Is The Long Dark a horror game?

Is The Long Dark a horror game?
by Pauly Hart
Where Truth Matters.

Wikipedia defines horror fiction as: Horror fiction, horror literature and also horror fantasy are genres of literature, which are intended to, or have the capacity to frighten, scare, or startle their readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. Wikipedia also describes the Horror film genre as: Horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's primal fears.

I have come to an understanding that most horror movies are those that you cannot escape from and must endure to the very end. Even "Thriller" shows like "Jumanji" and "Jurrasic Park" are indeed classical horror films if this model is to be employed. The Long Dark is in its own aspect a horror survival game technically... But I would not define it as such. I would place it on the verge of the "Life Plus" genre if there were such a thing other than the model we have of "Drama".

Turning once again to Wikipedia, we find in the "Action Games" group of gaming, the subgroup or sub-genre of "Survival Horror". Here we see it defined as: Survival horror is a sub-genre of video games inspired by horror fiction that focuses on survival of the character and trying to scare the player(s). Although combat can be a part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less powerful than in typical action games, because of limited ammunition, health, speed, or other limitations. The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas, and solve puzzles at certain locations. Games make use of strong horror themes, and the player is often challenged to navigate dark maze-like environments, and react to unexpected attacks from enemies.

If we access true life circumstances, we are playing Pilgrim mode and we are having fun and loving the chance to find stuff and test our wits against nature in her harshest form... Or so we think. Then we step up to Voyageur and Stalker and we are hating our lives and questioning why we insist on torturing ourselves with this game in the first place, but then we game after game telling ourselves that we could have done *This* better or *That* more efficiently... Only later to be devoured by nature in her advanced harshest form.

The Long Dark is indeed a Survival Horror game in true detail of life. Despite the emotional factor relying only on the player and not the character in game, and the sugar ills of drinking too much of Stacy's Grape Soda, I can see it being very true to what a horror genre film or movie or game would want to set up. Personally, I love survival things although I despise the Zombie theme and ultimately want to see TLD surpass playability of 7 days to die and other well-selling Zombie Survival Horror games. Long live true life survival.

So... Is The Long Dark a horror game? Yes. But only as horrible as you chose it to be.

The Long Dark Review

The Long Dark Review
by Pauly Hart
Where Truth Matters.

I teach a survival simulation course to children and adults.

I work at a camp where we have a variety of programs that we offer to grade-schoolers who come and take field trips at our site. Among the fun ones like "Log-cabin Building" and "Pioneer Cooking" is "Survival Simulation". What does that look like? Very similar to this game. We are open in the spring and the fall and are in the northern United States and often find ourselves doing this in the snow. As a matter of fact, on first looking at it, I was convinced that some items had been taken from my manual. But that was silly. Smart survivalists all say the same basic things.

Before I take the children out, I give them a quick lesson on all the things they will experience in the simulation. How to find water, how to find or create tinder, kindling and fuel for a fire, what a fire needs to live, what we need to live, how to build a lean-to, how to find what direction the wind is coming from, how to build an S.O.S. signal and how to create a splint, stop blood loss and treat shock. Pretty rushed though, but that's OK because we are going outside and going to practice everything that I just showed them.

So, at our camp, we have "The plane crash" in a wilderness area (no houses around sorry) and the burning wreckage is going so hot and heavy that the survivors only have time to grab five items out of a long list of things that was on the plane. We are looking basically for them to chose: Matches, Knife, Metal bucket, Rope, Tarp and not choose things like: Flashlight, Popcorn, Toilet paper, and the like. They only have a few minutes before the plane catches all the way, and then sinks into the bog.

The main good news during my Survival Sim is that there are no wolves. Not real ones at least. The pretend ones come later. We do, however, put them to the test. There are around ten children usually and they are given fifty "Life Points" per group, each child accounting for five of those points. I will give them twenty minutes to find water, get a fire going and bring their water to a boil. Fire accounts for: Light, Heat, Ability to melt and boil water, Ability to cook food, Safety, Ability to dry wet clothes, and most importantly: Hope.

