Black Friday Gaming Chair Shopping

Recently, I’ve been looking for a new chair. Why? Because my current one is falling apart. Personally, I like to think I spend my money decently well. I keep $1000 dollars worth of savings in my youth account and I try to only shop twice a month at most with a budget of no more than $200. However, this might be one of the few times I might have to thrown my self imposed spending habits out the widow. In this blog, I be talking about my criteria in what I want in a chair and my experience finding one. 

First off, I can’t buy a chair and be happy unless I know what I want. So when I started looking for a chair, I made it a point to narrow down the list to the ones that could support my head and upper back. After much use, my current chair has lost the ability to do the latter and never had the ability to do the former.  What I’m hoping is that this newest purchase will remedy this for at least the next five years. Because of this, my second requirement was something that could last a long time. Finally, my last requirement for a chair was it had to be on sale. It may seem a bit weird to have this as a requirement, but I was shopping on Black Friday, one of the best times of year to get a good deal, so I was hoping to at least save some money. 

I had this list of requirements for a while, since the beginning of November. The reason I had been holding out was because of Black Friday. With my fingers crossed, I really hoped it would increase the amount of value I got for my money. During this period of time, my mom found out about my search for a new chair and offer to pay half of the chair. Honestly I was really grateful as that increased my budget and options two fold. Prior to this, I only allocated a maximum of $150 to buying a new chair. Now, I could look at chairs ranging from $200-$300! 

With my budget set, I began my search for a chair on the eve of Black Friday. In my mind, there were two types of chair I was looking at. The first was gaming chairs and the second was executive chairs. Both of these options would be able to support my head and would last a long time with their solid construction. In the end, the deciding factor for me was the sale aspect. During my search, I have come to realize that executive chairs never go on sale… Even with Black Friday around the corner, I struggled to find a decent quality chair with more than $50 dollars off that fitted within my requirements. Eventually, I threw in the towel and focused my search exclusively on gaming chairs. Narrowing down my list further I decided to wait for Black Friday for possibly more options, that turned out to be a mistake. 

The next day, I woke up to find my first budget option was no longer available for sale. I guess I couldn’t be too upset though, early bird get the worm after all. I thought just because my first option was taken, that didn’t mean there weren’t any other good deals. However the longer I looked on Amazon, the more discouraged I became. Almost nothing was on sale! It was Black Friday and there were only maybe three gaming chair on sale. Eventually, I looked at Staples and Costco’s websites. There options were good… But nothing was on sale and out of my budget. With only a few hours remaining, I found myself browsing Canada Computer’s website. They had a wide selection and plenty sales… But they were out of my budget. This made me realize, I had to make a decision. Spend a bit more and get a quality chair or go cheap with Amazon. 

With a heavy heart, I made the decision to go for a more expensive chair. I knew it would hurt my wallet now, but it would be better than having a cheap chair break on me. With my decision set in stone, I began looking at my options. Finally, I decided on the Corsair T2 Road Warrior. It could support my head and would definitely last a while. The only problem was the price… With tax it definitely went over my budget. Even with my parents paying half, it would still cost $212! I had already decided to scrap my idea of buying the games I wanted to increase my budget for the chair. However, not even that seemed to work. After much deliberation, I decided to get it. 

In the end, what did I learn? Well for one, Black Friday isn’t the massive shopping spree I envisioned it being. Two, if you want something keep an eye on it. And finally, never underestimate the price of chairs, those things are expensive. Do I regret the experience? No, I needed a new chair and I rather have a quality one over a cheap one. Still, I hope I won’t have to bend my spending habits for quite a while. 

Fanfic Terminology Part 2

This week will sort of be a part two from the previous blog. Last time, I introduced you to where you can find fan fiction work and some common terminology. In this blog, I’ll be expanding on that and cover topics I personally work with. Last time I was a bit constricted with what I could share because it’s better to get a full over view of the community before diving into the specifics. In this blog, I won’t really explain terms I used in the last one, so read that one first. 

Alright, this is a term I mentioned in my last blog and one I would have explained, shipping. So what is shipping? Basically, it when you support two characters getting together in a romantic relationship. This is most prevalent in Shojo fanfic communities but also appear in Shonen fanfics as well. Because of the nature of shipping there will be always be popular ships and overlap between characters. For example let say the main protagonist is a male, we’ll call him A. Then there is the main female lead, let’s call her B. Along side them are the supporting cast, C, D, etc. The most popular ship would likely be a pairing of A and B. However, there could also be a ship for A and C, regardless of gender. From personal experience, I have also noticed a very interesting trend. In Shojo, the most popular ship is fairly standard, male and female lead. In Shonen though, it’s slightly different. In this genre, shipping is a lot more liberal. The most popular ship is usually the male lead and his rival, archenemy, best friend, or something along those lines. Regardless, more often than not it’s a guy on guy ship. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I support it because this is whole point of fan fiction. Still, it’s just interesting to see the difference between communities.

