The witch hunts during the Renaissance led to around 100 000 executions in Europe, the victim being mostly old, poor rural women. Between 1560 and 1660, it’s a brutal repression especially along the Rhin, but women are guilty by nature for most catholics. The church strongly encourages the denunciation of Jewish women, who are supposedly the origin of the mythical evil witches and the sabbath, which is a demonic ceremony that involves orgies and the cooking of children. Witches are seen as even more menacing when they are jewish, her persecution relies mostly on an imaginary conspiracy that would threaten christianity. If a women was suspected of being a witch whether it be because she was outspoken or lived alone the common procedure waas to torture her until they discovered the mark of the devil or any old scar really that would cement the idea that she has indeed made a deal with the devil. Sometimes she was tied up and thrown in a lake: if she floated then the assumptions were correct and she was then burned at the stake, but if she sank she was just a regular woman who drowned. The church led the charge since the devil himself is said to be the one who causes all the woes of the world such as earthquakes and epidemics – these epidemics were on the rise because of the growing number of rats in the streets caused by the lack of cats since they were killed due to them being associated with witchcraft.
Moreover the printing press started diffusing the treaty of Malleus Maleficarum ( or “witches hammer”) at the end of the XVth century which shared the idea that women were inferior and that witches were a huge threat. A witch, a free and independent woman is scary for a lot of men. Because what does a woman have when she is free of a husband and has no children? She has power. A witch chooses her own lifestyle. She is no longer beholden to society’s values that tell a woman to get married, have kids, to have no intense sexuelle experiences and to just be quiet and look pretty, to be seen but not heard. A witch lives alone and flourishes by helping her community thanks to her knowledge and therapeutic practices. The single woman embodies independence which is not taught to young girls. For them growing as a person is intertwined with building a family and marriage whereas for men there is no miraculous idea of marriage but more the idea that they need to conquer the world. If older ladies are more oppressed it’s because their experience allows them to know better and be more self assured which is accentuated by the lack of a husband. They are less submissive then the younger women which is frowned upon in the patriarchy. Moreover a woman’s aging body is a symbol of repulsion, grey hair is a sign of negligence (or rebellion). When a woman grows old, her body shouldn’t show the slightest sign of aging since a woman’s worth depends solely on what her body looks like. Having a rational mind is labelled as maculine and the natural body is labelled as feminin. All women have to rely on is their bodies that is why aging is seen as such a big problem : in Baudelaire’s “Une charogne” he describes a carcass in anticipation of what the future holds for his lover without even thinking that he too shall age. The time when people believed that we had to kill women to allow men to flourish is over- if we don’t take into account the 146 femicides in France in 2019 (one every two and a half days, a 21% raise over the course of a year). Witches have also made a huge comeback in literature these past few years ; such as “ Les Sorcière” by Céline du Chéné which was inspired by a France Culture documentary series (2018) and “ Sorcières La puissance invaincu des femmes” (2018) by Mona Chollet.
Nevertheless by the end of the 1960’s witches were already being appropriated by a few feminist movements as a sign of rebellion. The group WITCH ((Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell), founded on Halloween of 1968 in New York would cast hexes in front of Wall Street as an anti-capitalist movement. American witches continue to meet up at the foot of Trump Tower to curse the president. And in France The Witch bloc Aix- Marseille protested in 2019 against “ la marche pour la vie” which was against abortions with slogans such as brush conservatisme under the rug or embryos for our potions. Witche aren’t just used as a symbol for feminism, their fights span across numerous causes as the Witch bloc Aix-Marseille proclaimed: “ feminists, anarchist are against all systematic oppression. We are anti racism, antifaschist, anticapitalist pro sexworkers, fighting for womens rights,cis and trans, for LGBTQ+ rights, people of colors rights and our group is anonymous and single-sex.”
However this contemporary movement has a certain aspect of white feminism that is appropriating cultures and practices that foreign to them and appropriating a memory that is not their own.
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TACK te propose une visite de quelques un des jolis coins culturels de Lyon. Ce dossier illustré revient sur les monuments symboliques de l’histoire de la ville et maîtres des évènements organisés au sein de celle-ci. On te laisse organiser ton prochain voyage.
Pour commencer, voici la Primatiale Saint-Jean-Baptiste construite de 1175 à 1480 dans le quartier Saint-Jean du Vieux Lyon dans le cinquième arrondissement. La primatiale sert de toile de fond pour les différentes projections lumineuses de la fête des lumières. Cette année, elle devrait se tenir du 5 au 8 décembre. Chaque année plus de 1,5 Millions de visiteurs font le déplacement pour admirer les différents plateaux lumineux proposés.
La Fontaine Bartholdi située place des Terreaux dans le premier arrondissement. Elle a été construite par Auguste Bartholdi, sculpteur de la statue de la liberté. Inaugurée en 1892 sous son appellation originelle de « Char triomphal de la Garonne » elle conserve finalement le nom officiel final « Les fleuves et les sources allant à l’océan ». On y voit une femme sur un char tiré par quatre chevaux.
La Villa Lumière a été habitée par Antoine Lumière puis par ses fils Auguste et Louis, inventeurs du cinématographe. La villa se situe dans le quartier de Monplaisir dans le huitième arrondissement de Lyon. Elle abrite aujourd’hui le musée et institut Lumière, organisateur du célèbre festival Lumière.
Voici la Chapelle du Grand Hôtel Dieu appartenant anciennement à l’Hôpital de l’Hotel Dieu, un des premiers hôpitaux lyonnais fondateur des hospices civiles de Lyon avec l’hôpital de la Charité situé place Bellecour, dont il ne reste plus que le clocher. Le Grand Hôtel Dieu est maintenant un centre commercial de luxe. La Chapelle se situe dans le quartier de Bellecour, sur la presqu’île de Lyon, dans le deuxième arrondissement.
