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DOOM ETERNAL…paid skins?

6 May

For the Uncensored!

In a video game, nothing is free anymore. Nothing you ever pay for comes in the box with the CD or the digital copy you download. When game companies found out they could charge for more, it was an ever spending arcade that you didn’t have to leave your house for. It’s why people have been turned off of games entirely. If I’m going to have to grind endlessly and clear out camps or sneak through only to find out that I could spend more money to get a better gun, (which happened in Tom Clancy’s superb Wildlands open world action adventure game) it’s when the brain starts to ask very simple questions.

            The problem: Bethesda and Id studios are now selling the skins that players would have to grind constantly for. The skins, which you can put on the Doomslayer, It’s damn near three hundred dollars. They were selling the collectors edition bundle for that much, and people instantly sell them on ebay. So, again, it’s the question my inquiring mind has to ask.

example of skins (earned through campaign)

            “Why the fuck would they do this, brain?” 

            It’s simple as I mentioned before. It’s about money. It doesn’t matter if you are a great gamer or not, or even have the time to do it, paid DLC expansions are a way to keep people invested in games. I see this as nothing more than mocking the player for wanting to know the ending of a game that that the player will not be able to experience themselves. Again, it stands to reason why youtubers would support this. Midnight, a Doom Eternal youtuber, has close ties with the company and has interviewed Hugo Martin on his channel endlessly. 

            So, again, don’t believe your favorite youtuber when they support the company and keep making you pay for character skins that don’t matter either. And this isn’t about midnight at all. I guess when you get free things from the company you are going to support the company policy. I guess, to play devil’s advocate, they want to sell the skins. It’s greed,  but I understand it. You gotta make a profit. But if we can attack Naughty Dogg for there horrible business practices, you need to attack Bethesda as well. 

            I know I’m not going to be invited to Quakecon, because I’m not part of the inside crew. Fine, maybe that’s why it makes me laugh when people like midnight would support people paying nearly 300 dollars worth of skins that players would have to earn through playing, and wasting there time. I get it, Bethesda and Id want to make money. It’s not that hard. Money is good, but essentially, Id went back on their word after Doom Eternal would not be a pay to play system

            It’s the same when players play difficult modes, and you can press against a wall and slip through the game, and avoid having to play the game itself. Might as well just sell difficulty achievements so you don’t have to play it, too. 

            Again, it’s hard to pick on Naughty Dogg without picking on the rest of the gaming industry. At least with Naughty Dogg there product isn’t visually flawed or you can just push the character against the wall and then slip through the level, or pay your way to complete the game. 

            Otherwise, this is a bad move Bethesda and Id. But make your money, but don’t expect me or my readers to pay.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parler https://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly, and where he will post one article a day (the bulk of his work will appear on substack officially). Also he can be found on Our Freedom Book https://www.ourfreedombook.com/thereallouistbruno17 His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available at the end of May 2021.

Also available on podcast too: 

www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDA5ZDY3MC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

https://pca.st/504t7jxr

https://radiopublic.com/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog-We7LDvhttps://open.spotify.com/show/2spknKkC6Hi3YM5naV9cc9

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Max Payne 3: The Best Finale to a Game Trilogy, Ever.

25 Mar

-For the Uncensored!

It’s no secret that while I asserted that Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, and Alan Wake are reasons to replace the cinema in my Art and Culture 26th article, I would add one more game to the list that does add to the death of cinema, but also a lesson in writing that helps perfect the notion of how video games are becoming an art form for writers, as well. And Max Payne 3, is the technical achievement in writing and execution of gameplay and cinematics.

            With Max Payne 3, developed by Rockstar Vancouver (now Rockstar Toronto) and released on June 20th, 2013, we probably get one of the most depressed characters in video games, ever. Max Payne. An ex-cop who challenged the Italian Mafia, lost his family, and his love, Mona, Max seems doesn’t seem like a character that would want to play dead. Max Payne is reintroduced back into the life when he defends a woman in a bar, and his old friend, Raul Passos, helps him kill a mafia boss’s son, and when he nearly escapes from a shootout in a church, after paying respects to his family, he leaves for Latin America, as a hired hand. But the phrase he tells the mafia boss’s son, and he said, “You practice that speech in the mirror in your underwear” made me laugh, but also realize that Max just wants to relax and get drunk. But to have to relive his pain with his family still haunts Max, and he says, “Let it go. It was a long time ago. Seriously.” There’s so many lines that add so much to the visuals and how sad the story is, and proves how much video games can be well written too. The beginning where he talks to himself alone in the apartment, getting drunk, looking at his dead family, reminds you where Max is, and it’s not in a good place. Also, when says, “Say what you want about Americans, but we understand Capitalism. You buy a product and you get what you pay for. And these chumps had paid for an angry gringo without the sensibilities to know right from wrong. Here I was about to execute this poor bastard like I was a dime store angel of death and I realize they were correct. I wouldn’t know right from wrong if one was helping the poor and the other was banging my sister.” as we flash back to the beginning. It’s probably the moment when a player has to realize they are going in for a bumpy ride, and the writing sets up a game where story and voice over match with a cinematic quality.

