Why the third jail trauma hits differently- Persona 5 Strikers

Hey, Gamers! I’ve been slowly working my way through Persona 5 Strikers and I am just about to leave Sapporo (just want to finish a couple of requests from the previous two jails first). That means I’ve completed the third jail and without going into too much detail in the introduction, but this jail’s trauma hit differently for some reason, and that is what we are going to talk about today! So, the following post will have spoilers for Persona 5 Strikers in general, but not past the end of the third jail. Also, a slight spoiler for the third semester of Royal.

All good? Good.

I want to start by talking a little bit about the jail in general. So far in the game, it’s equated to the original game in a pretty cool way. If you’re not quite sure what I mean, I’m going to explain it so don’t worry. So the first jail was Alice in Strikers, which would equate to Kamoshida in the original game. And like the original game, Ann was the one who was most invested (emotionally). You could even argue that for the boss fight, it’s best to have the original team of Joker, Ann, Ryuji and Morgana. Ryuji was even the one who kind of… introduced the first jail, similarly to what he did in the first game. This tied the two games together a whole lot better than if it was done differently. This even happens with the second jail, where Yusuke was much more emotionally invested than the others (for obvious reasons… I have a lot to say about Yusuke, actually, so I might do a post on that soon… as soon as I completely finish Strikers, just in case there is anything else). So I completely expected poor, exhausted Makoto to be triggered by the third jail… maybe with it being to do with siblings or… dead fathers or something. But no. Little Haru stepped up and I was suddenly doing the whole jail to make her feel better.

Okay, putting my feelings aside (but seriously, I hate Zenkichi but I am so glad he’s driving so Makoto can have a break), Haru was the one that was most emotionally invested in the third jail. And that threw me off. I think they probably changed it for the sake of throwing people off, to be honest. I’m not exactly sure how many jails there are either, so maybe they didn’t have a fifth jail (please don’t tell me if I’m wrong, I really want to find out myself) and felt like Haru being emotionally invested in this was more important to her character development than if Makoto was invested in a jail.

So, let’s move on to the actual point to this post: the trauma. If you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know that I am full of spicy trauma, so this game is interesting to play. But for anyone who ignored the spoiler warning and has not played the game to this point- the trauma behind this jail is that Mariko was the mayor that oversaw the snow festival, and her staff took a bribe that resulted in the death of a young girl. It’s like they looked at the last two jails and went ‘that’s great… but we need DEATH but that’s not enough… make it a child’ so yeah it hits a bit differently. I think, to be fair, the original Persona 5 did maybe desensitise the fandom when it comes to death, Royal especially because nothing is ‘right’ and so many people can just come back to life. Maybe everything is just stepped up in Strikers, especially because you could never imagine someone disrespecting the Sayuri in the original game (this shocked me so much, I’m probably going to mention it in most Striker posts because wow how sucky do you have to be). So, the writers shocked us with the death of a child, and they wrote it very well in my opinion.

So, why does it just feel so different? Is it because it’s the first death in the game? Or is it because it is a child? My answer is that it’s both.

Let’s talk about the death part first, by referring to the earlier game. Alice’s trauma was about bullying. The douche bag guy’s trauma was about people only caring about his relatives’ legacy. Mariko’s trauma was about a child dying because of the corruption of people that were part of her stuff. *Insert ‘one of these things is not like the other’ song*. It’s Mariko. Mariko’s trauma is about the death of a child.

Now before I go any further, it’s important to note that all trauma is valid and I’m not saying that Mariko’s trauma is better/worse/more or less painful than the other’s. What I am saying is that to us, the players, it hits differently. It feels different. And I think that’s normal.

Like I’ve said, death is not new to Persona 5. Heck, looking at the Persona series as a whole, I’m 90% sure that the third game is all about death. But Persona 5 Strikers is a brand new game. I’m sure you guys felt the difference in Persona 5 when Okumura died. It got so much more serious. And I think this is the same effect in Persona 5 Strikers. The death of the little girl makes the game a lot more serious. I feel like even if it isn’t the same situation (them being accused of murder), the stakes are just a lot higher at this point because of the trauma behind it. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is the third jail, which would equate to the third palace. Thinking about it in more depth… before in Persona 5 Strikers, there were not really any stakes involved apart from just trying to find out more about the jails, and obviously their morals and the whole justice thing. But this time… it’s different. They’re doing this on Zenkichi’s orders. They’re now working with the police, they have a responsibility in doing this… and again, Joker’s freedom is technically on the line. This is like with the third palace in the original game. At first, it was about Makoto not handing them over. Then it was about Kaneshiro not sending those pictures (and also so Sae didn’t have to become a prosititue, depending on how you look at it). In both games, the stakes were heightened. You could say that the stakes were heightened with every palace and jail, but I don’t think that was the case (as there isn’t a huge jump between Kamoshida and Madarame in my opinion, and the same between the first and second jail).