Anciennes reliques conservées de la faculté de pharmacie, anciennement située dans l’Hotel Dieu.
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière située sur la colline de Fourvière, dite « colline qui prie », dans le cinquième arrondissement. C’est un emblème lyonnais par excellence, elle rend hommage à la Vierge Marie, particulièrement aimée des lyonnais. Construite entre 1872 et 1884 elle domine Lyon et est visible depuis tous les arrondissements. Un clocher avec une statue en or de la vierge Marie s’élève à droite de la basilique, mais en est détachée. Elle est le monument le plus visité de Lyon avec environ deux millions de visiteurs par an.
L’Intérieur de la basilique est composée de diverses chapelles, dont la Chapelle Saint-Thomas est la plus vaste. Toute la basilique ou presque est recouverte de peintures et de dorures.
Les serres du parc de la tête d’or, où l’on peut découvrir la flore de tous les continents. Le parc de la tête d’or est le plus grand parc urbain de France, composé de divers jardins, serres, d’un parc animalier, d’un lac (au fond duquel se trouve une tête de Christ en or, laquelle est l’origine du nom du parc.) et moult autres choses attirant les visiteurs. Il est situé dans le sixième arrondissement.
Le Musée des confluences, au confluence de la Saône et du Rhône, à la pointe de la presqu’île situé dans le deuxième arrondissement. C’est un Musée d’art, d’histoire, d’histoire naturel … Il accueille de nombreuses expositions temporaires et permanentes. Il été construit pour avoir la forme d’un nuage. Il est fait de verre et d’acier. De nombreuses conférences, spectacles, récitals sont organisés dans le musée.
Les Expositions actuelles : « Traces du vivant », « L’univers a l’envers », « Origines, les récits du monde », « Sociétés, le théâtre du monde », « Eternités, visions de l’au-delà »…
L’Hôtel de Ville de Lyon se trouve place des terreaux dans le premier arrondissement. L’édifice est orné de beaucoup de sculptures et fioritures baroques. Le lion, symbole de la ville, est très présent sur la façade. Un clocher avec carillon est situé en arrière de la façade, dans la cour intérieur.
Un des nombreux salons de réception de l’Hotel de Ville de Lyon, orné de nombreux lustres, dorures et fresques.
On continue avec l’Opéra de Lyon et l’un de ses salons, il est place de la comédie dans le premier arrondissement. On peut voir huit muses s’élever sur la façade.
On termine avec l’intérieur de La Chapelle de la trinité, très célèbre pour les concerts à la bougie qui s’y tiennent.
Generations correspond to the idea that a certain decade is represented by a group of people. We are talking about “generations” to represent our elders or musically speaking, the different decades represent different artists or music genres. “Generations” are even mentioned in the famous game Pokemon, all of these references are part of commun knowledge to us. It is also quite similar in the cinematic world. There are of course tens of generations of directors, and many different generations of actors and actresses, etc.. I did not want to do an extremely ambitious expose recounting all emblematic people from each generation so I turned towards a wider definition of the word generations. The generation often being that of our elders. I wanted to take a look at how these people are portrayed by the camera who played and still play big roles in society.
I wanted to present a film that I hold in my heart, it’s a documentary called Plogoff, rocks against shotguns, which was released in 1980 and it focuses on a fight that led a small breton village to fight against the installation of a nuclear power plant. In this film we are interested in the problems that could transcend generations for young people to not so young. In this documentary we are lucky to have many witnesses and statements. It is not a cinematic subgenre, La déchirure ( 1984) is here to remind us how thin the border between film and documentary is. Plogoff benefited from a new outburst of support due to it’s restoration by the region of Bretagne, Bretagne’s Cinematheque, and the national cinema center. This documentary was then redistributed in cinemas in 2019 and 2020.
The year is 1980, Plogoff is a play about the mobilisation against the construction of a nuclear power plant and Felix and Nicole Le Garrec decide to join the movement. To bring light to the situation they decide to make a film, a film about the people of plogoff, a film where the (subventions) are assured by the Le Garrec family. For two months they filmed the confrontations between the police and the protestor , the speeches and interviewed many of the locals. Plogoff brings us the feelings and words of the generations in this village. While watching this film we understand the interest of these kind of pieces, we rediscover different ways of living, differents ways of thinking and we understand the different endgames and evolutions. Filming the actor and actresses, is telling a story but filming men and women is showing their story. The generation found its place within this documentary, and in the end it was one of the only films to show in cinemas the generations opinions on the nuclear.
In a completely different register I recommend a sad but very interesting short film by Anthony Chen : Ah Ma (2007). The generational aspect is definitely found since the film is centered around one of the character’s deaths. Anthony Chen’s talents lead us through fifteen minutes of painful passage between generations. This Singaporian director was awarded at Cannes for this short film.
No one consumes video games the same way. If today, I choose to focus on the emotions involved, the depth of the story and the characters, it wasn’t always the case.Today I’m going to find out if there are different ways to consume video games? I remember the first big game my father got me. He’d bought it for the PS2, I must have been around 7 or 8 years old. It was a pinball simulator (Ultimate Pro Pinball). He seemed very pleased with this game since it reminded him of his youth and when he would play on an actual pinball machine with strangers in bars. The pinball machine’s moment in the spotlight started in 1965 and, despite it’s electronification around 1976, it was replaced by arcades and memorable games such as Pong (1972) and Pac-Man (1980). It should be noted that the arrival and democratization of these games in the European market was much later than in the American or Japanese markets. So when my father in 2005, joystick in hand, rediscovered similar feelings to those two trigger buttons on his student pinball machine: he was happy .At first there was the pleasure and thrill that comes with new technology but there was also the pleasure of the old and finding something you once thought was gone. We find this same phenomenon in much more contemporary games.
