Thoughts on the new Far Cry 6 Trailer

Official artwork for Far Cry 6, picturing the villain and his son.

Last week a new "story trailer" for Far Cry 6 was released, revealing a bit more about the game's protagonist and, more importantly, its villain. As I have discussed at length before on this blog, the unique beauty of the Far Cry franchise is the way that it handles the trope of "good versus evil," or more specifically, evil versus extremely evil with some "good" qualities. In other words, the Far Cry games are nothing if not complex when it comes to the characters. There is no such thing as a purely good human in the Far Cry universe, and players are constantly being confronted with complex moral dilemmas. 

In this trailer it is revealed that the moral dilemma that drives the game involves using slave labor to grow tobacco which, apparently, can treat cancer. It looks like the game will delve into the issues surrounding the pharmaceutical industry, which is certainly a real-life moral minefield. The trailer also looks at the perceived innocence of children, as the villain's young son is central to the story as portrayed in multiple trailers (the reveal trailer released a year ago shows more of this father and son relationship).

It should be mentioned that the Far Cry franchise pretty consistently blurs (or crosses) the line of racism and what stories are appropriate for white/western creators to tell. Many of the games take place in countries that are not considered "Western" and the villains are often people of color. It is questionable whether it is okay for European game developers to tell stories about the evils of humanity while using people of color as their examples. In Far Cry 5 the villains are very much stereotypical white American characters, but was that one game enough? As I myself am a white Westerner, I prefer to defer to those who are culturally closer to the subject at hand, though upon searching for sources I am finding that a lot of the discussions about racism in Far Cry are being led by apparently white men. (Here is one such article and here is another.) I did finally find an article written by a woman of color, but she leaves the discussion of racism open for individual thoughts and opinions. Basically, this is a subject about which we should all think critically.

In the meantime, I am very excited to get my hands on and play Far Cry 6. I absolutely loved entries 3 and 4 in the series, and was less than happy with the fifth game, but not to the extent that I have sworn off the whole series (don't get me wrong -- I was very excited about the premise of Far Cry 5 -- I just had some issues with the gameplay that kept me from completing the game). What do you think about the upcoming game? Let me know in the comments!


Book Review: Fierce and Delicate by Renée K. Nicholson


Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I'll start by saying that the moment I heard this book was coming out, I knew I had to read it. I, myself, was a ballet student when I was young, and the experience shaped my whole life, even though I had to quit at a young age. I still have pretty much the entire Nutcracker Ballet memorized. When I was in ballet it was my whole world. Like the author of this memoir, I had to leave ballet (and gymnastics, which I also loved) due to my progressing chronic illness, though in my case my illness was life-long and I had to quit while I was still a kid.

Reading the early chapters on Nicholson's early experiences in ballet felt like someone writing about my own life. And then reading about her early struggles with learning that she had arthritis and trying to cope with it... well, my experience was a little different because I always knew I was sick, but it was still extremely identifiable to me.

In later chapters she discusses her experiences in academia, as a dance teacher and as a writer. Once again, I can identify. I don't know enough about dance to teach it, but I have worked in academia most of my adult life.

Basically, I feel that I have such a close personal connection to the experiences shared in this book that it is impossible for me to look at the book objectively like some other reviewers have done. And that's okay because I feel like I might be the one person in the world for whom this book was written.

So if you, too, have personal experiences with ballet or with quitting your passion due to disability, this book may be just right for you. I enjoyed it and found it very readable, though as I said, I was eager to read it because it felt almost like I was reading my own life story.

There are a few trigger/content warnings: as this book is about ballet, there is some mention of disordered eating. There is also some description of medical procedures, surgeries, etc. and there's a bit of ableism (I felt like the author was going through some soul searching and internalized ableism). There's also a chapter where she mentions visiting Russia and talking to Romani people, but she uses the common slur used to describe them.

This review can also be found on Goodreads.


Final Fantasy: Hamlet

Recently, I finally got around to playing Final Fantasy XV. After about 100 hours of play (not having yet beat the game) it has dawned on me that Final Fantasy XV is a direct retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Okay, so I've been making jokes about similarities between FFXV and Hamlet (and, more specifically, The Lion King) the whole time I've been playing, but I was slow to realize that this was intentional on the part of the game's writers. I've got to say, I'm a little upset that no one pointed this out to me in the four and a half years that I put off playing this game. Anyway, once I actually finish the game I will write my full thoughts on it and its correlation to Hamlet. But without further ado, here is a fun little cast listing for Final Fantasy: Hamlet.

Final Fantasy: Hamlet


HAMLET, son to the late King

Screenshot of Noctis from Final Fantasy XV sitting on a rock, posing for the camera.


Screenshot of Promoto, Gladiolus, and Ignis posing for the camera, with Noctis hidden behind them.

OPHELIA, betrothed to Hamlet

Screenshot of Lunafreya from Final Fantasy XV, appearing to sink into water

LAERTES, brother to Ophelia

Screenshot of Ravus Nox Fleuret from Final Fantasy XV

SCAR CLAUDIUS, King of Denmark

Screenshot of Ardyn from Final Fantasy XV.

Ghost of Hamlet's Father

Screenshot from Final Fantasy: Kingsglaive of King Regis

Understudy for the part of HAMLET

Concept art of Richard from Tales of Graces.

(I had to include Richard from Tales of Graces in this because he bears more than a passing resemblance to the Prince of Denmark, and also Howl from Howl's Moving Castle. I've always intended to write a little something about him but never got around to doing so.)