Question of the day.

   How do you feel about video games? 

   My answer: 

   I don’t really play much games, for two main reasons. The first one is that the amounts of accessible video games is limited to begin with. You can’t just download or buy whatever game you want when you’re blind and expect that you’ll be able to play it right away. And secondly, out of those games that are accessible, I haven’t found many that I would  really be interested in. The only game that I really do play regularly is a life simulation game called Bitlife, which is a text-based mobile game, but I’m so ignorant that I’m not even sure if a text-based game counts as a video game, but after having done a bit of Googling some people do refer to Bitlife as a video game as well so I guess it can be a video game at the same time, and it’s not like it’s completely text-based, it does have visual stuff as well and some sounds too. If what most people like and look for in games can be judged by what most games are like, then I guess there must be very high demand for stuff that is full of strong emotions, tension, aggression, competition, adventure, quest for being THE MOST, be in the most powerful, the richest, the most evil, the fastest etc. I’m not really so much into all those things. I mean, okay, they can be fun sometimes, but it’s not something I would truly enjoy on a regular basis. I’ve never even liked adventure books, I read some as a kid and teen while still finding out what I actually like and what I don’t, and whenever I read adventure books, or mystery books or such, where you have for example a child character who plays detective while on holidays at his grandparents’, I’d be all like: “Why do you even bother? Why won’t you just enjoy your holidays like a normal kid and for example have a lie-in if you can instead of jumping out of bed at 5 AM to solve some local mystery that’s not even any of your business? Who would care about that?” I’m still very much like that. I rarely read the aforementioned adventure or mystery books, and same about crime novels, science fiction, or fantasy, unless the heavily folklore-infused stuff like Tolkien. So similarly I don’t play games like that either. I don’t play shooters (don’t even know if any are accessible actually, but either way I wouldn’t), because they seem utterly pointless to me. Not necessarily because I’m so afraid of violence that I wouldn’t kill anyone even in a game (you can kill people in BitLife and I have done it), but killing for the mere sake of killing is as pointless of an activity as it gets imo. I don’t play strategy, mostly because I don’t seem to be very good at this kind of thinking. I’ve played some strategy games that I found mildly to moderately interesting but I was quite easily discouraged with each of them, and again, getting as rich and powerful as possible just for the sake of it can be fun for a while but not long-term. Long-term I’d happily be less than that if I could have an interesting plot and a well-developed character, but usually it seems to be just about expanding your empire or whatever else and earning achievements with not much depth to it. I don’t play sports-related games, because I’m not into sports in any way, although gimme an accessible horse riding game or sim or generally something revolving around horses and I’ll happily try it out. I don’t play multiplayer games because, well, I’m not a multiplayer, I’m a MiniPlayer, in every sense of this word (except for the YouTube MiniPlayer, in case you were wondering 🙃). I don’t play logical games except for word games, because all others feel dangerously close to math, even if they don’t involve math as such, they just feel and smell and look and taste and sound like math, ewwww! 

   So yeah, I play BitLife for the most part. When you play BitLife, look at their weekly challenges, read what people want in the game, it is also clear that BitLife definitely aims for much the same things as most games – be rich, be famous, be evil, what not. – And from what I see most people play it like that. When I let Sofi play BitLife, the only thing she’d do when her character grew up was alternating between burgling houses, robbing banks and gambling, because she found it thrilling. I mean, yeah, okay, it is thrilling and I do it sometimes too when I play some character whom such things fit, but doing it like all the time your whole life? So eventually I uninstalled BitLife from her phone because she’s still a kid so if she can’t play it less pathologically, I guess she shouldn’t at all at her age.

