Should Trigger Warnings be used in Video Games?

Hey, Gamers. This post is a little heavy and therefore I recommend making sure you’re in the right headspace before reading. It won’t be too bad but I am going to discuss things such as child abuse, sexual assault and hate crimes. I will also be talking a little bit about my experience with the first two things (for context reasons) so if you’re not feeling up to that, it might be best to skip this post.

So there are a few things we need to make clear. I think we have a general split in today’s society, which is you either hear the word ‘triggered’ and think everyone is too sensitive or you hear the word ‘triggered’ and you immediately know that things need to change to accommodate that person as they’ve been through trauma. So, the word we need to clarify is ‘triggered’. For the purposes of this post (and in general), ‘triggered’ is used by people who have been through trauma to explain that something – whether that be a sound, smell or experience – has triggered a flashback which usually takes them back to the time of the trauma. It is important to mention that you can have good triggers too, but most people wouldn’t mention that they’re triggered by something good. It’s important to note that these flashbacks can be very real and the person will probably not be okay during or after it happens. It’s best to get them out of whatever situation triggered them.

I love games. I mean, I have a gaming blog and a Twitch so I feel like that’s obvious. I also have a ton of trauma, which I am pretty open about (especially on my Twitch). For this post, we are going to be talking about four games: Persona 5 Strikers (so beware of spoilers of the Osaka jail), Persona 5, Mystic Messenger and Life Is Strange 2. This is obviously a difficult subject for me, but I feel like it is an important one too. So, let’s get to it!

I came up with this post idea last Wednesday. If any of you are watching my Persona 5 Strikers runthrough on Twitch… you probably know why. I got to the end of the Osaka jail (despite the spiders making me feel sick) and… I was hit with a huge trigger for me when Konoe’s trauma was revealed. It felt so close to my own. I was abused as a child by my stepfather, and my mother tried to cover it up because she didn’t want to lose me. All of my attempts to tell my teachers and the police were met with my overactive imagination. This is something I don’t get to talk about much in places like therapy as it happened a long time ago and a lot of traumatic stuff has happened since. I tried my very best to go into Persona 5 Strikers completely blind. I mean, it’s the sequel to my favourite game and I wanted to find out everything as I played it. I regret that, because I wasn’t able to prepare myself for a game about trauma after trauma after trauma. And I wasn’t able to prepare myself for the child abuse. It hit me so hard. I wasn’t able to finish the stream properly as I was hit by vivid flashbacks and panic attacks. After nearly a week of reflection, I’ve calmed down a lot and I’m now prepared to play the game again with this in mind. See, the thing with this game in particular is that if there was a trigger warning, that would also be spoilers for the game. Trauma is such a huge part of this game that it would have been hard to implement a trigger warning without spoiling the game. I know that that would upset more people than the game would trigger people. Actually, knowing Persona fans… they’d probably complain that there’s a trigger warning in the first place, even if there’s no spoilers. Moving forward, I think maybe putting a trigger warning maybe on the back of the case may be the best solution.

I have no screenshots from Strikers yet so uh enjoy this Akechi image from Royal 🙂

I feel like it’s obvious when talking about the prospect of trigger warnings in games, we should talk about Persona 5 (both vanilla and Royal). Within the first 10 hours, there’s sexual assault, sexual harassment and an attempted suicide attempt. It’s a heavy game and it is meant to shock you into realising how compliant society is. Obviously if you’re in a vulnerable mental place, it is going to trigger you. Would a trigger warning help? Honestly, probably not. Persona 5 has been under a lot of flack for “not naming things” such as rape. This gives a little more leeway for the brain to make up something else if need be. The use of traumatic things in Persona 5 is completely different compared to Persona 5 Strikers. It’s used to shock the audience, or as a way of explaining how bad people are.

There’s one other game that I’ve been triggered by since my gaming journey began, and that’s Mystic Messenger. Now, I was obsessed with this game last year and I played it from March to… around September, maybe October. Now this is really personal and it serves me right for playing a game in a toilet but I got sexually assaulted in several bathrooms by my ex, which is why I try not to use public bathrooms. But regardless, it happened years ago and since I was in my own house, I didn’t think of it. And then I played Saeran’s route. Now, it is important to note that ‘another story’ has a slight trigger warning at the very start, stating that this version of the game is not appropriate for people under the age of 15. So I play because, I mean, I’m 21 and these fictional characters are the only people blowing up my phone, and… I’m met with threats of sexual assault by the person I am meant to be romancing. And I made the mistake of doing this part when I was in the bathroom so I read this and was suddenly triggered. I finished that route… and I have yet to do another route. Now I have a lot of issues with Saeran’s route as I have DID and feel like a ton of that stuff was harmful to the community but I also know I’m probably being a little too sensitive there. Usually this would all be fine and I am aware that these circumstances are personal… but I can’t help but think of other people who are in a similar situation to me. I would never wish being triggered on anyone, especially something like this. I just feel like this could have been handled differently. If they had just put a trigger warning of sexual assault when you go down his route… I feel like that wouldn’t be a huge spoiler and people could just restart after the four days if they weren’t in the best mental place.

Now, we’re going to talk about something that I haven’t personally been triggered by… but I feel like it’s something that could trigger people. Life Is Strange 2 is a beautifully written game (much better than the first in my opinion). The main characters are from Mexican descent and the game is based in America… so I’m sure you can already tell that there’s a whole load of racism in the game. I’m from Britain, and I felt quite ignorant the first time playing the game (which, if you’re interested, is on the 2nerds1game YouTube channel). I felt like there was so much about the culture in America that I didn’t know. I did some research because I felt like I needed it to fully understand what the characters were going through, and to understand how real their situation was. After talking to some people in America (of different races, family backgrounds etc), it blew my mind that people experience this level of racism and worse on a daily basis. But I’m just a white girl who likes to think that she’s doing good in the world so what does what I think matter? The general census is that some people may be triggered by the scenes in Life Is Strange 2, but because racial attacks happen to them so often, they just use it as a way to make themselves stronger. A lot of people said that you could tell their race from the trailer and therefore racism should be expected. At first I was against this, but seeing how often it happens, I have to agree. So personally, I don’t think a trigger warning should be implemented here but, again, I’m just a white girl so I really have no say in how something I don’t experience affects people that it does affect.

