23 January 2011 @ 09:20 pm
Who Are You Again?  
So, we all know I have a problem with Mary Sues, right? Yadda yadda change the record, laila. I know you're not even very good at doing that with actual music (just how many times have you listened to The Boxer in the last few days apart from Far Too Many, anyway), but you could at least try not to keep on subjecting other people to this stuff, right? Sadly, I can't. Because once again I think - or like to think anyway - that I have found something new this time.

The context? This, and that's the condensed version. The wank that spawned the comment that spawned this rant - focusing on an overpowered blond-haired blue ponything - was a bit of a doozy, if only for the sheer degree of Not Getting It its creator exhibited.

Long story short, there are speshul snowflakes out there, and of course they're bloody infuriating. These snowflakes are created by people who insist that every single ridiculous talent and every single angsty incident that they've piled on the character's beautiful and shapely shoulders forms an integral part of who and what they are to the extent that if even one of those powers was removed or scaled back, or if a single angsty incident was omitted from their tragic past, the character would become broken and unplayable. Because, you know, it's absolutely vital to their sense of self that they play the piano beautifully and sensitively, and were bullied in middle school for Insert Legitimately Angsty Reason here.

The problem is that this isn't an entirely ridiculous idea. It takes a perfectly valid character-building technique - that personal circumstances and history play a vital role in building and shaping character - and turns it into something completely stupid.

The end result is both horrible and predictable.

Yup. This would be Scarlet of Before the Last Cherry Blossom Falls ((FantasyRomance.Open)), the beautiful, saintly, long-suffering and totally legitimately angst-ridden creation of an RPer who goes by the not at all OTT alias of 'ScarletWingsofDestiny'. No, I don't think the fact that her creator has 'Scarlet' in her screenname and has at least two other saintly, long-suffering strawberry-blonde OCs named Scarlet is a coincidence either. The truly terrifying thing? Even other Gaia RPers think that 'ScarletWingsofDestiny' is a Suethor. If you're repelling the kind of people who join a Pokemon RP entitled Discover Your Destiny ((Pokemon. Please Join. Need People)) on Gaia Online, you probably need to think a little harder about what you're doing.

Which brings me to the heart of this rant, and the thing I wanted to highlight.

If you cannot write about your OC without falling back on their speshul powers of speshulness and angst past of angst, you need to go back to the drawing board and start again. Only adding an actual personality this time.

Past angst and speshul powers of speshulness are optional extras. They're nice enough, I guess, but they aren't any kind of substitute for possessing an actual personality. Going on about how special your character is and how tragic their past was doesn't actually tell us anything about them. It tells a reader where they come from and that you think that we should be impressed with them for overcoming it anyway and being so awesomely shiny, but it doesn't tell us what the Hell they are like. You should still be able to tell a reader who the Hell your character actually is without mentioning their terrible past, their special abilities or deeply significant bling - or, for thatr matter, who they're there to hook up with. Because none of that is really about them.

You the author should, in fact, be able to do this without any trouble whatsoever.

Imagine your character wakes up alone in a strange place with no memory of how they got there, no powers, no cool toys, nothing. They can speak the local language, maybe they even know their name, but that's about it. They have to figure out who they are and what's going on and what to do without much of anything to go on. How do they behave? What core traits of their personality are going to come out? If you don't know [...], that would mean that they don't actually have a core personality, or at least not one you're willing or able to explore.

[ profile] master_simon

Taking Ken Hidaka and subjecting him to this thought experiment produces the following:

His first reaction would be confusion. That would be very quickly replaced by the desire to look around for who was responsible for stranding him there in the first place. If he saw anyone who looked like they might have something to do with it, he would corner them as quickly as possible and demand to know what was going on. Words would be exchanged and punches might be thrown. He would then set about trying to find a way out of there and back to wherever the Hell he did belong, because it clearly wasn't there. He wouldn't be prepared to believe that nobody knew what had happened to him or could fix it, and would be determined to figure out who and how. He would be far more concerned with getting back to where he was meant to be than with working out who he was: he'd likely figure that could come later. He would not win many friends for himself by virtue of being confused and irritable most of the time, though he'd find it easy enough to get out there and get talking to people.