   I like BitLife because I can play it the way I want. There’s nothing you have to do, you don’t win it or lose it, you just live. And I also like BitLife because I find people interesting as individuals, and here you can basically pretend you’re someone else, pretty much whoever you want. The way I personally usually play BitLife is I create a character in my head, who they are, what sort of personality and life they have, what flaws, what advantages, and then I play their life in BitLife the way I think such a person’s life should look like. Sometimes they’re completely random characters, sometimes peeps from my BrainWorld or sometimes I try recreating lives of people I know or book characters etc. And in the game, it’s hardly so that everything goes to plan, so there are usually some more or less interesting plot twists along the way. Anyway, I always like to imagine my BitLife character as I play, and have a bit of a movie going on in my head as I progress with the game. Then when the character dies, or when I just feel like switching or need to switch for whatever  reason, I switch to one of their children, and then one of that child’s children and we have a whole dynasty where everyone has loads of children with unusual names (BitLife can generate names from some name bank it has but I always name my children there myself because there’s also such  option, my current character, for example, is called Anne-Micheline Grønberg-Cleary, her father is Norwegian and her mother is Anglo-Irish and she also has some Dutch and Welsh ancestry and she currently lives in LA and runs a healthy food store which is just about to go bankrupt because naturally she’s near-dyscalculic and I don’t know what she’ll do next with her life). Which is why I think it stinks like a skunk that BitLife still doesn’t have more advanced family features – I mean you have parents, siblings, lovers, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews (oh and family pets if that counts), but you cannot interact with your grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. It’s not very realistic that a grandparent can interact with their grandchild but the grandchild cannot interact with the grandparent, but there are more such bigger and smaller ridiculosities in the game, like that every country that doesn’t have euros or pounds has dollars, and generally even though you can play in almost any country, the whole thing is absurdly US-centric. Like I once lived in Saudi Arabia and had a scenario where my cat allegedly threw an urn with the ashes of some distant ancestor of mine off the mantlepiece, and I was like: “Yeah, because Muslims sure cremate their ancestors, right?” It’s unclean. 😀 Or you can be a Swede going to a Swedish school and turns out your Swedish language teacher is actually from Mongolia lol. 

   Because Bitlife is largely text-based, it’s not as immersive as other video games, and a lot of the play feels repetitive when you play it for some time, so it absolutely can and does get boring. But on the other hand you can also live each life a bit differently so that things are never the same, and you do have quite a lot of options as for what you can do with your life, even if not as many as we’d ideally like (I’ve always wanted to homeschool my kids in Bitlife for example but what can you do, you have no say as to what school your children will go to, you can’t express your opinion on their new girlfriend/boyfriend or tell them how distasted you are when they say after years of you paying their college tuition that they’ve become a stripper or an escort! 😩 ). And BitLife devs may not be the fastest at releasing updates but the game is being developed so new things are added nonetheless. I wish I could also try playing their other game – CatLife – which is what it sounds like, a cat’s life sim, but it isn’t accessible even though it’s about a year old now so it’ll probably never be, and people say it’s not that good anyway, but I’d like to find it out myself. 😀 

   Most of all though, I’d like to be able to play The Sims, because it must be like a more fun and expanded version of BitLife. But I doubt it will ever become accessible for screen readers with the way it works. 

   Overall though, how do I feel about video games? Well mostly neutral. For the most part I don’t care. But I get why people who like them do, and I get why people who don’t like them say things like that video games kill creativity and imagination or desensitise you to violence and are addictive, although I don’t like generalising that they all do, like the mere fact that something is a video game means it’s bad and will make your brain rot. Even though I have never came across an accessible, interesting and truly valuable video game, I’m sure that there are such and that they are as valid pieces of art as good books, films and music. And speaking of music, game soundtracks can be great too. Or they can be creepy. I mean seriously, last year Sofi had a phase where she played some stupid little game on her phone, I don’t know what it was called or what the overall point was but you had a few parallel worlds in there and some weird creatures and you were racing someone, that’s about as much as I can remember, but what I remember most vividly is that each of those worlds had a different tune that played while you were in it, and one of them was absolutely creepy. Of course, for the uninitiated newbies, I don’t mean creepy in an objective sense, like spooky or anything, but just sensorily creepy for me, not sitting well with my brain, for lack of a more suitable description of the phenomenon. I’m so grateful to God that Sofi no longer plays that game. 