I have no screenshots from Life Is Strange 2 because I played it before this blog was even a dream of mine so uh have a screenshot from Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons because they remind me of Sean and Daniel.

So, overall, it really depends on the trauma, how the game portrays it, if it’s obvious in the trailers and all that stuff. I think it’s important to remember that being triggered is a serious thing and trauma is no joke. I know the gaming community can be not the best, but know that if you get triggered by a game, that was not the intentions of the creator and people are usually understanding when its explained… but you shouldn’t have to explain your trauma if you’re not ready. All trauma is valid. All experiences are valid.

Wholesome Persona 5 Royal pic because this post was a bit heavy

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments below. Hit the like button for me to do a little happy dance. Head over to my socials to keep updated, and if you are looking for a Twitch channel to follow, I hear 2nerds_1game is great (the voices in my head tell me, because it’s actually me and my partner and we stream almost every day – apart from this past week because I’ve been sick). See you next post, guys!

Bonus content:

If you want to find out any more about the following games, I’ve written something about all of them!

Persona 5 (and Royal) (this isn’t everything, this is my favourite game so I’ve written a bunch):
First impression of Persona 5 Royal (I did weekly updates):
First part of my confidant analysis:
Persona 5 for Dummies:

Persona 5 Strikers:
Why the third jail trauma hits differently (wow I was so naive when I wrote this):
Akane’s Joker:

Mystic Messenger:
Mystic Messenger is… Good?:
In defense of Jaehee’s route:

Life Is Strange 2 (and the original):
Grooming in Life Is Strange:
Life Is Strange 2 Game Review:
The significance of Mushroom:

I will never rely on dialogue again…- Brothers: A tale of two sons

Hey, Gamers! Now, I know that this game is old, but I only recently played it. I was actually interested in it when I first got back into gaming, back when Josh (my partner) was trying to get me into games that weren’t Life Is Strange. I try not to research into games I haven’t played much so that when I play them, it’s my first time knowing what is happening. The story is always the selling point for me, and I don’t want that spoiled. Back then, all I knew about Brothers was that one stick controlled the older brother, one stick controlled the other brother, and they go on an adventure to get some medicine for their dad. I was disappointed when – at the beginning of lockdown last year – I was actually thinking of buying the game and Josh told me that there was no dialogue. It might be because I’m autistic and therefore don’t understand things such as body language, but dialogue is very important in telling a story to me. It’s the main part, even. So I just didn’t get it… until now.

SPOILER WARNING: The following post contains spoilers for Brothers: A tale of two sons. The game itself is short so if you have it and haven’t finished it, I recommend doing that before reading this post.

So I’ve been playing on the Switch a lot more recently. Since I stream a lot on the Playstation, I feel like I have to keep my ‘Playstation energy’ for the streams if that makes sense. So I’ve been playing on the Switch when I’ve been curled up in bed… or when I’m in the middle of making food… or when I’m getting my haircut. It’s hard to pull me away from it. My original game on the Switch was Civ VI, but more recently I’ve been on Animal Crossing lots. But there’s only so much to do at 3am when all the villagers are sleeping, so I was wanting something else to play for my late nights when I can’t get to sleep. I looked and Brothers was on sale. I’ve been talking to Josh a lot recently about how I think I’ve progressed as a gamer this past year or so. I’ve definitely branched out a ton. Finishing the Witcher 3 and Yakuza 0 has given me a whole bunch of confidence and I feel ready to tackle games like Spider-Man, maybe even Red Dead 2 and Metal Gear again. There’s so many games that I think I tried too early on and got frustrated because my skill wasn’t there yet. So, I thought, ‘y’know, it’s only £x, that’s not a lot even if I end up hating it’ so I talked to Josh about my thinking, and he agreed that it was a good idea. Since I’ve been taking gaming more seriously, I’ve experienced so much and been able to do so much and I thought I was ready.

I was not ready.

I mean, gameplay wise it was fine. It was fun and enjoyable and as was expected, really. But what I didn’t expect was to fully understand the story straight away. I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster with those two boys and my heart now aches. I wish I was exaggerating. I really never expected to be emotionally invested in this game, but I was straight away. The opening cinematic did an amazing job at displaying how the game’s story is told right away. This isn’t a formal game review or anything (that’s coming), but it was done perfectly. It’s one of the best openings that I have seen to show the audience how the story of the game is going to be communicated.

I think there’s games where it’s just a game with no particular story or a lose story, and I thought Brothers was going to be like that. I thought the most important thing in this game was going to be its game mechanics because, at the end of the day, people who play FPS games know about Brothers because the controls are so iconic. But this game tells an amazingly detailed story though music, tone and pitch, exaggerated and simple gestures and amazing character development.

So for those who haven’t played this game yet and are just reading because it’s me (first, thank you, that’s sweet of you), this game is… in the title. It’s about two brothers who go on a journey to get medicine for their father. Now that I think about it, the title fits it well but we’ll discuss that later. So the two boys go through their town, overcome challenges, meet new friends who help them along the way and get manipulated by people who seemed to help them. It really is a magnificent journey and it’s so beautifully told.

I’m a writer. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. Back when I was younger, I was always told by teachers that I had too much dialogue in my writing. I couldn’t understand how to tell the story without so much dialogue. I get it now. This game taught me that not only is it possible, but it can be done well.

