Heroics part 1


“My liege, Prince Filmor, we hate to bear bad news, but we have just received word that the Lady Arabella has been abducted in route to the city.”

Brom straightened up on his seat, situated by his father’s throne, empty as usual. This was the first tiding in days that had interested him. In fact, he had been caught up in a daydream about his future wife. He had only met her once, but that had been enough to leave him smitten. Declared one of the beauties of the land, Arabella’s smile, so timid but so knowing at the same time, enchanted him. His thoughts had wandered to the wedding night when the unfortunate news came.

“Arabella!” he said, rising from his seat and whisking his cape in back of him. “Something must be done. Who kidnapped her? Where were they heading?”

“To the west,” one of the quivering messengers said, kneeling at his feet. The man was scrawny, unlike Brom’s own physique.

What lay to the west? “Jadek,” he said, that one name taking on power.

“It would seem the logical conclusion,” one of his advisors, Hadrian, said. “What course of action would you suggest in the absence of your father? Diplomacy? Espionage?”

“Heroics,” Brom said, ignoring the messengers kneeling uncomfortably on the hard floor. “There will be no tolerance for such an audacious act. Prepare the military.”

“My prince, I would advise against such drastic terms. We have a trade agreement with the Thromwells, and marching an army into their territory would be an egregious break of trust.” Hadrian, with his balding head, furrowed his brows, making him look more ancient than his forty years.

Brom remembered the messengers, waiting to be addressed, and waved them away. Most of them left, but one stayed near, half bowing, looking hesitant. Brom waved him away more energetically; annoyed he had to waste so much energy on the man. The messenger smiled and left, running after his coworkers. Hadrian and Brom were alone now.

“Any treaty Jadek Thromwell had with us is null in light of this kidnapping.”

“But Brom, you have no idea it was Jadek in the first place.”

“I saw how he was looking at her in the feast. Father Morander would be ashamed to have someone so full of lust attending the event in his memory.”

“Perhaps, but I know your father was ashamed to have his son drooling after the same girl.”

“I was not drooling. Anyway, I saw how much he wanted to have her for his own, and how jealous he was of me when my father announced our betrothal.”

Hadrian sighed. “You are the regent while your father is gone, and you have every right to be concerned about the welfare of your future wife, but remember that I recommended against it. Only you will answer to your father when this is over.”

“And receive all the praise,” Brom said. “Really, this won’t even be an issue. Don’t fret, I will cast you in the best light possible.”

“As you will, my prince. I desire the best for your journey. I will notify the general of your decision. But please, do not make enemies lightly.”

“There is nothing to fear,” Brom said, fearing he would be the same when he was older. “The princess will return safely and we will soon be wed.”

“Assemble the men,” Brom ordered from his horse. The flag bearer raised the horn and blew. Brom felt the vibrations pulsing as they reverberated through the valley. His men offered up a cheer as the march began. He smiled down on them as a loving father would. He yelled out as loud as he could, hoping his thousand men could hear him. “Your future queen, Arabella, has been kidnapped. We must rescue her. We believe she is held captive in Melfor with the Thromwells. Once we arrive, leave no house, no store, no alley unsearched.” Thinking about Hadrian, he said, “Avoid violence, but use it as necessary. And do whatever is required to save the princess’s life.”

The city of Melfor stretched before them, vast as the clouds in the sky. In the distance stood Thromwell castle, where Brom was sure he would find Arabella. In case Jadek, the elder son who recently inherited the throne after his father died of the yellow fever, saw Brom coming and sent Arabella away into the city, he would have his men enter in and search every house. Luckily, most of Jadek’s men were with Brom’s father, fighting in the alliance against the usurpation of the Kingdom of Grim by the Mithics.

They made it to the gates of the town before getting any response. One of Jadek’s guards came out to meet them, dressed in violet finery, but looking annoyed. “What is the meaning of this, Prince Brom? Just because your father didn’t bring as many troops with him to war as we did doesn’t give you the right to trample into our fair city.”

“You know why we’re here. And do not insult my father, who is actually fighting, unlike Jadek.”

“As well as you,” the guard replied, sneering.

“Someone needs to run the kingdom!” Brom said, losing patience.


“What is your name?”

“I am called Firion, son of-”

“Firion, if you can’t give me Arabella right now, I am going to take over this city and burn down every house until I find her.”

