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Emprexx Plush
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Paige/EP/Plush, they/them pronouns pls thanks :3
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((I'm gonna go ahead and slap a Trigger Warning for Sexual Violence, Nonconsent, and Genital Mutilation up top here))

I actually really enjoy Zachary's profile. There are moments where it's a little try-hardy and goes overboard from what we'd consider standard these days, but it's about being really good at vidya games rather than, say, being a military sharpshooter or the world's expert in experimental new wave parkour so I'm down to give it a pass. I like the details of including aliases like IM names and such, it brings a personal flair and sells his involvement in the online/gaming scene. I also really like the little description of his voice that's given at the end of his appearance, I'm sure there are other profiles that have done this but this is the first time I've noticed it and while I'd love to have a more thorough description it's something that's lowkey really smart. I'm definitely gonna be stealing that for future profiles.

Pre-game's not too notable for him. One thread that's mostly him paling around with Nich and Andrew after a couple other people appear and vanish without explanation. The thread never concluded, but one thing I do like here is that it reinforces the nature of Zachary as a punching bag and a dude who takes a lot of pain. It's something that's mentioned in his profile as relevant and he keeps on selling it in this thread by having Zed biff it and fail throughout, which provides further excuse for some of the try-hardiness in the profile. There's a real average skater punk vibe to the whole thing and I have no idea how accurate any of the terminology or descriptions are because lol I can't even ride a bike, but at least as far as the conversational/attitude vibe goes Laz does pretty okay here, I'm into it.

Welcome to the Jungle has a NC-17 tag on it. I didn't know what to expect from that going in. Zed's got a classic wake-up sequence with some memories of being kidnapped and convinces himself the whole thing is a game. It's a weird jump, to be honest, and I don't think it works as well as the moments where he thinks this is real. The blue text Laz uses for his thoughts is also suuuuper grating on evolution, unfortunately, so I guess I'm getting used to that.

"((The BS in BSOD doesn't mean Blue Screen, if you get what I mean. ;))"<---This is my favorite OOC text note I've ever read and I'm legitimately disappointed that NAFT never parodied this one when he was doing Weiss. Fukn missed opportunities, folks.

Okay. Sidebar here. I...kinda love the start of this scene. Like, a lot. It's cringey and awkward and no one is happy and that all just sort of works for what's happening. There's some extremely uncomfortable issues of consent that I think could have been handled much, much better, but this is an ugly scene. I don't appreciate Zed's complete shift in tone as things continue because I feel it's stereotypical and problematic as all hell, but some of the ideas at play in the beginning here are pretty obvious issues that would come up in a game like this that we tend to steer away from as a sight and it's framed way, way better than I expected it to be. Where the scene really starts to stumble is about the time the actual dick-munching takes place. There's a lot of flailing in the narrative but honestly Zed plays it off a lot easier than I'd expect and it makes the whole thing kinda difficult to take seriously. Less genital mutilation, more that scene in 21 Jump Street where the guy gets his dick shot off. I mean...dude slathers Neosporin all over his open bloody wound. Don't do that kids. That's a very bad idea. The execution just isn't there on this one.

Ignoring that, I also quite like the dynamic that Zachary and Nich have in this thread, and there's some decent payoff to the videogame theming that's going on with the "You Found: Cat's Claw!" and "Nich Joined Your Team" thoughts that pop up here. I would have liked to see more of this before now, but it justifies the turn, and if it wasn't for all the physical pain I could even buy in that that's why Zed's taking having his dick bit off so comparatively well. The cheeky bit in Improvising about the lack of background music being eerie is another good thought for this theme. I think it helps his aggressiveness in Don't Panic, though I wish we could have seen A and B line up a little more directly because I feel like the implication is that Zed is still in video game mode and is playing to win and that's not 100% clear until the latter half of this thread. I also think he belabors talking about "save-points" way too much. It starts off kinda funny and then just keeps cropping up every post or two. Maybe it pays off in the future, we'll see.

""Al- most- done...AAGH!" It was becoming impossible to tell if Zed was either or both of reeling from or enjoying what he was doing."<---I'm leaving this line of Zed trying to patch up the gaping hole where his dick used to be here because I don't have the words to discuss how I feel about it and I just, I just need people to know it happened, okay? Okay.

"Stay calm...it's not like they'd have out-and-out yaoi in video games these days...it's probably going to be censored like that Hot Coffee thing..."<---Also this. I dunno where Zed's latent bicuriosity is supposed to stem from but it jumps out of nowhere in Pale Shelter. It's kind of interesting in a way and I'd like to have seen it elaborated on as more than a physical comedy goof because "consequence-free videogame as space to explore my sexuality" is a decent plot thread that I could have gotten on board with, but unfortunately it seems like it was just played for laughs, which is another problematic element of Zachary's story. It continues on into his death, which...man, V2 culture is weird about multiple characters from the same handler meeting, OOC notes, all that jazz, and Stopping For The Night is a mash-up of exactly why I'm glad we've moved on from that for the most part as a site because I find it very difficult to read and keep track of, there's just too much.

All in all, Zach's pretty readable and has moments where his story is very interesting! It's full of problematic issues mainly around his relationship with Andrew there at the end and the initial scene with Venus, but there's some good stuff in here and I particularly like how he played most of the videogame stuff. There's a lot of room for improvement but I mean, just based on how much I wrote going through him I'd say there's a lot to dissect here and that makes him worth reading. I'd recommend him for learning purposes alone and I think you'll have an alright to decent time along the way as well.

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The V2 Read-o-thon · Roleplaying Discussion