I realise that this post is just a gush about this game but it honestly shocked me because it’s just done perfectly.

So let’s talk about why the title is so fitting for this game. You know how when people go to war, there’s always a cliché thing going round that the men fighting are ‘fathers, brothers and sons’. This game kind of reminded me of that and really put that phrase into perspective. Like, people obviously have different relationships with their parents compared to their siblings and I feel like this is felt heavily at the end of the game. I will be talking about the ending now, so beware major spoilers.

When the little brother comes back from getting the medicine from the tree, he comes back to his big brother. When he realises what has happened, he almost instantly switches from ‘little brother’ mode to ‘son’ mode. He has a duty to get that medicine back to their father, no matter what. He buried his older brother – in my opinion he did this so that when their father was better, he could bring his father to the place that he buried his brother without finding a decaying body – and he ventured on, almost like he was taking a trip down memory lane of the journey he had just taken with his brother… only now he had to do it alone. I think it’s common knowledge that the death of the older brother hits harder because you no longer have control of him. You’re no longer using the left stick (or at least it was the left stick for me). It’s like a whole hand is now obsolete because he’s just gone. And this sense of duty that the little brother has… it’s changed. At first, he was just following his older brother. He was just helping whenever he could, but all in all it was normal for him to just follow his brother’s orders. Now, he was alone. He was no longer a brother, because his brother was gone. He was just a son. That’s all he had left, and he had to make sure that his father didn’t die like the rest of his family.

The brothers really reminded me of Sean and Daniel from Life Is Strange 2. Like, I ended up naming this Sean and Daniel in my head because I feel like there is a huge resemblance. Do you guys agree?

Anyway, that’s it for today’s post, Gamers. Thanks for reading! If you liked this, hit the follow button for more gaming content (I’m hoping to do a game review of this game very soon). Check out my social media to keep updated, and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch if you want to see me and my partner stream almost every day! See you next time 😊

Gaming Quote of the Week #10

“The ending isn’t any more important than any of the moments leading to it.” – Dr Rosalene, ‘To The Moon’

So this one is kind of corny but I feel like it’s important to keep in mind. If you haven’t played ‘To The Moon’ (I haven’t either but that’s going to change very soon- I have read loads about it though), I recommend it.

Personal touch, but I’m in my last year of University. I’ve focused on education all my life because I was never naturally intelligent. My whole life has been leading up to university and now that it’s ending, I’m lost. This quote made me remember that things don’t have to be ‘leading up to’ something. It’s okay to take time to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty. That’s what life is meant to be about.

I hope your week is going good, Gamers. See you at the next post!

When spoiling games isn’t okay

Hey, Gamers. This is a shorter post but it’s one that I know at least one person out there is expecting. So you guys know that I’m playing through Persona 5 Strikers over on Twitch. I’ve gone into this game as blind as possible (which has caused issues that I’ll talk about again soon) and the other day, someone messaged me on Instagram giving me fake spoilers for the game. So after crying about it for like an hour, I asked my partner to confirm the spoiler, and he told me it was fake. So it was all fine… but it wasn’t, because what happened was not okay. So, apparently some people need to know when spoilers are spoilers and then it’s okay to talk about a game openly… so that’s this post.

SPOILER WARNING: I will be talking about twists in the following games so I recommend you play through them fully before reading this post (unless you’re not interested in the game, of course): Persona 5 Royal, Persona 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Detroit Become Human. I’ll try to do it in that order.

So, let’s talk the big one for me: Persona 5 Royal. This is my favourite game and has been since it came out. I’ve written about it a bunch, but not nearly as much as I want to. For those of you who don’t know, I have Dissociative Identity Disorder and I’ve had a few people ask me whether Sumire has DID. I want to do a post on that so bad because it’s a common question in my DMs so obviously people are interested, and it’s a chance for me to spread awareness of a disorder that I have that doesn’t have great awareness already. The issue that I do have is that the game has only been out for a year… and the title itself would give people huge spoilers. So in this case, using my best judgement, I would class everything from the third semester onwards as spoiler territory. Your really do not want to be bringing that stuff up with someone who has just started the game. The thing is, you just wouldn’t spoil the end of the game for someone, and that whole section of the game is basically the end of the game. It’s new, it’s where the twists happen and it’s just amazingly written and I’m trying not to go on about it but to put it plainly: anything from the third semester is spoiler territory and you should ask the person where they’re at in the game before talking to them about how great the twists are.

Looking at the original Persona 5 game… that’s pretty obvious. You should not spoil anything from the police interview onwards. Because that’s end game.

You wouldn’t spoil Arthur Mogan’s death for someone who is still chilling in Valentine as Arthur. You shouldn’t, at least, because you need to let them come to terms with it themselves. Red Dead Redemption 2 is such a beautiful game that is so well written and you should try to stick to before Arthur gets sick to avoid spoilers. But absolutely no telling people who you get to play as after Arthur’s death because, as I’ve said multiple times throughout this post: end game.

Let’s talk about Detroit: Become Human. Now this is tricky because it’s a butterfly effect kind of game (in a similar way that Until Dawn and the Life Is Strange games are… but less butterfly-y). There are, however, main points to the game that probably shouldn’t be spoilt for people. For example, Alice being an android, Markus leading the androids in the fight to freedom.

Look, what I’m trying to say is just don’t be a douche bag, and use your common judgement. Try to be considerate in your language while talking about the end of a game. For example, and I really hate talking about this but there’s a clear spoiler warning, I actually call Sumire ‘Sumi’ as those letters are in ‘Sumire’ and ‘Kasumi’ so I feel like that wouldn’t be a spoiler, it’s just giving someone a nick name. Now I am not saying to be on eggshells when talking to people. I’m just saying… please be more considerate. Video games are a wonderful medium and tell beautiful stories that people should get to experience themselves without the fear of spoilers.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers. Sorry it’s a day late. Don’t forget to click the like button if you liked this post, follow for more gaming content and if you’re looking for a chill stream channel to watch, Josh and I stream almost everyday over on Twitch @2nerds_1game. Check out my social medias to stay in touch, and leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments. See you next time!