            It’s a game that seems to be forgotten in most circles, but only to a die hard few, but the persistence of Max Payne’s legacy is in the writing. It’s the ironic nature of Max’s voice over that seems to sell the game most over much of what is confirmed in buttons and how a player can control Max. 

            It’s lines that Max says, Sa Paolo “is like Baghdad with a G-String” that keeps me laughing for days on end, but the poignant nature of the voice over, with the action that is a contender for how games can handle voice over. The sadness still pervades. When he loses the daughter of a millionaire he’s supposed to protect, you can hear the sadness of him reliving his days when he lost Mona, his love interest from Max Payne 2, and his family in the first game. 

            Tragedy seems to follow Max wherever he goes, and the way the voice over is used is why no voice over in video games has ever come close to Max Payne 3. The way he’s pushed to his limit, even shaving his head, as a sign of his short lived sobriety, makes you feel bad for Max as you guide him like Virgil through his Inferno. 

            They abandon the comic book cut scenes from the first two games as it probably was due to budget restraints. But there are lines to this day that make me laugh and still remind me the fun I had and how much writing was put into the game. When Max Payne is stopped by the cop he’s helping in Sao Paulo, he says to Max, “it’s not worth it” and he stops but the villain say, “I’ll walk,” and Max says, “Yeah with a limp” and stamps his foot into the villain’s leg, snapping it in half. 

            The bone crunch and the hilarity of the statement meet, as the game gives Max a happy ending. It makes me realize that to not address Max Payne in how writing can match up with the way you can respond to actions the character can make. It’s probably why Max Payne 3 is the calumniation of the first two games, and drives home the pain and heartbreak Max can live through, but still find redemption at the end of his journey.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader, and listening to my podcasts. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe, donate, like my articles and comment, buy my books, leave a review. Sharing the articles and podcasts helps above all can help if you can’t donate, too. Thank you so much. All help is appreciated. If you do subscribe, you canhave access to top tier articles and reviews, and also grow my page to help keep stay corporations mad all day. 

Also available on podcast too: 

http://www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy81MDA5ZDY3MC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==

https://pca.st/504t7jxr

https://radiopublic.com/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog-We7LDvhttps://open.spotify.com/show/2spknKkC6Hi3YM5naV9cc9

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The Joy of Open World Games

4 Mar

-For the Uncensored

Source image: https://gamerant.com/best-playstation-4-exclusive-open-world-games/

Before March 2020, when the world experienced a pandemic of epic scale, video games became a best seller during the last year. You couldn’t find an XBOX Series or PS5 to save your life, but today, all this time at home has let me appreciate open world games. Days Gone was a great example of how to take an open world game and blend Last of Us with Grand Theft Auto, as you rode on your motorcycle through the North West, trying to find your lost love two years after a zombie plague was unleashed on the world. If you are looking for a happier ending, Days Gone definitely had that, and packed a huge emotional punch along the way. It death with the unpleasantness of a plague, while understanding the emotional core of Ethan, who has to survive and is dealing with survivors guilt. He visits a grave where he thinks his wife died in a camp, talking to it, like he would anyone who visits a grave. 

            The first ten hours were really hard to play, but after that, it catches on like a lightning bolt. I think, like a novel, and how the first fifty pages are the buildup to a long complicated plot, is how Days Gone was for me. I think it works on the first play through, but even I played that and Last of Us 2, because I have written my own zombie story, and had to check in with it to see what both stories had to say.

            Ultimately, open world games do provide a calming relief. When I beat Final Fantasy 15 for the first time last year, it wasn’t so bad. I loved the way Noctis and his friends became monster hunters, worked for there meals, did favors for recipes, and how I avoided some monster fights in order to camp for the night. It was like playing a new game. I think if you are working full time you can’t play open world video games. But also, I think I had the time for the motonous nonsense of doing missions, because I wanted to give it a try, too.  

            But I do think open world video games can last you for an entire lifetime, and through the journey, can help you see things you haven’t before. Like how Noctis running away on an island ruined his world and how he didn’t face his fears head on. And Open World games are the best at providing challenges you haven’t seen before. And Open World games are the best at providing challenges you haven’t seen before. Like scaling mountains or traveling the high seas.

Don’t overlook the power of an open world game. 

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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The Value and Devaluing of Medals for Video Games!

2 Mar

-For the Uncensored

In the notion of being a “completionist” and achieving all the medals a video game can offer, sometimes to me, it’s just not humanly possibly. There are a few examples of this. If you are the only person who has won the coveted Mein Leiber trophy on Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, I am envious. You have to play the game at one sitting and you can’t stop or save, which is absurd and the farthest I have reached in Wolfenstein 2 is near Section F, near the end, where I destroyed the radio communication, and I died when I peeked out for too long. Section F is only at level 2, of the whole campaign. But it seems absurd to just play a game and be a completionist, when you should be doing other things. I don’t blame people for wanting to get every possible trophy they can in games, but I think streamers can take that challenge more than regular gamers should. Games should be enjoyed, unless you really like the game enough to get all the medals.  