“Arabella? Who is she?” There was a look of such confusion on the man’s face that for a moment Brom thought he might not know. Only for a moment, though.

“Put up your guard, because I am going to rescue her!” Brom charged Firion with his sword raised. Firion barely had time to take out his sword and block the strike which left him trembling.

“You’re mad!”

“That’s right!”

One of the men escorting Firion backed away and pulled out a horn. It took him a few tries, but it sounded throughout the city, while Firion and Brom fought. Brom’s army marched forward, ready to take on the opposing host.

Brom had to admit, the guard was a good swordsman, but that was no surprise, given his position. Still, Brom was bigger and used his brute force to his advantage. His troops marched past him.

Swords clashed, ringing nearly as loud as the horn. Thrust, side slash, feint, parry, thrust again. Brom pressed down, hoping to break Firion’s stance. When that didn’t work, he slid down and slid his foot in an arc, trying to trip him, but only managing to unbalance him.

So he jumped on him.

Firion fell down, Brom on top. Not about to take any chances, Brom plunged the sword into Firion’s chest, pushing through the armor. Firion just gurgled in surprise, eyes already going blank.

Taking his sword out, blood dripping, he stood up and shook it before wiping it on Firion’s clothes. Red specks covered the ground.

Inside the city, people were running out of their houses, screaming. This only encouraged Brom’s army to chase after, pillaging and plundering. Brom hadn’t meant for this to happen, but getting control of them now would be nearly impossible, and he had to get to Castle Thromwell. Taking a unit of disciplined soldiers, he left orders with the general to round up the army and he took off.

A few peasants tried to stand up to him, yelling, calling him names, but he just cut them down. The castle stood like a white beacon, and everything else in sight was just a distraction. Arabella was waiting for him.

Read Heroics part 2 here.

Tools I Use

Superman Lego Tools
If you’ve read the About the Author page on this site, you’ll know I have a lot of interests, especially when it comes to the arts. I try to use what I can to create the things that I want, and today there are so many resources. Everything on this site I created myself and mostly for free, except for the music on the trailer video (music just isn’t my strong suit). So I’m going to talk about what I’ve been using, or thinking of using.

Writing Tools

As much as I’ve tried to distance myself from Microsoft since becoming a Graphic Designer (Microsoft Office is some of the worst designed software out there), I still use Microsoft Word for writing. It’s not pretty, but it does the job (doesn’t hurt that my University gave me a free copy). For my 900+ page book, it can handle it, even if it takes some time to load up all the pages. If you have this program and don’t want to get another one, you might as well use it. Otherwise there are things like Google docs, Open Office, and other cheaper or free versions.
At first I didn’t really get this, so it just lingered on my computer. But then I installed it on my *cough* computer at work *cough* and my cell phone, and I’ve found it’s really useful to have a place to make or reference notes wherever I go. I may or may not have written full scenes at work and then transferred them to the master document at home.
I actually haven’t used this. But I hear it’s good. And only $50, compared to the hundreds you can waste on Word. You can be the judge.

Utility Tools

This works a bit like Evernote, but with files. I can access my files wherever I am, which is useful. I don’t even have to have it installed, just go to the website.

Art Tools

As far as making art goes, Photoshop is a great all around program. It can also be expensive. I wouldn’t use it if I weren’t a graphic designer who bought it for school. As far as design and layout go, Illustrator and InDesign are a lot better. There are free or cheap versions of a lot of these programs, like Gimp instead of Photoshop, so you aren’t necessarily limited by money.
If you like to draw, get a drawing tablet for digital drawings. It is easier than scanning drawings in, and works well with Photoshop. Wacom is the most well known, but you could probably find cheaper knockoff versions as well.

Animation Tools

Blender is a free, open source 3D tool. You can use it for modeling, animation, and even video game logic. It can do so many things, for free…but it’s hard to use. Really hard, especially if you’ve never played in 3D before. I used it to create my video, as well as the stills, but it took me a long time just to get comfortable in my little corner, and there’s still a lot I don’t know.
This is a free program to create a human model for Blender and other 3D programs. Some call it cheating, I just care about the end result. Your people might look a little generic, and clothing options are limited, so you’ll want to have some modeling skills to modify it afterward, but it does help.
I used this to combine all the videos, since it was part of the Adobe suite. There are other programs as well, especially for basic editing.

