The Game Awards versus The Gamers’ Choice Awards

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda – Assistant Graphics Editor

Television has taken to video games, as “The Gamers’ Choice Awards” launched by CBS, becomes the first televised video game awards show. Unfortunately, its lacking knowledge of gaming and clear attempt at a ratings-grab has backfired incredibly.

Geoff Keighley is a video game journalist and television personality that has created one of the largest video game awards show to date. “The Game Awards” has slowly grown over the last five years, garnering an 11.5 million live viewership last year. If history has anything to show for it, this year should show another increase in viewership. “The Game Awards” have slowly cemented its position as the premiere game awards show, with many having worked together to build it to what it is now.

Graphic courtesy of GamingBolt

As CBS enters the fray with the “Gamers’ Choice Awards,” gaming fans are opposed to it doing well, because it goes against the amount of work the community has done to build “The Game Awards.”

Comparing the categories of the two shows, “The Game Awards” separates the genres, but the winners of each category are decided by both a panel of judges and the fans. The biggest difference between the two shows is “The Game Awards” uses “Best” and “Game of the Year,” while “Gamers’ Choice Awards” exclusively uses “Fan Favorite.” The worst complaint of the categories so far is that the “Gamers’ Choice Awards” includes outdated games in categories that should solely include games new to the year.

As the week of both shows near, audiences are supporting “The Game Awards” with everything they have to fight against the CBS cash-grab. This includes companies that are premiering exclusive trailers and content at “The Game Awards” that are ignoring the “Gamers’ Choice Awards,” including the Russo brothers who directed the latest “Avengers” films.

Only time will tell which will prevail, but if the internet has anything to say, “The Game Awards” will remain on top.

Red Dead Redemption 2: outlaws for life?

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda – Assistant Graphics Editor

“Red Dead Redemption 2” is nothing short of a beautifully crafted narrative complemented by an expansive world filled to the brim with things to do. Whether you stumble upon a rival gang camp that needs disposing of, find a legendary animal to hunt or help a stranger with a snake bite, this game world consistently surprises the player.

You play as Arthur Morgan, a tough and loyal right hand man to Dutch van der Linde, leader of the Van Der Linde gang. The characters all start the game trying to survive from their previously botched heist in the town of Blackwater, which resulted in a few deaths before the game begins.

As much as Arthur is the protagonist, following Dutch and his descent to madness, which serves as a prequel to the original “Red Dead Redemption,” is incredibly captivating. Witnessing someone in control gradually breakdown while trying to escape the law and their past was devastating. Not only was it sad to watch, but the rest of the gang slowly fell apart, as Arthur realizes that Dutch and the life of being an outlaw are over.

Arthur Morgan is one of the most human characters that has been brought to my screen in recent memory. His gradual change of heart made me bond with this character so much, as you watch him battle with himself and others regarding the life they all live. All throughout the game, there are several instances where you are given choices to play honorable or dishonorable. Most of the decisions Arthur makes should lead the character to be more honorable as the game progresses, especially nearing the game’s finale.

Throughout these missions, Arthur truly shows his hope for a world where people can be together and live freely, without having to result in the tired life of an outlaw like himself. The truth about Arthur is the reality that he is irredeemable despite his efforts to be a good man. His push to do the right thing makes his character more depressing as his past catches up with him and he is unable run from the mistakes he made.

While the narrative is intense, the gameplay takes a bit to get used to. For example, there is no way any player of this game will not immediately smash their horse into a tree. After getting used to the “Dead Eye” system, combat is more fun and feels a lot more fluid and rewarding. This alone creates a love for the shooting gallery missions, where you are pitted against legions of bandits and gunmen, all the while gaining more weapons and upgrading your “Dead Eye” abilities.

Finally, in addition to its incredible world and fun gameplay, the most important thing in this game is its story. It captures so many emotions, and catches the player’s sympathies for the characters.

Combine the masterful storytelling with an incredible soundtrack featuring work from Willie Nelson, Josh Homme and even Nas, and Rockstar Games has easily produced one of the best games of the year, if not the decade.

Music, theatre, and dance oh my!