            Again, you can do that if you like, but if you don’t get the important things done in your life, being a completionist is no better than owning a stamp collection. It’s not bad, but if you can’t cook or clean up the house, that’s another thing you need to do. Also, having a life and getting a girlfriend is important, too. Having a family. At some point, having the medals in video games is not going to solve your emotional turmoil. Just because you played every side quest in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, doesn’t mean you made any money from it, unless you stream. 

            So what if you got every medal in Seikiro: Shadows Die Twice, and you didn’t think Seikiro was hard, then go ahead. Just remember to make some money while you do it too. If you don’t do something else in your life, no trophy in a video game is going to matter when you have no life skills to live beyond a screen. If you don’t have a family, you might go bald and end up like Tim Pool. 

            Let’s all laugh at Tim Pool’s baldness, for a second. (Don’t worry Tim, bald guys need love too)

            But seriously, it doesn’t matter if you have every medal in a video game. Video games are not real life and having a real life means being interested in things outside your bubble. Exercising (not on the Wii U or the Switch). Reading a book printed on paper. Playing a sport (not on fifa). An instrument (not guitar or DJ hero). Shooting and training with a firearm (not in a First Person Shooter game, go ahead and take your pick). Lifting weights (not in GTA San Andreas either). 

            The digital world doesn’t amount to the substance and pain and beauty real life can offer. If you have no real world experience to back up your life behind a screen, it doesn’t matter how many video game trophies you have. It’s easier to hide behind a screen when you are unhappy about your weight, your lack of social skills, but dealing with it and realizing what you need to do to be happy is what will change your situation in life. A video game medal is a very small achievement compared to creating something that was created by you. 

            It’s hard, but I know you can do it.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Art and Culture 16: Congress Wants to Ban GTA 5 to stop Real World Crimes!

26 Feb

-For the Uncensored!

This is probably the news I didn’t think about covering yesterday, because every time I saw it, I just made an angry sigh. This is why Congress almost deserved what it got on Jan 6th. The problem is, if this is what Congress will do, and repeat the days Tipper Gore, this is why Congress deserves to be thrown out. You can’t pretend like history isn’t cyclical, because why do I need Congresses permission to think and feel what I want about my art. The deception is clear. Congress wants control of your thoughts. They have for a long time. I will not stand by while video games have to be censored by a bunch of asshole boomers and Gen-Exers that don’t understand the value of entertainment and what the people want. “Violence is exciting” Bret Easton Ellis said on the Commonwealth Interview. How can we exist if we can’t revel in violence and crime?

            It starts with censorship and then great countries turn into rotten shells and ultimately, why does Congress care? According to the APA, with Myths and facts, “Myth 4. Field experiments are irrelevant (aggression measures based either on direct imitation of video game behaviors (e.g., karate kicks) or are normal play behaviors. Facts: Some field experiments have used behaviors such as biting, pinching, hitting, pushing, and pulling hair, behaviors that were not modeled in the game. The fact that these aggressive behaviors occur in natural environments does not make them “normal” play behavior, but it does increase the face validity (and some would argue the external validity) of the measures.” (https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson)

            Okay this seems good right, well not once does this mention whether this study is made between boys or girls. They are lumping the action with children regardless, because it wouldn’t help there argument if they only singled out boys or girls, but the problem is, this is total bullshit and if they did an individual case study, between both sexes, they might find that boys need to be aggressive anyway. You shouldn’t force your boy to be a girl with hormone therapy to calm his rage. You can’t stop people from being angry and then blame people for crimes, when it was going to happen anyway. Just watch Minority Report, based off the Philip K. Dick, short story, and you’ll see why predicting crimes on people who don’t do it won’t work in real life.  

            Maybe this should fall on parents and not congress. This is no different when they tried to ban rap music, too. Remember C. Delores Tucker, a Democrat, when she tried to get the NAACP award to ban 2PAC from receiving an Image award and filed 10 million dollars against the estate? Long after he was dead. It’s the same principle, and she tried to blame rap music for black men’s troubles. 

            Politicians, like C. Delores Tucker, or how those who would want to ban and blame violent art is the same conversation but through a different lens. The politicians who want to ban art because it’s either popular or there kids love it and they can’t understand it. 

            You can’t blame violent art for every little mistake in history or you are going to start sounding like a Nazi. I mean, Hitler, a socialist, banned art, too. The term Degenerate Art, was adopted by the Nazi Party in 1920? 

            You see a pattern? It all comes back to the notion that if you ban one piece of art, you must ban your own art too. I would love it if I didn’t have to hear about shitty Amy Schumer comedies ever again. You can’t pick and choose what you want to ban, so if you ban one piece of art, you must ban it all. 

            But commie Nazi leftists don’t understand that. Even with all the history I have unveiled in this article in the short amount of words, they will try and deflate it. But sit back and think about this, Congress, if anyone from there is reading this. If you ban art you don’t like, you can’t have the art the left like. Then art will die by necessary volition. 

