Pamela Maria

Pamela Maria

I'm a grad student in Experimental Digital Media with a BA in Rhetoric and Literature. My plethora of interests include haunting lit theory, critical media, and pop culture.

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    Latest Articles

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    The Rise and Fall of the Assassin’s Creed Empire

    Once hailed for its attention to detail, fascinating back story, and historical accuracy, the Assassin’s Creed’s legacy has slowly begun to diminish. As a fictional universe, it can be expected that not all historical features will be completely accurate, but has the furthering of plot and milking of the franchise begun to corrupt the series as a whole?

    Analyse the historical periods that the franchise has covered as well as which games most effectively combined the assassin trope within its historical context. This article would also try to avoid “playability” as an argument (e.g. Black Flag: is it fun to play? Sure. Are assassin’s and pirates accurate? No.) From this regard, an article like this could also look into what the true identity of Assassin’s Creed is and whether game-play and the templar plot-line is more crucial than its historical back drop. It would also need to consider whether Assassin’s Creed Origins was an attempt of getting rid of the series’ baggage and whether its new format can help bring the series back to its former glory.

    • As a die hard fan, the idea that the series is diminishing is not something I like to hear. However, I'll admit that Origins was, for me, a low point. Speculating on what the new title "Assassin's Creed: Odyssey" needs to do to reignite the series would also be interesting. – ValleyChristion 3 weeks ago
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    • I think Assassin's Creed is more a victim of "the one year between release" formula was used until recently. Taking a year off before the release of Origins was a good thing, which helped develop interest in the franchise and the addition of more RPG elements changed up some gameplay. – Sean Gadus 2 weeks ago
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    Taken by ValleyChristion (PM) 7 days ago.
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    The Power of Fanfiction: a rise in transmedia storytelling

    As our world is becoming more socially digitized and interactive, it is undeniable that fandoms have become important aspect in keeping franchises alive, but how important has fan influence become? Transmedia is a growing technic narrators’ in franchises have begun to use in which a single story is told across multiple platforms and adaptations. Although transmedia’s rise through social media and influence have been covered in a few topics and articles on the artifice before, how has fan fiction influenced transmedia storytelling?

    Examples may include looking into fanon versus canon and instances where a highly popular canon has become fanon (such as Matt’s appearance in the anime Death Note). Another important aspect to look into is the “Boba Fett Phenomenon” where a side character becomes so wildly popular within the fandom that a franchise is forced to give them a backstory and more character development.

    Although I struggled to find a source for this, I remember my Digital Media professor once discussed that there was a scandal in the Dr. Who fandom where a popular fanfiction actually guessed the fate of the current season. The fan who had written the story was sworn to secrecy or told to change their story (can’t recall exactly…) as to preserve the integrity of the show. Regardless, I think this is another example where fan fiction was integrated as an unauthorized expansion within a universe (and therefore has become a piece of transmedia storytelling).

    A great theorist for transmedia and fan fiction is Dr. Henry Jenkins.

    • I myself use to think that fan fiction was boring and unnecessary, but recently this year I reread a book series I fell in love with in high school, 'Vampire Academy' and found a fan fiction writer/ blogger via Tumblr (can't remember their user) but I just fell in love with how they continued the story after it was finished by the author and it just amazed me how they decided to write so much and keep the story alive for themselves and for other readers I also think that these writers ideas can be taken away from themselves and used in other peoples ideas and stories and can also be taken and twisted to suit the other story but people are so imaginative and society is changing so much, so fan fiction can be taken any place these days, there is also a fan version of the Vampire Academy movie I have not brought myself to watch yet – ambermakx 2 weeks ago
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    The Gray Area Between Good and Evil

    Within comics and movies, heroes have slowly been developing more flaws while villains are beginning to produce a more human face. More so, with the rise fandoms, readers and fans have begun to appreciate both; picking favourites and encouraging this type of development for characters. By examining older heroes and villains and how they have developed/changed over time, as well as, the rise of the "flawed hero" and the "human villain", are we slowly entering an age where there is no right answer? Or will "true villains" be forced to be purely "evil"? Analyze both the negatives and positives of this within a writing context — will this change how plots and characters are being written? Will the definitions of what a "villain" or "hero" are, have to change? And will this bring in a new era of "grey" as opposed to the archaic, early form of writing that was strictly black and white? Or is our perception of the "character", "plot" and writing becoming deeper and more advanced?