Top 10 best Pokemon, judged by someone who has never played through a full Pokemon game

I know what you’re thinking right now: ‘Eleanor, how could you admit that you’ve never played a Pokemon game when you have a gaming blog?!?!’. The answer is that it’s pretty easy. I trust you guys. Yes, I am praying that this post doesn’t attract many… passionate people, but I don’t feel ashamed about this. I grew up in a very small town, and I was one of the only kids who had a DS lite. I had never even heard of Pokemon until I was around 9, when my dad got me one of those probably illegal cartridges that had a bunch of games on. Pokemon was one of them. Actually, I played it quite a lot. To be completely honest with you, I mainly played it because I had a crush on a boy and he would go on my DS to play Pokemon sometimes and I wanted something to talk to him about (no, that boy wasn’t Joshua… would’ve been cute if it was but no. As far as I know, that boy is a not very nice person who acts like a nice person, just in case anyone wanted an update on that). My main point is, I wasn’t that interested. But you’re all probably already assuming this, but do you know who is interested? Joshua. He is actually very interested. For reference, his favourite game is Platinum I think… wait I’ll check… yes, it’s Platinum. Which leads me to why I’m doing this post right now: the remakes! Josh very rarely shows emotion like excitement, but he is so excited for these remakes. So I imagine what’s going to happen is – and my regular readers will know this drill by now – he’s going to play it, talk about how great it is, I’ll roll my eyes and probably hate it for a good month… and then play it and suddenly I have a new special interest. So, I wanted to do this funny post before I go down that road. If anything, it would be nice to have this to compare later on. So, after a very long introduction, here are the top 10 best Pokemon from someone who has never finished a game. For reference, I have played Pokemon go back in 2016 and 2017 because my nephew liked it and I wanted to bond with him. I am looking up nothing but names and pictures of these Pokemon, so a lot of my knowledge might be a bit ridiculous. I just thought it would be funnier this way.

Charmander official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

10) Charmander
So Charmander is the baby dragon (not the Yugioh card, an actual baby dragon) that you can pick at the start of the game. But not all the games. I think just the first generation… yeah let’s go with that. I think he has a flame in which when you put it out… well you shouldn’t because he dies and uh that’s not good. I know from Joshua that the fire type starters are the superior ones, so that’s why Charmander is here and not Squirtle or Bulbersaur. I just thought if I gen 1 starter Pokemon wasn’t on this list, people wouldn’t be happy and I didn’t see a problem with putting it on soooo yeah.

Snorlax official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

9) Snorlax.
Just looks like he would be nice to cuddle. That’s the reason. I think Snorlax would be a water type Pokemon. Probably would attack by shooting water out of its nose… which is very gross and I know this from experience because my sister used to do this to me.

Pikachu official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

8) Pikachu
Overrated… but still super cute. I think the Detective Pikachu movie definitely redeemed Pikachu in my eyes. It was hilarious.

Eevee official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

7) Eevee
So I know a lot of people don’t like Eevee because she’s a normal type, but I do. As a few people will know, I have DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and I feel like Eevee is a good symbol for that. I’m actually getting a tattoo with the Eeveelutions (I think that is how it’s spelt?) soon but I want Josh to draw it for me first so that might take a while considering it’s been over a year since I’ve asked him… and the whole pandemic thing.

Jigglypuff official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

6) Jigglypuff
Reminds me of our lord and saviour, Watapon, from Yugioh. Super cute. 10/10 would cuddle.

Ditto official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

5) Ditto
I know this one from Pokemon Go and I only saw it once… I can hardly remember it but it got away from me and that sucks. But Ditto is a shape shifting pokemon, which I think is pretty cool and from my perspective, it’s pretty unique.

Oshawott official artwork gallery | Pokémon Database
By Ken Sugimori

4) Oshawott
Now, despite me not playing a full Pokemon game… I have played bits and pieces, especially since the pandemic started (but even that wasn’t enough for me to go far enough to get to a gym battle). Oshawott is the starter I picked because it’s cute and also it has ‘osh’ in its name which is what a little alter of mine calls Josh, and I thought that was sweet so yeah deeply personal reason there but you get what you get.

Gligar Sugimori artwork
By Ken Sugimori

3) Gligar
It’s the less creepy version of Josh’s favourite pokemon, so not only is it cuter but I hear about it significantly less. I think it would be either a curse or… do they have poison type? If they do, then that. It is generation 4, which is the best generation.

Girafarig Sugimori artwork
By Ken Sugimori

2) Girafarig
My favourite animal is a giraffe. This looks like a giraffe. I imagine it’s a normal type pokemon that bites its enemies.

Gliscor Sugimori artwork
By Ken Sugimori

1) Gliscor
I have a good relationship and do not want it to end anytime soon and for that to happen, Gliscor needed to be number 1. Now that I think about it, Josh might have encouraged me to do this list just so Gliscor would be number 1 on a list. Regardless, it is pretty cool. It’s a generation 4 Pokemon, which means when we met, it wasn’t in Pokemon Go (despite me looking for it for months before he told me this). It’s purple, which is my favourite colour… maybe Josh’s favourite colour is purple because of Gliscor. Probably not. It’s probably a dark or poison or curse type. A flying type, for sure. It’s the evolution of Gligar which was mentioned earlier in this list. It was only on the dark version of the game? I think? And you have to evolve it at night using some kind of stone.

After talking to Josh about the last bit, I realised I need to explain about the ‘dark’ version of the game. So you have black and white, sword and shield, peal and diamond. The first ones are dark and the second are light. You’re welcome.