You can’t blame GTA 5, 2PAC, or Marilyn Manson for your lack of parenting skills, and because something else excites your kids and they don’t want to be boring people banning dancing, like in Footloose. As Eminem said on Renegade, “I got nothing better to do than make you look stupid as parents, you fucking do-gooders too bad you couldn’t do good at marriage.” 

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

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Biden wants to Create More XBOX’s and PS5’s

25 Feb

For the Uncensored!

When Gamestop, a gaming publication, has to jump on the Biden train, I’m not surprised at the sheer stupidity of Gamestop actually believing this. What does this say about gaming journalism that hasn’t already been said. But the thing to think about with this tweet is very simple. Gamestop wants the Biden money, but then, why would Biden give anything to Playstation or XBOX when he wants to shut down businesses that can help sell them. Biden wants to create more chaos and make us forget about all the bad shit he has done in his first few months. And a system is going to bring our boys back from Syria, Biden? 

            I can’t pretend that Biden actually wants this. I think he forgets where to aim his piss in the morning let alone think about how to get a new system. Maybe open the economy back up Biden and let people go back to work and then solve the problem of the console drought. 

            If we really want systems, we will buy them when they are available. It’s no use going to Ebay to help pay for the scalpers college tuition for there kids. If white collar crime exists, scalpers are now rich than ever. But Biden wants us to forget about his idiotic moves. I don’t, and nobody here forgets about the 10,000 jobs gone from the Keystone Pipeline. I think the problem is two fold.

            A failing economy won’t matter when no one can buy new systems, and it’s no secret that Biden wants us to forget about his deceptive plays. Don’t worry, I and all my readers know. This is hilarious that he wants to help gamers when most game companies had to close in 2020. If there are no consoles, maybe that’s a good thing. Get out of gaming, all together. I would have nothing to review, but if Biden is going to keep the military in Syria, what good will a system do when your children have to fight a war started by Biden and all his establishment cronies? 

            I’m mortified, petrified, stupefied, by the way the Biden Administration pretends to give a shit when the Gamestop fiasco proving that no one trusts the old ways of doing things. If Biden does care, he would pull the troops out of Syria and give the Keystone Pipeline back to our workers. 

            Charge less for epipens, too. 

            But that falls on deaf ears for Biden supports. 

            But this question is for Biden supporters: Will a new video game system make up for the sheer loneliness of not having a companion make up for the time you spend online bashing others for difference of opinions, and getting some fake skin on Doom Eternal solve your weight problem, too. Because here, this is on the gaming community. 

            Tell Biden to shove it with his false promises, and tell him, from me, he never won Mario Kart, at all. From someone who was in a game competition back in the day with Blockbuster, I call BS on Biden’s gaming skills, and his administration too.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, I hate asking for help. I really do. But I want to stress that to keep my content ad free, please subscribe, donate, like my articles and comment, buy my books, leave a review. Sharing the article helps too. All help is appreciated. If you do subscribe, you can have access to top tier articles and reviews, and also grow my page to help keep stay corporations mad all day. The war for freedom of speech starts with us. 

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Nintendo Switch Pro Rumored with 4K graphics

23 Feb

-For the Uncensored!

While I have been enjoying the console wars between Sony and XBOX, and in the console war, I do think that XBOX will take the long run over the Playstation 5. Reasons if you like your privacy, you will not want a Playstation 5. They do want to listen to your conversations and then block you if you say “naughty words.” 

            “Well-regarded Nintendo leaker Nate Drake took to the ResetEra forum (as spotted by Wccftech) to claim that the new Nintendo Switch will be “like a PS4 with DLSS and a more capable CPU”. While we can hardly expect the tiny Switch to compete with Sony’s enormous PlayStation 5 (here’s where to buy a PS5), a 4K handheld device as powerful as the PS4 sounds pretty incredible.” (Piper, Daniel. “The New Nintendo Switch Pro Sounds Absolutely Incredible”www.creativebloq.com. 02/23/21. https://www.creativebloq.com/news/switch-pro-rumours-2021. Found 02/23/21.) 

            Now, I’m excited by this news too, but sometimes, a rumor might be a rumor, but in some cases, I have to consider the following options: If Nintendo is going to beef up the Switch to handle 4K and all the graphics that come with owning a PS5 or XBOX Series system, this may make me reconsider having any other system. If all they needed was more storage, you can buy more SD storage, but I think the storage component may need to be solved in order for the 4K graphics to make the Nintendo Switch the one stop shop for all video game systems. 

            It’s beyond time for Nintendo to make there name in the game once again. To prove that they can romp with the big boys while providing family entertainment too. Nintendo made there stake with Bethesda, and I hope Bethesda still continues to give the Nintendo Switch a run for its money. 

            What is important is to wait and see what the facts may show. While my hat is in XBOX, Nintendo may now enter as the handheld choice if it does enhance the Switch with 4K graphics. But the key argument for me is that storage might just be the factor that dissuades people from buying the Switch, if they don’t push the storage system to meet maximum capacity. A XBOX One S has a 1 TB of memory, so the Switch can take a few lessons from the larger consoles if need be. 