So, why did they use a child? Because she had so much to look forward to. A whole life ahead of her. I think Persona 5 Strikers is going in the direction of… the group have lives outside of the Phantom Thieves now. They got to grow and heal. That little girl didn’t. Any death is a loss, but the death of a child is a tragedy to society. And I really feel that this is the reason that the third jail trauma just hits a bit harder than the previous too palaces. Because there was just so much that was lost due to this traumatic event and society was hindered because of it.

So, that’s it for todays post, guys! Make sure to follow me on social media to keep update and see some behind the scenes stuff, check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where I stream my first Persona 5 Strikers playthrough (and we stream over stuff too!). Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments, and don’t forget to drop a like for me to do a little happy dance!

I played Yakuza 0 and I’m worried

So, on this week’s episode of ‘does Eleanor actually like video games or does she just like things from Japan?’, we have Yakuza 0. I finished it last night so I’m still a little raw, so let’s discuss these emotions and why I am so worried about playing the other Yakuza games. Spoilers for Yakuza 0.

A little bit of backstory for those who are not regular readers: games with good story are like… my jam. I get emotionally attached to characters way, way too much. I also get overwhelmed if things move too quickly. But, this is where my regular readers should jump back in, Josh (my fiancé) bought the Yakuza series when it was on sale. I think that included Kiwami, Kiwami 2, 3, 4, 5 (which he had already), and maybe 6 too. He came downstairs and told me and to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed because he had university work he needed to do and I knew he would hyperfixate on these games. But then he told me about Yakuza 0, said that it wasn’t on sale, but it was the prequel and he knows I’m down for prequels. So, I rolled my eyes and just “just get it” and then spent the following week hating the game because that was all he was playing.

I’m sure my regular readers know where this is going, because it’s exactly how I got into my favourite game, Persona 5. And that is exactly what happened. And I loved it.

The story, which seems like two different stories at first, ties together beautifully. The characters are written wonderfully. The gameplay is (mostly) not overwhelming, while still being exciting. It’s simple and fun and I loved every second of the game. The side quests were brilliant, entertaining and touching at the same time. I just- it’s brilliant. It’s actually up there with Persona 5.

So why am I worried? Because I much, much, much preferred playing as Majima.

I want to love the Yakuza series. I want to play every game, because I’m sure that they’re all great and that they all have equally as good stories. But I’m not sure if I want to play as Kiryu during all of those games. I know there’s some games where there’s several protagonists, and there are two side games without Kiryu as the protagonist… but I just- don’t know if I can be without Majima’s fighting style for that long.

Of course I am going to move on to Yakuza Kiwami (mainly because Joshua hasn’t uninstalled it and he’s on the third one so he’ll nag at me otherwise) but I’m just… hesitant. I still have things to complete in Yakuza 0 and I actually like it enough to attempt to platinum it but… I don’t know how to explain it. I feel like I’ve started with the best and it’s only going to go downhill from here, so why bother? Does that make sense?

My best part of playing Yakuza 0 for me was probably the Cabaret Club Czar mini game thing that you have to do as Majima. My proudest part of playing Yakuza 0 was not dying at all in the final chapter. Something that I’ve learnt from Yakuza 0 is that I actually don’t get overwhelmed as easily as I thought I did. My worst part of playing Yakuza 0 was thinking that Tachibana was the person who sold Makoto, deciding never to trust anyone, trusting Oda again because he’s a good friend and then Oda being the person who actually sold Makoto.

So, yeah. You should probably expect a lot more on the Yakuza series very soon! Don’t forget to like this post, follow this blog, check me out on my social medias and if you’re looking for more streamers to watch, me and my partner stream nearly everyday on Twitch at 2nerds_1game. See you next time, Gamers!

How to make your Civilization VI game more interesting

So, I first heard about Civilization VI in one of my university lectures last year. Well, technically two years ago because it was 2019 but it was my second year so yeah. But the whole topic of video games has become somewhat relevant to my course again, so I did a little bit of reflection.

I really struggled to play Civ VI. It is the type of game that I naturally struggle with. By no means is this a type of guide. It is, however, me sharing some things that I did to make the game a little more interesting for me as a history nerd. For reference, since I got this game around May 2020, I’ve had two culture victories. That’s it. One with China and one with England (because I’m already a disappointment to my parents so why not play as England, am I right?).

When I started playing as China, it was around the time that I was doing some work on the Opium Wars. Something I immediately decided to try was limiting my trade because that’s what the Opium Wars were all about. This did make the game difficult as I was going for a cultural victory and something that is vital for a cultural victory is open borders. After a while of building culture up where I could (monuments, theatre squares, wonders etc), I did start trading open borders. Now, it’s important to note that I held back for a really long time. I was at least in the modern era before I started trading. From there, my tourism shot up dramatically. Despite the urge to keep trading in hopes of increasing tourism, I kept it simple and kept people out. It was pretty evident that I was going to win at this point (to the point where the other leaders started to hate me because I was winning), and I had to give the others something as well as open borders. I was hesitant at this point, but I pushed forward and traded. I knew how important open borders were. Eventually, I won the game.