   So, how do you feel about video games? And what games do you play, if any at all? 🙂 

Big this or that game with similar names.

   How do you people feel about a this or that name game? This one will be just generally about names that are similar in any way, either they’re variants of each other, or different spellings, or one is the full form and the other a nickname of it, or they sound similar or just have a kind of similar vibe. You tell me which one you prefer for each of the pairs below and feel free to expand on that and say why if you want. 

  •    Elin or Helen? 
  • Nils or Lars? 
  • Ella or Bella? 
  • Jake or Jack?
  • Emily or Emma? 
  • James or Michael? 
  • Ava or Eva? 
  • David or Isaac? 
  • Christina or Kristin? 
  • Kevin or Kieran? 
  • Elisabeth or ELizabeth?
  • John or Peter? 
  • Christine or Justine? 
  • Erik or Elias? 
  • Frances or Francine? 
  • William or George? 
  • Maria or Mary? 
  • Luc or Michel? 
  • Wilhelmina or Wilma? 
  • Matti or Antti? 
  • Eugenia or Euphemia? 
  • Basil or Cecil? 
  • Noelle or Natalie? 
  • Nathaniel or Nathan? 
  • Felicia or Felicity? 
  • Felix or Phoenix? 
  • Natalia or Julia? 
  • Nicholas or Noel? 
  • Petronella or Dulcibella? 
  • Jasper or Casper? 
  • Rachel or Ruth? 
  • Leonard or Bernard? 
  •  Xenia or Sonia? 
  • Serge or Ivan? 
  • Sofia or Sophia? 
  • Joseph or Jacob? 
  • Tiffany or Brittany? 
  • Jeremy or Zachary? 
  • Amber or Crystal? 
  • Tyler or Dylan? 
  • Sofie or Sophie? 
  • Harry or Charlie? 
  • Kirsty or Kirsten? 
  • Christopher or Christian? 
  •  Jayne or Rayne? 
  • Andrew or Thomas? 
  • Melanie or Stephanie? 
  • Stefan or Stephen? 
  • Anna or Anne? 
  • Adam or Alexander? 
  • Evie or Stevie? 
  • Taylor or Jayden? 
  • Ann or Nan? 
  • Edward or Henry? 
  • Margareta or Margherita? 
  • Timothy or Anthony? 
  • Erika or Ulrika? 
  • Fredrik or Sven? 