            I am excited and waiting patiently, if Nintendo does release the new system in 2021. If not, I can wait a little longer, because with post COVID-19 rules, they may make very little systems in order to meet demand. If Nintendo can push out more systems, and not get bought up by bots, and provide console system performance within the Switch, they may just be the Kings of Consoles once again. 

            But like all rough diamonds, like rumors, need speculation and long thought. 

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, I hate asking for help. I really do. But I want to stress that to keep my content ad free, please subscribe, donate, like my articles and comment, buy my books, leave a review, let me know how I’m doing. If you have any tips for me, let knew too, as a contact form can let you write whatever you want to me, but nothing threatening. If you can only share the article too, all help is appreciated. If you do subscribe, you can have access to top tier articles and reviews, and also grow my page to help keep stay corporations mad all day. 

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Art and Culture # 14: The CCP Restricting Art

22 Feb

For the Uncensored!

In all the moments of life, America, in all her glory, were for a long time, a dominant culture in terms of what art was being made, and how Europe and Asia do represent a large global appeal. Many books are translated into different languages, which helps strengthen your credibility in other cultures. I know that many who visit my page, are not located in America, specifically. 

            I remember when I was in Italy with my high school trip, and on the subway, I saw a woman reading the Da Vinci Code, in Italian. So, I do know that culture, when translated into other languages, does help your notoriety and accessibility. Being that I haven’t written in Italian in a long time, it would be a good thing to translate and make it available for others to read. 

            What I do know is that China, in all its glorious form, wanted to get into the film market. At one time, China dominates the film culture as they produce more than enough films to compete in the global market place. Lionsgate, Legendary Media, and Imagine Entertainment were bought by “David Chang and Tencent” (Garren, Matthew. Sender, Henny. “Chinese investors flood into Hollywood” Financial Times. 06/08/2016. https://archive.vn/oH3Hg. Found on Feb. 22, 2021).

Chinese audiences had never heard of Kevin Spacey until Netflix’s House of Cards hit streaming services. The money was even suspiciously printed, too. 

            China does create a healthy flow of movies, but they are extremely terrible, because of the Communists overseeing what a filmmaker can make. When the Ridley Scott Prometheus sequel, Alien Covenant was released, the CCP censored the infamous kiss scene between Michael Fassbender’s David 8 and Walter One. Being that they are both machines, it seems silly. Why would they do that?

            The Chinese do not believe in homosexuality and see it as a “figment of there imagination.” 

American studios placated the Chinese censor boards to have changed Freddie Mercury’s biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), starring Rami Malek, to censor out the gay details of his life, it seems backwards. But the CCP do not believe in freedom of speech either. The question is, if we are operating on a global market, should American studios self-censor for a wider market?

The terrible price that imagination pays when Communists censor American art is also another battle Hollywood didn’t push back against. But American studios who placate the censorship in China, don’t help the conversation either. 

            But don’t think your favorite films are guilty of this either.

            Even Marvel studios mega hit Black Panther (2018) was edited for China, as the hero, T’Challa, face was covered to hide his African descent. Wearing the head piece for the entire time. It seems unreal, and it should be. But this is far more insidious as America is bending over backwards to appeal to other countries, but also its self-censorship, and shows like South Park, struck back. 

            Banned in China, the infamous South Park 300th episode, which hilariously spoofs Randy’s involvement with the Chinese, to sell his weed, but deals with Stan, Kenny, Cartman, and Kyle’s relationship as they couldn’t write a movie that represented their lives, as the studio kept self-censoring them with a Chinese official looking over their shoulder, even erasing some with a pencil, but when he types, he deletes and writes over his words.  When Winnie the Pooh is banned in China, and people are thrown in jail for making jokes about the leader resembling Winnie the Pooh, we are in topsy turvy world.

            The Big Picture (2016), by Ben Fritz, and a strong recommendation for anyone who is interested in modern day filmmaking, presents the idea that regular Chinese middle class workers are interested in Art, and they have the money to do so. Apollo 13 and Avatar were huge commercial hits in China. Being that both films didn’t have overtly controversial themes, China is a big factor in the global market place.

            Even GTA 5 (2013), the popular video game, published by Rockstar Entertainment, comments on a fictional social media company that outsourced jobs to China, and one mission involves placing a detonation chip in the social media giants phone and when called, detonates and kills the social media giant. The reasons were that “he outsourced jobs to China.”

            But at what costs?

If America placates China, freedom of speech is then diluted. And the reason for placating the global markets censorship rules is that the art is not censored and they can distribute it. 

Quentin Tarantino, when asked to censor his film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019) for making fun of Bruce Lee, because he had an online spat with Bruce Lee’s daughter, then in turn snitched on him to the Chinese officials. His response to the Chinese people, after these demands were made, he told them to “steal the film” because he wasn’t going to take out the scene where Brad Pitt’s character, beats up the Bruce Lee character. (As an aside, it’s one of the dazzlingly choreographed fight scenes in Tarantino’s career).