So, how can you make your Civ VI game a little more interesting? Here are some suggestions based on historical accuracy:

  1. Check Wikipedia
    Now, as an academic person, I hate suggesting Wikipedia. However, it’s not as bad as people like to let on. So what you are going to want to do is check out the Wikipedia for the leader you are playing as. You can just read the section about their reign or about their attitudes and that should be enough to give you something to go on.
  2. Google is your friend
    Do a google search on the leader that you’re playing as. Although not all the information is going to be accurate, it will probably give you a better idea about your leader, what they did, and the affect that they had on their subjects.
  3. Pick up a book
    There are tons of books about all sorts of different things. Just keep in mind that there is a huge difference between historical books and journalistic books. I know this one is not going to be for everyone, but it might help the way that you play.
  4. Watch a documentary
    There are so, so many documentaries out there today. The odds that there’s going to be one on your ruler is pretty high. You can have it on in the background and you’ll learn something cool!

So, I hope these suggestions are helpful to you guys. Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for this game (we all know I need them)! Don’t forget to follow my socials (I’m a tad more active on Twitter now), follow my blog for more content and if you’re looking for a stream to watch, head over to 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where me and my fiancé stream most days now!

How to beat Alice- Persona 5 Strikers (NO SPOILERS)

Hey, Gamers! So Persona 5 Strikers came out this past week and I am loving it! However, the first boss fight was a little hard and I actually ended up spoiling it for myself trying to look up some tips. So, although I’ve never done anything like this before… it’s needed. So, here are some tips and tricks to beating Alice, with absolutely no spoilers (as long as you’ve at least tried the boss fight)

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Tip 1- Party suggestions

Party 1) Joker, Ann, Ryuji, Morgana
Party 2) Joker, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto
Party 3) Joker, Ann, Makoto, Morgana

So, Alice is weak to 2 things- wind and fire! That usually means Ann and Morgana. However, Joker should have at least one fire and one wind persona, so it’s not a huge deal. I played around with my party a lot and concluded that the most important person is actually Ann. She has fire but the most important thing is that she has a move that lowers the attack of the enemy, which is very much needed in the second part of the fight.

So Ann is important, but so are the other party members. Morgana has wind but tends to die quickly. Makoto brings nuclear which can do technical damage after she’s been set on fire. Ryuji is useful because he has a skill that can boost attack, which is amazing for the second part of the boss fight. Yusuke is strong too, and his triangle attack is pretty good in my opinion.

Tip 2- Grind

Once you have your selected party, grind with them for a bit. Important: You CAN leave the jail, come back and SP/HP is restored! If you played anything like me, you haven’t been using Ann a whole lot so I very much recommend just taking her for a run around the jail. She is so useful for this fight.

Tip 3- Leave the jail

You probably already know that you can leave the jail whenever with no consequences… but it’s a huge deal. This is a Persona game.
I recommend you use this feature a few times. Why? It means you can grind, come out, sell things to Sophia and buy more items! As far as I can tell, items from the shop get restored when you enter the palace. So spend all your yen, grind, sell, buy. It’s worth it, I promise.

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Top 4- Items, protectors, weapons

So, items and stuff can be bought in Sophia’s shop. Remember that you can press R2 (might be R1, so don’t hold me to that) to sell weapons.

So you’re going to want to be careful when it comes to Ann. Make sure she still has burn because that’s going to be vital. Everyone is going to need protectors, so when you’re done with picking your team and grinding, get protectors for your party.

In terms of weapons, it’s pretty obvious (for the rest of the party) which to pick. Just use your best judgement.

Accessories are (I think) important. Equip everyone with low psych damage, because that’s the main damage she does in the first half of the fight.

It’s important to make sure you have at least one recovery item, preferably more.

REMINDER: You can leave Leblanc to get recovery items from vending machines etc. This is important because there is some SP recovery (I just didn’t realise and didn’t have yen when I thought about it)

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Tip 5- How to use SP, when to use the environment, when to heal and when to recover

SP) Okay, so I feel like it’s harder to recover SP in this game in comparison to Persona 5. So… you’re going to want to save as much SP as possible for the second half of the boss fight. Particularly with Ann, because although she has fire and that’s what she is weak to… that’s not the most important skill in this fight. You are going to want to use a lot of triangle skills, any mastery skills in the first half of the fight.

Environment) So you’re going to want to use the crackers during the first half of the fight because she’s so fast in the second half, there’s the risk that it just won’t hit her. A lot of the times, your teammates will offer to set the cracker off. Either do that or wait until she goes on the pole.  