This, bear in mind, is a character from Weiss Kreuz, a series that is not exactly famed for its deep and nuanced sense of characterization. The main cast are heavily, heavily archetype-based, and for all they're also fairly appealing characters to watch in action, their roots are basically pretty generic. And yet working out what Ken Hidaka would do in the situation above was actually very easy. Because yes he's got gloves and goggles and an orange sweater, and he likes soccer and has an angst past, but he also has a personality. Ken is a self-confident, stubborn, easily confused hothead who'll keep worrying at problems until he's either managed to solve them or, more likely, found someone he can yell at or hit until they solve them.

A basic, non-contradictory personality is absolutely all a character needs for anybody who writes about them to be able to reply to that question both quickly and easily. Because let's face it, this should not be even remotely problematic to answer. If your character is even as well-defined as the ones in Weiss Kreuz, and you understand them about as well as a decent canon-character roleplayer does one of their muses, it should take about five minutes.

Which means anyone who is sitting there scratching their head or complaining that it's Just Too Hard to explain who their character is without falling back on their angst and speshul has created a character who doesn't actually possess a personality. If they as an individual can't work out how to solve a problem as simple as who am I and where is this without falling back on, say, magical powers or their daddy issues then they'tre not actually a character, they're just a loose affiliation of special powers and personal traumas formed into the vague shape of a person. Most likely a person with tumbling locks and curves in all the right places. Cat ears may or may not be involved.

In short, they need to go back and try again. And realize that 'cute, nice, shy, determined, will fight anyone who hurts her friends' doesn't actually cut it when it comes to defining who a character is next time.
Current Music: orange crush - r.e.m
Current Mood: distracted
12 January 2011 @ 05:05 pm
Get it Off (My Computer)  
My Gaia avatar continues to be a pretty, pretty princess.

The reason for this is no doubt related to the fact that I am still broke and blobby. If I could play Pretty Princess Dress-Me-Up for real I likely wouldn't need a virtual paper doll to do it for me but as I can't, the paper doll it is. Oh well, at least it's moderately fun and rather cheaper than trying to maintain a fabulous wardrobe in real life is. Plus, far less fussing with those oh-god-everything-in-the-shops-looks-crap-on-me moments which make actually doing this thing for real so dispiriting. I went shopping with my mother at Bluewater this Christmas, you can't tell me this isn't a very real problem.

Anyway, the avatar at least is a pretty princess (she's added another string to her bow and as well as being obsessed with cats, she's also obsessed with wigs) and considerably less difficult to dress, so that's the appeal right there. Which means it's on with the image dumping because having saved these things, I might as well do something with them.

I'd explain what the deal with some of these are except that's going to be so damn boring I don't think even I have the patience to write it. Instead let's insert the usual statement of the 'wow what a filler' school here and I guess we can all go back to our own beds or something, at least until I decide my updating schedule has gotten even worse (which would be something I honestly dread to see) and sit down to do this again.
Current Music: hush - deep purple
Current Mood: i should be showering
15 July 2010 @ 08:48 pm
Gaia avatars, their use in backdating  
Second verse, same as the first.

Another collection of Gaia avatars I found lying around the site, decided that I liked the look of and stole for useful purposes. Those purposes being the filling-up of space in my Livejournal when I left it neglected for a length of time that embarrassed even me. These aren't mine, of course, and no disrespect is intended to the bods behind the appealing agglomeration of pixels. I'm not intending to 'copy' your looks or anything, I just want to have a record of them. It's kind of like the Featured Avatar... uh, feature, it's just rather more personal. So it makes perfect sense, right? Right?

I probably shouldn't put these right by the dump of my own avatars as most of them make my own avatars look very boring indeed, but I'm going to anyway because I'm feeling more than averagely lazy this evening and also I just want to move on and do something else. So this will have to do, even if it does come at the cost of making me look boring and deeply uninspired. Onward!

Once again, normally I'd rearrange these things so that they were presented in some kind of compelling and amusing manner, but I don't think I can be bothered. They look just fine to me as they are, and I can't believe anyone else is going to be even remotely interested. So there you go.
Current Mood: a little edgy
Current Music: nightbook - ludovico einaudi
14 July 2010 @ 08:20 pm
Kittens, the uses of in Gaia avatars.  

It really is about time I got these things off my computer and onto the Internets as the loss of several months' worth of Gaia avatars would... well, I won't say it'd exactly pain me forever or cause me any real lost sleep, but it would have made saving the things in the first place a waste of time and energy, so to justify said waste of time and energy I am now going to waste even more of it on uploading them to Photobucket and posting them on Livejournal, because I've got to do something with them at some point, right? They exist, so I might as well do something with 'em to justify it.