Computing Tools

I used to use Windows…until I was introduced to Mac. It makes Windows, especially the older versions, feel clunky in comparison. The only downsides are the costs and lack of some software, especially computer games. But that will help you be more productive in the long run, anyway.

Climate Change and Republicans-Why the denial?

Climate change map

Why do Republicans deny climate change?

It seems strange that presidential candidates, many of whom have created and run successful businesses and maneuvered through politics, would claim that climate change doesn’t exist, or deny the degree that scientists say it is happening. These aren’t idiots, even if the media might try to portray them that way. So what’s behind this, where conservatives go against the majority of scientists and their evidence?

Well, it’s complicated. But it mostly has to do with the politicization of the issue.

This blog mostly deals with fantasy. So why bring this up? I know it’s a stretch, but it has to do with the fantasies we create to fool ourselves. And no, liberals are not immune to this. They just do it on different issues, and in a different way on this issue.

Climate Change — Not the Government’s Job

The first reason that many conservatives reject the data is because it doesn’t fit in their worldview. They fear what would happen if they admitted climate change was real. Not so much for the doomsday predictions that many scientists declare, saying the poles will melt, the oceans will rise, and the earth will slowly transform into a place nearly unlivable for humans. No, they fear that if they admit that climate change is real, then the responsibility to fix it will fall to the government. And conservatives distrust government involvement, not wholly without reason. Government programs are generally less efficient and effective than that of private organizations like businesses or churches. And if government does happen to save the day, unlikely as that is when it is so polarized on nearly every issue, then people will feel a debt and vote for the party that brought about the change, which would probably be the Democratic party, just because they’re the ones advocating for change.

The only way the government could do anything would be to pass stricter regulations on emissions, waste, etc. Government by itself won’t innovate a new technology to save us, because it is run by politicians, not scientists. With harsher regulations, many businesses would feel stress to comply, and some will go under. Conservatives who believe in climate change generally believe that a free market solution will go further and be less disruptive than government intervention. But liberals, despite pressuring businesses to ‘Go Green,’ want more done.

Still, some of the political statements can be be ridiculous. Look at comments from the 2016 Republican hopefuls.

Many conservatives are also religious, which affects their worldview as well. Some interpret their scriptures as saying that God has all power, and us humans can’t destroy his creation. But, then again, Christian scripture, specifically Revelation, talks about the last days, how plagues will fill the earth, the moon will turn to blood, the sun will withdraw its light, and other things that could correlate with climate change.

Solutions, Anyone?

Looking at the issue objectively, it might seem hopeless to find a solution. Have we gone past the point of no return? Will we cause an apocalypse, where many die and mankind has to go back into survival mode? The many movies and shows that deal with post apocalyptic futures, from Mad Max to The Walking Dead, reflects this unconscious belief, or fear if you will, that everything’s going to collapse on itself. And many people, especially the problem solvers like business owners, don’t want to contemplate the idea that nothing can be done. It’s not an immediate problem, so it can be pushed down the line. It’s the same with bloated, unsustainable entitlement programs: keep them up so people won’t get angry, but in the end they will implode.

Personally, I’m pessimistic about this. Everything the government and ‘green’ companies are doing might slow down the acceleration, but it’s like putting a bandaid on a broken bone. We are consuming more and more electronics, with no stopping in sight, even though they rely on rare earth minerals, which, by their very definition, are rare. The climate has changed because of human intervention, if not as a whole, then in pockets (if you’ve been to Mexico City, it would be obvious). We can hope for a technological development, like useful electric cars, with greatly reduce emissions, but there are two problems with that example: the cost of electric cars is prohibitive to most right now, and the fact that many forms of generating electricity still pollute the air.

Hopefully, some new innovation or combination of many will fix the dying earth. But if the solution doesn’t come? If we’re forced to choose between a healthy earth or our iPhones, what will we choose? What are we willing to sacrifice? Or do you cling to the fantasy that we won’t pay sacrifices? That climate change isn’t real? That the government will step in and save us all?

What people call ideology in this case happens to be a fantasy. So which is yours? And can you blame the other side for clinging hopefully to theirs?