So, Gamers, that was my very informal list of Pokemon that I know and think are the best. Were you surprised I knew 10? I was! Leave your thoughts in the comments, don’t forget to like this post for me to do a happy dance, check out my social medias to keep up to date, and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where me and Josh stream almost every day!

Where I got the images:

Where I looked up all the Pokemon:

Gaming Quote of the Week #9

“Nah, this is the end. If I keep this shit up, I’m gonna forget the joy of punchin’ dudes in the face. I gotta retire my wheels”- Goro Majima, Yakuza Kiwami.

So I’ve mentioned about how I’ve played Yakuza 0 and loved it but preferred playing as Majima. Little update: I’ve started Kiwami! I’ve not got this far yet but Josh has so I saw this quote and it made me laugh so I thought I’d share it with you guys!

Do you have a favourite quote from the Yakuza series? Let me know in the comment section below and don’t forget to like this post, follow this blog and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch 🙂

What is a ‘Bunny Day’ and where are my fossils?!

QUICK NOTE: This post was meant to go up yesterday evening but I needed pictures from the switch that I was only able to get today, so sorry guys.

Hey, Gamers! So I have mentioned before that I recently got Animal Crossing New Horizons (in January this year). Now, our island is 4 stars so you can probably tell that we spend a decent amount of time with Tom Nook but it’s no where near the majority of people who got the game way back when it came out in March last year. They all got to experience the first ever ‘Bunny Day’, which took place (I think) less than a month after the game came out. I’ve heard many things about Bunny Day and Zipper… most of it negative. But I was excited to experience it for myself…

This year, Bunny Day was shorter. I think last year it was two weeks long, but this year it’s just been one week. The first day was… awful. All three of us have autism and at least two of us hate change. We had a vendetta against Bunny Day and we wanted our fossils back.

For those who don’t know, the time around Bunny Day is for collecting eggs. There are six kinds: sky, water, earth, wood, stone and leaf. You get these eggs by going fishing, hitting rocks, chopping wood, digging up the stars and all the things you would normally do on the island. The initial problem that we had was that we take it in turns to dig up the fossils… but we all wanted eggs. It was frustrating digging up eggs when you wanted fossils and digging up fossils when you wanted eggs.

We just wanted things to go back to normal…

And then today – Bunny Day – happened and things completely flipped. Suddenly we loved it. We got all the eggs, even went looking for more eggs on Nook Miles Ticket Islands, did so much DIY. We were living for it. We went from getting annoyed that it was an egg instead of a fossil to getting disappointed that it was a fossil instead of an egg.

During the leadup to Bunny Day, Zipper informed us that we had to collect a bunch of Bunny Day themed DIY recipes that he had hidden around the island. The main ways (and only ways I can think of) of finding these recipes were bottles that were scattered on the beach that were different to the usual bottle that you find everyday because they were wrapped in a rainbow strip; the other way was shooting colourful balloons with a slingshot.

For Bunny Day, we have to find and create of the Bunny Day DIY recipes… and as tedious as it sounds… it was fun. It was actually really fun.

Overall, I think I enjoyed it. I don’t like that I’ll look forward to it next year… but it was pretty cool. Definitely an experience. I think because of how fun the festival was… it was just too similar too soon. But then again, Bunny Day is for Easter and I know that you can’t just change Easter.

But anyway, Gamers, that is it for this post. Have you experienced Bunny Day? How was it for you? Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments; check out my Instagram; if you are looking for a stream channel to follow, Josh and I stream almost every day @2nerds_1game on Twitch. See you next time!

Akane’s Joker

Hey, Gamers! This post will immediately have spoilers for the end of the 5th jail (Kyoto), so if you haven’t played that far, you might want to skip this one out.

This post is going to talk a little bit about the boss fight in the Kyoto jail… I mean, the almost boss fight. Like the last jail, there was no actual boss fight. However, the person you do fight is very… interesting because it’s Akane’s cognitive version of Joker.

So, for anyone who’s here just because they like me, first of all thank you, second of all, Akane is the daughter of Zenkitchi who is ‘Pub-Sec’ and looking into the Phantom Thieves due to the change of heart epidemic that is currently happening all across Japan. He’s working alongside the group and is trying not to get attached. After meeting a very angry Akane, you find out that her mother (Zenkichi’s wife), Aoi was murdered and Akane is angry at her father because… Akane saw it happen (it was a hit and run) and knew who did it, and she told everyone. And no one did anything, because this guy was a powerful person (I assume it’s a similar kind of situation of what happened with Shido). Akane and Gramps’ (that’s what the group lovingly call him and it’s a lot easier to spell) relationship has deteriorated massively because of this, seeming almost beyond repair. But when the group steps in and befriends Akane, things start getting a bit better.

Akane is a huge fan of the Phantom Thieves (like, my level of obsessed) and when she gets kidnapped and made into a monarch (I mean, she has serious trauma so it wasn’t that shocking), her whole jail is Phantom Thief themed. When the group come to save her, she claims time and time again that they are imposters. After her dad literally joins the group after awakening to the best Persona in the game (at least what he’s based on is my favourite because I’m also a musical and history nerd but that’s for another day), she again claims that the group are imposters and makes them fight her cognitive version of the group.

The team decide to take them on individually so the only one you get to play as is Joker, which is to be expected (although it would be cool to have used the other thieves). Cognitive Joker looks exactly like Joker, apart from being red. He’s just a cognition. That is important to note, because I’ve been a few people asking questions about it.

Akane’s cognitive Joker doesn’t have a persona. Why? Akane doesn’t know about personas. So Akane’s Joker will just use the environment and attack you with his dagger. But he is still really, really strong. And that is, again, to be expected.