This batch of Gaia-related stupidity is noteworthy for only a few things: firstly it contains my first successful attempt to make a white-and-gold avatar like all the cool kids do; secondly, it contains my first successful attempt to make an all-white (or almost-all-white) avatar like all the cool kids do, thirdly the one with the chick was a brave attempt at an 'oh hey it's Easter' avatar that didn't quite work, and finally for the fact that only three out of the thirty-seven avatars I created here don't involve a cat or a kitten item in any way, shape or form. Well, why not? Kittens are, after all, pleasant.

Incidentally I'm fed up with my current avatar but honestly I can't be bothered to come up with a new one, so I've gone back to a very slight variation on the pink one with the goat on the top row for a bit. That ought to work until I can figure out something better to do.
Current Mood: that's one down.
Current Music: lady labyrinth - ludovico einaudi
16 March 2010 @ 01:48 am
In Accordance With the Scriptures.  
Yes, more Gaia avatars. Please ignore this post.

This would be yet another bunch of avatars I picked up about the site because I figured they looked pretty. I've had a lot of these lying around for some time and to be totally honest I just want to post the wretched things so that I can say it's done. So, since I've been ignoring my personal journal for weeks and since I'm backdating like a crazy thing tonight I figure I might as well get these damn things out the way as well - it wouldn't be me backdating without some kind of Gaia avatar dump, after all - then we can all move on with our lives and forget this ever happened.

Usual drill as regards these, of course - there's no particular rhyme or reason to any of this stuff, it's just a bunch of stuff I found to be vaguely pretty and/or amusing back when I was paying any real attention to Gaia... and, since Livejournal RP is my current timesink, I've been largely ignoring Gaia for a while except when I want to change my own avatar. That's all I'm really interested in, really - well, that and the pixel-kitties and there haven't been very many interesting new ones of those in a while. Maybe if they actually came out with something interestingly shiny I could actually afford for once...

Once again I'd probably rearrange these a bit more usually, but I really can't be bothered right now. They look fine as they are and what the Hell, they're only pixel-dolls and this, after all, is only pointless filler. So there you have it.
Current Mood: present
Current Music: running up that hill - placebo
24 February 2010 @ 11:05 am
Icon Unrelated.  
So yeah., been a while since I did this and I figure that I might as well do it now. I did, after all, let my LJ lie fallow for a lot of the latter half of February, for which I blame [ profile] somarium. No doubt there'll be more on this general theme anon.

Anyway. Time for another dump of old Gaia Online avatars because I might as well do something with the damn things and make the saving them worthwhile. These things date back to... hm, I think I see a Halloween avatar in there - the orangey-yellow one on the second row - so it must be October sometime at the very latest and possibly even earlier. Yeah, I guess I really did let these things build up a bit, but it's what happens when you end up with an avatar you really like for a while, I guess.

Aside from that there's not really a whole heap to say, I don't think, save that I acquired another ridiculously virtually expensive cat thing because it was a kitten and I had to and now I can't bring myself to sell it even though I haven't used it much and could no doubt make rather better use of the virtual golds elsewhere. But IT'S A CAT. It, uh. Just has the dispiriting tendency to de-equip some hats. Why Gaia have decided that cats and hats should be mutually exclusive I don't know but it does rather seem to be a common problem. The virtual goat is a lot cheaper, but somehow almost as awesome to me. Perhaps because it looks like it wants to start something, and that's always a sign of... well, goatishness to me.

So that would be that until the next lot, which at my current rate I'll be posting sometime around September. Not that this is such a bad thing, as if I can do nothing else with these ridiculous avatar dumps, I can at least not make a real nuisance of myself by posting a new one every few weeks. Because it'd be irritating even without the massive backdates to spare friendslists, for me as well. HTML-izing tables is annoying.
Current Music: i can't stay - the killers
Current Mood: my shoulder hurts
12 January 2010 @ 01:56 am
"Those are utterly fantastically stupid."  
Been sick. Also been making icons. In fact, I still am sick and making icons. Between them the two things basically account for the radio silence here for the past few days. Also, [ profile] wk_awakenings finally dragged itself back from the dead thanks in no small part to the fact I actually sat down and sodding wrote something for it, so that's also been activating and keeping me away from my ranting for a bit. Either way it all comes down to I Have Been Absent and that comes down to wanting to backdate.