Thomas Yakey Jr. – Anchor Staff

As Rhode Island College starts to wind down it’s 2018 fall semester, the RIC Music, Theatre, and Dance Department is only beginning to start their few weeks of performances in all aspects of the performing arts.

Sadly, some of the events of the department’s end-of-semester performances have already taken place. One of them was the RIC Theatre’s production of “When We Were Young and Unafraid” by Sarah Treem. The show ran from November 30th through December 2nd and had three outstanding performances. The interesting part of this production was that it was student directed since it was one of the department’s “Growing Stage” productions.  Marisa Rebelo was the director of this play. The play told the story of a woman named Agnes who uses her bed and breakfast as a safe house for domestic violence victims. Mary Ann, a woman who uses the safe space, shows up and starts forming a relationship with her daughter. Agnes has to face presumptions about the woman she’s been helping for a while. If you missed this production, be sure so see the RIC Theatre’s production of “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” running April 11 through the 14 next semester.

Another event that you may have already missed on November 30 is the performance of “Nothing But A Word” performed by a hip-hop dance company and an American street dance theater called Rennie Harris Puremovement, featuring the RIC Dance Company. On top of those other two events, November 30th was the last performance of the RIC Wind Ensemble for the semester.  Joseph Foley was the conductor for this ensemble this semester for the first time in many years. This concert featured famous works including Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Rimsky-Korsakow’s “Trombone Concerto.” Alexei Doohovskoy was the faculty who was the soloist for Rimsky-Korsakow’s piece. It was truly an electrifying and fantastic night of music.

Don’t worry, if you have missed these events, there are still many more to come to before the semester is over.  On Tuesday December 4, is the RIC Opera Workshop performances as they team up with the RIC Symphony Orchestra. They will perform various scenes from operas and musicals, including West Side Story. This is free for RIC students, faculty, and staff and only ten dollars for the general public. It will be taking place in Roberts Hall at 7:30 p.m. that evening.  On the other side of the genre spectrum, the RIC Jazz Combos have a concert on December 5th in the Forman Theatre, free for everyone! It will be at 7:30 p.m. and feature various works from the Great American Jazz Songbook.  Monday, December 10 is the RIC Jazz Band concert at 7:30 p.m. in Sapinsley Hall. This is free for RIC students, faculty, and staff and only 10 dollars for the general public. This concert features the works of jazz legend Duke Ellington and famed composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The RIC Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Women’s Chorus will be performing their winter concert under the direction of Teresa Coffman at 7:30 p.m. in Sapinsley Hall on Friday, December 7th.  General admission is only ten dollars, however RIC students, faculty, and staff are free. This concert features a masterful mix of non-traditional, lesser-known composers and works as well as pieces by important composers in Western music. Also, the chorus plans to show-off their new David Leach “Consort” portativ organ by singing Franz Joseph Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (“Little Organ Mass”).  On more of a smaller scale, the RIC Chamber Orchestra and other Chamber Ensembles will be performing a free concert in Sapinsley Hall at 7:30 p.m. under the direction of John Sumerlin.

If you have yet to see the RIC Music, Theatre, or Dance Department’s performances yet this year, I encourage you to do so before the semester ends!

Photo courtesy of ric.edu

“Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee!” the good, the bad, and the cute

Alex Cogswell – Anchor Staff

The holiday season is upon us. People, full of Thanksgiving leftovers, are going out to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Some of those loved ones are going to want video games, and if they are anything like me, they are going to want the latest Pokemon game. “Pokemon: Lets Go Eeevee” is the newest game in the Pokemon franchise. It’s only been out for a few weeks and is available for the Nintendo Switch.

The game was created by Game Freak, and I honestly love it. As you can guess by the title of the article, I will be talking about the good, bad, and impossibly adorable aspects of the game.

Firstly, let’s discuss the general plot. The game takes place in the Kanto region and you play as one of two children of  Pallet Town, ready to start their Pokemon journey. You are able to choose your gender and, like in more recent games, skin color. You then get the usual ‘Welcome to the world of Pokemon!’ speech that anyone who has played a Pokemon game will know.

