Fan. Writer. Questioner.


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Improving the YA Genre

On EmZombie

The genre of Young Adult (or, as I refer to it, YA) has become one of the most popular book genres of the present. These stories, starring teenage protagonists and directed towards a teenage audience, have become quite big due to the appearance of several gems. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer may be considered the first to inspire other writers to take up this popular genre.

But sometime there is too much of a good thing. For several years after Twilight sprouted up and was just beginning to die out, I was forced to look in other areas of bookstores in order to avoid the mediocre reproductions of YA that came to fulfill the need for this specific genre.

I thought most hope had been lost in that genre…until the arrival of the The Hunger Games Seriesby Suzanne Collins. With the publishing of her first book, Collins had breathed new life into the genre with her unique story about a girl trying to protect family and loved ones from a corrupt dystopian world.

While watching Catching Fire, the second movie made into film based on her book series, I began to think about the success of this book and film series and wondered about how it had emerged from the cess pool of YA novels that all seemed to be cloned from one another. For this article, that is just what I will be exploring as I try to figure out the formula for curing the YA genre.

Video Games and 3 Things I Learned Playing Them

On Ideas

I used to play a ton of video games. Not like “a lot”of video games, I’m talking a shit ton of video games. Most of the times I played RPGs, (role-playing games, or games where you level up your character and otherwise make choices about their “development”) some, but not many, RTS’s (real time strategy, games where everything happens in real time and actions have to be constantly inputted and strategies revised on the fly. Command and Conquer anyone?) and a handful of just action/adventure games.

Note: This post is divided into two sections, first my story regarding video games and then what I learned from them, feel free to skip.

First I want to break some misconceptions about video games and gamers in general. For one they aren’t all fat, nerdy and awkward. In fact some of the coolest, chillest people I know play video games. A lot of them just do it to relax and escape, others just love to pour hours upon hours watching their characters advance. Some are “achievement whores” or gamers that spend all their time chasing numbers. Some are min-maxers, or people who through excel spreadsheets, repetitive testing and brainstorming determine what the “most effective” way to play the game is (something usually the developers only know unless they divulge a lot of information). Regardless in all these sub types I’ve met tons of people who are genuinely cool, laid-back individuals.

In almost all games I’ve played of every genre I’ve met people interested in different facets of the game. Some people like to focus more on the economy of the game and the ways the markets work. Some spend hours trying to make their character perfect, detailing every relevant piece of information and plugging it into various spreadsheets. Some focus almost solely on player-versus-player aspects and spend their time practicing in teams in order to outcompete. There is something for everybody.

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