So, as I don't want to clutter anyone's friendlist with this, that means it's high time that I posted my expose of Gaia Online's most prevelant, baffling and ridiculous virtual fashion trend. I'd like to introduce the Gangsta N00b.

So, you are probably not asking yourself, but let's pretend you are, what exactly is a Gangsta N00b, laila, and why are you bitching about them?

Well, it's really very simple. A Gangsta N00b is a Gaia user who thinks that it is cool to look 'street'. There's only one problem with this, and that's the bit where the average Gangsta N00b is a white kid from Wichita, Kansas whose mother would ground them for the next fifty years if she caught them leaving the house wearing an entire pawn shop's worth of gold jewelery with their pants around their knees. So, since they can't look 'street' in real life they decide that the next best thing is to pretend they're 'street' online and hope that someone out there might actually buy it.

The major problem with this is that they're trying to keep it real on Gaia Online of all places, and if there's one thing that's certain about Gaia users it's that they are not even remotely 'street', because if they were they wouldn't be wasting their time playing around on Gaia Online. They'd be out doing whatever it is you do when you're keeping it real, a process which I - aging lily-white nerd that I am - find utterly baffling even when it doesn't involve hanging round in Gaia Rally trying to get pixelated chibis in pixelated hooker shorts to type 456 for hott cyber action. The end result are the Gangsta N00bs - a group of pixelated posers desperately trying to out-thug one another on an avatar site for middle school girls. Yes, it really is as stupid and pointless as it sounds.

So, how do you recognize a Gangsta N00b? Well, thankfully it turns out that they have their own uniform. All Gangsta N00bs, from the virtual Croesus to the pixel-beggar, look pretty much alike:

Yeah. I guess Gangsta N00bs really like being able to instantly recognize one another across a crowded forum.

Gangsta N00bs are tan, but often don't want their avatars to look dark enough to actually look black. If your Gangsta N00b is a girl, she'll most likely have black or brown 'Terra-Twist' hair , or, if she's being really daring, black or brown hair in the 'Gentle Curls' style; usually she wears hot pants, a belly shirt or both, and seems oddly keen on sticking a doggy tail on her virtual butt. Male Gangsta N00bs are slightly more adventurous when it comes to hair, but almost all have pixelated tattoo sleeves and favor the same three pairs of baggy black pants. Rich Gangsta N00bs, male and female, will wear flamboyant scarves, fake-looking 'demon wings' on their backs, fluffy slippers and panda backpacks. And absolutely all the Gangsta N00bs love their virtual bling. Lots and lots of tacky virtual bling. If they can't get it they'll fake it, settling for cheaper huge slippers or animal backpacks, and even gold tennis wristbands. Just as long as they look the part, though why this should involve clown noses nobody knows.

Though the Gangsta N00b look is ridiculously easy to replicate, even here Gaia users prove daft enough to get it wrong. Take the girl third from the left in the fourth row down, who has clearly become a bit confused and hasn't realized that Gangsta N00bs wear either red or blue to show their gangsta pride. No true Gangsta N00b would wear red and blue, unless the blue is restricted to the Gangsta N00b's jeans or hot pants.

Which is all very well, but it does beg the question of what on earth is so 'street' about cute animal backpacks, doggy tails and fluffy slippers, anyway.
Current Mood: sick
Current Music: hurricane drunk - florence + the machine
05 January 2010 @ 03:14 am
Actually, I don't have anything better to do.  
One of the most noticeable things about Barton Town RPs - and yes, I am ranting about Gaia again but it's my journal and I'll TL;DR about stupid teen sites if I want to - is how very, very samey they are. There's this high school for the flangily gifted, that generic fantasyland straight out of a D&D sourcebook, the other slave shop full of angst-ridden vampires. Can't get into DeVayne School for Otherwordly Creatures (now open)? No problem, Hidden High. A Place For The Unwanted. (O///A) is right there.

One of these games is very much like another - the only real difference is in the literacy level and whether the plot is hilariously stupid or (at least where it struggles free from the needlessly over-decorative post layouts) laughably pretentious.

It's not just the premises and plots that are familiar to the point of tedium either: the OC 'cast' of these games are often quite painfully samey too.