In LSD’s « Video games are life » , the documentary series by France Culture, we meet Marie-Jo Anduz Faris who is a huge fan of the Zelda game series and who is now 76 years old. She got her hands on Zelda Breath Of The Wild (2017) and she plays it quite often: “I spend a minimum of 1 hour a day playing and sometimes until 8 oclock . ” She then goes on to explain that this feeling of travel and discovery is due to the magnificent open-world and its intelligent sound design. It’s debut was made for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1992 with the game Zelda Link To The Past (1991 for Japan, and 1992 for Europe and North America.) Maybe we should also be asking ourselves what makes a kids game appropriate for kids and what doesn’t?
For example for 7-12 year olds, other than a few educational games such as « Dora the Explorer ”, I don’t know much about the subject and frankly I’m not that interested in it either. . But I know enough to say that the ruling classes understand this and have already appropriated this media themselves. The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) classification is used to advise parents on what is a good game for their children. But this system has a few mistakes since it’s based solely on the presence of verbal and physical violence as well as the scary / disturbing effect of the game. In short, the storyline of the game and its history is not mentioned. I prefer to use the differentiation that science-fiction writer Alain Damasio would use : « empowering » and “powerless ». If we use my example, during my whole my childhood I played two games almost exclusively: Sly 3: Honor among thieves (2005 in Europe and USA on PS2) and the Professor Layton series starting with the first opus Professor Layton and the Strange Village (2007 Japan and 2008 USA and Europe). The two have forged my personality: I resemble Sly Cooper with his confident side and his sarcastic /snarky side. But I also resemble Luke Triton, who kept his will to always want to do better and live by the rules of the gentleman who marvels at each cat that passes by, while also being quite panicked as soon as he is thrown into an unforeseen situation. Which could mean that parents shouldn’t base their judgement of games based on the PEGI mark, but rather the values advocated by the games. For example Mario teaches players to persevere even if the goal seems unattainable. Always remember that your princess is probably hidden in another castle. As for the values presented in video games, I feel as if they are just as poignant as any animated film. We know that stories and fables can create a great number of values but also fears in children.
These two games have been beneficial to me, thanks to walking down the streets of Venice (Sly 3, world 1), I have developed a good sense of direction since I was forced to remember the path taken in order to turn back. And the many Layton puzzles have allowed me to develop a logical mind and the ability to rethink every situation. This argument has been used many times to promote the game of chess that is now taught in quite a few preschools. I find this argument less powerful when used in this context since it’s not an interaction between two people. Moreover, this comparison can only be made because in both situations there is one goal : gain the upper hand over your opponent thanks to a series of well thought out movements made by pieces. So much pressure caused by the simple desire to dominate.
For 12 to 18 year olds, there are more violent games, with violence no longer being suggested for these kids. We’re going to have a look at games from middle school smash bros to high school Tekken. Those were also the first weapon games: today there are Battle Royales such as PlayerUnknown’sBattlegrounds, before the deathmatches between buddies on Call Of Duty. There was this desire for virtual freedom or just to annoy people simply because I can. Whether it’s via the Far Cry series or Grand theft Auto. In brief at this charmiere? It is no longer a time where we are simply sitting in front of our PC’s, there is a need for adrenaline, even vertigo, we need everything to be fast paced, with more images,enemies and action etc… Some will get bored of it while others will stay. It’s at the end of high school that we notice a big number of players define their favorite genre.
It seems to me that the way we consume video games depends on one’s age and values. If during our first years of life we see our parents control alot of our decisions, it’s at this moment where we get our first values. And soon after we will feel the need to mix everything up and move on to something else since we are entering into the phase where we question everything. Find out who you are, and what you like. We follow the marketing that is aimed at us and the peer pressure of our friends all the while trying in vain to improve our aim (in FPS) or our look in FIFA. Then arrives the moment where groups grow apart and everyone is forced to think about what defines them. It’s easier to do when you’ve tested quite a few different things. Gamers that are older than 20 tend to keep playing the same genre of games that they’re used to. After reaching their thirties, marketing tends to focus more on nostalgia as a selling point. So then come all the remakes, and you can now replay your old favorite pokemon game and reconnect with our first sensations while playing Mario. This movement is accentuated as we get older which surely explains the comparison marketing and the famous “ this game is the Dark Souls of it’s genre” gimmick.
Si vous avez lu les différents articles de présentation de jeu indépendant, vous avez sûrement pu remarquer que j’aimais les jeux centrés sur la question de l’Homme dans les grands espaces. J’ai grandi avec les idéaux des wanderers, ces êtres paisibles, au cerveau torturé, qui marchent vers un but inconnu. Cette admiration pour ce type de personne a démarré avec Into The Wild (livre: Jon Krakauer, 1996. Film: Sean Penn, 2007) et la philosophie de Christopher Johnson McCandless (1968 – 1992), est ensuite arrivé Jack Kerouac (1922 – 1969), le plus connu de ces clochards célestes (The Dharma Bums, 1958) vagabondant sur les routes américaines. Cette envie de liberté s’est forgée à la suite d’un appel de la forêt (The call of the wild, 1906) de Jack London (1876 – 1916), et je souhaite toujours construire ma personnalité de wanderer comme le décrit Sylvain Tesson (1972 -) dans son Petit traité sur l’immensité du monde (2005).
Pour comprendre pourquoi j’idolâtre toute cette philosophie j’ai souhaité lire l’oeuvre à la base du vagabondage : Walden ou la vie dans les bois (Walden; or, Life in the woods, 1854) de Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862). Mais bon, enfant emplit de rêves, je n’ai jamais réussi à finir ce livre, l’imagerie dépassant ma pensée, ma concentration s’enfuyant un peu plus à chaque ligne m’empêchait de comprendre ses idées.
