From someone who never writes with a plan.

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Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

As turbulent as 2020 has been, it does seem like it has gone flying by. Rather, October was here and gone like a blink, and November is suddenly staring at us in the face.

With November comes colder weather, Thanksgiving, and NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long challenge that has writers — new and veteran alike — pen fifty thousand words for a project within thirty days. Technically, the goal is to finish a rough draft of a new project, but plenty of folks are “NaNo Rebels” and either work on existing projects, use the time to edit, or bounce around from project to project instead of sticking to one story. …


In honor of Asexual Awareness Week, there’s no time like now to remember that representation always matters.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

If I had heard the term “asexual” back in high school, it would have eased a lot of confusion and anxiety for me while growing up. It wasn’t until a video game’s fandom a few years ago that I even heard of asexuality, and the relief and clarity I had after discovering it was palpable.

Asexuality — the sexuality of having a lack of sexual attraction — was me. It was like a light bulb going off just above my head.

Representation in all forms — race, gender, sexuality — is important. Nowadays, the media is doing better when it comes to inclusivity, including video games. …


How twists like randomizers on classic games keep them relevant.

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Photo by Justice Thompson on Unsplash

When Super Mario 3D All-Stars was released, folks purchased it for nostalgia or to play some of the older games that they had never gotten the chance to play years ago. The trio of games included in the release was well-received, but there was some disappointing talk about the games being straight ports rather than remastered or given some additional challenges.

From personal experience, my sister and I played through Super Mario 64 on the Switch, giving ourselves the personal challenge of reaching the usual 70 stars, but needing to collect them in order. Once you jump in a painting, you’re locked in on finding that particular star. …


For when you’ve outgrown Harry Potter.

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Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

The Harry Potter series was a staple of a fantasy, coming-of-age, love-overcomes-evil story for the past couple of generations.

However, what with J.K. Rowling’s latest actions and the fact that Harry Potter readers are a bit older at this point, there are other magically-inclined fantasy books for adults. Each of these books has unique characters and different takes on magic (rather than waving around a wand) that I personally found delightful.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Perhaps one of my favorite books of all time, The Night Circus is a tantalizing tale of dueling magicians from an age-old rivalry and an odd circus that is only open at night. I fell in love with this book on the sheer descriptions of magic alone, but the plot itself is woven with romance and a stuttering timeline that spans between several characters before beautifully tying together at the end. …


Again.

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Game Dev Tycoon is a business simulation game by Greenheart Games, where one is in charge of a video game developer company. Inspired by the game Game Dev Story by Kairosoft, Game Dev Tycoon allows you to replay the history of the gaming industry, starting in the 80s in an attempt to put your mark on the video game world.

Throughout the 35 or so years of in the game’s time, you’ll grow your company with the gaming industry, researching the latest consoles and genres while creating best-selling (or so you hope) games.

And I’m obsessed with the game again.

It was through a YouTube playthrough of the Steam version of the game that I discovered Game Dev Tycoon. While Game Dev Tycoon was initially released on Steam in 2013, it was brought over to Android devices in 2017, and finally made its way to the Nintendo Switch console earlier this month on October 8th. …


In honor of the handheld console’s legacy.

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Last month, it was announced that the Nintendo 3DS family was officially discontinued. While the online shop and support will reportedly be continued — at least for now — for some time, the end of the Nintendo 3DS family marks an era in the history of handheld consoles.

Considering how successful the Nintendo 3DS sold in the first few years of its life, and how many supporters it has had since its introduction nearly a decade ago, it was disappointing to hear that the Nintendo 3DS production will be discontinued. …


A look at Nintendo’s latest foray into the battle royale genre.

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As a gamer, the shooting genre was never my scene. Many of the games were a little too gory for my tastes.

Then the battle royale genre of gaming was brought into the spotlight, most noticeably with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds — or PUBG — at the end of July in 2016. …


Or, the positivities of the social media.

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Who here is on TikTok?

I’m on TikTok, but not as a video creator. I just follow and enjoy videos made by others.

My cousins and sister were the ones who influenced me to actually just make an account so I could keep track of the videos I like (as well as sending me random videos which may or may not influence my For You page). It’s come to the point where we will take a little down time before bed just to send each other videos that make us laugh or go, “Yep, that’s totally me.”

Very recently, folks were worried that TikTok would be banned in the United States. At the time of this writing, it’s still around. …


Especially since Nintendo’s NES and SNES Online virtual console service is lacking.

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Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Nintendo recently caused the Internet to go into a tizzy by re-releasing three prominent 3D Super Mario games from separate console generations in a bundle.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars boasts Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, which had been initially released in 1996, 2002, and 2007, respectively. …


And how her bigotry is skewing the magical world of Harry Potter.

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Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

J.K. Rowling has become to our world what Dolores Umbridge is to Hogwarts.

For those who may not have joined the phenomenon that is Harry Potter, Dolores Umbridge was arguably more despised than Voldemort.

She was a Ministry of Magic employee who infiltrated Hogwarts as the Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts and taught by theory rather than practice. Aside from trying to downplay and hush-up the return of Voldemort, she became a major player in propagating pureblood status in the wizarding world in the following years at the ministry.

To Umbridge, wizards with muggle — or non-wizard parents — didn’t and shouldn’t exist. To ignore such an existence is akin to how J.K. …

About

Kristen Poli

A writer with a passion for creativity, gaming, dogs, and chocolate. | positivespin.substack.com | twitch.tv/xdoublejump

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