By that, of course, I don't just mean that they casts of these games are all tiresomely flange-powered and angst-ridden Sues laden down with enough special powers and significant Sue bling that one of them could keep an entire fantasy universe could going for a year, though that is sadly true of most of them. I mean that at least half the time they're using the exact same generically 'sexy' anime characters to represent said tiresome flange-Sues. The same characters show up as 'OCs' time and time again - and not only do the same characters keep showing up, the same images of the same characters do. There's an entire intertubes out there, and yet there they are: the same old faces, showing up time and time again.

I've come up with a virtual rogues' gallery of the most common 'OC' images as chosen by Gaia RPers. There are quite a lot of them. Chances are if you visit the profile thread for a Barton Town RP, you'll find at least one of these characters, or horrifically unnatural and badly-photoshopped palette-swapped version of of the same, staring back at you. In a lot of cases these badly-edited palette-swaps are perhaps even more commonly seen in RP profile threads than the original images; as far as possible, though, I've gone with the original version of the image simply because nine times out of ten the photoshopping is really that obnoxiously bad. Don't thank me, thank TinEye Reverse Image Search!

Proof if it were needed that counter-culture is the new mainstream? Check out how many 'goth', 'punk' and 'emo' characters made the cut...

You didn't really think that was the end of it, did you? )

The end result is that sometimes one can browse an RP's profile thread and come across no more than two or three players who've actually gone out of their way to choose a character image that doesn't shown up on several other 'OCs' in several other completely different threads, played by several other completely different users. I don't doubt that some of these pictures are kind of pretty, but why the Hell should they be showing up so damn often when surely the sheer amount of anime images available online should go some way to mixing things up a little?

The reason for this constant repetition of content is very, very simple: Photobucket.

Try image-searching like a fourteen year old girl for a minute. Open the Photobucket front page and type in 'hot anime boy' and see how many of the images on the first few pages look kind of familiar. Now clear the search box, and enter 'anime goth'. Again, there should be a good number of familiar faces there. Trying search strings like 'anime goth', 'purple haired anime girl', 'cute anime guy' and 'gaia rpc' have exactly the same results - including, on page three of the 'gaia rpc' search, a picture of one Aya Fujimiya labeled, of all things, Horace. To my eyes this makes it painfully obvious what must be happening. These RPers, all or most of them, are finding their character images - which, in many games, are obligatory for a profile to be accepted - using Photobucket image searches and, because the same few character images show up in the first few pages, are constantly choosing the same images for character after character, game after game.

So why not just describe the characters? Isn't that the point of writing? Aren't you more likely to get a character who's genuinely interesting - and genuinely your own - that way?

Honestly, I don't think that's occurred to a lot of the RPers on Gaia, or elsewhere for that matter. It's a cycle - new RPers are told when they join their first games that they need a character image for their OCs as a precondition of joining, and so diligently go and hunt one down because they don't want to make a mistake and that's what they've been told they have to do. And these same new RPers get more confident, eventually maybe starting games of their own - and they tell prospective players that character images are mandatory to get a profile accepted. Nobody really sits down and wonders, is all this really necessary? Everyone else thinks it is, so it must be, right?

Of course, it's not necessary. It's no more necessary to good roleplaying than fancy post styles and copy/pasted song lyrics are. It's just a convention, and like most conventions it's passed unquestioned for so long it's sometimes hard to remember there is another way to do things. You don't have to comb Photobucket for a generic anime character to represent your OC any more than you have to write all their dialog in teal blue. If you want to, that's fine, but you shouldn't get so carried away with finding the perfect anime picture to represent your neat new character you forget to give them a personality.

Oh, and don't forget that picture is of a pre-existing character, and if someone knows that character, they might find it rather harder to believe in your OC when they know damn well he was Ken Hidaka first.
Current Mood: indifferent
Current Music: signal to noise - peter gabriel
03 January 2010 @ 09:48 pm
Have we not met before, monsieur?  
I suppose actually being able to get into my own house is as good a way to start the new year as any, so perhaps it's fitting that after all that I did manage to make it back home on the first. I've spent the last couple of days mostly relaxing, poking the Internet and hanging around with [ profile] rokesmith, mainly to prove that I can now. Oh, and there's been some pretty hardcore sleeping at strange hours because nobody can tell me not to do that, either. Free! Free!

... okay, sorry about that. But it's just so nice not to be living out a suitcase again. I know that two weeks, or just under, isn't that long to do that, but it's a bit of a pain when you were only banking on being away for one and had packed accordingly.