  • Elin or Helen? – Elin for sure! I love both, but Elin has more of a personality, plus it’s both Swedish and Scandinavian. If I had to choose between Elin or Helena, I would probably have more of a problem. 
  • Nils or Lars? – Both are kind of nice but at the same time feel rather bland and boring to me. I think I very slightly prefer Lars though, obviously pronounced the Scandinavian way LAHSH. 
  • Ella or Bella? – Both are super popular in America and I prefer them as nicknames, yet I still do like them both as standalone names as well. I think I choose Ella though because I know a lot of dogs called Bella, plus I don’t like the association with Bella Swan and the  “beautiful” meaning is slightly cliche. 
  • Jake or Jack? – Duh
  • Emily or Emma? – Both are boring and overused but I think I like Emily slightly more. 
  • James or Michael? – Michael. 
  • Ava or Eva? – I dislike Ava slightly less than Eva I guess. 
  • David or Isaac? – David, I think, though I feel pretty neutral about both. 
  • Christina or Kristin? – Kristin all the way, but mostly just because I’ve seen it a bit less in my life than I have Christina so it’s not as boring, and because of Kristin Lavransdatter whom I really love. I’m rather neutral about all Christine-related names. 
  • Kevin or Kieran? – Most definitely Kevin. I actually quite like Kevin or even more so its original Irish form Caoimhín, but I really dislike Kieran, and Ciaran (the Irish form) as well, for that matter. 
  • Elisabeth or ELizabeth? – Both are amazing but I prefer Elisabeth ‘cause it’s more aesthetically pleasing to my brain as is the Scandinavian pronunciation. 
  • John or Peter? – That’s a hard one, I think I pretty much like them equally… Huh, I can’t make up my mind! 😀 Well okay, let’s say Peter ‘cause I like the sound better I think. 
  • Christine or Justine? – Christine I guess? 
  • Erik or Elias? – Elias, and again I prefer the Scandinavian pronunciation compared to the English, i.e. with the “ee” rather than “I” sound in the middle, but even with the English one I still prefer Elias. 
  • Frances or Francine? – Francine, but mostly because I once wrote a short story where there was a Francine. She was supposed to be a very narrow-minded, unlikeable character but I ended up really liking her ‘cause she turned out totally different than I planned. 😀 Talk about not having control over your characters. 
  • William or George? – Absolutely William! I love William and the vast majority of its forms and I dislike George and the majority of its forms. 
  • Maria or Mary? – Maria. I see both everywhere since Maria is so common in Poland and Scandinavia and Mary in the Anglosphere but I think Maria is more… I don’t know how to put it… colourful or something? Kind of more flexible because it fits better in all types of name combos. Not that Mary doesn’t, but Maria does it better. 
  • Luc or Michel – Michel, it sounds and looks nicer, and it has the Mish sound in it. 
  • Wilhelmina or Wilma? – Wilhelmina hands down. I love Wilhelmina but Wilma is meh. 
  • Matti or Antti? – Matti! Antti is okay, but Matti’s even better. This Finnish form is my favourite variant of Matthew. 
  • Eugenia or Euphemia? – Definitely Euphemia. I used to really dislike Eugenia but it’s been slowly growing on me. Still, I like Euphemia a lot more. 
  • Basil or Cecil? – I don’t like Basil and feel rather neutral about Cecil, so Cecil. 
  • Noelle or Natalie? – Noelle, it’s lovely. 
  • Nathaniel or Nathan? – Nathaniel. 
  • Felicia or Felicity? – This is really difficult, because I would generally say Felicia, because I love it slightly more than Felicity, but only pronounced fe-LEE-see-uh. If Felicia was to be pronounced the standard English way fe-LEE-shuh, I think I’d vote for Felicity. 
  • Felix or Phoenix? – I love Felix, so it’s Felix, but Phoenix is fairly nice too and surprisingly I quite like it for both genders. 
  • Natalia or Julia? – Hmmmm… This is complicated, because both of these names are super popular here in Poland for babies and also among gen Z, so I’m really quite fed up with them, but at the same time I do think these are nice names and before I discovered Emily of New Moon and before Julia became super popular I had a brief moment when I wanted to be a Julia. I think Julia is more popular than Natalia now though and Sofi had like five Julias in her class, so Natalia feels more refreshing, hence I choose Natalia. 
  • Nicholas or Noel? – Noel, though they are both cool. 
  • Petronella or Dulcibella? – Dulcibella’s been my guilty pleasure for a few years now, why don’t people call their kids this anymore when -ella names are so popular? I wish I could see at least one birth announcement of a Dulcibella. And nn Dulcie is so literally sweet. 
  • Jasper or Casper? – Jasper, ‘cause it’s like the stone, and jaspers are one my favourite stones. In fact, you regular folks on here know that I give my stones human names, and I’m so creative and original that I have one cute little reddish jasper stone called Jasper. 😀 
  • Rachel or Ruth? – Rachel. Ruth is more unexpected these days and has more of a defined personality as a name, but I feel a little ambivalent about it whereas Rachel is very unequivocally warm and kind of cosy imo. 
  • Leonard or Bernard? – Leonard, but both are meh. 
  •  Xenia or Sonia? – Xenia I suppose, but to my Polish ear they both feel nicknamey. 
  • Serge or Ivan? – Serge, just because I don’t like Ivan. 
  • Sofia or Sophia? – Sofia but both are lovely. 
  • Joseph or Jacob? – Jacob, not a fan of Joseph really. 
  • Tiffany or Brittany? – Uhm, no idea… They’re so similar I always mix them up anyway. I guess Tiffany sounds a bit nicer though. 
  • Jeremy or Zachary? – Zachary I think. 
  • Amber or Crystal? – Crystal. 
  • Tyler or Dylan? – Dylan, but don’t care for either really. 
  • Sofie or Sophie? – This is an impossible choice! I can never make my mind up about it. I guess I’m the same with Sophie and Sofie as I am with my languages – the one I like more is the one I’m seeing/thinking about at a particular moment. 
  • Harry or Charlie? – Charlie, not crazy at all about Harry. 
  • Kirsty or Kirsten? – Kirsty looks better. 
  • Christopher or Christian? – Christopher! I like it a lot, Christian not so much. 
  •  Jayne or Rayne? 
  • Andrew or Thomas? – Andrew. 
  • Melanie or Stephanie? – I like Melanie a lot more. 
  • Stefan or Stephen? – If it was Steven and Stephen, I’d choose Steven, but as it is, I think I choose Stephen. 
  • Anna or Anne? – Anna, of course, though I really like both. 
  • Adam or Alexander? – Alexander for sure, not a fan of Adam. 
  • Evie or Stevie? – Evie is a lot fresher, though I’d much prefer something longer like Evelyn or Evangeline, it’s really childish imo as a standalone option. 
  • Taylor or Jayden? – Taylor, though don’t like either. 
  • Ann or Nan? – Actually, I guess Nan. Ann is really underwhelming compared to Anne/Anna, and Nan at least feels more dynamic and has something bright and zippy about it. 
  • Edward or Henry? – That’s difficult because I just don’t like either… but… perhaps I dislike Edward a bit less. Not sure here really. 
  • Margareta or Margherita? – Margareta, but both are super clunky imo. 
  • Timothy or Anthony? – Timothy because I like Tim and because I don’t like Anthony. 
  • Erika or Ulrika? – Erika. 
  • Fredrik or Sven? – Both are kind of boring but I choose Fredrik solely because it reminds me of Cornelis Vreeswijk’s Fredrik Åkare character which generally I’d say is a positive association. 
  •    Over to you, guys. Which ones do you prefer? 