Healing) Basically, just keep everyone topped up. Try to keep your distance when she’s attacking If you keep on top of it, the 10 HP and 20 HP items can be useful still. Try not to let anyone drop below halfway, because there’s a possibility they can be taken out in one hit.

Recovery) Do not recover anyone until the second phase of the fight, which triggers after you get Alice to half health. This is important because you really need as many people as possible in the second part and if you’ve already used up all of your recovery items by then… you’re a tad screwed.

Tip 5- General tips

So here’s my general advice:

Stay away from her when she’s attacking. Especially in the second half, because she’s a lot stronger and one hit can take you out.

In the second half, lock on to her if you see her to the spinning attack. As far as I can tell, she will always go after the player and there’s no point trying to run away because she’s so fast. What you want to do is make sure you are locked on, stay completely still with your finger hovering over the dodge button, and dodge left or right just before she is about to hit you. It might take you a few times to get the timing right but I promise this works.

Hit her while she’s down, and then dodge. When she is still and sat down, you can get quite a few attacks in. If you’re out of SP by this point, hammer the triangle attack as much as you can. Do as much damage in this short space of time as possible. Ryuji will be helpful here as he has a skill that can boost the attack of an ally.

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So, that’s all for this post, Gamers! I hope this helped at least someone. I just wanted there to be at least one sort of guide that did not include what happened after you beat Alice, so I thought I might as well put this blog to some good use! Remember to follow my blog for more gaming content, like this post if you liked it, follow me on social media for any updates, and check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where me and my partner stream! (I play Persona at least twice a week!)

5 rules to follow for a hassle-free island- Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Hey, Gamers! ACNH has been out for nearly a year now, and it has been a lot of people’s saving grace during the pandemic. I got it recently… but I wasn’t the first one on my switch, which means I am a villager! This is a list of rules that we all try to follow to make sure everyone is happy.

Just a quick disclaimer, there are 3 of us on the switch, and the island representative is a 4-year-old. All three of us are autistic, so some rules that are on this list might be a little catered to that.

  1. Make sure you check with your island representative before setting your home, planting or chopping down any trees or doing anything that might have a permanent effect on the island.

I feel like this is self-explanatory. The person who played the game first is the island representative. That usually means they were either the most excited for the game, or it was bought for them. Just check-in and make sure what you’re going is okay. 

  • Check your mail.

This is the one I feel is catered to our little group, because it is very much a sensory thing. The noise that the mailbox makes hurts our ears, so we have to make sure that the mail is checked as soon as possible so no one is upset or has a hard time playing the game.

  • Discuss how you are going to contribute to the island.

This is one I learnt from my partner’s past experience of playing Animal Crossing. If you have someone who really cares about the museum and wants to contribute to that as much as possible, it’s going to be very frustrating for them if you donate one thing, and only that one thing. For us, we’ve decided that everyone contributes to everything. That means if our island representative needs iron nuggets to build the campsite, we help her get the iron nuggets by leaving any we have by her house.

  • Have your own ‘spots’ so that no one gets upset.

So there’s only three of us, so it’s pretty easy to divide the island up. This isn’t a hard-set rule or anything, but we try to only bash rocks or shake trees if they’re in our area. At the very least, we don’t touch anything close to someone else’s house.

  • Share nicely.

If you know someone needs or wants something, help them out. For example, my partner wanted the Nintendo Switch the other day but he had just paid his loan off and it was past 10 PM so the shop was closed, so he didn’t have enough bells. Our island representative knew this and bought him one because “he contributed to our island’s culture”. It’s just nice. Another thing she did was send me a letter in the mail because I was stressed and she thought it would cheer me up (it did). Just share things. Keep discussing what’s going on. And remember, you might not take it as seriously as someone else, but it is important to them (especially kids).

I hope this list helps! Let me know what villagers you have on your island below, and don’t forget to like, follow and check out my social media pages. See you next time, Gamers!

Why I am no longer trying to buy a PS5

Hey, Gamers! So the PS5 came out in November 2020 and we have been trying to get it ever since then, really. We’ve had absolutely no luck, like a lot of people. With our current PlayStation being around 5 or 6 years old, it’s not handling much without deciding it wants to emit the noise of about five planes. To be honest, I think that’s the main reason we wanted the PS5 in the first place.

A bit of backstory: between me and my partner, we have the PS2, PS3 and PS4 (as well as the Xbox 360, the Wii and several DS brand consoles). My partner hates the thought of throwing away old consoles, even if we sold them. I think it’s a bit more special with the PS4 because it was the first console that was technically ours so it means more to both of us. So we were never going to get rid of the PS4. We were just going to move it downstairs, and then we would be able to play the JoJo game together.

So we get paid 3 times a year. September, January and April. When we couldn’t get it in November, I was like “you know what, it’s fine, we’ll get it for second Christmas”… so we made plans and they did not work out. And about two weeks ago now, we decided to stop trying to get it.