Après tout, j’étais devenu un enfant du XXIèmesiècle, un enfant du jeu vidéo. Ce média qui se fait aujourd’hui source de contemplation, de réflexion, d’éducation et trop souvent, de prolongement de notre misérable existence. J’étais donc le plus heureux de ces milliers d’enfants quand j’ai appris qu’un jeu retraçant la vie de Henry David Thoreau existait. Ce jeu: Walden, a game (2017, USC games innovation Lab). Commençons par expliquer le jeu, ce qui résulte à en dépeindre les points positifs, puis on développera l’ensemble des points négatifs le rendant désagréable si ce n’est injouable.
Ainsi, le jeu s’ouvre sur le chemin du Walden Pound (Étang de Walden), Massachusetts, United States of America, où en deux minutes on comprend l’ensemble du gameplay, d’un côté il s’agit de récupérer les pointes de flèches pour que Thoreau lui-même nous narre sa pensée. D’un autre, il s’agit de lutter pour vivre décemment, couper du bois, prendre de la nourriture, construire sa cabane, rafistoler ses vêtements, rester éveillé et inspiré.
Pour le plaisir de tous rien n’est laissé au hasard. Pour se reposer, il suffit de se poser près d’un feu ou de marcher dans la forêt, plus poétiquement encore, pour rester inspiré il suffit de se balader et d’écouter les bruits de l’eau ou des animaux environnants, ainsi que de lire les livres cachés un peu partout dans ce semi open-world.
Pour que la magie soit complète, la voix de Thoreau reprenant ses dires sur la faune et la flore locales et ses pensées extraites de Walden sont doublées par Emile Hirsch. Les plus férus de films de voyage reconnaissent l’acteur principal de Into The Wild. Sa voix chaleureuse, discrète, rassurante va alors nous accompagner, une fois de plus, le long de nos rêveries. Dix ans après la sortie du film, et après une peine de cinq ans de prison pour attaque et empoisonnement d’une productrice de cinéma, l’acteur prête sa voix au philosophe. Bien que je ne sois spécialiste de la vie et des oeuvres de Thoreau, il semble que tout ce qui est dit soit juste, surtout sur les parties énoncées de sa vie. Le jeu ne vous accorde qu’une année dans le bois, bien qu’il semblerait qu’il y a vécu au moins deux.
Pour nous faire comprendre les liens que partagent Henry avec sa famille, avec son ami Emerson ou bien avec la presse écrite, le jeu fonctionne par un système de lettre que l’on peut lire et relire autant que nous le souhaitons. On retrouve aussi, sous forme de manuscrit, les différents traités qu’il a pu produire, le plus connu étant peut-être celui sur la désobéissance civile, écrit en prison ou bien ses traités contre l’esclavage dans le sud du pays (contexte de guerre de sécession suite aux désaccords concernant l’esclavage notamment). Ce soucis du réalisme se ressent dans les actions que le jeu nous demande de faire.
Le gameplay est au service de l’histoire, on se déplace bien sur avec ZQSD mais lorsque l’on souhaite couper du bois ou lancer sa canne à pêche il faut alors réaliser soi-même le mouvement adéquat. Un coup avec notre souris/stick vers le bas pour couper du bois ou planter des clous pour notre logis ⤸, et des inclinaisons horizontales pour les coups de pagaie et le rafistolage de nos vêtements ⤻. Enfin, la musique d’ambiance, très douce, est propice à l’évasion. Celle-ci est doublée d’un sound design centré sur les bruits de pas, de l’eau et les bruits de la faune locale du massachusetts.
En soit, le jeu semble parfait, on rentre dans la peau du philosophe, on s’y plaît, on y reste, on se balade, on écoute, on voyage, on profite, on apprend une philosophie inattendue, on joue et on ressent quelques émotions. Tout ce qui est bon dans ce jeu est quelque chose que l’on peut faire simplement et à bas prix. Il nous suffit d’aller voir notre bibliothèque préférée, prendre le livre, se remplir une théière, aller dans la forêt et profiter des écrits magnifiques de Thoreau. Le jeu va alors tenter de se démarquer en reprenant les codes du jeu vidéo, pour sa plus value et l’amener à un plus grand nombre. on fait alors face à un jeu hors des codes, tentant de rentrer dans les codes, faits par des personnes qui connaissent trop peu ces codes. (the national endowment for the humanities sont les premiers contributeurs du projet.)
Tout d’abord, une des premières questions que se posent un créateur est celle du genre du jeu: action, RPG, éducatif, platformer, roguelike, etc… il semble préconiser de n’en choisir que deux. C’est dans cette confusion des genres que Walden, a game a le plus péché. Le jeu se souhaite contemplatif et éducatif, pour profiter de la vue du lac et de la forêt, des lectures et des pensées émises par Thoreau. Mais il se veut aussi life simulator et survival.