Weight Loss: The Medieval Way

Ever see Lord of the Rings and wonder why everyone (except maybe dwarfs and hobbits) is so thin? Well, the real answer is that they cast pretty people in the movies. But the pretend answer is that back in the day, you had to work to get fat. Nowadays, you have to work weight loss. So what changed?
Mass production.
Most of our food doesn’t come to us fresh, it comes to us in boxes and bottles. Preservatives have been added to extend the life of the food, which does have its benefits, but a lot of food has been processed so much that it loses nutritional value and adds sugars and other fattening ingredients.
Add that to the fact that most jobs are not very labor intensive, we have cars, buses, and trains that take us everywhere, and even doing household chores doesn’t give you much exercise. All these things add up to a lifestyle of laziness filled with fattening foods.
The ideal is opposite the norm. Back in the day, the ideal was to be fat and rich. Now it is to be fit and slim.
So what can you do about it?
The truth is, there are lots of fad diets. They know that people want weight loss, but all the factors are against them. So they make outrageous claims for people desperate enough to follow them. Some have temporary success, but they often gain it back in the long run. Unfortunately, weight loss requires work. Just like it was hard to get enough food to get fat, now it’s hard to abstain enough to get skinny. But there are some basic, universal principles you can use for weight loss, little by little, to keep it off. You will have to make lifestyle changes, though. Go back to your roots and eat the medieval way.

1. Volume

What makes a food unhealthy? When it comes done to it, it mostly has to do with the density of calories. Ice cream’s calorie density is much greater than broccoli. Why does that matter? If you count your calories, it shouldn’t. But here’s the thing. Your stomach can’t count calories. It can only tell you when it’s full. So even if you count your calories, your body will want more if it’s not full. You’ll get a lot fuller eating vegetables than fried chicken with the same amount of calories, which will help out with weight loss.
Suggestion: find a natural food, low in calories, that you like, and eat it as your snack, instead of chips or other fattening foods. Eat it without ranch or other dips, which make healthy foods unhealthy. You can, however, mix good foods. A salad with strawberries and nuts on top can taste good and be healthy if prepared right. It’s hard, but it will make a big difference. Not only do fruits and vegetables have more volume and less calories, it also contains a lot more micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, the stuff your body needs that won’t make you fat. Those things get stripped out in processed foods.
People in medieval times didn’t have the luxury of supermarkets. They stuffed themselves with whatever was available, from bread to oatmeal to carrots. You don’t have to labor on a farm to get your carrots, so enjoy them.

2. Drink water

I know you love your Coca-Cola. But do you know what’s in it? Neither do I. A bunch of chemicals. Really, this is about the least natural drink you can have. But don’t think that drinking juice is much better. It’s so full of sugar that in some ways, it’s as bad as soda. In reality, the best drink is water. Let’s count the calories in water. 0. Done. And your body is literally made of something like 80% water. Not 80% Coca Cola, but water. And not only as the healthiest, it’s also the cheapest. Going to a restaurant? Water is usually free (but not the bottled water). Thirsty at work. Drinking fountain. Thirsty at home? Drink some tap water. Get a filter if you feel like it, but tap water is as regulated as bottled water, maybe even more, so you don’t have to waste a lot of money buying bottles. And bottles have a negative impact on the environment.
The problem with this is that so many people are so used to sugared drinks that they feel like water is tasteless. It can take some getting used to. There are a few strategies you could try to increase water intake. One is to only drink water between meals. Save the juice or soda or even milk for the big meals, maybe even only dinner. Another thing you can do, which will help out in weight loss, is force yourself to drink a big glass of water before your meal. Not only will you get your water, but it will help with your appetite so you don’t eat too much.
If people in medieval times saw what we drink now, they would think we’re possessed to put that stuff in our bodies. While they might have favored wine because the water wasn’t always clean, you don’t have that problem, so take advantage.

3. Cook (don’t microwave)

The fine art of cooking has gotten lost in this world of fast food. But it is a lot healthier for you. Find recipes that use natural, unprocessed foods. The closer something appears to how it looks in nature, the better it is for you. When you cook with meat, favor chicken and fish over beef and pork. Add vegetables, while avoiding eating too much rice, potatoes, bread, and pasta. If you do eat these, go for the whole grain versions.
The ready made meals you just stick in the microwave are full of preservatives and salt and have few health benefits. And in the end, home made food tastes better than plastic mashed potatoes. Time does become a problem, but there are ways around it. When you have enough time, cook for several meals and freeze them, to reheat later (microwaving a homemade meal, while not ideal, is better than a store bought one). Take leftovers to work for lunch. Find recipes for delicious food that is easy to make. Crock pots also make cooking easier. When given the choice between frying your food or baking it, the oven is healthier. Little choices like these can make a big difference in the long run. You just have to be patient.
People in medieval times had to work just to purify their water and light a fire. Cooking took all day, and with limited ingredients. So don’t complain about an hour of your time to cook something up.