The fun really doesn’t begin until you have to find Professor Oak. Usually, in a Pokemon game, you have to choose your starter Pokemon right before you battle a wild Pokemon, but in “Let’s Go Eeevee” your first opponent is your future best friend and style partner: Eevee!

Let me tell you that Eevee is the cutest little thing I have ever seen. Eevee finally has a voice and is not just 8-bit noises. Instead, they say their name like in the Anime. Also, Eevee rides on your head throughout the entire game and it is adorable. Honestly, that idea alone is what sold me on it, and as I played it over Thanksgiving break, I had a great time with my Eevee. I really enjoy matching clothes with her. I named her Theo and I love her.

Like in “Pokemon Heart Gold” and “Soul Silver,” you can choose a Pokemon to follow behind you in addition to Eevee. Depending on the size and shape of the Pokemon you can even ride it around. I get to fly on the back of my Charizard and that is particularly fun. However, there are some aspects about this game that I don’t really like.

The main mechanic of how this game differs from the usual Pokemon game is the battles with wild Pokemon. Usually in a Pokemon game, when running through wild grass you may encounter a wild Pokemon. You will then have to battle it with your Pokemon until the HP is low enough that you can catch it or it faints.

However, in “Lets Go Eevee!” when you run into a wild Pokemon you don’t battle it, you just catch it. Much like in the mobile game “Pokemon Go,” when you encounter a wild Pokemon you are aiming your Pokeball and flicking your Joy Con. If you have them attached to the Switch, you instead press A. This mechanic actually annoys me, because it is the main way you level up your Pokemon. By catching the same Pokemon over and over again you get combo bonuses that give more XP to help level up Pokemon. The whole process is very time consuming.

I also am not the biggest fan of the fact that Meowth does not talk in the game. If the game is going to have the iconic trio that is Jesse, James, and Meowth from the Pokemon Anime, then Meowth should be talking. That is really just a personal thing that really affect the quality of the game that much, but he should still be able to talk.

Of course, the best part of this game is the bond you get to form with your Eevee (or Pikachu if you bought the other version of the game). You really do get attached to them and with the customization options, it’s really fun and adorable. So if you are looking to buy something for the gamer in your life, look no further than “Pokemon Lets Go Eevee!”

I give it 8/10 talking Meowths.

History is Now at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Lucille DiNaro – Business Manager

If you’ve ever visited a museum and felt the vexation of a detached observer, Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (HMA) is determined to change your museum experience. Established in 1956, this interactive teaching museum offers the stark reminder that as long as humans walk the Earth, history is very much alive—and making a difference is not far out of your reach.

The HMA stylistically sets itself apart from traditional archaeological museums, favoring an interactive multimedia experience over replicated display boxes filled with ancient cultural artifacts. Current exhibitions include “Drone Warriors: The Art of Surveillance and Resistance at Standing Rock,” and “Sacred is Sacred: The Art of Protecting Bears Ears,” both of which speak to the continuing efforts of indigenous peoples in the battle to protect America’s natural and cultural landscape.

Tori Duhaime, Photos courtesy of Hannah Astillero

The exhibits describe the rise to conflict between oil opportunists and both the Water Protectors of North Dakota and the indigenous peoples in Bear’s Ears Utah, illustrating through carefully curated art, the great lengths to which Americans will go to demand what is rightfully theirs. Museum visitors are able to follow a comprehensive timeline of both political and cultural events and are prompted to think critically and respond to serious questions regarding identity and culture.

Museum visitor Hannah Astillero marks a place on this Earth worth saving.

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology can be found on the first floor of Manning Hall at 21 Prospect Street in Providence, located on the Brown University Main Green. The museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Artist Spotlight: Gustavo Bravo

Samantha Malley – Art Director

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Gustavo Bravo moved to the U.S. when he was just 11 months old. Having to start from scratch, his father always pushed him to never give up, to try his best and to be a leader. He taught Gustavo the ways of running an independent business, which led to Gustavo’s current clothing line.

“Being aware that I now live in a place that isn’t my home, I am constantly searching for identity in my work,” Gustavo tells me.

Inspired by Kanye West and A$AP Rocky, Gustavo started studying Fashion Design back in middle school. He would find himself going out to purchase name brand items and then realizing that they weren’t fitting like they should. He taught himself how to sew and manipulate fabric to get the style and fit he originally envisioned. With the help of an Amazon bought sewing machine and thrifted clothes, his passion flourished.