Next up is fluff, another term I’m well familiar with. Basically, what this means is text that doesn’t contribute to any plot or character development. Some fanfiction’s can be entirely made up of fluff, or there can just a chapter of fluff. An example of this is my own work. Personally, I add a chapter or two of fluff between major plot developments. Most of time, fluff will usually take a ship and butter them up with really cute interactions. Unfortunately, because of how quickly it can become stale, most authors choose to do a one-shot(A one chapter story) during special occasions like valentines or Christmas. However, fluff isn’t bound by these rules and can appear in many different forms. For example, there was one fluff fic that was over 100+ thousand words long and managed to rise to the top of its respective community. 

The third term I want to talk about is the gamerfic, a term I also mentioned in my previous blog. This term is also pretty unique, because it only appears in Shonen communities and is usually paired up with an OC. Basically if a fic has this tag, it turn the entire world into a game for whoever the protagonist is. For example, there will now be levels, skills, and other common features found in an RPG. This is also the reason why it can solely exist in the Shonen genre. Unlike Shojo, Shonen has enough action and perhaps even an established skill/ability system to convert it into a gamerfic if somebody wanted to. However, I also guess someone could possibly turn a Shojo piece of work into a gamerfic. I’ve never seen it done, but you could base the core system on an otome game (one girl with a bunch of guys, in a visual novel format) instead of an RPG. 

For the next two terms, I’m going to combine them into one paragraph. The reason for this is these terms aren’t exclusive to the fanfic community and you’ve probably heard of them. The first term I would like to talk about is hiatus. This is used in all sorts of media and usually means you won’t see any activity for a while. In the fanfic community, we use it like how anyone else would. If an author wants to takes a long break, they’ll post their status as an ongoing hiatus somewhere on the synopsis. However, a really long hiatus can also mean a dead fic. After a certain amount of time (usually two years) the fic will be labeled as dead by the community, meaning it will no longer be updated. Authors with enough foresight to know they will be leaving the community permanently, will sometimes set their fic up for adoption, meaning someone new will continue where the previous author left off. The second, term I want to talk about is gender-bending, a common occurrence in fan art these days. Basically the author will take a character, usually the protagonist and gener-bend them, pretty self explanatory. The benefits of this it creates new interactions and romance opportunities between characters. So if you not a big fan of Yaoi (guy on guy romance) but you still really want to see two character get together, a gender-bending fic might be for you. 

Overall, I think that covers all the terms I wanted to cover. As I stated before, I enjoyed talking about these terms a lot more than the previous set. I hold shipping and fluff pretty close to my heart as that is what I primarily write about, and I’m also interested in gamerfics to an extent. I also just wanted to show that even we in the fan fiction community use conventional terms. So far, everyone who’s visited my work has given me supportive and honest comments. Fanfiction is a great way to meet new people and it’s a great way to express your creative fantasies, after all that’s what fan fiction is for. All in all, I hope this inspired you to visit one of the many fan fiction communities out there. 

Fanfic Terminology Part 1

I’ve been part of the fan fiction community for a bit over a year now, and I realize it’s not an exactly a well known thing. So in this blog, I wanted to take some time to talk about where members of the fanfic community share their work and the terminology we use. 

So, first off where do we share our work? Well, on the internet there are a multitude of websites for fanfiction and just written work in general. The most famous ones I know of are AO3(Archive Of Our Own), Fanfiction, and Wattpad. However, I’m hesitant to include the last one as it’s more for original work than anything else. Anyhow, these are just the famous ones. There are so many out there that not even I know them all, for example an acquaintance at school introduced me to another website called Quotev. As of now I generally upload to Fanfiction and Quotev, but I do use all of these websites every now and again. Still, I’ll be sticking to what I’m familiar with and focus on Fanfiction, but all the terminology I use here can be applied to the other websites as well. 

To start off, I want to talk about the most common terminology I see in the works I’ve read which is AU. What is AU? Well it simply stands for Alternate Universe. In these types of stories, character retain their personality and appearance but the plot is set in a completely different universe or ends up going in a completely different direction. The former is pretty obvious right off the bat, as the world will be completely different. Typically, you’ll know what kind of AU the story will be set in with a tag, something along the lines of modernAU or fantasyAU on the synopsis. However, the second is a bit harder to spot. Sometimes stories don’t start off as an AUfic but end up becoming one because of plot choices down the line. Next is crack-fic. This doesn’t usually pop up in general fan fiction terms and only appears in Shonen fan fiction communities. Basically, these fan fictions are defined by the fact they don’t care about the character or plot and everyone can be either really OP (Mary/Gary-sues) or just OOC. 

