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The Culture HUD

Welcome to The Culture HUD

Here on my website, I talk about different forms of entertainment and my impressions of each work. The content of The Culture HUD includes reviews, discussions and listicles of video games, movies, television and anime. My body of writing will cover looks into the past, commentary on the present, and speculation for the future. Enjoy!

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TV Discussion – Does The Walking Dead impart Conservative Values?

screenrant dot com (Cover)

I am a big supporter of cultural criticism and interpreting art through different theoretical lenses. I think it’s important to stay aware of the messages that resonate with us. Such introspection offers great insight into what we believe and the messages we consume. What I don’t enjoy is watching people strain a work’s thematic depth through the filter of agreeable platitudes. While I would rather examine the social climate that draws people to zombie media, I instead end up reading hot takes about how The Walking Dead wants people to hate Obama, immigrants, and the future. Fun.

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Video Game Discussion – Persona 5 tackles Misogyny in a Remarkable Way

themeraider dot com
Image taken from themeraider.com

More than simply a game about youthful rebellion, Persona 5 encourages players to interrogate the social structures keeping abusive people in power, while also challenging their tendency to make fallacious judgments based on ignorance and internalized biases. The game took particular aim at sexism, detailing how societal expectations for women often force them into dangerous circumstances. At the same time, misconceptions about their personality or physical appearance end up enabling their abusers. It was a (sadly) bold statement to make in a male-dominated medium, so I wanted to broadcast my appreciation for its presence in the culture.

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Video Game Discussion – Are We Tired of Loot Yet?

Monster Hunter: World_20180402224705

By that I mean, are we tired of sifting through the endless volumes equip that pretty much only exist to clutter the screen and dump onto merchants? Because I am. In this article, I talk about my major issues with the incrementally differentiated wave of negligible content called Loot: how it wastes player time, impacts game design, and could possibly be improved for games in the future.

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Video Game List – Cool Games from E3

E3 Cover Image

Is E3 basically just a protracted commercial for video game publishers, a stage from which companies can lie to use about the scope and content of their products? Sure. Is it made consistently redundant by how often these publishers leak their biggest surprises online or at other, more specialized gaming conventions? You could say that. Does E3 just become an hours-long waste of time when publishers only have live performances and cinematic trailers? Wouldn’t it be nice if these companies could just be transparent all the time, without performative corporate events? Where was I going with this?

I’ll be honest, I don’t envy anyone who has to cover this event professionally, nor do I wish to be in the shoes of people who pay thousands of dollars to wait in line and keep the professionals from doing their jobs, but if you tell me that a whole bunch of new games are getting previewed and announced in one block of time, I’m going to look. E3 may not look good on paper anymore, but that doesn’t mean the games aren’t still awesome. Here are the ones I’m keeping my eye on.

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Video Game review – Far Cry 5

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I bet I’m going to come out on the positive end of this game’s critical reception, but I really loved Far Cry 5. Despite a snore of a protagonist, the residents of Hope County, Montana are all colorful and lively. The villains are menacing, the resistance fighters are delightfully relatable, and the attack animals are cute. I especially enjoy the focus on creating an engaging open world, using principles of exploration and discovery to keep the player from acquiring side activity burnout. I wrote off Assassin’s Creed earlier this year, but Far Cry still has some kick!

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The Culture HUD Movie review – Deadpool 2

via Deadpool 2 review – Oh Stephen! Let me Pick the Subtitle… Balls

Movie Review – Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 Cover

Is anyone else finding it strange that the silly, irreverent version of the superhero idea seems to be the best thing Marvel Entertainment (the one that used to be owned by Fox before Disney pulled a Galactus and just ate the company)? Probably not, because Logan was such a phenomenal hit, but it does speak to how well a superhero movie can perform when a creative team has an idea and sticks to it. Deadpool 2‘s idea was to sneak subtle messages about depression, grief, leading a purposeful life, and believing victims of abuse into a story with a character who pokes fun at Batman. It’s a good watch!

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Anime Review – Devilman Crybaby

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Devilman Crybaby was in the unique position of having my attention up until it that disappointing ending. All the thematic pretense of this new adaptation, specifically the newly introduced character focus, cannot commit to an appropriate resolution, so it devolves into noise and provocation. I spent a while thinking that this anime was brilliant before realizing that the intelligence was a facade, covering up the surprisingly immature worldview at the core. At least you can enjoy the aesthetics, disengaging your brain while gawking at the sounds and colors.

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Video Game Discussion – Kratos, Making a Better Father

God of War Buckethead

A big part of rebooting the God of War franchise was re-imagining the for the modern age of gaming. I.e. Kratos was becoming a real irredeemable piece of garbage over the last few games, and characters today tend to require more nuance than that. Hence the child. A lot of people compared this game to The Last of Us (though I think it more closely resembles Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), in so much as a child is generally meant to soften the edges of a hardened male character. This idea on its own is not particularly unique, and it puts children in the unhealthy position of fixing their parent-figure.

Despite that, I think there is more to offer in the dynamic between Kratos and Atreus. You really see the steps this violent Spartan takes to becoming something resembling a human being. I get that there are going to be a lot of people who still find this kind of unimpressive (particularly women), but the decidedly male focus of the narrative does make some strong points about how masculinity and fatherhood will have to get introspective in order to remain relevant. Redundancy isn’t something Kratos can punch.

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