Columbia and Italy distressed into jeans, Photos courtesy of Gustavo Bravo

In his first year at RIC, he is enrolled in a few foundation art classes as well as some business classes. However, he hopes to transfer to another art school later on and strictly study Fashion Design. For now, he enjoys pulling inspirations from his design and drawing courses and being able to connect those to his clothing line.

Included in his line are shirts, sweatshirts, jeans and jackets. He said, “In reference to distressing denim as a medium, I understood that denim originally distresses naturally but then became fashionable so it was industrialized and mass produced. Understanding that and understanding how artificial it had become, I wanted to take that process of destruction and control it. Destruction as a means of creation.”

His final goal or look is a product that is decayed on purpose yet at the same time stays frozen in that moment of time. With that being said, Gustavo is constantly working outside of school to add pieces to his clothing line.

To see more of Gustavo Bravo’s clothing line, follow him on Instagram @whenisgustavo or check out his website Gustavobravo.us!

If you are a student who is part of the Art Department at Rhode Island College and would like to be featured in The Anchor Newspaper, email Samantha at ArtDirector@anchorweb.org to schedule an interview!

Oversaturation is not the answer

Sophia Guerrier – Anchor Contributor

There is too much music being released in rap this year. This may seem like a crazy statement considering every fan wants to hear new sounds from their favorite artist, but sometimes we all need a break.

It cannot be ignored that this year in particular, there have been an overwhelming amount of new album or mixtape releases from artists. The year is not even over, and the rap genre has given us over one hundred mixtapes and albums, ranging from new to old school artists for listeners to consume and “enjoy.”

It is not a coincidence that all rappers are deciding to drop their albums in the same year, but it is definitely a sense of urgency and competitiveness to stay relevant in this fast paced era of music. The biggest problem is oversaturation, which is not the answer.

Chief Keef and NBA YoungBoy are the two major culprits of this issue where both artists dropped more than three projects this year alone. How much more different are the sounds and content being presented by them in each of these projects? None. Listeners are getting the same product but with different packaging which devalues the excitement and expectation for their releases in the future.

The same effect is happening to groups as well. Migos is a group in which its three members essentially offer the same thing as far as sound goes. They already released “Culture 2” containing 24 songs, and Quavo has recently released a nineteen track album while Takeoff came out with an album right after him as well (literally two weeks apart). There is no time for their fans to truly digest their music especially when their releases are high in number and they are coming out in short periods of time. Too much music eventually leads to loss of creativity and repetitiveness, which we see with Quavo’s album and even with Rae Sremmurd’s triple album release.

What makes this year even more inflated is that some artists claim to still not be done. Drake announced that he has another album following “Scorpion” to come in the near future. Kanye, Lil Baby & Gunna, Meek Mill, and more have pending projects for this year, all of whom have already released albums.  

Fans only have two ears, and artists are starting to forget this with their quantity over quality approach instead of the other way around. This method can surely be to blame for the many subpar, easily forgotten projects that have come out this year — “Lil Boat 2,” “Beast Mode 2” and “WRLD on Drugs,” just to name a few. Releasing a large amount of music is not accomplishing fan satisfaction but instead contributing to the exhausting amount of unoriginal music filling the air. Release days are being overloaded with five or six new projects at a time which has to be unprecedented.

Rap needs to go back to the slow release approach where artists drop an album every one to two years with a mixtape in between. This gives fans time to actually miss the artist’s music and appreciate their music more when it is given to them. It will also allow artists to take their time creating great music and potentially outdoing themselves since there is an emphasis on progressing their craft.

Only then will we see more meaningful and well put together projects instead of the arguably seven or eight that are currently out.

Detective Pika-Pool rises

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda – Assistant Graphics Editor

Pikachu is one of the most adorable, well-known characters in entertainment. Now, combine that with the vulgar, hilarious enigma that is Ryan Reynolds to create the most anticipated film of 2019.