Freedom of Speech cannot exist if we self-censor and give into the CCP’s demands. While this is all old news, the fight for freedom of speech requires that less works are translated into Mandarin, and doing less deals to placate there censorious business model. But the most dangerous model American’s practice is self-censorship. That must be avoided in artistic endeavors at all cost.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook.He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.

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Art and Culture # 9: Video Games and Narrative

12 Feb

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader. Also, I want to stress that to keep my content ad free, please subscribe, donate, like, buy my books, leave a review, comment, (and share the article if you can’t donate, all help is appreciated) to have access to top tier content, and also grow my page to help keep corporations mad all day. I am still shadow banned on other major platforms, but steadily growing my page, thanks to your support.

There are a few things that are interesting about video games and narrative. 

It has always been a discussion in the gaming community. Graphics, sound design, visuals, but Narrative has always been the last point to study when games are brought into the “are they art conversation.”

 Narrative, even posed to someone who doesn’t play games, *cough look at the Boomers in the room*, and they say, “What does that mean? Well written.”

Even an Atlantic article will say, “Why are video games obsessed with narrative?” and why they don’t need stories and “games’ obsession with story obscures more ambitious goals anyway.” (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/04/video-games-stories/524148/). Let me tell you, Atlantic (the most insane publication on the planet). They are ambitious, and they do need stories to help create an affective world, not just through environment, or lore.

They don’t have to follow a three act structure, and they also can spend hours developing a story a television show can’t. What is important in your  It also can use cut scenes that are important to telling a story. There are camera angles that help tell a story too. First, and Third Person are the most popular versions of camera angles that help with telling the story too. But the real genius in games is that they have advanced that they could also allow multiplayer to add some arcade elements to the original campaign. 

            Video games and narrative have come a long way. Older readers will remember games like Pong, where a cursor moves up and down to pass a ball back and forth. There is no narrative structure. Just moving the blocks up and down, as it creates a soft but mesmerizing tactic. Just keep passing the ball back and forth to the computer and the other player. Now, this is just an example of how games did not have the capability to tell a story that movies were already ahead of the curb on. This was in the late 1970’s. 

            What proved faster than most filmmakers could expect is how technology advanced into fruition as computers came along, but the impossible definitions are unknowable at that point in time. People thought “this wouldn’t last” but they were so wrong. 

            The only thing that has lasted since its inception are books, and even when the Kindle came around to “threaten” books dominance, sales doubled as well as Kindle sales. Self publishing became a very real thing, and it wasn’t seen as vanity publishing anymore. 

            But with the birth of technology meant that franchises would come (DOOM, Call of Duty, Last of Us, Wolfenstein, Gears of War) go (ET, and some games get a ported edition to the Nintendo Switch to gain new life again), in production limbo, but narrative is important as video games are now a 6 billion dollar business. 

            If the narrative is important it must meet what the buttons and the actions are making the player do. So the player and the character are the same. That’s why first person is valued as a singular vision, and many characters in first person are usually silent protagonists (DOOM, Call of Duty, Wolfenstein), while third person view shows the character (The Last of Us, God of War, and Gears of War).

            Narrative, much like Borges Garden of Forking Paths, allows game writers to go wherever they think is necessary to tell there story. It’s when multiple narratives can take place, but also the ludonarrative dissonance conversation comes into play. If a game lets you experience extreme violence, and then has a message saying, “violence is bad” that’s when the ludonarrative form comes into question. (Such as Last of Us 2, which I think is a masterpiece of gaming sequels, and maybe should be the end of the story.) Polygon did cover this in there article, if you need more background. (https://www.polygon.com/2020/6/26/21304642/the-last-of-us-2-violence)

            It can be subtle dialogue (Raven’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Black Ops reboot, Last of Us, Fall Out,), over the top (Grand Theft Auto), much of dialogue must veer the player to perform a certain command. Certain dialogue helps to create a new stimulating conversation that is almost akin to a novelist changing the subject of a conversation. In Mass Effect, you can pick any line of dialogue and it opens up an answer for the computer character to respond to. Fallout has the same open ended conversation pattern that with a push of a button, you can have a longer in depth conversation. But also you can build your character with a system that allows you to favor strength, charisma, and any power that you want to use with your character. 

Fallout Conversation Charisma technique cheat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIMCMgnk4m8. Charisma is used in Fallout to help you gain advantage over your enemies or friends.

In scripted dialogue scenes, the player has to hear it delivered by a voice actor in motion capture technology, with a green screen behind them, with dots placed all over there body so the camera can pick them up.

Bill Safe House Scene:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wb9qipBVc8
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=PshKSylg_UE. This whole segment in particular, while it is my favorite, is when the Last of Us introduces you to crafting new survival material, that the player must command inside the crafting system. It’s also where much of the friendship between Joel and Ellie is established in the Last of Us, and the overall level design is flawless. And it’s a great example of third person game play, where you are playing as Joel.

What the dishonest will say that there is no narrative in dialogue. In an open world game, like Grand Theft Auto, there are numerous storylines to fulfill as it will help the character grow a special ability or just be able to commit violence on a massive scale. With games, there is no end to narrative, which is why even John Milius, screenwriter for Apocalypse Now (1979), took his writing and visual skills to games like Medal of Honor. 