Le jeu t’impose de faire une expérience semblable à celle de Thoreau, tu dois cueillir et pêcher pour te nourrir sinon tu es affamé et risques de t’évanouir. Tu dois couper du bois afin de te réchauffer ou tu risques de ne pas avoir assez d’énergie. De même pour tes vêtements à rafistoler, et si ton abri est en ruine tu récupéreras moins d’énergie lors de tes nuits. Le seul endroit au Walden Pound où toutes ces activités sont à proximité, c’est proche de ta cabane. Donc, pour pouvoir explorer, contempler et étudier, il est nécessaire d’avoir de l’énergie, il est alors conseillé de rester à proximité des feux , trop espacé des uns des autres. Pour explorer tu vas pouvoir utiliser le bateau , ou traverser directement l’étang à pied lorsqu’il est gelé en hiver. Si seulement cela ne prenait pas un quart de ton temps à faire le même mouvement répétitif qui marche une fois sur deux. Une fois arrivé là-bas, vous pensez être arrivé au bout de vos peines puisque le solitude cairn est enfin trouvé, avec un peu de chances, vous avez même peut être trouvé un livre narrant une pensée philosophique, mais en fait, vous êtes tombés dans le plus gros des traquenards. À peine vos yeux posés sur la faune ou sur les mots, l’ensemble des témoins se mettent à clignoter car votre toît manque de s’écrouler, votre estomac s’est retourné de douleur et vous commencez à geler. En bref, c’est pas fou comme condition de vie, même pour un type perdu au milieu des grenouilles et des rouge-gorges. Vous vous empressez alors de faire demi tour, ramassez le petit–bois ou les planches des abris en ruine . Vous cueillez des baies en prenant compte de passer par un feu pour pouvoir continuer de courir et entretenir le rêve de comprendre peut-être un jour ce livre. Mais là, tristesse infinie, la nuit tombe. Au matin le narrateur vous somme de retourner à votre cabane car une lettre urgente vient d’arriver. Vous apprendrez que vous êtes chargés de déposer des habits pour deux esclaves en fuite. Sans votre aide, ils seront capturés et très possiblement violentés et tués. Vous faites alors demi-tour à votre cabane et abandonnez tout espoir de vous coucher moins bête ce soir. Après c’est un choix: le plaisir personnel passe, selon moi, après la survie d’opprimés·es ou l’aide que je peux porter à mes amis·es ou ma famille. Bien que le jeu insiste sur le fait que j’ai le choix, plusieurs tâches te sont demandées , et ta soeur Sophia te demande aussi d’explorer plusieurs recoins de l’île (il s’agit d’un jeu de piste autour des solitudes cairns).
Alors pas besoin de se presser sur les tâches, de toute façon vous ne pourrez pas toutes les effectuer pour les raisons énoncées précédemment (la partie survie du life simulator.) J’ai tout de même fait certaines tâches, comme celle de ramener un livre à Emerson (il m’a mis la pression ok?!), je n’avais pas pris le temps de le lire puisque le jeu m’avait prévenu que je pourrais tout lire chez lui plus tard. En rendant le livre, Emerson me propose d’échanger sur un certain passage, je décline gentiment n’ayant pas le passage en tête, le livre non lu. Si j’ai fais ça c’est parce que je me suis dis que comme je peux lire le livre à tout moment, j’aurais le droit à cette discussion à tout moment.
Quelle erreur avais-je fait… Emerson, fort déçu de mon manque d’intérêt (enfin, de mon manque de temps) souhaite alors se consoler, en me disant d’aller chercher un autre livre, de l’autre côté de la forêt. Depuis cette demande, Emerson est incapable de se souvenir de quel passage il souhaitait discuter avec moi. Je n’aurais donc accès à aucun esprit critique sur The Laws Of Manu et autre livre de théoriciens, à mon plus grand regret je vous le concède. Pour continuer, sur les lectures et dialogues: le jeu s’adresse à peu de personnes puisqu’il souffre d’un manque de traduction. Même avec mon niveau décent en anglais, il est parfois difficile de comprendre puisqu’écrit dans le langage courant de 1850. Il m’est encore plus difficile de se souvenir des préceptes de Thoreau au vu de la quantité d’informations dont nous sommes abreuvée. Le jeu propose alors d’écrire l’ensemble de ses pensées dans ce cher livre. Pour s’y retrouver on voit un découpage en saison. Chaque pensée forme alors un paragraphe qui s’enchaîne tous sans lien concret et sans rappel de ce que nous faisions pour obtenir ces précieuses pensées.
Si l’un de vous est apte à comprendre à quoi il fait référence, et ce qui l’a mené à dire cela, je vous salue.)
Enfin, certains problèmes peuvent être outrepassés. Soit par une force mentale impressionnante, soit en achetant des ressources telle une canne à pêche pour pêcher plus de poissons, des bocaux permettant un stockage accru de la nourriture, d’autres objets pour le foyer, le bois ou les vêtements. Mais cela pose deux problèmes, le premier est celui de l’argent, acquis en faisant certains travaux . C’est une honte lorsque l’on souhaite faire vivre aux joueurs la vie de Thoreau qui, lors de son excursion au Walden Pound prônait le retour de la vie sauvage avec le moins d’objet artificiel et le moins d’interaction humaine possible. De plus, cet argent peut aussi vous servir à payer vos taxes annuelles. Chose à laquelle Thoreau se refusait, c’est de cette obligation que naquit son traité sur La Désobéissance civile. Ainsi, la présence quasi-nécessaire du travail à des fins différentes de la survie (le philosophe n’avait rien contre la satisfaction de faire pousser un potager à condition que les ressources n’aient pour finalité d’être vendues) met ce jeu dans une position bâtarde. Il ne peut te permettre d’incarner Thoreau en te proposant décemment d’aller contre ses principes.
Ainsi, Walden, a game est pour moi un mauvais jeu mais un excellent premier jet. Il nous propose d’excellentes idées et de nouveaux buts à ce média récent qu’est le jeu vidéo. À l’inverse, ses problèmes sont trop nombreux et nuisent fortement à cette expérience poussant à la survie en dépit de la contemplation et de l’érudition. Je suis peut-être seulement frustré car c’est un de mes auteurs favoris qui a servi de brouillon dans ce média qui me complait.
Always under the spotlight, the woman’s body doesn’t have to be functional, strong or healthy, but pretty. Muscles are necessary to seem toned, but they must not be too prominent, at the risk of not being perceived as a REAL woman. Appearances are far more important to women than it is to men, because they introduced this « activity » in their lifestyles as a task to accomplish. As they say, you must suffer to be beautiful, otherwise you will never find a husband ! Aristotle, who influenced philosophy forever, kindly wrote « the male is separated from the female because the principle of movement, which represents the male in every born beings, is better and godly ; the female merely is the principle representing the matter ». Yet, the matter that is the body, is inferior, repugnant and passive compared to the great spirit represented by the male. From then on, women are only identified by their bodies, as they don’t have enough intelligence to stand out otherwise. To slack, especially on pilosity, is intolerable for women and translates a lack of discipline – for men, its a symbol of virility. Since a few years back, with the injunction to have a perfect body, we’re being asked to love what we have with a two-time guilt-creating #bodypositive : I have to try to love my body when everything I see tells me to change it.