Akane idolises the Phantom Thieves. She thinks that they’re the best thing that has ever happened. The cognition of them is obviously going to be very, very strong. And that’s why Akane’s Joker is technically the boss of the jail. Although he is pretty easy to defeat… he’s still pretty strong. He’s as strong as he should be.

So that’s it for this post, Gamers! Leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments below, ‘like’ this post if you liked it, don’t forget to check out my socials, and if you’re looking for a stream channel to watch on Twitch, Josh and I stream almost everyday at 2nerds_1game. See you next time!

My experience playing Dark Souls so far…

Hey, Gamers! So this past week or so, I’ve been playing Dark Souls. This post is going to be about my experience so far. I’ve just beaten the Taurus Demon so I’m still pretty early in game.

So immediately I refused to play the game without Josh (my partner who spends a lot of time playing SoulsBorne) telling me where to go. This was a huge red flag for me as I was going back into my ‘I’m no good at gaming I always need help’ mindset which… isn’t good, for pretty obvious reasons. He sat there and directed me when I went wrong. Nothing huge… apart from it was all the time because I kept going the wrong way. After I defeated the Asylum Demon and got to Firelink Shrine, he left to go downstairs for a little bit… and I nearly got to the Taurus Demon by myself. Okay, so I went the wrong way and got mad because I lost over 2000 souls… but I nearly did it by myself which was a huge confidence boost for me.

Another massive issue that I’ve been having is pressing Square instead of the triggers (R1 and R2) to attack. The two games that I’m playing right now (Yakuza and Persona 5 Strikers) both use square to attack, but in Dark Souls the square button is actually the button you use to heal with an Estus Flask… which are in limited supply at 5 when you start the game. So I was chugging one of those whenever I went to attack, which was not very useful at all. I actually still do this by accident sometimes, but I’d say it mainly stopped when I got to Undead Burg and did a bunch of fighting there.

Another issue I have had is one that I’ve had with most games, and that’s locking on to enemies. I used the Rapier as soon as I got it, and after doing Undead Burg a few times, I managed to go down the stairs (after rolling into some boxes) to buy a Estoc from the dodgy sales guy after farming some souls. So, basically I am using a thrusting weapon, which means that I have to lock on to enemies to actually hit them properly. I’d say that I’ve improved at this, especially in places that I’ve done quite a bit (like Undead Burg).

So overall, playing Dark Souls has been a much more positive experience for me than playing Bloodborne was. It’s a lot slower, and I feel like it’s more forgiving and gives you more time to adjust to the controls. Although I’m not as interested in the lore side of things compared to Bloodborne, it is still very interesting. I think I’ve said this here but I say it a lot in real life: I wouldn’t have been able to play Persona 5 Strikers if I had not played Yakuza 0 beforehand. I think it’s going to be a similar situation with SoulsBorne games. I need to play Dark Souls before I play Bloodborne. And I hope that I finish it, I really do.

I’m not looking forward to two boss fights: Quelagg and Sif. I am absolutely terrified of spiders, even little ones, so I’m not too looking forward to having to fight a massive one. At least Rom didn’t look too much like a spider. Like, I knew I could have handled Rom phobia wise. As for Sif, I’ve been told (by Josh) that no one likes that fight. He’s just a good dog that wanted to be extra good. If there’s a point that will make me stop playing Dark Souls, it might be Sif. I love dogs so much.

So, that’s it for today’s post, Gamers! Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and feelings in the comments, like this post if you liked it, follow my social media accounts to keep updated and if you’re looking for a chill stream to watch on Twitch, Josh and I stream almost every day over at 2nerds_1game. See you next time!

Female objectification in Persona 5

Okay, so I want to preface this post for any new readers: Persona 5 is my favourite game. I have played it (and Royal) for several hundred hours. I love each and every single thing about it (mostly). I feel like that is important to know when going into this post.

But here I am. About to – kind of – critic my favourite thing. It feels wrong. But I know it’s the right thing to do.

Dramatic intro over, time to dig in deep about the objectification of women in Persona 5/ Persona 5 Royal/ Persona 5 Dancing In Starlight (yeah… I got it for Christmas, but that’s for a whole other post…).

My immediate thought while thinking of women in Persona 5 was… defensive. It has a bunch of female Phantom Thieves that are just as capable (if not more so) than the male Phantom Thieves. Awesome, right? Yeah, then I realised how low my standards were.

So, for those of you who don’t know, the Phantom Thieves consist of: Joker (male, leader, protagonist), Morgana (male, mascot), Ryuji (male, comic relief), Ann (female, sex icon), Yusuke (male, probably autistic), Makoto (female, huge feminist icon in my opinion), Futaba (female, shut-in), Haru (female, daughter of a rich guy), and if we’re talking about Royal, there’s Goro Akechi (male, kinda a douchebag but a lovable one I guess- unless we’re talking about the original game, in which case he can burn in hell), and… Sumi Yoshizawa (female, the main point of Royal, trauma victim). This post is going to go through all of the female Phantom Thieves in detail, some of the other female confidants, as well as their possible treatments by the player character and the male characters in the story. For once, I will be thinking about this game objectively (or as objectively as I possibly can) as I believe that this is an important topic.

Spoilers for both Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal (as well as minor spoilers for Dancing in Starlight).

I’ll cover the female Phantom Thieves first, and I’ll go in the order that they join the group, which means Ann is up first. Now, I am going in the order that they joined the group for simplicity, but Ann is actually a pretty good place to start as she is… well, she’s the obvious place to start.