Travelle – “Video Games”.

Hey people! 🙂

I thought today I’d share another song from this Norwegian singer, songwriter and producer with you all. I know diddly squat about video games, simply because I never really play them. In fact, I hardly play any games at all, not because I don’t like it overall or because I have some weird rules that I never do it like some people apparently do, it’s simply because there aren’t as many games that are accessible for the blind, and out of those that are, few have managed to really spark my enthusiasm, and even fewer kept me interested long-term. Yet, on some level, I do find this song relatable, because even though I don’t play video games, I do a lot of other things that I’m hooked on, just like it seems to be the case with him and video games, and which I use as a substitute for peopling a lot of the time, and I much prefer peopling online. Except for me this is a chronic state, which doesn’t seem to be the case for Travelle, because from what we can figure out from the song itself and from what I read about it, it was more of a transition period for him, when he moved from his hometown (he’s from somewhere in Rogaland) to Oslo, where he didn’t know any people and had no one to hang out with so he preferred hanging out online with people he knew. It’s certainly always quite a major change in one’s life to move from a smaller place to a city where you don’t really know many people. Also, like I already wrote about Travelle in my previous posts where I shared some of his music, I like how he seems very candid about things, I like candid, genuine-sounding lyrics which let you see a glimpse of a person behind them because people as individuals are interesting most of the time. And it’s always refreshing to hear a song that isn’t about love or sex. 😀