Wanting everybody, but first and foremost women, to look alike thanks to « 10 tips to slim down before summer ! » isn’t an ideal, all the more so as women must tend to slimness, which for Noémie Renard, represents weakness. Indeed, from the start of the 1930’s in the US, when women begin to liberate themselves from the norms, and start to bare their bodies more and more, this obsession with thinness appears. The latter is often perceived as a patriarchal backfire, in which in exchange of certain rights, men then have the right to ask the women to be more obedient regarding their own physical standards for them. As a study demonstrated, sexism and adhesion to social norms are really tightly roped, and the most sexist men only find the slimmest bodies attractive. The philosopher Sandra Bartky, leaning on some of Foucaults’ works, explains that the beauty practices are in fact disciplinary practices, allowing to create more docile, weak and helpless bodies for women. For example developing biceps on a woman’s body is very badly considered since it’s a symbol of strength and we want female bodies to remain powerless. The male body also suffers from some beauty standards – although a lot less – however to be associated with strength – muscles – is a more enjoyable than having to stand with weakness.
THE summer body, as found literally everywhere during the preceding months of summer, only seems to be a matter of will : the will to exercise and eat healthier. Yet, the Arte documentary « An obese world » shows us that obese people for the most part are not lazy nor failures, but they really are not entirely in control of their weight. We are talking about a « liberal society who hates fat but creates fat people ». The conception of being overweight as being fat because we don’t do physical exercise is nothing more than an alibi for the food industry ; the reciprocity of this statement being : if you do exercise, you can eat and drink whatever you want. However, despite all the reality shows showing us the miraculous power of the gym – which can allegedly help us lose dozens of lbs in only a couple of weeks without the yo-yo effect – physical exercise alone, is in fact inefficient : if a 230lbs weighing person was to run 7 miles, they would have consumed 1000 calories, or 2 chocolatines [pains au chocolat here in the South of France, Translator’s note]. To change dietary habits is therefore crucial if a person doesn’t want to intensely exercise for two hours to only barely eliminate their breakfast. Thus, by encouraging fast foods implantation especially in poor neighbourhoods – where obesity levels is already high – the american government is subsidising to this obesity epidemic. Obviously, the poor and middle-class people are the most affected, this can be seen in supermarkets : fatty and sugary foods are far cheaper than organic, healthy and natural foods – complete and organic coconut sugar is five times more expensive than white refined sugar. In many grocery stores in Mexico – country devastated by the American’s sugary drinks industry -, bottle of water is more expensive than a bottle soda.
Nonetheless, as the culture of diets is well engraved in our societies, a heavy responsibility weighs on those who dare to be physically outside the norms, in an often open fatphobia. Let’s remind ourselves that the argument of health in not valid, partly because the size of an individual’s body doesn’t specifically tell us a lot about their health, but mostly because if the « anti-fats » really wanted to increase humanity’s lifespan, their focus would rather be on economic inequalities – in average, the poorest French people live 13 years less than the richest.
Personally I’m not a big fan of summer, I find that this season is just a large amount of time where people force themselves to complete meaningless and futile tasks under the pretext that it’s to get us out of our comfort zones. This idea is not necessarily contemptible, but personally summer has always taken the form of a trip to the Atlantic ocean. An ocean from which the only thing we take full advantage of is this incomprehensible body of water that is a constant reminder of how insignificantly small we are. Unlike other landscapes, but the ocean is the only one to make me feel this heavy weight that is loneliness. Being at a loss in the face of the incomprehensible, and the fear of getting lost, never being able to find shore. I always assumed that I wasn’t the only person who gets this feeling of discomfort when faced with the seemingly endless body of water that is the ocean. So when a game decided to exploit this feeling and made it a starting point for the development of all their ideas, it piqued my curiosity.
I saw this game: Sea Of Solitude. (July 5, 2019, available on PS4, Xbox and PC) while it was competing for the title of best indie game at the 2019 Games Awards. I’ve already had the opportunity to talk about Sea Of Solitude in a previous issue. Although I mainly focused on its creator Cornelia Geppert and her approach to video games. Today I’m primarily going to focus on the use of water, the omnipresent and founding landscape. A quick reminder, this game from Jo Mei Games shows us that we need to embrace our fears like the creator did by staging her trauma with this game.
We follow the journey of a character called Kay on her little motor boat, who is travelling around a small town submerged by the sea. In this town there are two different types of living beings: monstrous black animals (crows, jellyfish, chameleons, wolves, crustaceans and a whale) and luminous beings. There are also two types of humanoid beings: Kay and a radiant young girl dressed in an anorak with a bright yellow bob. This contrast between light and dark, fear and hope can be found throughout the game. Monsters hide within the black water with the sole purpose of destroying you. The water is your enemy just like in many games, touching the water or staying in it for too long will lead to your death. This is to add a more practical side to the game since it makes it possible to delimit the playable areas from the non-playable ones and to ensure a logical end to the rest of the story. The notion of this limit is particularly visible in the passages where Kay remembers her past, since she should have her feet on the ground for these moments: the water disappears.
In Sea Of Solitude, water is present visually but it is also there to represent morality. What Cornelia Geppert is trying to explain to us through these stories and these moments of life, is that if we understand our fears we will be able to control them. The water goes from being this hostile place to a haven of peace. So now we can jump head first into this place that understands us, a place that has sheltered our sorrows, our fears and our sufferings. After all, these are the places that know us best. Once we’re free of our fears, diving into these places can only be a source of happiness. We reminisce over the miles that our little boat helped us sail across. It’s as if these places kept all our happy memories, the pleasures that were made invisible by problems that are out of our control. And it is then, at that precise moment, that we are able to see them for the first time, and we become one with ourselves and the monsters living inside of us disappear forever.