Since I mentioned Mary/Gary-sues and OOC in the previous paragraph, I might as well talk about them. Generally, Mary/Gary-sues refers to overly perfect OCs that are usually self-inserts and have absolutely no depth. These types of characters are usually frowned upon but no one will really judge as long as you put a warning on the synopsis. As for OOC, that stands for (Out Of Character) a problem I have actually faced with my own works. What this means is bending a character’s personality away from its established work. Most of the time authors don’t intentionally make a character OOC, but sometimes it just happens as they move the plot along. Eventually, it just gets to the point where it’s fairly obvious to the readers and author that a character (or characters) are OOC. At this point the author can either embrace the OOC and roll with it or set things back straight.  

Alright, now that I’ve talked about most of the famous stuff, I’ll be touching upon the rarer content now. First up, is OCs and self inserts. Both of these terminology’s fall under the OC umbrella, which means they are original characters. Generally if there is a self insert OC, the story revolves around them. And if there is just a general OC, he/she is usually there to fill in some plot gap. However, the later of these two can further evolve into a OC driven fic. Those kinds of stories are the rarest in the fanfic community and border on original work. Basically this mean every character introduced is of the authors own creation. The only thing labeling these kinds of stores as fan fiction and not original work, is the fact they take place in the universe of a publish work. These stores most commonly appear in fan fiction based off games with no set characters. 

 All in all, that is most of the terminology used in the fanfic community. There were some stuff I skipped over like the coffeeshop AU or gamerfics, but those terms are so obscure you’ll almost never see them unless you’re part of the community. However, I might make a sequel as there are still some terms I would like to share (like fluff or shipping, stuff I cover in my own work). Overall, I hope this gave you some insight into the fanfic community and makes your life a lot easier when you visit the aforementioned websites above. 

What is Josei and Seinen?

In previous blogs, I mentioned Josei. I mentioned in my first What Is blog, that I would talk about Josei at some point. The problem though, was I don’t really have enough experience with the genre to make a blog on it. Still, I really want to talk about it so I’m gonna do it. This week, I going to cover Josei and its counterpart Seinen.

So, what is Josei and Seinen. Well to put it simply, they are more mature versions of Shojo and Shonen. If these genres were people, Shojo and Shonen would be high schoolers, while Josei and Seinen would be adults. This also makes sense in a way, as young adults are the targeted audience of these manga. I say manga specifically, because these two genres aren’t actually that main stream. Yeah, there might be that one really popular Seinen manga that gets adapted, but for the most part Shojo and Shonen take the spotlight. That doesn’t mean Josei and Seinen aren’t good, it’s just most of their readers are probably in their 20-30s… Now, your probably wondering why I would make such a big deal about the difference in audience? Well, I make a big deal about it because the content of the material can be quite different and clash with established trends in their teenage counterparts. 

What do I mean by clashing with established trends? Well, let me explain as I talk about Josei and Seinen individually. First up, Josei. Out of the two, this is probably the one I’m most well aquatinted with. However, even I tend to avoid this genre because the endings and drama aren’t really for me. Like I said above Shojo is Josei’s teenage counterpart, and that genre is practically all sunshine and rainbows compared to Josei. Both, genre still cover relationships as its main focus, but endings and levels of drama can be quite different. In Shojo, the main pair almost always gets together. Josei though, it follows a more realistic approach to romance. A classic example of this is a rag to riches story, the poor girl and rich guy kind. In Shojo, it’s pretty straight forward with some family drama. In Josei though? Oh boy, I don’t know why but authors in this genre like twisting the knife. In Josei, the classic girl ends up with guy, is much more complicated. Authors, like to keep you on your toes a lot more then Shojo and the main pair can switch on how the plot moves. Nothing is set in stone and plot twist are much more prominent. For example possibly other endings for the rags to riches story, is that their relationship never works out, they still see each other in secret but never get together, or some other guy comes along and sweeps away the girl. These are just examples but all very possible in Josei. 

Next, up is Seinen… Right off the bat, I’d like to mention I’m not as well verse on the topic. Yeah, I have watched the popular Seinen anime like Tokyo Ghoul, but my brother could probably explain this genre better. Any how, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Seinen is blood, and a lot of it. All of the Seinen manga I’ve read that I know off the top of my head have a lot of gore. Exploding bodies, decapitation, severe burns, that kind of stuff. Personally, I think that all the blood and guts are a bit much so I tend to avoid the genre. However, after a bit of research, I have recently learned that some of my favourite anime/manga/light novels are in fact Seinen. The one I was probably most surprised to see would likely be Spice and Wolf, an anime about a travelling merchant and his companion. So… I guess that Seinen can encompass a lot of topics, as long as it’s directed at the proper demographic. Still, for the most part I like to just view Seinen as a more mature version of Shonen with a lot of blood. 

