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March 29th, 2015

French Racism - Team Gay

The National Front is the far right party in France. It's against a lot of things including gay rights and gay marriage.

So, you may be surprised to find out that one of its core voting blocks is gay men.

In fact 26 percent of gay men support the National Front - while only 16 percent of straight men support Marine Le Pen's party.

WTF, you may ask?

It turns out they are convinced that all Muslim hate them, so they'd rather vote for a party that is against their own civil rights.

This being beside the point that most Muslims really don't give a fuck what other people do.

Life Is Strange Chapter Two Full Play Through Review - And Mechanics Breakdown

The weird thing about Life Is Strange is that because it's set up differently than any other video game it's impossible to tell on the first play through if it is just good, or if it lives up to it's potential to be great, because the game mechanic is so unusual.

You simply walk around and make mostly mundane choices. The promise of the game is that the small choices you make will end up having  huge consequences down the line - but, that like life, you won't be able to see the full sum of your choices until they either effect your life for better or for worse.  Yes, you can cause time to go backwards - but only for about 40 seconds in game time, so if you realize something you did two hours ago in game time was a bad idea you are fucked. And, the promise is that the sum of  the consequences of your mundane actions will spiral on itself over time. (This is why you get a picture of a butterfly on the screen every time you have to make a choice.)

The question, of course, is does it really work that way or is the game simply going to end up pushing you into preset paths? The only way to find out is through multiple playthroughs.

Here's what Rome Girl and I did. When we started Chapter One we created three different start points and played through like this:

1. I went through and made the most moral choices I possibly could (even when I thought the moral choices were a bad idea/too nice.)

2. I went through and made the most fucked up/evil choices I possibly could (even when I felt like a piece of shit doing so.)

3. Rome Girl went through and made reasonable choices. I.e. a good person generally, but not a total pushover. Some choices nice, some not so nice. (For example, when she found the girl who had been bullying her character crying, she didn't stop to comfort her, because fuck that bitch.)

We then continued these patterns through Chapter Two and ended up playing a completely different game with a completely different result by the end of the chapter. What's really interesting is that the results so far have not made it clear which of the set of choices are going to have the best overall consequences by the end of Chapter Five. Here are spoiler-free results we got from the different paths taken.

1. Managed to save a girl from suicide, but have an awful reputation, people think I'm  a drug dealer and I've been expelled from school. So much for Mr. Nice Guy.

2. Couldn't save the girl and had to watch her kill herself. But, my character has a great reputation, is considered very trustworthy and has gotten a guy who was abusing students at the school fired.  Overall a better result that being completely nice.

3. Rome Girl was able to save the girl from killing herself. But, did get expelled from school. On the other hand pointed the cops in the direction of a potential serial rapist. Overall, we think roughly as good a result as being the evil bitch, certainly a better result than being too nice.

Anyway, that's three different stories with three very different chapter endings based on three different general choices. Which means that in Chapter Three each of our save points is going to put us into completely different directions. And, I suspect there are a lot more story and ending options than what we were able to uncover.

Each chapter has 40 "Consequence Points." When you get to each of these points you have to choose from three options. The choices you make at each Consequence Point effects the results of what you do at the next Consequence Point. I suck at math, but am pretty sure that leaves you with what us Liberal Arts majors call "a metric fuck ton of possible outcomes."

And that's just two chapters in. One has to assume that we'll get another 40 Consequence Points each in the next three chapters - which means many metric fuck tons of stories and endings.

What makes it really interesting is that there is no way at all to know what strategy will get you to where you want to go to "win". As it is we have no idea which of our three strategies (if any of them) is going to save the day in Chapter Five. And, that's pretty fucking amazing in a video game.

June 2019

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