Media that has changed my life in some way.

Blade Runner
Pieta - Haruno Nanane
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
V for Vendetta
Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card
Blame! - Tsutomu Nihei
Superman Returns
The Dark Knight
The Prestige
How to Save a Life - The Fray
Toxicity - System of A Down
Adam's Song - Blink 182
Define Normal - Julie Anne Peters
Keeping You a Secret - Julie Anne Peters
Luna - Julie Anne Peters
Something About Us - Daft Punk
Mass Effect
Mechwarrior 2
Seven Kingdoms 2
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Escape Velocity


  1. Interesting idea, Sara - can you remember how each of these have changed your life?

  2. Blade Runner - Brought the relation between man and god into greater perspective. When Batty discovers that his "creator" cannot "fix" him he kills him. If through science we were to advance to "godhood", even if there were such a being as god as we know him, it would be in our inherent nature to kill or him, or at least to throw him off. The tears in rain moment was also very touching, and I think of it many times when I wonder what it is that time should really be focused on.

    Solaris - Just because something effects us in some way doesn't mean there is any intent behind it. Solaris did... what it did, because it did it. It was neither benign, nor malign, rather it simply did what was in it's nature. This isn't to say it isn't possible Solaris could be intelligent, but more simply that it wasn't expressing itself with any particular intent towards us. It's also important to remember, that what we consider to be the people around us, us generally just the shadow we keep in our mind. We are not them, and we cannot completely comprehend or see all of them, even if we spend years of our lives next to them.

    Aria - Good sci-fi doesn't need aliens, blood, tits, or any significant amounts of violence. We don't need a revolution, or to explain how all the governments work and what all the preceding wars were. There are a massive number of people on our planet who will never deal with those things in any significant way whatsoever. It's valuable in it's own right, to write stories about the simple joys of friendship and of appreciating your own history, without tying those to particular genres of setting. Also, slow pacing can be perfect sometimes.

    Pieta - One of the psychologists describes the two leads as being conceptually similar to "silver unicorns". During that whole speech, it was the first time someone outside myself managed to put into words how my naturally empathetic nature has made me feel, and has separated me from the world around me. In a way, I feel like if anyone really wants to understand who I am, they should probably read this book. Paying careful attention to Higa-san for the most part, though I do identify well with both leads.

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - It's all in the song "Pure Imagination". Whether I particularly agree with the Aesops presented, that song has said, better than I ever could, what I really want in both art and game design. To simply show people the spectacular world of pure imagination that I have inhabited my entire life.

    V for Vendetta - It was... Well, what 1984 is to most people, V for Vendetta probably was for me. Unfortunately although 1984 was certainly terrifying it was... simply more than my adolescent mind could process correctly, creating a certain surreality. V on the hand was very real to me, touching on very real issues and people in my mind.

    Ender's Shadow - I never could get into Ender's Game overmuch. Ender was perhaps too close to home, though I don't claim to be some kind of super genius. Bean was alien enough I could empathize with him, but also learn from him, learn from that differential in thought and examination.

    Blame! - Simply put the art style. I fervently worship at the shrine of Tsutomu Nihei at this point, and have incorporated some of his techniques and style into my own art. On top of that, he managed to make cyberpunk that didn't look like punk rockers from Seattle had taken over the world. The organic/insectoid feel of the cybernetics was novel, but also felt more real to someone like myself who is used to almost never seeing circuit boards and what not in anything.

    Naruto - Each individual episode doesn't necessarily have that great of pacing, but when I sat down and watched about a hundred back to back, I began to see the brilliance in the plot line. It walks a very careful line, between serious and farcical, drama and comedy, adult and child. The themes presented are not cereal and sugar sweet, some times they are as serious as life and death, but they don't use that as an excuse to devolve down into random sex and gore violence. Instead the serious themes are used to add depth to the world and storyline, without dragging down the original intention of the show. Shippuden (Naruto 2 basically), carries on the tradition fairly well, but obviously aging with it's audience. I would say, this is quite simply what long running tv and especially saturday morning cartoons should aspire to. I think people raised on Naruto will come back to watch it in the future... and find it's still damn good tv. (though for adhd kids in the first series... seriously repeating 1/3 of the last episode gets old quick when they're back to back.)

    Superman Returns - Made me like Superman. I am fucking serious. Pre-returns, my opinion on Superman was pretty uniform, too powerful and too much of a boyscout. Returns changed my mind, Superman isn't supposed to be a man with super powers. Superman is a personification of hope and goodness, a light to guide a horribly misguided world. And most importantly, implicit in his story is the hope that "humans can be a great people, they wish to be." And now I think I'll avoid the comic books and cartoons so that I don't have to see that image mauled any more or worse than it was during the last couple movies before Returns.

    I'll go into the rest of the list a bit later.

  3. The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is definitely a stellar movie, and largely because of the music. That's a great song.

    It's true, too ("if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it"), to the extent that people's perceptions of the world is strongly filtered by their own will and outlook on life. Happy people see happy things, and vis versa. To some degree, each person chooses whether or not to be happy and see beauty.

    The Dark Knight is another great and deeply philosophical movie. It doesn't explore everything deeply, but it raises many hard questions.

  4. I'm going to write my own list of inspiring movies. I'll post it tomorrow or Tuesday on my new blogsite. I try to keep Anyway Games focused on game design issues. The new blog will be about whatever I feel like at the time -- more casual.

  5. It's got me to thinking Sara about the moments in my life that were heightened by one form of media or another. I'll be posting about this with a link-back soon!

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