“Detective Pikachu” will star Ryan Reynolds as the dangerously cute Pikachu, alongside Justice Smith who most recently was in “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom.” Despite hesitation from many regarding the casting choice, I do not think there could be anyone better to play Pikachu, especially with Reynolds coming off the extreme success of both “Deadpool” films.

Graphic courtesy of Indiewire

As the film’s first trailer progresses, there are more and more shots of hyper-realistic CGI Pokemon, including Mr. Mime, Jigglypuff and a pack of Bulbasaurs. Given these shots, it seems the film will be leaning more towards the original 151 Pokemon from 1998. Though the characters feel different because of their new looks, their realistic designs work because they are better assimilated to the real world this way.  

From what the trailer has given us, the story for the film follows Justice Smith as Tim Goodman, a young adult that has given up on his dreams to become a Pokemon trainer. This new take on the franchise feels like it will be a breath of fresh air, following a character that has already failed, rather than following a character that wants to/will eventually reach their goal.

Disregarding the fears of fans that this will hurt the franchise, the film will definitely find that spark that caused “Pokemon Go” to spread like wildfire in 2016. The film’s ability to go in directions that divert from its original works will help bring a new narrative to the series that will lure audiences new and old to the franchise.

Artist Spotlight: Alex Teare

Samantha Malley – Art Director

By double majoring in art history and ceramics while working towards her Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA), Alex Teare has a lot on her plate.

It all started back in highschool for Alex, where she found her love for art by being able to explore different mediums. She originally came to Rhode Island College four years ago to pursue a career in teaching art. As time went on, her passion eventually shifted over to ceramics.

“I found ceramics something I just couldn’t leave” admits Alex.

Alex Teare, Photo courtesy of Samantha Malley

Immersing herself in the art world, she found Art History not only as an interesting topic in her field of study, but something that would help her improve upon her writing skills as well.

This semester, in Ceramics Four, Alex is working on a project which consists of stacking up a thousand cups. By stacking the cups in a pyramid manner, she brings up the debate of craft versus fine art.

“This is a giant pyramid you have to look up to and then realize it’s only made out of cups and it really starts the discussion of ceramics not being valued as fine art” states Alex.

She reflects upon her place in the fine art world by asking questions such as ‘How many cups will it take for it to be fine art?’ and ‘How many cups will it take for me to be good enough?’ She believes as a student in the art world, the topic of craft versus fine art can be brought up in any medium and is relatable to many.

In the future, Alex envisions herself stepping away from the fine art world and hopes to open a local store. Calling herself ‘The Clay Baker,’ Alex started her own business about two years ago. She hopes to own a space that would work as both a studio and a shop. The shop would allow her to sell her everyday objects such as mugs, bowls, plates and so on, as well as eventually teach classes and open her studio space to other artists.

If you are interested in seeing more of Alex’s work, follow her pottery business on Instagram and Facebook @TheClayBaker

If you are a student who is part of the Art Department at Rhode Island College and would like to be featured in The Anchor Newspaper, email Samantha at ArtDirector@anchorweb.org to schedule an interview!

Open Books Open Minds presents: “Human Flow”

Britt Donahue – Photo Editor

“I want the right of life, of the leopard at the spring, of the seed splitting open — I want the right of the first man.” These words, by Turkish poet, Nâzım Hikmet open Ai Weiwei’s 2017 documentary about human migration, “Human Flow.”

The documentary was shown on campus last week as part of the 2018-2019 Open Books Open Minds program. This year’s  book selection is “Exit West,” by Mohsin Hamid, a story that follows two young people fleeing war in their home country. While “Exit West” is fictional, there are currently more than 65 million refugees worldwide, fleeing conditions like those encountered by the book’s main characters.   

“Human Flow” takes the viewer through more than 20 countries to demonstrate the extent of the global refugee crisis, and brings humanity and dignity back to the millions of people who have been forced out of their homes for reasons beyond their control. Weiwei speaks with migrants, dignitaries, and human rights workers to stress the extent of this crisis, and show the damage being done to people under the guise of security.

Graphic courtesy of Participant Media

“Human Flow” is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

For more information on the Open Books Open Minds program, contact Drs. Duneer, Hawk, or Jalalzai in the English department, or email OBOM@ric.edu.