We had lost sleep over the PS5. We never turned our laptops off because we had multiple stock pages open (just in case one didn’t work). I remember doing an assignment with extra tabs open was hell, because I was so scared that I was going to close one. Neither of us was sleeping right, just in case an alarm didn’t wake us or something. On nights when it was reported to have stock, I would set alarms for every half an hour. It was all we could think about.

And obviously, that isn’t healthy. I think I realised it when the Smith’s stock came in and we both had it in our baskets (just in case) and then… it was just gone. We were seconds too late.

I came to the conclusion that… in reality, there’s nothing wrong with the PS4. And we’ll get the PS5 when we get it. I told Josh that I’ll try to get it for his birthday in July, but I’m not going to obsess over it again. At the end of the day, things will come in stock normally soon. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. And to be perfectly honest, I would much rather a little kid who didn’t get a Christmas present have it instead of us.

This was actually a huge decision for us to make because usually when we make plans, there’s little space for them to go wrong. After all, we’re both autistic and this meant a lot to us both. But losing sleep, crying until I get migraines, none of that is okay. It’ll happen when it’ll happen, and finally deciding to close the tabs and give our laptops a break was a huge relief for both of us.

If you’re one of the people who are still looking for a PS5, just know that you will get it at some point. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and when that ends (I know it feels like it won’t but it can’t last forever), things will be able to happen so much faster. And if you want to give up, for now, that’s okay too. Your health is much more important than the PS5, coming from a gaming blogger.

That being said, I hope you’re all staying safe and are well. I’ll see you in the next post. Don’t forget to like, follow and comment if you feel this way too!

Why I haven’t pre-ordered Persona 5 Strikers yet…

A/N- Hi guys, just wanted to do a quick apology for not uploading this yesterday. There has been a change in my medication so my mental health hasn’t been too great for the past week or so. I promise it wasn’t because of burn out or anything, I’ve just been quite disorientated the past few days. Anyway, on with the post…

Hey, Gamers! So, for those who don’t know, Persona 5 Royal is my favourite game. I love it, so much. I loved the original, I loved the ‘upgraded’ version… so with the upcoming Persona 5 Strikers coming on the 23rd of next month (February)… why haven’t I pre-ordered it already?

So my autism is going to come into play here (it’s almost as if it affects my day-to-day life) so if you are not a regular reader, I got diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in September 2020. I remember telling you guys that I was worried that I wouldn’t like the changes in Royal, but I was pleasantly surprised. Then again, I pre-ordered Royal the second I had the chance to. This is different.

As far as I can tell, Strikers is a direct sequel to the original version of Persona 5. I think it came out before Royal in Japan, but they switched it while bringing it to the West for some reason. I think that’s the first thing that makes me hesitant. You all know how much I love Sumi, and how amazing I found the writing of Akechi’s confidant. I was under the impression, as were the rest of the fandom as far as I can tell, that when Royal was brought out, it became canon. So bringing out a direct sequel that will not include characters that are considered canon is just… not sitting right with me. I would have been completely fine with this if they had brought Strikers out before Royal, but since Royal overtakes the original as canon, it just seems weird to me.

The second thing, and I think this is the most important thing, is that it’s a different type of game. It’s a hack and slash. It doesn’t have the turn-based combat that I love. And I am terrified that this will be the thing that ruins the game for me. As far as I know, I have never played a hack and slash so I am worried that it’s going to get too overwhelming for me.

Yet another thing is… I can’t decide what console to get it on. We actually broke our switch not long after getting it, and I got it fixed with the sole reason that I wanted a Persona game on the switch. But now the time is here, I think I would prefer to have it on the PlayStation. But I can’t get the steel book version with the PlayStation. And I’m not too happy that there isn’t a collector’s edition (that pin that you can only get at GAME doesn’t cut it for me, especially with all the bad reviews that GAME has got recently).

I know this sounds stupid because ultimately, I am going to get the game because it’s Persona 5 and before it was officially announced, I was so hyped for it. I think I’m just scared. I love Persona 5 so much (as evidenced by the amount that I write about it) and I don’t want that love to face because of a sequel that I struggled to get through. That being said, Dancing! Is hard but I’m still enjoying the story of that…

As you can tell, this is a very hot topic for my brain right now. Your thoughts and feelings would be much appreciated in the comments section, and don’t forget to like and follow for when I inevitably get this game.

Top 10 things I’ve learnt while playing video games

Hey, Gamers! So, one of my main motives for starting this blog was to help get rid of the stigma surrounding video games. One way of doing that was to teach parents that video games teach kids things. I have learnt more in video games than I ever learnt at school. So, here are the top 10 things that I have learnt while playing video games.

Just wanted to throw out a quick trigger warning: I do mention being suicidal at some point in this post, and feeling very low, as well as mentioning abuse and homophobia. It’s not graphic and there are not many details, but I thought I should warn you beforehand.