Medal of Honor, a first person shooter, helmed by John Milius, brought new life to the series with expert realism and attention to detail.

So, the whole “not being art” conversation is pretty fucking absurd, and anyone who doesn’t believe it, is born in another generation. I don’t hold anything agains them, but the weapon of ignorance is not knowing what trends are arising out of the culture. If books are merely words, video games are like novels with buttons. It’s about taking command of the screen and following either a scripted narrative with buttons or allowing yourself to let the conversation go beyond. 

            But some game companies don’t even write games, as Bethesda, the publisher behind DOOM and Wolfenstein reboots, let the levels tell the story and then they put dialogue and characters in. 

            When it comes to action scenes, some scenes require a button mashing scene, where the player, or character has to fight his way out of a scripted scene, by pushing the button repeatedly. All of this is required by the player in order to escape or they will die. A famous example of this is in Metal Gear Solid, where Snake is being tortured, and Revolver Ocelot tells him to “press the circle button repeatedly to regain strength.” It’s probably one of the most famous scenes in video game history, where the player must take part in saving Solid Snakes life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzBj5uozI7c).

The narrative calls on the player to save themselves, and continue the story. So, video games do push narrative as much as they can. What makes video games viable for being art is what the community thinks of it, too.

            Visual narration had to take this leap, and while many would credit the likes of Hideo Kojima, Neil Druckman, John Milius, all games have various degrees of visuals that compliment the story and the buttons used to make sense of the world created in game and the world we live in. The opportunities to make a narrative leap are endless, which is why movies will eventually die off, and games will supersede movies, as it offers all of movie entertainment at your home, and let you control what you want, or let you follow a character through a scripted scene. The possibilities and examples are endless in the conversation of how video games matter to the culture and becoming viable artistic expressions. 

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/. His latest novel, a work of fantasy, Come Home, Young One, is out now at Lulu.com. Here’s the link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.

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Grand Theft Auto 5 Review: The Three Kings

11 Feb

When Rockstar Studios, Rockstar North, released Grand Theft Auto 5 in 2013, for the PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360, receiving ports for later systems, it was a cultural icon, (with a strong online multiplayer and modding community, and a movie maker functionality, too) as Grand Theft Auto has also been accused of inciting violence but then what video game hasn’t. It’s generated more than “120 million copies to date,” according to Forbes, and all the while, still outselling major blockbuster movies with over “6 billion” in revenue (https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2020/02/15/the-enduring-mystery-of-how-gta-5-has-sold-120-million-copies/?sh=1cd25a391c7b). GTA has always been a lightning bolt for controversy for violence and angry moms wetting there pants at little Johnny wanting to fuck a prostitute, rob a bank, but Rockstar Studios, in my opinion, outdid themselves. It seems to be more about middle aged men having a crises, more than anything else. 

            The game, for the initiated, proved that there was more room for excess. It does prove that Rockstar was on top of their game. While some would convey that Rockstar outdid themselves with Red Dead Redemption 2, I was not as impressed as everyone else. The temptation to love everything that I play is not in my purview. 

            GTA 5 takes three characters and makes them all available to play. Michael Desantas, or Michael Townley, is a washed up middle aged bank robber, as he falls prey to the witness protection program, but is invigorated as Franklin, the second character of the game, is trying to repossess his son’s car from a crooked car salesman. Franklin’s best friend, gangbanger, Lamar Davis, moves up with Franklin, as Michael starts robbing banks to pay off a debt to the Mexican cartel, Mr. Madrazo. As the campaign itself progresses, the stakes increase, as the friendship between Franklin, Trevor, and Michael deepen.

            Now I’m sure that everyone is aware of the plot of GTA 5, as it was studied and adored by fans and critics alike. But what I pose is that what saves Grand Theft Auto is the dialogue and the writing, as the missions give you prompts, but in some of the most hilarious cases, help you commit crimes, and torture in the name of Michael’s impulses. 

            The game is nonlinear through player action, and can jump from character to character, as it doesn’t follow one character at the same time. The player is forced to live as each character at a critical moment in the game. Like the Jorge Luis Bourges story, the Garden of Forking Paths, that argues for a multiple narrative story, where much of the narrative can be splintered, and the character speak for the player/reader.

            The character of Michael seems to give away that he’s reached the end of his rope. Being protected by the FIB (a take on the word FBI) and his hot headed moves put Franklin in worse positions than he was before. Michael is reinvigorated with Franklin’s presence but with the arrival of Trevor, it changes the narrative and in one case, you have to switch to Franklin to shoot out the window to help save Michael in the mission “Marriage Counseling.”

            Franklin, who is from the south side of Los Santos, is young, and the people around him do not want to succeed in being a criminal, rather than living the lifestyle of a CJF or a Baller (two African American gangs that have had turf wars since GTA: San Andreas). Franklin Clinton is still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Taneisha, who he begs to still be in contact with, but she refuses, knowing that Franklin is still a criminal. As any advantageous criminal would, Franklin believes money would help free him from the lifestyle of a common hood. 

