Fandom Love: Mass Effect

My apologies to you fine folks, again. I have a job interview later this week, that is requiring me to brush up on some information. As such, I’m behind on other things. I am about to rectify that though.

My second favorite fandom is the most recent for me, and it’s also the one I’ve geeked about the most in the past few years.

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I was late to the Mass Effect party. We had the game for the 360, but I could never get into playing it – mainly due to the controls. Then for an early Christmas present, my roommate bought me a copy of it over Steam since I had just finished enjoying Dragon Age: Origins. Mass Effect 1 was fun, refreshing, and dynamic. I found myself looking at creating different Commander Shepards just to find out how dynamic the choices in the game were.

For Christmas that year, my mother gave me a gift card for a game store. I immediately used that to place Mass Effect 2 on pre-order. When that game launched, that was when everything changed for me. I remember that we were cooking dinner in  our small house, and I had just finished installing the game. My husband is maybe 10 feet away from me cooking when I play through the opening sequence. My jaw drops at the end of that sequence, and I utter the words, “Game over, man.” 20101006130820!Renegade_Interrupt

It was all down hill, in the best way, from there. I devoured that game as much as I could. I remember that my husband and I actually had tickets for a musical in Atlanta that same weekened after the game launched, and I wished that I had my PC the entire time. (If my memory serves me properly, I had just finished Horizon before we left on the trip, so I was very anxious to find out what would happen next.) Once we were back in town, I tried playing the game when I could, but having a regular job was making it difficult to have any long playing sessions. I remember the first time I beat the game, I woke up in the middle of the night, exhausted but unable to sleep, so I just went back out, finished the game, and then got ready for work.

Then I got home, and started a second game with a different imported character. I was able to play through it faster the second time, and at that moment, the obsession was in place. That character was Commander Alexis Shepard, and she decided that she had to have some words in my head that had to be put to paper. I put said words to paper, and I have to date written around 60,000 words for her, in between short stories, a longer fic, and an unfinished sequel to the longer work. None of which is really viewable at the moment, but I may get around to republishing them on fansites again one day.

It was around the time that I started writing this fic that I met many people that are important to me. At that time, I was hanging out at the Kaidan Alenko Support Thread at the Bioware Social site, and I had met and talked to a half dozen or more people there that I really got along with. Over the years, those people have evolved into very important people in my life, close friends and even two who are like sisters. Without Mass Effect, that would never have been possible. This even launched an ongoing collaborative fic that is still being worked on between myself and some others. We have had some ups and downs writing it, but we had a great vision based off a joke I made one day in passing.

500px-Paragon_InterruptI will touch briefly on Mass Effect 3. I did not agree with the way that the story was written, and how there was miraculously a deus ex machina device that the Alliance finds on Mars just as the war begins. It stunk of convenience. However, I decided to just go along with it after Mars, and I just enjoyed the game for what I was given. When I got to the controversial end, I honestly didn’t listen to the star kid/god/ai, whatever he was. My goal, for my character, was to stop the reapers at all costs. I went immediately to the “red” ending, and I destroyed the reapers, my Shepard being sacrificed in the process. The “loop hole” of the end with Kaidan appearing on the Normandy did not need to be explained. When talking to Garrus, he had talked about a bar in a tropical paradise that he wanted Shepard to meet him at, should they both die. Kaidan was in my ground team on Earth, and I presumed he had died in the assualt, and based on the scenes at the end with Normandy, I figured much the same happened to my beloved ship.

It was a fitting end for my story that I saw unfold over the years. Further, I recall the very last few minutes of the game, where a man in the future is walking with a kid. They’re walking underneath the stars, and their conversation is so telling. The man had just told the kid a story – a story about the Shepard. Everything made so much sense then. The trilogy is a legend, akin to the Iliad on Earth. In all legends, facts and myths are merged, hyperbole is key, and heroes are larger than life. All the details I didn’t like, or made no sense, those are details that I can now rationalize away in my own headcannon as the exaggeration for the legend. The strange end, with the deus ex machina, something to make the Shepard something more than mortal. It’s not a perfect explanation, but it’s one I can accept. It also lets me enjoy the games still.

Those are the broad reasons why I love the series, and how it fast became my second favorite fandom of all time. Feel free to comment, ask questions, etc. I likely will not indulge in much discussion of the ending of the trilogy. I want to celebrate why I love the series.

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A long time ago….

