Wow. It’s been a while since I took the time to sit down and write out anything resembling a proper blog post.
After logging on I had to dust the corners, do the mandatory updates and clear out the shitload of spam in my pending comments list. I really don’t get why there are so many spambots online or what they think to achieve with random comments on small blogs, but well. The reason why I’ve sat down to write today is mostly because 1: I have an official national holiday and thus finally have some extra time off that I can spend however I like and 2: I’ve bingewatched 13 reasons why recently and I felt like I wanted to give my opinion on the show. So let’s start with that shall we?
First off, I stumbled across this show through 9gag. Yeah it sounds silly. I’ve never even considered the show as a thing untill I saw the jokes online and figured I’d have to watch this. I really don’t regret watching it at all. I think it took me about 2,5 days to get through all 13 episodes. I was fascinated from the start and didn’t really want to put my tablet (my primary Netflix machine) down untill I had seen the end. And what an end it was. Spoiler alert incoming, if you have not watched the entirety of the show yet turn away now!
Showing how Hannah Baker exactly killed herself in detail is something that you really need to prepare for. I understand all the fuss around this particular scene caused by psychologists and psychiatrists all around the globe. It’s not a pretty scene to watch, you literally see how she slits open her underarms and lies down to bleed to death, but I feel like for this show they needed to put it in. Just like the rape scenes weren’t pretty to watch, but they were needed.
We are a culture that sees the most gruesome things online these days and I feel that shows like 13 reasons why know this and step in and say “we can now publish more shocking things ourselves”. Although I don’t really agree with this train of thought I do agree that we are all adults and we should be able to see these things for as they are. Gruesome, shocking, anger inducing and saddening.
I’ve read many opinions about the show and how a lot of people feel like Hannah is being put on a pedestal and suicide is being romanticized here. And a part of me has to agree. But a part of me sees past this and to the core of the show itself. I don’t think this show was envisioned to be something to promote suicide. Instead it envisioned showing how our new, changing “always online” society is having an impact on people in their most vulnerable age range. Puberty is already a tough cookie to deal with with all the hormones changing in your body, your brain developing and having to go out there and rely on yourself instead of your parents. Couple this with kids always being online, in touch and not really having an “off switch” anymore and you exaggerate all the changes that are already going on. It shows how much of an impact social relationships have on humans in general, but on teenagers even more so. It shows how out of control things can get over a very short period of time. With fulltime working parents most kids are left to their own devices (in more and more cases literally devices!) and that doesn’t always turn out for the better.
Of course it’s only a show and an US show at that so things are probably more dramaticized than they are normally. But I still think it’s something we as society need to be aware of. Social media has brought us great things, but everything has a darker side. 13 Reasons Why portrays this darker side to the extreme.
Now for something completely different. I remember the first time FFXIV did a partnership with Amazon for promotional goodies. It got people the Maid Attire and the Fat White Chocobo. At first this was only a Japan and US thing. They rolled it out in some European countries aswell but it never came to the Netherlands, causing me to miss out on something I actually would have wanted to have. Square Enix received a lot of backlash on this, especially from their European community. It’s nothing new that our region is left out. There are many goodies from game companies that are only on the markets in the US (I’m looking at you specifically here Blizzard) and we as Europeans either have to import stuff that costs us an arm and a leg or just give up on trying to get stuff at all.
Now what raised my bristles this past week was that I learned of yet another FFXIV x Amazon promotion… That was again US only. So seeing people post about how they got their Nimbus Cloud and showing ingame screenshots of it while again EU is being completely left out just baffles me. How can such a big international gaming company just completely ignore one of their gaming regions? Why is it always EU that feels like the middle child, the one that gets the least attention, that has to make do with what they have while the eldest and youngest both get spoiled beyond belief? It’s really frustrating to feel that once again our region doesn’t count for anything. Now there have been rumours that we as Europeans can buy the mount off the Mog Station instead. Personally I feel that’s not good enough. Give us a nice promotion aswell! Don’t make us spend money on it while others get their code ‘for free’ while purchasing something else. It’s just plain disgusting, angering and insulting to loyal fans of a franchise, who put money into that franchise every month, to just get the middle finger like this just because they happen to live in a different region. It’s bullshit and it’s stuff like this that makes me want to just cancel my sub and stop playing the game.
I had hoped that Square had learned from the last time they pulled this stunt, but apparently my hopes are in vain. Welcome to living in a part of the world that apparently doesn’t exist for gaming companies.