            After there first robbery, the next character in GTA 5, who introduced having sex with a biker gang members girlfriend, hears a phrase that connects the idea that Michael is not dead. It’s a movie quote. For Trevor, he is also advantageous as he is vicious, putting together that Michael is still alive. 

Trevor, is a savage psychopathic person who is a wild cannon, and in his introduction, we see that he will go to any lengths to finding Michael after he catches wind of the jewel store robbery. Then, through no fault of there own, Michael and Trevor have to reconcile, and Franklin becomes involved to the point where they all do favors for the government, too. 

If Chekov said “fiction must create the problem not solve it” Rockstar studios follows in Chekov’s footsteps, as Rockstar has to deal with all three men who have to figure out how to get out of the mess each man has made. Either through violence or manipulation. It’s rather honest for a game that’s supposed to be about bank robberies. I guess the problem for me is that one could get lost in the side quests, but that helps the resale value of the game. No one really gets mad at Skyrim when there’s an abundance of quests to take part in. Some just don’t involve going to strip clubs (which is a great distraction).

But there’s another character that hasn’t been spoken of that without, would have never made the story possible. Lester. He plans all the robberies. He’s mostly in a wheel chair but can walk with a cane. He’s smart, and learns to plan out his missions. He uses a board, and he stays under the radar. He even stops Trevor from making a mistake and selling a nuclear weapon, as it would put them on “every watch list on the planet.” Lester, as much as the three main characters, is even more important than Lamar. Without Lester, there would have been no option C ending. 

Character is destiny, is a phrase that GTA 5 embodies well. Every decision must be made according to the game’s influence as it’s putting you in the characters shoes at any key point of a mission, but also allowing you, when not in a mission, to roam Los Santos freely. What is interesting is that Dan Houser, Rupert Humphries, Michael Unsworth, are creating a natural competition between the three characters as it’s almost like who could make the version of the characters the best they could. It shows as they had to find out which character could be more over the top, and see what could make it into the game, and what might not. As the player, when not in a campaign, or part of the story, is allowed to be whoever the player fantasizes to be too. So, there is a script but only when the player chooses a mission, but it’s called A, B, and C writing, and the ending does depend on what you have to make in terms of a conscientious ending.

What can be said about GTA 5, in retrospect, is that the humor matches the world of Los Santos and the three main characters. The humor is still perceptive and still funny, as I laughed at every single moment in my repeated playthroughs. There is a memed scene where Lamar Davis roasts Franklin, after a day of “boosting cars” for a sleazy car salesman, Simeon Yateteri.

The conversation goes: 

Lamar: “What’s up, can a loc come in your crib?”

Franklin: “Fuck you I see you at work.”

Lamar: “Nigga, don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful nigga. Maybe you got rid of that old Yee Yee ass haircut you got maybe you’ll get some bitches on your dick. Oh better yet Taneisha will call your dog ass if she stop fucking with the brain surgeon or the lawyer she be fucking with. NIGGA!” 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXZtVoQ0gqs
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29SFz-DqwoU
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RHHFarUMBA
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvTOTADmWBA
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvnh1nI2Cdg
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU0oHq9Y6Ws
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CQuNe72lUM
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBVMbPaKIwA
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJpp3TdVirY

It is one of the most memed scenes on YouTube, as the hilarity contains some fine wisdom from the mouth of a clown, but reveal what everyone thinks at the same time. We all need friends like Lamar or Lester.    

            I remember GTA 3, Vice City, (two of my personal favorites, maybe out of nostalgia) and 4 in hindsight (the running and walking system was clunky and the combat shooting system didn’t impress), and it was far more serious than most of the later games after. GTA is based on criminals who get ahead, but the deception is that by the 4th game, (while the ballad of gay tony had its humorous moments) there’s always a price to pay. 5 takes this but allows you to make a single choice that can affect the outcome of the ending. 

            What is detrimental is how the ending of the game will determine the ending. If you kill Michael, the adversarial language they use, doesn’t really make sense, when I heard it, but if you choose to kill Trevor, there’s not really heated language used between them. But C is always my preferred ending because there’s always a way to help out your friends. Because if you choose to kill either Michael or Trevor, you are no better than Michael or Trevor. So, it’s easy to think that both Michael and Trevor are both what Franklin fears, “Man you motherfuckers terrify me of that middle age.”

            But if you kill either one of Trevor or Michael, Franklin might be as treacherous as Michael was. But it all depends on your choice of ending, too.

            While the game is rather funny and over the top, it does provide some brief allowance into friendship and how friendships require a Franklin, Michael, and Trevor, and Lester, and Lamar, as they are apart of the American psyche, in a brilliantly told tale of heists, friendship, and learning to overcome the pettiness of modern day life in order to find what truly matters.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/. His latest novel, Come Home, Young One, is out now at Lulu.com at this link: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader. Also, I want to stress that to keep my content ad free, please subscribe, donate, like, buy my books, leave a review, comment, (and share the article if you can’t donate, all help is appreciated) to have access to top tier content, and also grow my page to help keep corporations mad all day. 

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