Anyway. One of the things a return to casual internet means is a return to Gaia. It's a bit difficult to poke around on a website aimed at fourteen year old girls when you're twenty-seven and staying with your parents, so I've had to keep the amount of time I waste on that massive boredom-sink to a minimum over the past couple weeks. Yesterday and today, though, I took the opportunity to head on back. After fiddling with my avatar for a bit (it's the only reason I really use Gaia, after all - to play Pretty Princess Dress-Me-Up with pixels) I took the opportunity to go and poke some of the forums to see how they reacted. Because I have other things I'd like to do this evening, I steered well clear of... well,pretty much the entire site for the (relatively to the rest of the site, at least) safe haven of the Bug Reports and Technical Support forum.

What I know about technical troubleshooting you could write on the back of a postcard, but I like the Bug Reports forum, it's like a slightly less rabid Q&A. Sure, people can be plenty stupid in there, just like everywhere else, but it's not normally the kind of stupid I feel the need to rant about. The problem is the risk of discovering something only tangentially related to site bugs I will feel the need to rant about, and... yeah, that's why I'm here.

Specifically, I found this thread, and once again it was Rabbit Hole of Stupid time.

The issue? A user known as GummyBearSlayer's signature link. Specifically, this would be a signature link that led to yet another bad RP, and... well, I'll come to that. About the only real difference was that it was an RP guild - the Gaia Online term for a user-run subforum - and not a forum thread in Barton Town. Guilds are where the real hardcore, long-term Gaian RPers tend to prefer to do their business. Threads are easily lost and often don't take off. A big, long-term game is often far happier in its own subforum. Of course, though, all this means is the game is big - not necessarily that it's actually any good.

This game, for all its impressive organization, turned out to be rather not so good.

The game in question - which is entitled Camp Half-Blood- A New Adventure seems to be based on a series of teen novels about a guy called Percy Jackson. I've barely even heard of these and what I do know doesn't interest me, which along with my ignorance of The X-Factor probably means I'm officially Past It and need to apply for my tartan blanket and moccasins. Kids these days rowr bazz fazz get off my lawn.

Anyway, from what I know about this series, either the novels massively mangle Greek myths and legends or their fans do, because I haven't seen this much mythology FAIL since that fic where Ken Hidaka found a Dante Watch. I can't exactly blame the fans for going with the flow if it turns out the book is being quite this casual with the mythology as well, but either way it's pretty damn painful to read. The game - and maybe not just that, but I'll give the Percy Jackson series the benefit of the doubt - gives itself the tagline 'paradises are usually places where you get killed', which simply doesn't make much sense to me because if you're constantly fearing for your life then by definition you're not in paradise. Possibly they were trying to say that Paradise is a place you can normally only get to after you die, but if that was the aim the tagline missed it by a mile. Like so many other aspects of Gaia RPs, it only sounds cool until you actually start to think about it, at which point the 'wait - what?' response kicks in.

Of course, being me, I immediately gravitated toward the Character Profile thread, which for my money provides the quickest and easiest way to get laughs out of a Gaia RP without actually having to read it. Surprise! They're using the same character images as every other Gaia RP, some of which turn out to be very familiar indeed. How familiar? Well, even ignoring the fact the same dozen or so character images are being endlessly recycled here as well, I'd like to introduce Drake Bone, Syen James Corvinace, Hikari, Syrene Seymour and Ryan Keith - more commonly known as Squall Leonhart, Mello, Hotaru Tomoe, Kotonoha Katsura and L.

Funny though it was to see Mello the mafia don running round claiming to be the dark and edgy Syen James Corvinace, he was not the guy I was looking for. I was looking for the character who was mentioned in GummyBearSlayer's signature and, on page 23 of the profile thread, I found him.

Name: James Smith
Gender: Male
Age: 16
Race: Human
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Deep, stormy grey.
Other: Born military strategist, loves to learn, and is incredibly smart.
Mortal Parent F/M: Male
Weapon(s): Small knife, mind, and bow, which he uses if he has to, but prefers his knife

I knew this was the guy, GummyBearSlayer's ridiculous screenname and painfully generic blonde avatar thing aside. See, beneath this rather non-indicative character profile - to quote something I once read on the subject of character creation, even a good flat character should require at least a sentence to sum up, and a sentence with sub-clauses at that - which despite offering less information on who this guy thought he was than his personals ad would have done was nonetheless apparently quite comprehensive enough for the luminaries over at Camp Half-Blood to work out which Greek God had apparently helped spawn him, there was the same color-swapped artbook picture he had in his signature, saved under the filename 'boy44.jpg'.