I would like to end this article with a quote from Christopher Johnson McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp the hero of the film / book that retraces his story: Into The Wild. He spent the last three years of his life trying to understand the demons that surrounded his own Sea Of Solitude. It’s only by facing the ocean that he realized the distance traveled and all that he still has to go through to reach his completion: “The sea’s only gifts are harsh blows, and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.”
The theme of “work” led me to evoke a subject that is close to my heart within the music industry. The goal here is to understand these artists who seem to need no one at all or almost no one. They are composers, lyricists, but above all multi-instrumentalists and are extremely competent with sound techniques: they can therefore easily self-produce. Then does that mean that there is no longer any artistic work?
Overdubbing is a studio technique that became popular throughout the 1960s. It simply relies on adding an instrumental track, a guitar riff or vocal harmonies for example, on a rhythmically timed basis,with the whole thus forming the finished mix of the song. I have introduced this into the article because its development will allow a single individual to record a « complete » song in terms of the instrumentals. In the same period, many artists have stepped back from concerts and tours, which are seen as a « right of passage « . And on the other hand there is a greater demand for albums that have had more work put into them. And gradually the idea that one single person can play all the instruments for a song doesn’t seem illogical since it was not meant to be performed live by several different performers.
The first big example is former Beatles member McCartney i n 1970, when he released his first solo album. He recorded it in his suburban London house with only basic equipment. Other than the vocal harmonies performed by Linde McCartney, Paul recorded all of the instruments, the voices, wrote and produced everything: he didn’t need the studio musiciens or a producer. All of this and the relationship formed between an artist and his music became a precursor for not only Lo-Fi music but also indie, Paul had simply pursued a musical experience that already existed since in the white album he had already experimented with songs where he was the sole artist. Finally I shall remind everyone that the mainstream contemporary critics were very harsh with this first album saying that it was unfinished, badly recorded and rushed.
How has the production method evolved? How and why become the sole artist of your own productions?
Something that is even more impressive, two years after that first example, Mike Oldfield unveils Tubular Bells. This is categorized as symphonic rock, a subgenre of rock prog with a complex variety of instrumentals. In total there were 274 overdubs, that’s to say tracks were added on for the equivalent of 50 minutes of mainly just instrumental music, divided into two parts. He plays almost the entirety of the instruments but particularly the eponymous tubular bells. That same year Todd Rundgren released his third album Something/Anything? in which for three quarters of the disc he executed not only the instrumentals but also, contrary to Oldfield, the productions. The latter will impact a more recent artist which will tie in perfectly with this subject.
From the 1980s to the 2000, the great multi-instrumental artists are in chronological order: Prince with Dirty Mind,which was in my opinion very underestimated compared to the following albums. The wave of the alternative music was accompanied by Trent Reznor, the face of the Nine Inch Nails indus project, Beck with Mellow Gold that was carried by the
single, « Loser », recorded in a friend’s kitchen. Dave Grohl, who just like McCartney launched a solo career, at the end of Nirvana, with a homemade album. We can also mention PJ Harvey or Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who mastered several instruments, keyboards, wind instruments, in their respective projects.
Today it is Kevin Parker with his Tame Impala project that best illustrates the subject. On his four albums from 2010 to 2020, starting with neo-psychedelia, which was particularly inspired by Todd Rundgren, up to a more soft rock with a touch of disco, he thinks, creates, plays and produces some of the most influential songs of this past decade. The production of an entire album by a single artist is often justified by the « limits » that working with a group or studio represents. When a composer has a particular idea for a song, it can be difficult to explain to other members, even with partitions. It won’t completely be what he had in mind and for some artists it can be something very frustrating. Thoineau Palis with his solo project TH da Freak, had a similar configuration before 2018 and the participation of the other musicians in the studio, evoked the « dictators methode ”which makes it possible to be the exclusive heavy head on a song or an album.
Therefore we remember that these artists are first and foremost multi-instrumentalists, generally composers and lyricists but above all else they imagine the music recorded here and differentiate it from the music that will be played live ; it’s difficult to interpret very complexe songs alone. Their talent allows them to play all the instruments of a composition where they are then the only one « responsible ». Also if the DIY (“Do it yourself”) is very much linked to lo-fi sounds, especially with R. Stevie Moore, we notice that it also appears in “labeled” music.
Recently many hip-hop projects ( the term lo-fi is today more of a simplification of « lo-fi hip hop »; homemade music and instrumentals that are developing on Youtube and Soundcloud), electro sounds like synthwave, are made by a single artist. As for the genres that resemble ambient music, the instrumentals are less varied but remain of excellent quality. One example is Liz Harris’ project, Grouper with the 2014 album Ruins, partially recorded in the south of Portugal; we can almost feel the landscape of the shores, the villages and cliffs in this extremely personal piece. Jenny Hval produced Blood Bitch with a similar idea in mind; it is an excellent concept album from 2016 previously mentioned in Tack n°2, inspired by fantasy and horror.
Today with the internet and lots of access to platforms like Bandcamp or Soundcloud, the number of solo projects are increasing. Luna Li, for example, took advantage of the quarantine to post complex and diverse instrumentals on Twitter; harp, guitar solos with a chorus, keyboards and even violins, that were shared a hundred times over, which illustrates artists contribution to social networks. Youtube’s a lgorithm has also allowed indie artists to surface; after appearing in recommendations or suggested content. This also happened with folk music and psyche I Didn’t Know of Skinshape (William Dorey). On another note the term indie by definition, can also imply a recording and/or production done by a single individual. As for Soundcloud, it was the solo project of Marie Ulven Ringheim, girl in red, who debuted with the single « I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend « at the end of 2016, a single that quickly reached thousands of listens after several weeks.