If they fail at the first task the rest are ultimately harder. And I take away half of their Life Points. Then I have them search for food, erect a shelter, someone "has an accident" and breaks their leg and bleeds everywhere and goes into shock, and then I have them build and S.O.S. and get into the shelter before the wolves come.

Usually around half of the children die. But we go inside out of the snow and discuss what happened and they write down the things they did that were successful and the things that were not.
All of that prepared me for The Long Dark. In the game, I found myself learning new and inventive strategies that I did not know I was able to invent. I felt as if I were a child and the game makers were myself, being patient and ever so helpful. Wait. No. There was no help. Only the savage fangs of the wolves. And the snow. The long dark? The long snow-blind, wolf-infested, frozen-soul dark. Dark and dirty... And damn cold.

My first experience with this game was my wife screaming from the other room. "Oh my gosh honey! This is totally you!" she went on and on. She was so happy to have found something that looked like I would play it over and over. That was two weeks ago. It was to be my Christmas present... Heh. I've been enjoying it a little early.

Enjoying it? Obsessing over it? Living it? I caught myself looking up dog-food prices the other day. On the top of my review, it shows how many hours I have played of this game. Does it really reflect the thirty hours I've spent scouring maps and watching youtube videos? No. You niggardly hour-counter. How dare you scoff at my lack of total commitment! I love this game and have recently purchased it for my brother and one of my closest friends.

Do I recommend this game? Yes. Only if you want to live.

George RR Martin thinks Sony is a coward

This one is surreal.

In a stunning display of corporate cowardice, Regal, AMC, and every other major theatre chain in the United States have cancelled their plans to show the new Seth Rogen/ James Franco comedy THE INTERVIEW, because of -- yes, seriously, this is not a SOUTH PARK sketch (though I expect it soon will be) -- threats from North Korea.

I mean, really? REALLY?? These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because Kim Jong-Un objects to being mocked?

The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me. It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR. If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.

Even Sony, which made the movie, is going along. There are thousands of small independent theatres across the country, like my own, that would gladly screen THE INTERVIEW, regardless of the threats from North Korea, but instead of shifting the film to those venues, Sony has cancelled its scheduled Christmas rollout entirely.

I haven't seen THE INTERVIEW. I have no idea how good or bad a film it is. It might be hilarious. It might be stupid and offensive and outrageous. (Actually, I am pretty sure about the 'outrageous' part). It might be all of the above.

That's not the point, though. Whether it's the next CITIZEN KANE or the next PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.

For what it's worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema will be glad to screen THE INTERVIEW (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-DVD release), should it be made available to us. Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we'll show your film for you.
Current Location:Santa Fe

Current Mood: pissed off

from HERE

Oklahoma's Satanic Statue

The Satanic Statue Being Made for Oklahoma's Statehouse Is Coming Along Nicely

Photo by Jonathan Smith

Two weeks ago I found myself in the backwoods of rural Florida standing in front of a ​bronzed bust of the pagan idol Baphomet. A few days later it would be attached to its eight-and-a-half-foot cloven-hoofed body and put to rest on a throne flanked on either side by a small metallic child. Eventually, its creators hope, it will be whisked away to Oklahoma, where it will be placed next to a Ten Commandments monument on the front lawn of the state capitol.

I had come to this foundry in the middle of the sticks with Lucien Greaves, the spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, the group behind the monument. The last time I saw it was in a small Brooklyn studio in April, when it was still being formed out of clay by ​Mark Porter, an artist trained in classical sculpture. Now, seven months later, it's almost finished.

Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple

The New Satanic Monument Being Built

Photos by Jonathan Smith

Before this trip I had been under the impression that bronze sculptures were created with a giant crane that dipped the work whole into a vat of molten bronze like a piece of bread into a fondue bowl. That's not the case. The work is cut into many pieces, each of which is bronzed separately before being welded back together. When we arrived, different parts of the sculpture lay scattered across the property. The bust sat on a wooden table inside a sort of open-air shed, while the torso rested nearby on a smaller table. The hooves and arms were splayed out on the ground nearby. The following day, Porter, along with two other men, would begin the arduous process of welding the disparate pieces together to create a smooth, fluid sculpture meant to serve as a testament to the equal representation of all religions under United States law.

While it's not yet finished, the below images should give you an idea of what these guys are working with:

Oklahoma is far from the only state with a religious monument—or even a Ten Commandments monument—on government property. In fact, there's even a ​handy website that maps them all out for you. So why did the Satanic Temple choose Oklahoma?

"They specifically made statements that this location was to be a monument park," Greaves told me. "They didn't put it in exactly those words, but that was the legal rhetoric that they instituted to justify it and pretend there was constitutional standing for it, and that was just a breach of the [First Amendment's] establishment clause. They set the perfect groundwork for us."

Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze set that groundwork in 2012 when he paid for the Ten Commandments monument and its installation with money out of his own pocket. Because he paid for the Commandments himself, it was classified as a donation and allowed to be placed on government property.

The Temple has been largely ignored by members of the Oklahoma government, so on July 30 they decided to file a Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the installation of the Baphomet statue. "I feel strongly that we didn't receive all the documents we should have," Greaves told me. "It seems highly unlikely to me that their files consist entirely of citizen letters opposed to the monument with almost no communication with government officials as to where they stand on it." The Temple even had proof that at least one of the documents was withheld, according to Greaves, in the form of a registered letter the Satanic Temple had sent to the Capital Preservation Commission. "We had gotten the notice that they'd received it," Greaves said. Yet "that was not included in their file of communications regarding the Satanic Temple monument request." After an appeal, the Capital Preservation Commission produced a copy of the letter.

Of course, all of this talk of installing the statue in Oklahoma is contingent on the Ten Commandments monument being rebuilt after a drunk guy who heard voices in his head pissed on the slab b​efore smashing his car into it last October. If it's not rebuilt, the Temple will stop trying to put Baphomet on the statehouse yard.

According to Greaves, the existence of the Ten Commandments statue is essential to his organization's goals with this project. The Baphomet is "part man, part animal, points above, points below, the legs are crossed, upright pentagram on head, inverse pentagram behind the head, and the Caduceus on the lap representing balance and reconciliation," he said. "The message behind Baphoment is a reconciliation of the opposites, not this call to arms of one against one but a merging of the two. That's part of the reason that it can only exist standing next to the Ten Commandments. That's part of the message. We wouldn't want to proselytize as a single voice in the public square."

Luckily for the Temple, it seems as though the Commandments are on track to be rebuilt. Representative Mike Ritze, whose voicemail ends with "Have a great day in the Lord!" told VICE that he has already raised the money to rebuild the Commandments monument and plans to have it reinstalled at an undisclosed date. When asked how the money was raised, he responded, simply, "private."

When I broke this news to Greaves this week via email, he replied:

Everything is now in place for the battle ahead. This isn't a mere petty fight that exploits a legal loophole. The forthcoming battle for Oklahoma cuts to the heart of how we conceive of our rights as American citizens, how we interpret and respect our constitutional values of plurality and individual freedom. However this case is ultimately decided, it will have deep and lasting ramifications for generations to come. This monument of Baphomet will hereafter be recognized as a central icon for the continually growing populations of Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty who refuse to bow to the arbitrary authority of archaic edicts, and refuse to accept their marginalization at the hands of thinly veiled theocrats. We look forward to arranging with Oklahoma a date on which we may erect and unveil Baphomet, where it will stand in honor of the unjustly accused, the slandered minority, the maligned outgroups, so that we might pay respect to their memory and celebrate our progress as a pluralistic nation founded on secular law.

