The Bible says something about one must be like a child if they seek to enter the Kingdom of God. I have always been intrigued by the way Filipinos perceive the idea of maturity. When I was a teen in college, a lot of my friends clamored about “being treated like adults”. They would whine about people not taking them seriously despite the fact that the things they considered to be “adult-oriented” involved watching porn, drinking themselves silly, smoking until you couldn’t breathe around them and screwing with each other. While I do admit that I enjoyed some of these activities as much as they did, I am still left wondering what “maturity” actually means for a lot of Pinoys.
In a previous article, I noted just how some most adult Filipinos tend to view things like anime and video games as childish. I mean sure, there’s plenty of this all over the world. But then again, many Filipinos like to throw the word “immaturity” around despite the fact that majority of Pinoys have the temperament of horny and fickle teenagers. One commenter even went to point out that there is more character development in an anime like Rosario+Vampire despite being just 25 episodes per season compared to the likes of our teleseryes which is played on a regular basis and have the same cliched and flat characters until the end of the story.
I have always believed that maturity has more to do with one’s way of thinking and the choices they make in their life rather than the choices that are available to them. That, to be mature, one must be willing to pick the more difficult decision because it is more morally correct than to simply resort to a convenient or easy choice. Teleseryes and noontime shows often screw up this message by presenting to people false dichotomies, idealistic but misguided characters and an overall biased mindset.
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Anyway, enough about teleseryes and noontime shows, I think I and a number of other writers here like ChinoF have been lambasting them quite a bit and maybe it’s time to change our tune. Instead, today I will point out a number of things that, from my perspective at least, Pinoys are missing out on. You’ll be surprised to know that in other countries like Japan and the U.K., various companies find it more profitable to bombard their people with knowledge than keep them stupid with useless programs. Here are just some of my recommendations just in case you’re looking for something better than Please Be Careful With My Heart and Showtime.
Suisei No Gargantia
Okay the plot feels very typical for a shounen (boy’s) anime. It has a young protagonist and his robot traveling in time and finding themselves in a flooded world where people make a living by scavenging advanced technological relics from the ocean floor. The hero and his robot soon meet and befriend people aboard a massive scavenger ship called the Gargantia and the adventure starts from there. I think they have this on Hero TV so you might catch it if it’s still there.
Anyway, past the dark-skinned hotties found dancing sensually in the show, Suisei no Gargantia has a bit more to show to its audiences than fanservice and mecha (robot) action. The hero of the story grew up in a strong utilitarian-totalitarian state that has some parallels with Nazi Germany such as everyone being required to do their part in their community. Essentially, he grew up in a society where everyone was expected to fight and die for their cause and be willing to kill any and all who stood in their way, including civilians if need be. The “hero” himself is somewhat a designated protagonist as he shows shades of being sociopathic and has no qualms about killing.
However, his experiences aboard the Gargantia soon changes his view. The people who live in it are a free-thinking society and prefer to avoid fighting if they can. While the people of the Gargantia are certainly not helpless and are more than capable of defending themselves, they prefer peaceful coexistence and diplomacy over fighting.
Okay, so let’s get to the point, the central theme of Suisei no Gargantia is Peace vs. Justice. Of course, we all want both but how far would you go to have one or the other? Would you choose peace even if it may eventually endanger your loved ones or would you choose justice even if it means becoming worse than your enemies?
These are the questions that we should be asking ourselves and our leaders, not what kind of shampoo they use…
Sid Meier’s Civilizations Series
Games get a lot of flak these days thanks to the way that a lot of youth are addicted to them. There was even a ban on the DotA games released somewhere (I forget the name) because of kids dying because of it. Unfortunately, I tend to think that people miss out on some of the better games out there.
One of these is the Civilizations series by Sid Meier, a game that focuses on building empires and getting them to flourish through time. In it, you control one (or more using the hotseat function) of many historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Nobunaga Oda and Mahatma Gandhi, just to name a few. It is a turn-based game and may actually take hours to play but seeing your empire grow and reach its full potential is truly an awesome sight to behold.
Asides from its stunning visuals, soundtrack and gameplay, you can see why there are some who consider these games works of art. Most of all though, by playing Civilizations, you get some idea of how hard it is to maintain a country. Of course, it’s not completely accurate for game balance reasons but at least you get an inkling of how countries such as cutting back on military spending can leave you vulnerable to barbarians, hostile states and enemy empires and being a warmonger can stagnate your empire as few will want to have anything to do with you.
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