To conclude, multi-instrumentalists first recorded demos for their group, sometimes with a variety of different instruments; the main examples being Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson.
In the 1970s the idea of « DIY » appeared as a finality to the album and even as something that would characterize it, like for Mike Oldfield who is now renowned for that exact reason. From the 1980s this principle continues to circulate between pop genres, however it is mainly associated with alternative and indie music. Since the late 2000s, the existence of various software has first of all favored musical creations with a number of various instruments: with a midi keyboard you can create an orchestra or play common sounds that are increasingly realistic and more complex. The platforms previously mentioned are full of workers who are always pushing their creativity and they have opportunities to express themselves as much as possible.
If this tweet from Siobhan Thompson is sarcastic and only partially true, it makes us see that depression holds a huge spot in video games. Rightfully so, because it plays a great part in the making of a game, and for very different reasons, wether if we study a Triple A (or AAA which stands for every game made in a big production), or an indie game. So in this very article, guaranteed without any spoilers, we are going to see the links between work and video games.
Let’s begin with the independent games, which seems to have a favorite theme, grief and depression. We are going to talk about two indie games, Celeste (Jan 25th, 2018), from Matt Makes Games and Sea of Solitude (Jul 5th, 2019), from Jo-Mei Games. We will finish by talking about the burn outs caused by Epic Games and Fortnite (Nov 2017). An indie developer, as suggested by Bounthavy Suvilay in her book « Indie Games », has too much problems to handle during the creation of their story, that they cannot think of what’s next. She insists that an indie game is a total investment. A financial investment, but also and foremost an investment of time and energy. The creators of Flappy Bird (2013), Antichamber (2013) or even Ridiculous Fishing (2013) sunk into depression at the launch of their game. For diverse reasons ; they found themselves without a goal after the launch, or they were guilt ridden when their money incomes were far more important than what they had hoped. This brutal change of situation added to the incomprehension happen with most indie games, especially in debut games, a creator’s first game. Indie games are made by groups of passionate, often 10 to 15 or less, either in a garage or small locals. For instance, in Extremely Ok (Celeste and TowerFall’s creators) there are 7 people, Jo-Mei Games are 13 and at Nomada Studio (GRIS’ creators) they are 10, with 7 for the music only.
Celeste tells the story of Madeline, depressed and trying to climb a mountain. On her track, she meets several characters who are going to help her in different ways. To rough it up, the story translates her will to get back on her feet helped by her friends. Matt Makes Games, after the success of TowerFall, went to live in a shared-flat with three other creators to create their next game. Nonetheless, he found himself surrounded by work on the development of TowerFall on other consoles. He explained that TowerFall’s loud success could crash his relation with his flatmates as most of the large money incomes would come to him. A new source of anxiety coming from creating video games, which he got over with the help of his flatmates. A similar scheme can be found in Cornelia Geppert and Boris Munser’s Sea of Solitude’s creation. We follow Kay in her introspection who is trying to fight her demons, helped by her boat and her memories. Each phases of metaphoric depression can be seen. Cornelia Geppert had wanted to tell her own story through the art she excelled best in : video games. That is how we find ourselves lost in a sea of solitude in this depression filled work. In several interviews, Cornelia Geppert has described herself in her depression as a mere shadow of herself, and this metaphor is the game’s base design (cf. a picture taken from the game showing principal character Kay). In those same interviews, she has explained that the characters depicted are her own friends and family; the second to last being her ex boyfriend, suffering from a mental illness, who brought her to depression in 2014. Thus, when an indie game talks about depression, it often is because it is the creators’ (only) way to exteriorize everything they can feel inside, work becoming emancipatory for them.
For AAA games, what happens is the contrary, burn outs are present but for other different reasons. In big productions, there is a lot of people. I am not teaching you anything here, but it defines work as a whole, there is a LOT of people. In capitalist’s logic, a game has to be sold to the greater number, the story must therefore be marketable and watered-down, the artists’ visions and personal work being wiped out. Not only that, but with the logic of competition in the industry, games have to be released ever quicker and at their maximum quality. Employees are then forced to do as quickly as possible. This regularly leads these people to have burn outs. An investigation has been made with Fortnite’s developers after its global success in 2017 by Colin Campbell, from the website Polygon. He exposes the real necessity for the game to keep its leader position, Battle Royales being the most popular play mode of the last couple of years, and competitors beginning to make these kind of games. First observation, a vast majority of employees admit they have worked between 70 to 100 hours per week during the making of Fortnite. Quick reminder, the french legislation sets the maximum legal working hours at 35 per week. These overtime hours can be explained by two major factors. The first one being the practice of the « crunch », an efficient pressure tactic consisting of asking employees to work harder and for longer hours only until the game or one of its extension is launched. At Epic Games, these crunches have lasted for weeks, even months, and have often been renewed. The second explanation is the lack of syndicate in the video game industry. The IGDA or International Game Developers Association calls to an important unionization to stop these destructive practices over the employees’ mental health. The latter, often called to work on menial or precise tasks, are hired as temps, so that they cannot gather up and fight their employers and their ideals. This article still brought a bigger feeling of empathy towards the developers from the players, who then asked for release dates to be postponed, to allow the employees to have a personal life outside of their work. In 2019/2020, several games have seen their release dates delayed, without any outrage from the public. Some players have even asked Masahiro Sakurai to take a break from developing Super Smash Bros Ultimate as he seemed more and more exhausted in interviews. Thus, if Triple A doesn’t speak publicly and freely about depression or burn outs, it is mostly because it is experienced by employees who cannot express themselves, forced to follow strict agendas from their bosses, whose only concern is for their competitors’ sales revenues and always making better ones.