10) Japanese
Okay, this one is a bit touch and go… I haven’t completely mastered the Japanese language or anything. However, I play a lot of games that are voiced over by Japanese Voice Actors. For those who don’t know, I am dyslexic. Therefore, I struggle to read subtitles that just disappear as soon as the person is done speaking. While I often try to play with English Voice Actors, for this reason, it is generally looked down on in the gaming community as the original Voice Actors are thought to be better. There are also games (such as Yakuza 0) where English VA is not available. A result of this is I have gone out of my way to learn Japanese. I can easily pick up on certain phrases because I have played this type of video game. I think more than anything, video games have encouraged me to literally learn a whole new language (a difficult one, as they use kanji instead of letters) so that it’s a little easier for my brain to enjoy the gaming experience.

9) Patience
This one is so high up on the list because Joshua (my fiancé) would argue that I still don’t have a patient bone in my body. However, I argue that… despite still struggling with being impatient at times, I’ve gotten significantly better at being patient. I don’t feel sick anymore when I’m feeling impatient, and I don’t immediately give up a game that is difficult which was a huge thing for me. Being completely honest here, I used to play games on easy because I was just too impatient to grind and actually try-hard. I started Yakuza 0 yesterday (a game Josh is obsessed with right now) and he said to me “it’s okay, y’know, if you play it on easy”. I paused for a second and really thought about it, before replying “I’m better than that” and pressing normal. That was a big moment for me because it was a huge self-esteem thing as well. That would be a great time to move on, but I wanted to add that I can also now play a game multiple times, and I actively grind in Persona 5. I wouldn’t have done any of this if it wasn’t for my increased patience.

8) My worth
This one is a very personal one and really it should be higher up but it’s still a thing I’m working on so it’s good here. I have never really had good self-esteem. I’ve always thought poorly of myself. But getting my entire team to level 99 makes me feel a little bit better. Another thing, and I’m always going to bring it up and he hates it but, me and Josh have a kind of competition when it comes to games (or at least… I think we do). I’ve talked about the process of him playing a game, telling me I’ll like it, me refusing to play it and then I give in and love it. But because he has already played the game, I am constantly comparing my playthrough to his (which is why he didn’t go past my position when Royal came out, even though he got through the game at a much faster pace). When we played the Witcher 3, I had to get less failed quests than he did (which I actually succeeded in). The thing is, Josh had played Persona 5 for a very long time before I even began to consider playing it. So when I completed the Big Bang Burger Challenge, and got all my social stats up to 5 when he still had one left after completing the game… that was it. That was when I realised that I was no longer bad at everything. Slowly but surely, I started to see myself as a gamer. Persona 5 still, and probably always will be, my favourite game. It gave me one of the most empowering moments of my life. It might sound silly to some people, but I needed that win. For a real-life reference, and this is very personal so feel free to skip, I really had lost all my self worth at that point. Josh was trying anything possible to give it back to me. I used to be this amazing writer in secondary school, and I gave up because I was just never going to be good enough. When I got my dyslexia diagnosis… I was done with writing. Since that moment in Persona 5, I started taking writing seriously again. I plan on finishing my book and getting it published. Because I know that I can do it, that I am worth someone’s time and energy, that I can make a difference to someone’s life. So, yeah… this was a really big thing for me.

7) Time Management
I am a university student. I am also autistic. Both of those things sometimes collide and I turn into a perfectionist with not enough hours in the day. I have uni, I have my blog, I have writing, I have gaming, I have a relationship to maintain, a house to look after, a family that I am apparently meant to speak to, and I’m trying to get a job. I have a lot on my plate. I am prone to making schedules and ‘to-do’ lists that are impossible to maintain. But Persona 5 helped me come to terms with the fact that… there’s going to be things that you do that causes time to pass, meaning you won’t get to do everything. Not every single thing you do will cause this time to pass, but some things will. That doesn’t mean your time is wasted, it just means that it is limited and valuable. I now try my best to plan my days out like I was playing Persona 5. I can do things like going to the shop, ordering shopping and stuff while still being able to complete a lecture. However, I cannot complete a lecture, a seminar, write a blog post and write a chapter of my book all in one day. Those are all big things that cause the time to pass. It’s a weird system but it works for me and I’m sure it’ll work for other people too.

6) Helping yourself is just as important as helping others.
I really did not plan to talk about Persona 5 so much in this post but it’s what I play the most so I guess it could be expected. I remember the dilemma of deciding whether to work on my social stats or confidants, and the other night I was lying in bed when a thought occurred to me- “my social stats must be at an all-time low”. Sure, I do things out of kindness so I guess that one is fine but I barely make time for stats like intelligence, charm and proficiency. Which would hinder my confidant progression. At that moment, things clicked. I remember going to therapy and talking about the Witcher and abilities and he asked me “so what do you do to increase your abilities?” and I was just… shocked. Sometimes, I forget that I am a person. I don’t know if it’s an autism thing or a mental illness thing or maybe just a people thing, but I forget about whatever is going on with me when others need me more. Or, at least I try too. So over the past few days, I’ve been thinking of ways to increase my social stats and abilities. I know this isn’t a normal way to think about life, but right now it’s what I need so I’m going for it. I guess this one kinda goes along with the whole self-worth thing. I’m still working on it.