While the Baphomet is the Temple's most high-profile project to date, they are constantly working on other community-oriented projects, such as a Satanic holiday ​display that will be installed in the Florida State Capitol's rotunda near a Nativity scene. Then there's the Satanic coloring book, set to be distributed, along with Bibles donated by the Christian group World Changers of Florida, to students in the Orange County School District in January. And in July, the Temple used the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling in an ongoing effort to gain legal exemption to informed conse​nt laws for women who want an abortion but don't want to be given a bunch of scientifically unsound literature.

Those very public projects, as well as others, have led some to accuse the Temple of being media whores performing stunts to get attention. "Well of course!" Greaves says. "You need media to bring attention to these issues. If we're going to do a public prayer, we want to do it in a place like the town of Greec​e where it's a Supreme Court battle. We don't want to keep this secret. We want it high-profile."

You have the wrong number

You have the wrong number
by Pauly Hart
Where Truth Matters.

When I lived in Fort Wayne Indiana, our phone number was Landy Enterprises old number and was ALMOST Hires Auto Parts phone number... Like seriously we would get four or five phone calls a day about this and that and one thing or another...

How much is an alternator for an '82 Bronco? Could I bring in my 95 Camry because the exhaust manifold fell off. Does Chris work today?

And we couldn't make them stop. So I just started making stuff up. I remember distinctly someone calling asking for Steve. I told them Steve had packed his stuff up, yelled at a bunch of people, threw stuff around the store and quit yesterday. That was a classic one because they actually knew Steve and said it sounded just like him and they were going to call his wife.

Another time I argued with a guy about his catalytic converter because I told him I was going to charge him $150 for one and yesterday "I" told him it would only be around $40. He was going to "Come down there and deal with me in person" when I became belligerent.

Oh the good times to be had by all. Anyway. Enjoy this terrible happy wonderful awful video.

Robots and Heather

Robots and Heather
by Pauly Hart
Where Truth Matters.

The only memory I really have of the movie "The Black Hole" was from the fifth grade where had we watched it on an over night field trip. Kail asked me if I thought Heather was pretty and if I would want to "Go Together" and I jumped at the chance because I had a crush on Heather ever since the fourth grade.

Later I found out that Heather, Tara and Whitney were all playing a trick on me. I was crushed. I would probably love this movie and hold it most dear if Heather hadn't killed my soul that day. I had a crush on her even into college where I finally worked up the nerve to ask her out and she said yes. It had only taken me twelve years to summon up the courage...

She stood me up. Later I asked her about it and she told me that she hadn't believed that I was serious.

Pauly Hart

Black Mirror: 15 Million Merits

Look past the crass presentation, and this one hour
has got to be one of the most truthful and
harmful metaphors of the American Culture Condition.

Mixed Media for sale

Here is a piece untitled

Mixed media on canvas wrap.

India ink, acrylic, paint pen, latex, oil and pastel

10" by 8"


Price includes shipping, your choice of title and
 personalized autograph on the back for you or a loved one.

Here's a little sumtin sumtin from my homie Mike Lang. He's done some work for me so I figured I would throw a little publicity his way. He's awesome. Find him at

My name is Mike Lang. I’m a storyteller with a yearning desire to leave the world a little better than I found it. I live and work at YMCA Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, IN, documenting the tremendous work that happens at camp through photography, writing, and design. I’m lucky to have a loving, inspiring wife who simultaneously keeps my head screwed on straight and forces me outside of my comfort zone.

Amazing work happens behind the lens and the best of it resides at the intersection of art and action, capturing the relationships between people and the world in ways that inspire us to love a little stronger, marvel a little longer, and laugh a little harder. With every session I strive to capture those magic moments that transcend everyday snapshots and tell the kinds of stories that work their way deep into our bones.

If you’re interested in booking a session, or just want to hang out and talk craft beer, media theory, or the latest Drudkh album, get in touch.

Here are some of the shots he has taken for me.

Shots for By the Gates of the Garden of Eden

Undisclosed shoot

at Camp Tecumseh #givingtuesday

at Camp Tecumseh as a pirate