It’s amazing that all the science we possess can’t seem to rival the natural foods that exist all around us for healthiness. Yes, mass production has helped feed more people, but we’ve gone overboard and now it is killing us instead of helping us. Fight back, both for your own health and as a message to the food industry. Exercise, eat healthy, and don’t overeat. You only have one body, don’t waste it.

The problem with Star Wars No One Talks About

Star Wars

There’s been a lot of talk about Star Wars lately, in case you haven’t noticed. Most people seemed to like it. I liked it. But anything this big will get plenty of inspection, and the movie has gotten plenty of criticism in several areas. “It’s way too similar to A New Hope.” “The plot relies on too many coincidences.” “Rey learned to use the force way too easily.” “Several characters didn’t get the chance to develop.” “It relied too much on cameos.” And all of these can be seen as legitimate issues, although for the most part, they didn’t bother me too much.

What does bother me, though, is a criticism that I haven’t seen as much. It’s something I’ve seen with other movies in series lately, with one of the most prominent examples being Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Now, I want you to think back. Which was more memorable, Avengers 1 or Avengers 2? Even though Age of Ultron arguably had a more sophisticated plot, for me at least, it wasn’t very memorable.

Now think back to the first time you saw Star Wars A New Hope. Which explosion was more satisfying? The Death Star, or the even bigger Star Killer Base? What destruction was more heart wrenching, Alderaan or the three or however many planets destroyed by Star Killer Base?

The Force Awakens had a lot of pressure on it to perform, especially after the critical reception of the prequels. J. J. Abrams went to a lot of effort to bring back the feel of the original trilogy, with worn down ships and sets, as well as the spirit, and he was successful with that. But this is part of the problem of Episode 7.

Star Wars The Force Awakens isn’t a movie.

In one sense, it is an homage to A New Hope. The plot is basically the same, with a youth taken from a poor desert home because of a droid with a secret and thrust into a battle between an evil galactic force and the underdog good rebels. The youth, with guidance from an old man and help from some friends, including a cocky pilot, learns about the force and awakens to their destiny. Along the way planets are destroyed because of a large battle station, they have to infiltrate said battle station, the helpful old man allows himself to die to a dark Sith with a lightsaber, and the rebels have to blow up the battle station before their base is destroyed.

J. J. took so much pain to wrest Star Wars away from the prequels that he basically copied the original, with updated graphics, language, and diversity roles. But like Han Solo said about Star Killer base, unfazed by its size, “How do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that.”

In another sense, highlighting the problem of Age of Ultron, it is just a long trailer for Episodes 8 and 9. There’s a story and it comes to a close, but it seems like a half-hearted attempt, just copying Episode 4. It’s main purpose seems to be raising questions and hype for the next movies. One of Age of Ultron’s biggest failures was that it was just trying to set the scene for Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and who knows what other movies.

Other movies in these giant sequences are doing the same thing. I didn’t see the movie, but heard that Fantastic 4 was just to set up the story for the sequel. Batman V Superman seems to set the stage for the DC cinematic universe. So while in Star Wars Episode 7 they blow up Star Killer Base, it didn’t feel quite as satisfying as when Luke blew up the Death Star, nor did the movie feel as self contained.

It is good to think about the overall story, but each movie should be able to be its own movie, nor be forced to work just as a bridge between the old and the new, without getting to be new itself. Which is why it already seems to be fading from memory. Even though Empire Strikes Back was basically a bridge as well, it expanded the universe in so many ways that it is now many people’s favorite. Hopefully Disney and other studios can resolve this issue as they go forward.

As a side note, I don’t know what the title of the film refers to. The force didn’t seem to wake up. Maybe the force within Rey, but that didn’t seem to merit a title treatment. I kind of hope for something more mysterious. Oh well.