Ann stands out from the crowd, and she is ostracised by her peers due to the way that she looks. Now, I don’t know much about Japanese culture but throughout the game, it’s common that when her looks are brought up, so is the fact that she is not Japanese. It seems like the men in the game have some sort of fantasy about girls from the West. Maybe it’s because Ann is different and not something that they are used to, but the emphasis on Ann not being Japanese definitely sticks out when talking about her looks. It is almost always brought up by male characters. There’s one scene quite late on in the game when the girls all have to wear bikinis to get a creepy old guy to give them something. Without even knowing Ann, he brings up that she isn’t from Japan. It’s just something that stood out to me. A huge reason why Ann was excluded by her peers was because of her looks, because she wasn’t from Japan. It is a reflection of a society that is known for xenophobia. Despite not wanting to be involved with her, she’s put on a kind of silver platter for the exact same reason. This is a just an observation on my behalf, and I thought it should be shared.

Ann starts the game being sexually harassed by her teacher (Kamoshida). Her best (and only) friend gets abused regularly by this teacher, and Ann sees it as her duty as Shiho’s best friend to keep Kamoshida nice. She knows that if she outwardly turned Kamoshida down, Shiho would lose her starting spot on the volleyball team. The volleyball team is the school’s pride after the dismantlement of the track team, and the coach is an Olympic champion. That would look good on any college application. Ann feels the need to not only protect the school’s reputation, but also Shiho’s future.

Ultimately, Shiho gets sexually abused by Kamoshida, tries to commit suicide by jumping off the school roof, and Ann joins the Phantom Thieves. It’s difficult to talk about female objectification here, because it is literally everywhere. Kamoshida’s arc is full of it, and that’s the point. Kamoshida uses people, not just females, to get whatever he wants. It is the objectification of people that help players hate Kamoshida. He literally uses people in whatever way he sees fit, and it is repulsive. It makes Kamoshida a worthy first target for the Phantom Thieves, and it puts the culture of ignorance into perspective. Something that is interesting is there is a cognitive version of Ann in Kamoshida’s palace. Now, I need to jump ahead to Okumura’s palace in Royal because that’s really the only other time we see a cognitive version of someone else we know well: Haru. The difference is, cognitive Haru is not human. Cognitive Ann, however, is human. A sycophant, but still human.

But I think that’s the thing- the chance they got to physically objectify Ann was there, but they did not do it. So why does the most objectified person in the game not have a cognitive object counterpart? Because the whole point of Ann’s arc is that she isn’t an object.

Now, stay with me on this. Ann is someone who has been cast out and looked down upon the whole time she has been in Japan. She is objectified by students and teachers. Grown men even look at her as an object, evidenced by the scene in Shido’s palace. But she is so much more than that. Her confidant arc shows her wanted to try harder and be something else, something more than what they expect from her. It’s not the best arc, because it centres in on her looks. However, despite that, what you see most is her trying harder to be better.

Ann is the most objectified female in this game. Even the audience knows her as the stereotypical blonde girl who is good for nothing but her looks. However, players have the chance to see far deeper into Ann than what scratches the surface.

So, what’s the point of Ann’s constant objectification? We live in a patriarchal society. The majority of the Persona fanbase are male. There’s several points that the game creators could have been making here. For one, they’re telling the player that they are part of the problem and how they can change (which is a point that you’ll see come up time and time again through this post). Another could be that they are trying to show the player that this shouldn’t happen, but it does. A lot of people are blind to so many bad things in the world, and it’s so easy to just ignore it all. The overall message of Persona 5 was that you shouldn’t ignore wrong doings just because it doesn’t involve you and someone who is behind it has some kind of power. I feel like they tried to show this with Ann. Female objectification is engraved into our brains because of the society we live in. The game is telling us that it’s there, that it needs to be recognised and that it needs to be changed.

Makoto is next, and I have personal experience of people sexually objectifying her because my partner always jokes about it. However, the game makes so many jokes about Makoto being a robot. I know I’m probably going to get comments or messages saying that I don’t understand humour or whatever… but think about it. It’s like the game is saying that an educated women with power, who understands the rules of society and is smart enough to get around them… is a robot for not understanding her (younger) peers. A women who prioritises her education and her future is less of a person because they don’t socialise. We’ve all picked the robot jokes in the dialogue options, and it’s funny in the game. But we really need to look at the kind of person Makoto is, and why this joke keeps reoccurring. Why Makoto?

So for a little bit of background if you haven’t played the game or need reminding: Makoto Niijima is a third year student who is student council president. She’s first introduced as a very minor antagonist as the principle asks her to find the Phantom Thieves. She finds them, and asks them to prove their justice. Her family background is… a tough one. Her parents are not around, and she lives with her older sister. She has to go to a prestigious college in order to succeed in the world and stop being a burden on her sister. So, of course she would do whatever she could to get a good letter of recommendation. However, Makoto needs the Thieves help with a problem involving the students of Shujin. Some of them were falling victim to the Mafia, being threatened etc after doing a ‘part-time job’. Ultimately, Makoto helps the group and then joins them when she awakens to her persona (best awakening of the game and I will die on this hill).

So the game doesn’t sexually objectify her (at least not to the game extent as they do with Ann, and definitely not as much as the fan base does), but it does still objectify her.

So, now there is the question of why the game does this. With Makoto, this kind of thought bubble of hard-working women comes into the picture. Sae points out a few times that it’s harder for working women to get to the top, and that Makoto needs to work hard to get to the top. Makoto’s story really shows this. She works so hard, and she is so determined to come out on top. Makoto represents how hard it is to get to the top in a patrichal society. She works so hard that she might as well be a robot. The objectification of Makoto shows that how hard women have to work to be successful in today’s society is not normal, and not to human standards. I understand that the game just passes it off as a joke, and in the game it seems like it’s just because she follows the rules. But in a game that is about society being compliant… it seems to be a deeper jab at society to me.

Futaba’s objectification is very… subtle. The fan base tend to be very divided on Futaba as she is 15. A lot of people think dating her would be gross, despite Joker being 17 in the game… and having the option to date fully grown adult women. Each to their own, but it you think a two year age gap is weird and gross, but then go on to date Kawakami… just check yourself.