You see, it turns out that 'boy 44' would be this guy (if not this particular image of him):

Only it was far, far worse than that. The applicant had color-swapped the original image - badly, though all that was required was a simple HSL adjustment which uses one paint tool and takes about 20 seconds - and then, as if he feared that we'd have totally forgotten who his 'OC' was in the few seconds it took to read through his profile, had written 'James Smith' on it using a truly horrible 'decorative' font much beloved by the Blingee crowd. You know, just in case you thought it was a picture of someone else like, I don't know, KEN HIDAKA maybe.

I like to think it's pretty obvious why this guy's signature caught my eye now - there was a picture of 'James Smith' in it, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to work out that this randomly-appearing image of Ken Hidaka had nothing to do with my fangirl but was, in fact, supposed to be someone's 'OC'.

The sad thing is that Kenken here's actually getting off pretty lightly. Yes, he's supposed to be some kind of super-smart mercenary warrior thing, but at least he's actually a human rather than a nymph or a demi-God or a 'demi human', whatever the fuck that means. At least he's actually using sensible real-world weapons rather than dual-wielding scythes and katanas that have been dipped in the river Styx, or a giant bronze hammer that shrinks to the size of a keychain, or a ring that can summon a panther, or a bow that shoots moonbeams, or some kind of mystical flange-object charm bracelet that allows him to summon any weapon ever made. At least he sounds like a relatively normal guy rather than the usual ridiculously Dark! And! Edgy! cliche who thinks that having a bad attitude is a substitute for an actual personality. At least his player isn't making desperate attempts to make him sound alluring to kindergoths by claiming he likes playing Tag in graveyards and crying in the rain.

Finally, there's the matter of his assumed name. Ken is going by the name James Smith, which is a pretty good English interpretation of 'Ken Hidaka' in terms of ordinariness. Given that he's sharing an RP with characters called Temperance Rose and Terra Star and Allete Crescent and Rex Maximillian Degenor and Pine Cone and Quanjanym Whiteberry and Siren Phoenix and Delphine Windsnap and Adonia Clearwater and Dexav Exodus, this is rather refreshing.

Still, I'm shocked. Ken, as the Token Normal Guy of the series, was about the only Weiss Kreuz character I thought I'd never see as an 'OC' in a Gaia RP. How, out of all the short, dark anime boys out there, did this guy hit on Ken? It is a mystery.
Current Mood: what the hell?
Current Music: computer love - kraftwerk
05 December 2009 @ 06:18 am
Further Exercises in Pointless Filler  
So, it's clearly high time I cleared the backlog of Gaia avatars I've been saving up for the usual No Good Reason, which is fortunate as I also clearly need to get a backdated post or two done. Here goes.

I admit that I really have no idea why I save this stuff. I guess I'm just a compulsive saver of junk, and I should probably cut that out. Sometime in the New year, I think I will go through my 'stuff I saved off the Internet' files and toss a load of the digital trash that I saved simply for the Hell of it. Get a bit of disk space freed up so I can go back and start the whole process all over again. Not in the mood to do it right now, though, so it's gonna have to wait a bit.

Anyway, usual drill here: here's some shiny stuff that I'm posting for the Hell of it and for that reason I'm claiming I posted it three or four days back so the chances of anyone else actually having to look at this stuff for friendslist-related reasons are slim to nil. Let's face it, nobody else cares. Heck, sometimes I suspect even I don't care very much but that's my lookout, I suppose. If what I really want is to waste time and energy posting pictures of other people's pixel-dolls while I desperately wait for my brain to kick in so that I can do something a little less ridiculous with myself (which doesn't involve churning out really bad and gratuitous Schuldig/Ken fuckery) I see no reason why I shouldn't.

Right! Pixel-dolls. A lot of these were saved over Halloween, which may explain the preponderence of EDGY in here. Oh well, at least it's kinda pretty.

Normally I go through these things now and reorder them in an attempt to make them look a little more aesthetically interesting, but I don't think I can really be bothered to do that this time. I'd rather just move on and do something else, so this I guess is what we're all stuck with. If I blame anyone, I'm blaming the fact I caught a cold. Okay, onward.
Current Mood: been better, been worse.
Current Music: allegro energico - pro arte orchestra