Time Travel

Back to the future


Time travel

Recently I saw the movie Man of Steel. There’s plenty of destruction, people die, New York or some clone of it takes a beating, and everyone wishes things went back to how they were. But they don’t. People have to live with the damage, unless of course they were part of the damage and they died. This contrasts the movie Superman 1 (which I never saw all the way, but I heard enough about it from my parents and others (including Wikipedia) to know how it ends). In that movie, people, including Lois Lane, die. Superman, so upset, flies around the planet against its spin, so fast that he reverses the movement of the earth and turns back time, undoing everything that was done. Now this is one of the most ridiculous methods of time travel I’ve ever heard of. Obviously the movement of time is not dependent on Earth’s rotation, that’s just a measure of time, not time itself. So it’s good to know that the new Superman doesn’t have time travel powers as well.
As far fetched as Superman’s time travel was, all the other forms of time travel we’ve seen in fiction is pretty much just as farfetched, because we don’t really have any idea how to travel through time, except by going forward. With relativity, if you go really close to the speed of light, perception of time changes, and you experience it slower than normal, so a journey of a hundred years only seems like 10, or whatnot. Theoretically. Especially since we’ve never built anything that could take people anywhere near that, and don’t know if we would survive in those conditions. Some people think that if you went faster than light, you would go back in time. But since that’s impossible, time travel seems only in the realm of science fiction or fantasy. After all, if it were possible, wouldn’t people from the future come visit us? Or are we too boring?
But how many of us wish we could? Instead of living with mistakes, taking responsibility for our actions, we could go in the past, tell our younger selves to express love to the girl of our dreams that we were too afraid to talk to, or conversely, go back and stop ourselves from expressing that love and being made a fool of. Go back in time and invest in Apple (and sell stock at the high point). Go back and meet our great great grandparents when they were little kids. Go back and sell Gameboys to barbarians and once they’re addicted, keep them under your control by selling batteries. Go back and witness the signing of the declaration of independence, before they drive you out of there. Change history if you want. Assassinate Hitler. Wouldn’t all of that be fun?
Most time travel tales have unintended consequences for that, though. Kill your grandpa and you cease to exist. Step on a butterfly and the world is completely different. Speaking of butterflies, there’s the movie The Butterfly Effect, which has a man going back in time to try to save his girlfriend from abuse and other fates, but each time, something gets messed up, and his present life, or hers, is not what he wanted. Eventually he just convinces her to move away from him. Kind of sad. These tales are cautionary, asking us to really think that if we changed one thing, if our lives would really be better. Maybe in some cases, like saving the life of a loved one, possibly. But it might not in others.
One thing to think about, if time travel were real, is how it works. Most versions are full of paradoxes. In Final Fantasy 8, Squall goes into the future, then at the end, goes into the past, overshooting his mark a bit. He comes in contact with his orphanage matron and gives her the ideas she needed to create SeeD, which he is a part of. But he already was part of it, even though he helped create it. So how did it start? If he hadn’t gone back, he wouldn’t have been part of an organization that didn’t exist, but he only went back in time because of the events that happened because he was part of the organization. Confusing. Or would it be possible to kill your grandpa, because then you wouldn’t exist to kill him? For people who think about these things, they figure the only way to avoid the paradoxes is through having different dimensions or realities. Going back in time would create a new one for you, while you would disappear from the old one. Being independent from the new one, you could go kill your grandpa, because you came from a different dimension where your grandpa lived long enough to have your parents, who had you. In the multiverse theory of science, there are infinite numbers of universes, which means an infinite number of possibilities, some where you just made a slightly different decision, or someone in the past, or anything slightly different, as well as more extreme differences, where mass and galaxies don’t even exist because the laws of physics are slightly different. Who knows if it would be possible to go dimension hopping? You could go to a universe where the only difference is that you did something slightly different in your past.
Most people are plagued by things they did in the past, and wish they could change them. Anyone who says they have no regrets is either perfect or lying. Other people want to go back to a time when they thought things were better, like in their youth, although if they were to go back and be plagued with hormones again, they would probably think differently. So while time travel is an interesting fantasy and let’s you play ‘What if?’, I generally don’t like time travel stories because it makes things less permanent, makes decisions inconsequential, and can get really confusing. Having stories where characters actually have to deal with their problems, no matter how messy they might be, instead of running away from them, is more satisfying.