5) Muscle memory
So I feel like this is an odd one to include, but it fits and its something that I feel has positively impacted my life. I have a bad memory. A real, real bad memory. So knowing where the buttons are on the PS4 controller was a huge accomplishment. It’s impacted my life. Since my brain shifted (in a way) to actually remember this stuff, my typing has become better, which is great because I am a university student and have to write 4000+ word assignments every three months or so. I am hoping that it shifts over to driving too, as I am still yet to pass my test. But it’s like my brain picks up on stuff more, and my muscle memory is a lot stronger than it used to be and I 100% think that it’s because of video games.

4) Reflexes
So this is another odd one and like most things on this list, it’s a work in progress. But my reflexes are getting so much better because I’m constantly training them. I’ve always had an issue with my reflexes being slow (hence the whole not passing my driving test yet). I was desperate to change that. I played games to try to train it better, taken online tests to try to train it better. But I think it was when I stopped trying so hard that my reflexes actually started to improve. It takes a while, but when your brain isn’t focused on training… that’s when it happens.

3) Practice makes perfect
I put this on very begrudgingly. I’m the type of person who quits something when I’m not immediately good at it. Josh tells me over and over that if I just practised more, I’d be great. I’m sure my mother would be happy to list off all the things I’ve tried and given up on because I wasn’t good at the start. But video games have (slowly) made me realise that this is true. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I have recently started to play League of Legends. I still suck at the game, don’t get me wrong, but the more that I learn about it and the more that I practice… I can see the improvements after each game. Even with Persona 5, once you practice and get used to the personas you use, it’ll turn into muscle memory. I recently got Dancing! For Christmas and I see improvements after every practice (mostly).

 TOP TIP: maybe don’t do that thing I mentioned with Persona 5. Muscle memory is great and all but if you want to think and strategize as you need to in boss battles, I suggest switching up your personas so you don’t get too comfortable. Learn from my mistakes. No good using heavy curse on something that blocks curse. SP is too valuable.

2) Dying isn’t the end
I think a huge thing that held me back at first was that I was too scared to die. I just have this thing in my head that says “if you die, it’ll be game over. You’ll lose all your progress and never be able to play this game again”. I am aware that this isn’t… normal. But it was such a huge thing that held me back. I actually wouldn’t game without Josh being there so I could ask him what would happen if it went wrong. Even now, the other day I was doing a side quest in Yakuza 0 and I was stressed about answering it wrong, and I had to ask him what the right answer was (he wouldn’t tell me, he just told me that it would be fine if I got it wrong). I think this applies to real life, because death is obviously the end of life… but if you don’t do things because you’re scared of dying… what’s the point? Because that isn’t a life worth living. Growing up, I was terrified of failing. Even today, just the thought of a post not getting any views or an assignment not doing well… that kind of stuff keeps me up at night. But I don’t hold myself back anymore… at least, not as much as I used to. I post on my blog, I do my assignments, I apply for jobs. If I can do it, I try now. And I don’t think I would be able to do that if it wasn’t for video games.

1) Life is worth living
This one is deeply personal. I don’t know if anyone else has learnt this from video games, and if you have, I’m sorry. I have had… a lot of bad things happen in my life. I grew up suicidal. I was involved in a lot of abuse and I have a lot of trauma. I… I used to read a lot as a kid. That’s the only thing that kept me growing. I think my fascination with history started because I was so surprised at how society could develop and change. I desperately wanted it to change. I grew up with loving parents who tried their best, and I had sisters who were fostered so my life – I thought – cannot possibly be that bad. When I came out as pansexual I was terrified. I saw the look of shame cross the faces of people who were meant to love me. I knew people thought it was just another phase I was going through. The relief that my father must have felt when I started dating a boy clearly outshined the obvious signs of abuse. When I made friends in college and one of them suggested I was autistic, I did so much research. I thought… everything felt right. I brought it up to my mother, who just shrugged it off. Everything that has gone on in my life has just been shrugged off. I was in… a really dark place just before I met Josh. He was the one who pulled me out of it and reminded me that the world was still a good place (despite him saying that I’m crazy for thinking that). I finally had the balance that I needed. I had gone through so much, and it was the breath of fresh air I needed.
I was a creative kid. But I constantly got told that my creativity wouldn’t amount to anything, because the arts never amounted to anything. I was 13 when I started to write my first book. I got told time and time again that I was going to change peoples lives. That the words that I wrote, the worlds that I created… they would have an effect on people. I was 15 when my dad told me that being an author wasn’t a proper job. I stopped writing to focus on my GCSE’s… and then my A levels… and now, university.
Video games are my immediate escape. But they also remind me of one very important thing: they were all wrong. All the people who said that creativity is useless, that writing and art aren’t proper jobs… they were all wrong. Because video games are the result of everything I have ever wanted.
Video games taught me that everything bad that has happened… I can push through. Because everything I got told was a lie. Video gaming is a magnificent medium and I could not be happier writing about them each and every week. It’s not a safety thing for me anymore. Video games are the result of hard work, of creativity, and of passion. That tells me that life is worth living, because we live in a world where video games can be successful and enjoyed by a range of different people.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I know it was very personal at times but I really felt like it was important to share the life lessons that I’ve learnt while playing video games. I’ll see you on Thursday for my next post. Don’t forget to like for me to do a happy dance, and follow for more gaming content!

