Two Golden Rules For Getting Better

I’ve been revising what rules I have around voice over recently, as part of a mental spring cleaning, and digging at the fundamentals as part of a writing project of sorts.

I was reminded of one of them¬†on Thursday¬†night. I study at the Melbourne Actor’s Lab, and I’m working on a scene at the moment with a great guy who’s an absolute sweetheart and far more talented than I. We got a fairly detailed set of notes this week, and you could see in my scene partner’s body straight away that he took it on the chin as failure. When we got back to our seats, he was quietly shaking his head. “Too many notes”. This brings me to:
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Some Thoughts On The Last of Us [CONTAINS SPOILERS!]


I’ve been in a bit of a slump over the last few days after finishing The Last of Us, and I’m starting to think I need to process the experience of that game. Get what’s been rattling around my head down on paper.

BIG HONKING SPOILER WARNING: This will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t finished the game yet, please read no further. Go finish the game! Then come back. Also, this may meander somewhat messily. After all, this is what this post initially looked like in my head:
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Violence and Video Games and Whatnot

So I got involved in a debate online recently about violence in video games, in the aftermath of the latest shooting tragedy in the US. The debate itself was over at Paul Strikwerda’s blog. I’d suggest reading the initial post and comments over at Paul’s blog, as I won’t try to reframe Paul’s argument here and risk putting words in his mouth. I did find the debate short and disappointing though, which is why I wanted to take the time to think things through and post a wall of text over here.

First, the caveats: Paul appears to be a great guy, he’s tremendously talented and prodigious in his output. This post isn’t attacking him, but rather picking at some flawed thinking and hand-wringing around a topic I’m rather concerned about. Whether violence in video games and media in general affects us on some deeper level is something I care a lot about. I’ve cheerfully consumed violent media for most of my life, and while I don’t personally believe that media has a harmful effect, or that children are so fogged in their thinking that they can’t separate reality from fantasy, I try to keep an active interest in the other side of the argument. Confirmation bias is something worth striving against.
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