    • Interesting topic, but please make sure to go over it to fix some minor punctuation errors. "Favourites" is actually spelled without the "u." Also, commas must be placed within the parenthesis. You also end your fourth sentence with both a question mark and period, which you cannot do. – Diego Santoyo 2 years ago
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    • Diego, I believe Canadians and the British spell favorite with the u, Americans don't. – Tigey 2 years ago
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    • I wasn't able to update my topic before it became accepted, so here is the proposed revision: Within comics and movies, heroes have slowly been developing more flaws while villains are beginning to produce a more human face. More so, with the rise fandoms, readers and fans have begun to appreciate both; picking favourites and encouraging this type of development for characters. By examining older heroes and villains and how they have developed/changed over time, as well as, the rise of the "flawed hero" and the "human villain", are we slowly entering an age where there is no right answer? Or will "true villains" be forced to be purely "evil"? Analyze both the negatives and positives of this within a writing context -- will this change how plots and characters are being written? Will the definitions of what a "villain" or "hero" are, have to change? Compare and contrast the potential backlash and consequences. Will this suspension of "grey" initiate a return to the classic hero? Or will this bring in a new era of "grey" as opposed to the archaic, early form of writing that was strictly black and white? Or is it our perception of the "character", "plot" beginning to change into something new; bringing in a new era of writing that is deeper and more advanced? Possible characters to look at may include: Joker, Bucky Barnes, Jesse Pinkman, and Jean Valjean, Dexter, etc. – Mela 2 years ago
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    • A character that could be a good focus on the gray area concept would be Deadpool. Although comedic, the character displays characteristics that could classify him as both hero and villain. – AngeloCruz 2 years ago
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    • Another good character to focus on could be Tony Stark from Iron Man, who is the perfect example of a flawed hero. – mariamvakani 2 years ago
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    • A good character to focus on is Walter from Breaking Bad. Lots see him as an evil man and others see him as a man who did bad things but with good intentions. – sabrinakasymov 2 years ago
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    Batman Arkham Knight: Destruction of Characterization?

    An extremely popular and successful franchise, the Batman Arkham series is yet another universe added to the Batman canon. However, the latest addition to the series brought in the controversial role of Jason Todd — the former "second" Robin who had been murdered by the Joker — as the "Arkham Knight" and main antagonist of the game. Most fans expressed their outrage for the use of Todd’s character and the way it was conveyed within the Arkham Verse, along with (yet again) using the over saturated Joker trope, and Batman’s decision with the "Knightfall Protocol". Was this addition to the gaming series poorly plotted out? And most importantly: was the characterization of these iconic characters destroyed by the Arkham verse canon?

    • I would argue that another reason there was disappointment with the "Arkham Knight" was not just that he was Jason Todd, but that it was so painfully obvious that he was Jason Todd. I think a lot of people were hoping for a brand new baddie to add to the Batman franchise but received a variation of the Red Hood instead. – Logan 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Pamela Maria

    Thank you very much! Yes absolutely CD Projekt Red is very thorough and passionate when it comes both to developing and researching. They handle ceoticisms very well. I think a major reason as to how that may contribute in terms of plot is because of their cooperation with Sapkowski to expand the series within his vision of the universe that keeps it so authentic to his novels.

    The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
    Pamela Maria

    Yes he doesn’t particularly like the video games, mostly to do with the fact that he himself doesn’t like video/computer games and as he’s stated, are ‘beyond his sphere of interest’. However, CD Project Red has his blessing to expand the universe and they are very passionate about keeping it within his vision of the universe. He also has credited them with doing an excellent job, but views the game more as adaptation over expansion, but prefers a more distanced ‘consulting’ role over something more involved.

    The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
    Pamela Maria

    Thank you very much!

    The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
    Pamela Maria

    Agreed! I think it has a lot to do with how Sapkowki pulls strings into mythology, culture, and Romantic literature without having to fully explore them. Its these nuances that the developers play with — and thank god they do! Even without the novels, the amount of detail that each individual quest exhibits is definitely a labour of love.

    The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
    Pamela Maria

    Thank you! I completely agree. World-building know is a very balanced art and it’s tough to find a game that has complex world-building based on ‘new’ material. As you said, you also need a level of storytelling to help balance all the background information. Another excellent example is the Jax and Dexter series that was initially released for PS2.

    The Witcher Series: The Mastery of Adaptation
    Pamela Maria

    Although this is a commentary on movies and rom-coms, I think this opens up a very interesting dialogue when it comes to consent. Beyond it slowly being popularized in classrooms, consent is virtually non-existent in cult classics and pop culture.

    The Dark Side of Romance in Movies
    Pamela Maria

    Comics are a great way to learn tragedy. I think the problem with the Holocaust is predominantly a proximity issue (as in, despite America being part of the War it never actually reached its shores). Also, the sheer complexity and devastation of human life. Most people struggle with small, personal deaths let alone mass, methodological, killing. Even with the complexity of Holocaust history, this was a great way to dive into the material and start understanding. Well done!

    Using X-Men: Magneto Testament to Teach the Holocaust
    Pamela Maria

    Great analysis. Considering how popular the #MeToo movement is as well as calling out abusers in Hollywood. An article like this helps to show that the problem is not just in Hollywood, but in the entire entertainment industry.

    The Sexual on TV News: Lipstick Matters