Part of Me: “Celeste” and Facing Mental Illness

Spoilers for Celeste below

Celeste1

Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

The game Celeste, is filled with these pebbles: a mis-timed jump, a boost used too early, a ledge you held onto for too long until Madeline, the game’s protagonist, falls to her doom. She hits the spikes—boom—and you start over try again. And again. And again.

Obviously, in real life a fall into a spike pit is a bit more permanent. But that feeling of trying to cross an impossible gap or climb an impossible mountain is all to familiar to people who live with mental illness. It’s very fitting, then, that Celeste is a game about climbing that mountain, and despite all the slips and missteps and mistakes, picking yourself up and trying again. More than that, however, is that Celeste is about accepting parts of yourself that may seem negative, rather than fighting them. Continue reading “Part of Me: “Celeste” and Facing Mental Illness”

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Why I’m Not Playing Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go logo
The Inquirer

As a kid, I wanted to be the very best — like no one ever was. Catching them was my real test. Training them was my cause. However, I could not travel across the land, searching far and wide, because my Pokemon adventures were confined to the old cabbage-green screen of the Gameboy.

When I wasn’t engaged in my digital adventure to be the greatest Pokemon master, I was absorbed in the toys, cards, cartoon, movies and writing terrible fan fiction. (“They sneeked sighlently passed scientists” is still the greatest worst sentence I’ve ever written). Pokemon was the defining craze of my generation and I soaked it up. I caught all 151 original Pokemon, got opening-night tickets to the movies (which I and my friends saw multiple times to get the promo trading cards), surfed the internet as it speculated new Pokemon (remember Pikablu?), built decks and battled with the trading card game, read the manga, bought the toys, and oh the stories of heartbreak and triumph I could tell in my quest as a Pokemon trainer, collector and fan. Maybe I’ll share some another time.

Now this Pokemon trainer is all grown up (physically, anyway) and now his dream of seeing Pokemon in real life has now come true. Sort of.

Pokemon Go, at this point, probably doesn’t need an introduction. It’s a mobile augmented reality game where players go out into the real world to track, catch and train Pokemon. It’s practically tailored to my generation.

That’s probably why it’s so surprising that I’m not playing it. Continue reading “Why I’m Not Playing Pokemon Go”

Lessons from Luigi

Super Blast Luigi

Yes that’s right. Player 2. Mario’s shadow. The Green Thunder.

Luigi has always been my favourite character in the Mario series. Out of a princess who refuses to invest in castle security, an evil doppelganger who attacks via farts and a clearly nearsighted dinosaur that runs off cliffs, Luigi is the most genuine character among Mario’s forte. Also, Mario is a bit of a sociopath. Continue reading “Lessons from Luigi”