It’s here

This seems as good a time as any to point out that Diablo IV released yesterday, and if you’re the type of person to care about such a thing– and even if you’re not– that evening livestreams are gonna be a thing over at the channel for the next little while. I’m not going to commit to every evening or anything like that because presumably my family wants to see me, but I don’t feel like this game works for my normal half-hour-to-forty-minute video format, so livestreams it is. Here’s a link directly to tonight’s stream; I think a small number of my students showed up toward the end, so chat got kinda lively for the last 15 minutes or so, which was nice. Go check it out, and hopefully I’ll see y’all in there once in a while.

I have updates about Dr. Curry; the short version is that I’ve Done Stuff, but said Stuff hasn’t resulted in any actual, like, action yet. I’ll fill y’all in tomorrow.

In which this is not okay

You see that? You see that skeptical-ass look on my homegirl Aloy’s face? That’s where I’m at right now. You may be aware of my YouTube channel, where I spend much time playing the video games for your entertainment and edification. Are you following me yet? You should be following me. Go follow me right now. You don’t use YouTube? You’re not interested in video game videos? That’s okay. Do it anyway.

I just finished up a series on the recent expansion for Horizon Forbidden West, known as The Burning Shores. You don’t really need a ton of background information here, but I’ll give you what you need:

  1. Aloy, who is the redhead up there, is probably my favorite video game character of all time, not just because she’s a supreme badass (she is) but because of how well-realized a character she is. She’s an asshole. She has absolutely earned the right to be the precise kind of asshole she is. She has absolutely no time for anyone’s bullshit and I love that about her. I have almost ordered this statue a million times and if you have extra money burning a hole in your pocket you should get it for me. After you follow me on YouTube.
  2. Aloy has, in the two LARGE games she has starred in, not had a whisper of a romantic life until this expansion.
  3. In this expansion, at the very end, you get the chance to have her kiss a girl if you want to. You can choose not to, either because you’re a giant bigot (unacceptable) or you don’t think Aloy would even pretend to have time for a relationship (still annoying, but justifiable within the story).
  4. You should have Aloy kiss the girl.

The game has taken the usual-and-sadly-expected amount of review bombing and soulless abusive bullshit from shithead chuds who are mad because the fictional video game lady won’t fuck them, and I hate those people a whole lot but that’s not what this post is about.

Let’s back up a bit. Early on in the expansion you come across Otosu and Lan, two side characters. The details don’t matter; Lan needs rescuing so you go rescue him. The thing is, Otosu and Lan are super queer-coded, especially Lan, who comes across as a bit of an obnoxious queen. But the game never admits it. Otosu is super worried about Lan when he sends you to go rescue him but he never says anything that explicitly acknowledges them as a couple even though their every interaction makes it really clear that that’s what they are. I was fully expecting a “bury your gays” situation here, which, to the devs’ credit, didn’t happen, but the fact that they never even dropped a “my partner” into the dialogue was annoying. It’s almost worse in 2023 to have a clearly gay couple and never acknowledge it than to have no queer representation at all.(*)

So anyway. It’s the end of the game. Aloy and her love interest have more or less done the impossible together and defeated the bad guy and all that. Seyka, the love interest, asks Aloy to meet her where they first met. (“Meet me here” as a way to distinguish one mission from another gets kind of annoying in this game; never more than here.) They meet. Seyka confesses feelings. They kiss. Because Aloy deserves some God damn happiness, damn your eyes, so you’d better have made them kiss and the kiss had better end up canonical.

And do you know what the fuck happens next?

Aloy leaves. “I hope I’ll see you again,” and she bounces, because– and this is almost justifiable given the character– Aloy has Shit to Do, and that third game is coming, and the stakes are higher in the third game than they’ve ever been before.

So she’s gotta leave now???


I was not pleased with this decision. And the worst thing is, again, I can justify it with the character. And she is going to have to leave, as the Burning Shores expansion takes place in a different location than the other two games and she’s got to go back home. But … now? Right fucking now? This minute? You don’t have time to let the game end with the two of them sitting on the beach and watching the sun set together and maybe tomorrow morning she goes back home?

Like, writing all this out now, especially given the number of words I had to burn to get here, part of me feels like I’m overreacting, and in general if you’re pissed about the story in a video game enough to complain about it on the Internet you probably are overreacting to some degree or another, but this really ended the game on a sour note to me. I was pissed. I still am; it’s the next day and I’m writing about it. Why the hell would you go to the trouble to set up a romance, doomed or otherwise, between these two characters and then literally give them one kiss and Aloy has to leave immediately? Because that’s bullshit. This is a fictional story. Y’all coulda faded to black or given her a day or shown them having a picnic together or some fucking thing. And somehow you’ve managed to make a game with two different gay couples in it and an onscreen gay kiss and still managed to come off weirdly homophobic, and that there is a fucking achievement.

Or a trophy, I guess. It’s a PS5 game after all.

(*) At least to me, the straight cis guy. Maybe my opinion should be disregarded here; I dunno. Let me know if you disagree with this.

Where am I?

I need you to understand that when I say I have spent the entire weekend playing this game I mean I have spent the entire weekend playing this game:

It’s a game about fishing. There’s no combat. You fish. I’ve been fishing all weekend. I made my wife make fish for dinner. I’m going to dream about the theme music tonight.

You should play it.


Today was better, and I’m blaming yesterday on Monday. Tomorrow is an inservice day so I have none of the childrens, then Thursday and Friday and then another weekend. Teaching: where the first quarter of the year features no five-day weeks. The great thing about tomorrow is whatever meetings or training or thing they have planned for us, it’s not going to be a waste of my time and at no point will I be blatantly and openly disrespected. It’s gonna be awesome!

My Big Important Task tonight is to get Isshin Ashina beaten so that my schedule on LutherPlaysGames doesn’t get messed with; I need Content tomorrow, so Content I must generate. Are you following me over there yet? You should be, if only because I’m getting tantalizingly close to 250 followers and that’s an important number psychologically. It’s 1/4 of the way to being eligible to get paid! It only took two years of daily videos to get here! I’m sure it’ll get faster soon.

(In case you’ve been around here for several years, Isshin Ashina is this guy, who took literal weeks to beat last time I fought him. I have, oh, a couple of hours, max. It’ll be fine.)

EDIT: Got ‘im. It’s too late to get the episode edited together for tomorrow, so there will just be Wo Long, but I’ll have it ready Thursday.

In which I had shit to do today

I have discovered, at my son’s suggestion, a game called Archvale, which I played for nine fucking hours today, and it is only 5:07 PM. I had to tear myself away from the Xbox, an act requiring much more willpower than I was expecting, in order to make sure that my minor son, who I am both legally and morally responsible for, ate lunch. And also to make sure that he was, like, in the house.

My fingers are numb. It has been a very fucking long time since I played a video game until it caused injury. And here’s the real bullshit– I still have to play more video games tonight (“have to,” he said) if I want there to be content for my stupid little YouTube channel tomorrow, since I recorded none of that nine hours.

(It’s not that kind of game, I think. I coulda live-streamed the whole mess, I suppose, but it’s not good for episodes.)

Anyway. I have lesson planning to do now, I suppose. Graaaaaaah.