I thought I’d take a few days and start showing a bit more of whom I am, by talking about things that I love. I’ll be focusing on the parts of the geekdom that over time, I’m still a mega-nerd. Before I get into that, I’d like to take a moment to say something about football…

Dude, Tamp Bay, what the hell? You guys had that game. My Saints were terrible on offense. I’m happy we won, but you folks in Tampa need to do something. The amount of stupid penalties and undisciplined nature that you guys are playing are just going to keep killing you each week. Not to mention, someone, be it on your team or the opposition, is going to get really hurt. Figure it out, and fix it. I like to see big “Bang Bang” plays, but I don’t want to see injured players. I want to see teams go out and win because they outplayed the other team, even if it means my boys lose.

Anyways, on to my geek loves, I’d like to start with my first love:

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I love these movies, and the universe that hs been spawned by it, more than anything. I love it so much that my wedding had Star Wars themes. My wedding party all had FX light sabers of varying colors, and my wedding cake topper was Juno Eclipse and Porkins with three Stormtroopers, making sure Porkins stayed. Anyone who knows my husband and me, they know that in any Star Wars game, I always want to play the Empire, and he always wants to play the Rebels. It worked out great for the wedding. imperial

Growing up, my parents had all three of the original movies on one VHS tape. Six plus hours of non-stop Star Wars. I would watch that tape normally once a month. As my mother will tell you, I watched it one summer for a full month, every day, all day. The benefit of it being a VHS tape was that when it was at the end, the tape would stop, rewind, and start again. There was something about those stories, as they unfolded on the screen before me that were captivating.

It was more than just the struggle of good versus evil, or the coming of age story for Luke. It was seeing such fantastical creatures and aliens, as if they were real. To this day, Return of the Jedi is my favorite movie. Not because of the Ewoks. (Although I admit that I have never hated the Ewoks, and I mourn the loss of the Yub Yub song.) It was Jabba’s Palace, with Jabba, and Max Rebo and his band, the dancers (in particular Oola), Bib Fortuna, and just a sea of other aliens. It was fun; it had intrigue, and it had a rancor.

Rancors are awesome.

rebelNow, the newer movies I don’t hate. I think that it stems mostly from the fact that I was too young to experience the original trilogy in the theaters. Plus, these movies almost transform me back to  that six year old girl watching the original trilogy for the first time. I accept the flaws, and I just enjoy the ride. Except for the Clone Wars movie. That was just laughable, and not in a good way.

I could gush over every little part of Star Wars that I love, but I want to keep this concise. In parting words, I want everyone to sit back and think about Star Wars. If it’s something that you love, why do you love it? I’d love to hear from you.

And remember:alderaan-shot-first

Welcome back, Football

NFL football is back!

I promise that this blog is not about to turn into a play by play post about football, but I am a huge fan of the sport, and I will talk about it from time to time – like today. After all, it is something that I thoroughly enjoy, and some other people might also enjoy it.

With football season in full swing now, I am getting my fair share of football games to watch. I saw my Saints play yesterday, and although they struggled, their D pulled through when it mattered. (After last season, I am shocked to state those words.) The referees obviously have it out for the Packers, botching a call that could have altered the final score. (Who knows what the 49ers would have called for a play at 4 and 2 rather than 3 and 6?) Best of all, I managed to win both my fantasy football games to start those seasons. Although, I’ll happily lose any week in fantasy if it means my pro team won.

Enough about football, I am being harassed by an 80 pound dog demanding attention by pawing my arms and climbing in my lap.photo I shall have to keep this short for now. I have a writing group meeting later this week. I hope to be able to share something on that front later.

Post-Dragon*con Post

IMG_0650I’m back from Dragon*con! I would have posted sooner, but I was rather exhausted from the trip. This year, I have to say I didn’t do as much as other years. I never made it to any panels. I did not get around to taking as many photos as I would have liked, but it was hard for me to walk around for long periods of time. (I have a bad back and a history of sciatica, which was flaring up for a few weeks prior.)IMG_0866

I did, however, have a great time. I met up with one of my best friends locally and got to meet his con group. They were a great group of people, and my husband, roommate and I spent most of the weekend hanging out with them. We’ve been inducted into their ranks now after spending time with them. I’ll no longer have an excuse to be a recluse at con at this point, which is actually preferable.

IMG_0864    Anyways, beyond that, I’ve not got much to report. You’ll find some of the pictures from this past weekend uploaded at the site. Additionally, for all you gamers, geeks, and con-goers, remember this: Be kind to your fellow geeks. If you dress up in costume, and your costume is not recognized, there’s no need to be rude about it. It doesn’t matter if you are a guy or a girl, just be civil. It’s better to enlighten your geeky fellows. Wheaton’s Law should be applied for all people.

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