Drawing a month of horror-themed analysis to a close, explore the good, the bad, and the ugly of Silent Hill 4's storytelling and legacy.
Look man, thanks for clicking on this link and checking out my bio, but do us both a solid and skip this opening paragraph, would you? Seriously, my introductions can be equated, both in quality and enjoyment, to an off-brand cereal party hosted by that one guy in your class who didn’t quite get the memo on personal space.
“You sure smell like you could use another bowl of Marshmallow Mateys, bro…”
I cannot sit down and measure all the time I have spent blankly staring at this computer screen just hoping that the introduction to an essay about Zen Riddles would just appear in front of me out of nowhere, like some sort of…well, you understand. I could not possibly quantify the hours upon precious hours I have wasted pacing back and forth, my eyes darting between the empty word document, the stack of academic texts, and quite literally anything else in the room that isn’t the two aforementioned things. I will not possibly come up with a third example, because at this point this is starting to feel like a meta-commentary on the nature of introductory paragraphs and what they are meant to do for the essay, and the pretentiousness of the words I have just typed is making me queasy.
So with that being said, I’m going to leave you with the one line that was rolling around in my head all day before writing this, but that I simply was not able to fit into any sort of meaningful context in a well written, exquisitely thought out introductory paragraph:
“Dan Hughes. Some say he was man. Others say he was a god. In many respects, they were all woefully and irrevocably mistaken.”
I am currently a double major in both Asian Studies and Religious Studies, with a primary focus in Japan, the Japanese language, and Japanese cultures and religions. To that effect, I’ve been living in Japan for the past four months, and will be staying here through the summer working on a number of different research projects regarding the native practice of Shinto, Buddhism, and Japanese folklore in general.
What I love most about my field of study is that it constantly deepens my appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of my favorite video games. Japanese religion has a funny way of seeping into culture without people realizing it, and once you are able to understand the origins of the stories you love, you cannot help but love them even more. For example, did you know that Final Fantasy X was based directly on a tale from the 1300-year-old Japanese text, Kojiki? Or that there were strong ties to Esoteric Buddhism in Silent Hill 2? Or that an old Setsuwa tale speaks of a faster than light blue rodent that delivers the prayers of practitioners to the gods?
(One of these is fake, but I’ll never tell.)
Well, I’m here to lend a helping hand and take you through these magical mystery tours of religious, cultural experience. It’s a pleasure to be featured on With a Terrible Fate, and big ups to Aaron Suduiko, genius behind this site and damn good friend of mine who has allowed me to share what I hope will prove to be an interesting look into the cultural, historical, and religious backgrounds of many of the games we know and love today!
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