Gaming Quote of the Week #8

“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”- Ezio Auditore, Assassins Creed II.

I know I’ve already done an AC post… but I love History, okay?!

But seriously, this quote is genius for a game based in history. For those who don’t know, I study history at University. I’m in my final year (unless I do a masters course) and I’ve learnt a lot. The biggest thing I think I’ve learnt about history is… everything is interpreted. History is not accurate. Nothing is accurate.

Historians have no way of knowing what exactly happened. So they take things like primary sources (things created at that time) and they take an educated guess at what happened, why it was created, stuff like that. But nothing is fact. That’s why historians argue so much. And that’s why I love history.

I know this has nothing to do with gaming as such, but I thought it was interesting so I wanted to share. And I love when gaming and history are mixed. I truly believe that gaming is the future of education (might do a post about this in the future), so when there’s a game about history, I’m all over it!

Do you like history? Do you like Assassins Creed? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

I got my friends to guess how long I would last in Bloodborne…

Hey, Gamers! This week, I’m throwing it back with an idea that I had before finishing Persona 5 Royal (hence the mentions of that in the texts). So, I don’t have a group of friends. I have my partner and his brothers who have played Bloodborne… and then my mum and my best friend who would probably pick up a PlayStation controller to try to turn the TV on. After explaining to them that the game was hard… these are all the responses I got when I asked them – the people who know me best – how far I’d get in Bloodborne.

My mother
Joshua (my partner)
Hannah (my best friend)
Josh’s youngest brother
Josh’s younger brother that’s older than the youngest. His older younger brother??

I’m going to start out by saying that Josh’s older (younger) brother was wrong. He was wrong within… I think two minutes. I died. I died real hard. Actually, I died more than this game than I ever wanted to when I was growing up, so that’s saying something right there.

I had very little hope for myself, so I think I always knew Hannah would be wrong (bless her, having faith in me). I wanted to complete it because Josh watches a bunch of SoulsBorne lore videos and it’s so interesting. However, I am not that great at… getting gud.

I understood the response from Josh’s youngest brother. He knows me and my phobia of spiders very well. Part of me wanted to get past Rom just out of spite. I hate spiders and I imagined it would give me a lot of satisfaction to murder a big one without running away and screaming for Josh to do all the dirty work for me.

I wish I got that far.

Alas, Joshua knows me best. He was exactly right. Every single word… to the point where it was a little creepy.

Josh was actually there when I played Bloodborne because obviously, I needed emotional support. I was terrified… and apparently, it was painful to watch. I’m a big button masher, so it took some time to get used to only attacking at the right moment, making sure to dodge at the right time. The first time I played it, he actually asked me to stop after about an hour… because it was so bad. The second time was significantly better. I saw major improvements almost immediately. My timing was better, I was remembering to dodge. Heck, I even beat a big scary thing.

So, I hear you ask, dear reader- why wasn’t Hannah or my mother or even Josh’s youngest brother right?

The Cleric Beast.

It was so hard for me just to get to him, over and over and over again. I’m usually bad with memorising directions, but I knew the way there because I did it so so so many times. What was the most frustrating is that I was so close to beating him (apparently… I still haven’t worked out the whole enemy health bar thing so I’m just taking what Josh said). I was almost there to the point where even Josh was excited… and then I died in one hit.

Great game, bad execution on my behalf I guess. I am proud of myself for trying and for getting back up when I died because usually, I would get frustrated. The whole game felt like I was going up against the Reaper from Persona 5 Royal (yeah, the one you can’t even defeat with the flu) every single time, with every single enemy.

So, would I play it again? Honestly… it is a solid maybe. Before writing this, I was done with the game. I drew a line under it. But now I’m writing this, I am thinking of giving it another try. Maybe I can defeat the Cleric Beast and get on to a part that maybe lets me breathe. That’s doubtful, though.

Anyway, that’s all for this post! Have you played Bloodborne? Leave your thoughts and experiences down in the comments, and don’t forget to like and follow for more content like this! (I might do Dark Souls soon since Josh seems to think that’ll be better for me).