twenty-years-old I thought I was the smartest cookie in the jar,” shared the now twenty-two-year-old in an Instagram post. “I was so ready to declare my intelligence to the world.”

Someone who is truly about that life, lives it everyday. It shows in the company they keep, in them standing up for themselves and others, and it shows in their active activism—not including “Twitter activism”, which is not necessarily bad, but it is not enough to make an actual impact in the community and the lives of others.
We should stop looking at it like it is a finite state of being. There is no end to learning, growing, and becoming better versions of ourselves.

It is wonderful to spread awareness about social issues, the feeling that comes from doing such feels amazing, but anger or bashing should not stem from a difference in thoughts of opinions regarding various topics. I couldn’t decide whether something like this needed a different title like ‘socially conscious’ or maybe we should eradicate titles all together and let our actions speak louder than or words.

Let’s put the focus we have on the term to sleep and wake up our potential to be the catalyst for positive change in our communities. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about.

The Teardown: Metro: Last Light: Redux

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Average Scores: 83, 84, 84

I saw the Gamefly envelope resting on my bed and my heart sank into my gut (which could have been Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew now that I think about it). I had one thought: “Fuck. This better not be another Ninja Gaiden game.”

It could have been My Little Pony Sim 2014 or “Game of the Century” Cory in the House, one of which is a real game; I did not care. Just not another Ninja Gaiden game, please. Thankfully, I was greeted with this on my PS4 dashboard upon inserting the mystery disc:

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No more garbage combat. No more cringeworthy stories with awful one-liners. I was free.

Well, not entirely free. I still had Metro: Last Light: Redux to play… again. I had already suffered through the regular version of Metro: Last Light last year, but Ukranian developer 4A Games had the bright idea of remastering this “classic” to reach a new audience on new consoles with prettier visuals.

But no one was complaining that Metro looked like hot street trash. Hell, not many were even complaining about Metro at all. To my surprise, Metro was met with great reviews and decorated with awards from the media and fans alike.

It looks great and knows how to set a mood – I will give it that – but playing it was more frustrating that riding an actual metro in San Francisco. However, it did have the same amount of brown coat-wearing drunk white dudes. A mere coincidence, probably.

Moving on.

Metro tosses you into a myriad of narrow tunnels, each filled with more things to shoot than the last. The problem is that sneaking or shooting through these situations is always a headache. Stealth sucks because of the shoddy enemy intelligence. They are either brain dead stupid or hyper intelligent super soldiers. Or, to break this down more: all human enemies possess the mind of Stephen Hawking or the mobility of Stephen Hawking. There is no middle ground.

Just get a rib removed, dude. It makes it way easier.
Just get a rib removed, dude. It makes it way easier.

The mutated freaks, which I can just assume is what most Russian men look like when they do not get their hourly vodka shots, take home the grand prize in being generally about as pleasant as putting a toothpick under your big toe and kicking the nearest wall. They will sprint right up in your grill and mosh like some metal heads, lopping off large amounts of health and even larger amounts of patience. Escaping is not an option because backpedaling makes the main character, Artyom, move at half his normal speed. So the most natural movement that someone would use when confronted by horribly disfigured beasts is significantly hamstrung when you need it most. It does not make a lick of sense.

In a game where you can shoot dog-size bears and bear-sized dogs, this is what made the least amount of sense: not being able to move at a consistent speed. When the playing part of your video game sucks, that is not a good sign. However, the nearly-transparent strokes of a well-made game are in the periphery but lost in the thick, burnt weeds of the nuked-out landscape of stupid design decisions.

It is beautiful in its ugliness - I will cop to that.
It is beautiful in its ugliness – I will cop to that.

But maybe I am just ignorant to this whole game’s message. Maybe this is just how Russia operates. Maybe this game was an accurate representation of day-to-day Russian life: it is frustrating, filled with awkward sexual encounters, and dangerous to explore the irradiated surface without a gas mask. Maybe it is a just another reminder of how awesome America is. You know a good post-apocalyptic game? The Last of Us. You know where it takes place? America. That is no coincidence. Suck it, Putin. I am putin you, your country, and your country’s representative game in its place: back in the mail and to Gamefly’s headquarters because I am not ever playing this game again.

The Teardown: Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Average Scores: 43, 50, 49

I am sorry, dear reader. I have failed you. But not as much as I failed myself.

Just a few weeks ago, I made a promise to not play another new Ninja Gaiden game. I lied. I goofed. I fucked up. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z shot through my mailslot (not a euphemism) at my house, waiting to be the next game that I had to suffer through. It sounds like some sort of coincidence coordinated by Satan to ensure I am primed and ready for hell with a constant stream of shitty Ninja Gaiden games. I mean, I just played through Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge a couple weeks ago. I feel like I need a purple heart medal for enduring that game. It still gives me ‘Nam flashbacks.

Speaking of, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge set the bar high on how low to actually set the bar. The series almost could not get any worse. Muddled combat, bland art, and an abhorrent story will do that to a once-pristine franchise. Yaiba takes all of those poorly executed aspects and makes it look like the developers sat back and thought of ways to make every facet even worse.

Here is Yaiba and you will always want him to shut up when he talks.
Here is Yaiba and you will always want him to shut up when he talks.

Besides the insultingly braindead platforming, melee-focused swordplay makes up most of what you will be doing in Yaiba. Cutting up the ugliest monsters could not be more sluggish and frustrating. Yaiba, the main character, moves like he is covered in glue but also somehow like he downed a bottle of uppers. Spastic sword combos are unresponsive and sludgy, resulting in many quick deaths at the hands of wonky, abysmal controls. Getting Yaiba to do what you want when you want is a Herculean task in and of itself, and doing it in time to avoid the hordes of stupid enemies is a task no human should withstand.

The enemies in this game deserve their own special circle in hell. Most games have an enemy type that sucks. That is fine. Every single enemy in this game is that enemy. That one enemy that sets you on fire; then that other enemy that grabs you; then that other enemy that suicide bombs you. It is almost literally a laundry list of the shittiest video game enemies rolled up into one game. It is appalling. Do not even mention the bosses to me, because I will probably fall into a fugue state and start talking in tongues that, regardless of language, rightfully slam the game.

God dammit, not you again!
God dammit, not you again!

Fuck it! Too late! I am going to complain about the bosses too, but not in the way you think. While, yes, they are frustrating battles of tedium and frustration over reflexes, the rampant unfunniness of each is unsettling. Here is a joke that channels a part of Yaiba‘s sense of humor: ahemPANTIES!

Why are you not laughing? See, the joke is that I said “panties” and just that alone that is comedic gold. Platinum, even. Just saying a word is a joke now. It does not even need context or thought.

Yeah, this game is a headache.
Yeah, this game is a headache.

Many of Yaiba‘s “jokes” are just saying a thing or being overly brash. It is all full of lazy, overly enthusiastic references that barely, even in an inebriated state, resemble comedy. It is the Bobby Lee of video games. I bet Yaiba has even drunkenly shit its pants at a party.

And that is what the Ninja Gaiden series is left with – being the guy who shits himself at a party. Ninja Gaiden used to be the life of the party; he was the dude that would bring all the beer and the women. Now he cannot even limp around without looking sluggish and unresponsive. He is almost literally the guy who loved high school because nothing else happened with him after senior year. Good luck with nine years of community college, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.