Now, we have come to the trends part of this blog. Honestly, I don’t really know what to put here, as I’ve already talked about the more popular trends in my Shojo and Shonen blogs. I guess for starters, because of their more realist and mature takes on their teenage counterparts, they can touch upon genres Shojo and Shonen can’t. Some basic examples are Tragedy, Angst, and Psychological. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t touch upon more lighthearted genres like Slice of Life or Romance. All in all, I don’t really know how I feel about these two genre as a whole. Instead, I like to look at each piece of work individually. For example, I really like Spice and Wolf and Usagi Drop. However, something like Tokyo Ghoul is just alright at the best of times in my opinion. In the end, I would like to explore these two genres a bit more and hopefully find manga that personally appeal to me. 

What is Slice of Life?

I don’t know if this actually counts as a genre unique culture, but I see it a lot in anime in manga so I’m going to talk about it. This week, I’m covering Slice of Life. 

So, what is Slice of Life? Well, according to the internet, Slice of Life is the depiction of mundane experiences. Personally, I think this definition fits the bill pretty nicely. These mundane experiences can range from school life to working. Basically, if it’s not sport or action it might be Slice of Life. Remember back when I was talking about Shoujo and how those stories might be able to show up in real life? Well, Slice of Life takes that one step further. Just by living life you’re practically living your own Slice of Life anime/manga, that is just how mundane things can get. 

Unfortunately because of this, it’s really hard to drive a story with just Slice of Life alone. Usually, in Slice of Life stories, there is another genre to go along with it. The most common ones I have seen are mystery, sport, horror, music, romance, magic, and fantasy. However, I have seen other genres paired up with Slice of Life, like supernatural. Still, I’m don’t really want to list them out because we would be here forever. Through out my entire time reading manga, I believe Slice of Life is the most versatile genre. Even, action oriented anime will eventually have aspects of Slice of Life at one point or another. If there was just nonstop action, eventually the reader would just get tired of the series. To stop this authors usually, put in a filler (usually Slice of Life in nature) to mix things up a bit. A good example of this is Code Geass, as the have a good balance of action and more mundane activities like school. 

Now, I get to the part were I get to talk about general trends with the genre. Because, the Slice of Life genre is so vast, I’ll be excluding any supernatural or fantasy stuff and the unique cases as well. By doing this, we actually cut down the trends by a lot. 

To start off, the first trend I want to talk about is school. This trend is by the far the one I’m most familiar with. I like to split this trend further into two separate categories called clubs and non-clubs. In club manga, the protagonist or group of protagonist join or start a club. Examples of this are Yuru Camp or K-ON. While still Slice of Life in essence, the story is usually focused on what ever club activity the protagonist are doing. This is what leads most Slice of Life anime to end up with some pretty obscure sub-genre like music. Because of the club centric plot, these stories don’t to worry as much about activities to do. Most of the time, episodes or chapters will be filled with club activity unlike with non-club stories. In non-club stories, the author doesn’t have the luxury of falling back on club activities or the like. And because of this, each chapter or episode usually has its own unique plot and is heavily character based. Not to say, the characters from other genres aren’t unique, it’s just that characters from non-club Slice of Life media need to be really intriguing to keep an audience. Without any really plot or intriguing aspects about the world, the only thing left is the character to build a story around. If you’re reading a Slice of Life story, you’re reading because of the characters. 

The last trend I want to talk about, is the working trend. This trend is really similar to club Slice of Life where there is already some kind of set order of events. Like the name suggest, the protagonist is usually coming into a new job and we follow them as they learn about their new occupation. However, if that was the only thing working manga had to offer there would be much of a story. So from time to time, there will be breaks from the work place. At that point events would happen as if the anime was a non-club Slice of Life. Personally, I just find these types of stories a bit more rare and easier to find similarities between. 

In the end, I feel Slice of Life can be one of the most unique genre in anime/manga. Because of how broad the genre is, there can be so many unique stories. Unlike Shonen or Shoujo, there isn’t a need to pander to a certain audience which allows the author to be completely free with whatever activities do. Character could be doing calligraphy in one episode and baseball in another. It doesn’t feel weird either, because of how free Slice of Life is. All in all, Slice of Life can be a nice change of pace to just relax.