For reference for anyone who has forgot or is new to Persona 5, or just likes reading my posts: Futaba Sakura is the adopted daughter of Sojiro Sakura, the café owner who takes the main character in at the start of the game. Futaba was a shut in until August (in the game), when she gets involved with the Phantom Thieves, enters her own palace and then joins the Phantom Thieves in order to find answers about the death of her mother, and what happened to her mother’s research on cognitive pscience. She is a stereotypical nerd, and she is the navigator of the group who doesn’t actively take part in battles (she provides support, such as SP and HP boosts).

Futaba – similarly to Haru – is quite pure. She heavily relies on Joker when she goes outside after being a shut in for so long. Rather than objectify her in the same way that the game objectifies Ann, the game puts her in this box. She is the only character who cannot function without Joker. Even at the end of her confidant arc, she still needs him around. Everyone else has improved to the point where they will be okay when Joker has to leave at the end of March.  Futaba, however, still seems to need him. In a way, I wouldn’t say that this is objectification, but rather a stereotype. The game puts Futaba into a ‘little sister’ kind of role, and makes her dependant on Joker. Rather than the usual uplifting ‘this is the game making a jab at society’… I think this is just to please the player. To make the player feel better about themselves. So they can think ‘wow, I just fixed this person and now they rely on me, I am so amazing’. There’s no uplifting side to this. It’s just the game trying to please the player, and to be honest, that’s okay. Not everything needs to be a jab at society. Sometimes, the game is allowed to be just a game.

I feel the need to add a note that this does not make Futaba’s character any less amazing. This girl got through so much trauma, and the fact that she even got through it is amazing, no matter how she did it and who helped her.

So, Haru is next. Haru’s character is actually a huge oxymoron. She’s this sweet, innocent girl that’s actually a massive sadist once she gets comfortable around people. She is easily the scariest member of the group, which is weird to think of because… it’s Haru. She’s the sweetest. This isn’t much of a spoiler (for Strikers) but when she comes in contact with someone in the police force, she tells them that they hate them… with a smile on her face. She’s the type of person who can tell you that your wedding dress looks awful but you look great.

Little bit of background again, just in case: Haru comes into the group after Morgana runs away. She takes him in and they start to explore her father’s palace. She wants to make her father a better person, because she knows that he has gone too far. She is introduced to the group as ‘beauty thief’, which is a joke everyone laughs at because who the hell calls themselves beauty thief? Haru eventually becomes a very strong, independent woman. She is probably the one who strong women should look to as inspiration because although she is weak at the start, she pulls through every time and becomes- amazing. I’m not going to say much about Strikers, but she is so strong in that game in particular. Even when her father dies in the game (and she believes that it was their fault, at least for a little bit), she is still okay. She pulls through.

Haru is the personification of elegance, and that’s shown in every single game (okay I can’t speak for Q2 because it’s expensive and when I bought it, it was the Japanese version but still). In Dancing in Starlight, it is said that Haru actually took ballet as a kid, and whenever she dances, her elegance is almost always mentioned by the other Phantom Thieves.  She is what society thinks a woman should be.

Her Phantom Thief attire is arguably more sexualised than Ann’s, however. This is important to note because Haru nearly gets sexually assaulted during the game, and it is implied that her fiancé only wants to use her for his own sexual desires. Despite Haru being what society thinks a woman should be, she is highly objectified by the characters in the game. Of course, not all of them. The Phantom Thieves don’t objectify her and try their best to comfort her when she is objectified. They point out that it’s wrong, that Haru is a person and should be treated as such. So who does objectify her? Well, her aforementioned fiancé, and her father.

Her father thinks that Haru is something to be sold on in order to make his life better. She’s just a tool to use, a deal to make. He knows that her fiancé would be sexually attracted to her and would like to use her, and he encourages this. He just wants whatever is best for him, and sees Haru as a way to get that.

I don’t really feel comfortable talking about her fiancé because he is so creepy and I’m not in the best headspace to do that right now. But his whole motivation is based on Haru just being an object to please his sexual desires.

Sumire was objectified by the staff at the school. She was just used as a way to get a better reputation, especially after the abuse committed by Kamoshida was revealed and the news was talking about it. When Sumire was not performing to the best of her abilities, she was talked down to and treated poorly. They did not see her as a person. They saw her as a trophy to make their reputation better and nothing else. They don’t even acknowledge her sister, and that is just proof that they did not care about them.

I know some people might just say I’m overthinking here… but that’s my whole thing. There’s a reason for everything in games, especially in Persona 5 when the game is literally about society and how we should fight injustices.

Also, I want to talk briefly about real world stuff for a little bit. Women’s safety has come up a lot in the news and on social media. I hope anyone who plays Persona 5 realises that the whole ‘not all men’ thing is something Kamoshida would have said. I talked to Josh about it recently because I felt like it was important, and I think we came to an understanding so I hope you know that this isn’t biased just because I’m a girl. One person being ‘bad’ is enough to scare everyone. So when girls are told to do certain things over and over again to keep themselves safe… we’re going to be scared. There’s a reason to be scared, because you don’t know who the bad person is. Like in Persona 5, you never know who has a palace for sure before they come to your attention and you check the nav. We don’t have the ability to do that in real life. So we have to be scared of everyone until they give us a reason not to be. I couldn’t do a post about females right now without mentioning this. So many people have lost their lives, or had their lives ruined because of compliance. It’s time to stop and it’s time to take action.

So that’s all for this post, Gamers. Leave your thoughts in the comments, if you liked this post then give it a like, don’t forget to follow my social medias to stay updated (they should be linked), and if you are looking for people to watch streaming, head over to Twitch and follow 2nerds_1game where Joshua and I stream almost every day (I’m currently streaming Strikers every Monday and Wednesday). See you at the next post!