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This is the Nearzone, home base of writer J Onwuka. You'll find my thoughts on science fantasy, pro wrestling, and storytelling here, so have a look around! It'll feel a little weird at first, that's perfectly okay.

Art, Mentality, and Pro Wrestling

Kota Ibushi vs Cedric Alexander

Pro wrestling and video games are actually good companions in the conversation about art. Both of them are often viewed as junk to consume, crude even if they are found somehow addicting. You understand where the idea comes from when you think about early games like Space Invaders, Galaga, Pac-Man, Super Mario, games that seem to be about nothing more than blasting or moving, nothing too complicated aside from the intensity. Yes, it’s impressive if you can get to a high point in Pac-Man, but it’s the same sort of thing as balancing the most plates on your heads: congrats, you’ve done it, but why would you do such a thing?… Keep reading→

Women of Honor Need Fixing

Women of Honor

Ring of Honor is known across the two major oceans and to some extent around the other five as a stronghold for athletic wrestling. To be vulgar and talk about brands for a moment, their brand is ‘world-class talent making a name for themselves as professionals and as wrestlers’ and, at least in the wrestling … Keep reading→

Bulletpoints: Keys to Fixing Impact

Trevor Lee, X Division Champion

Impact Wrestling still has a problem. I’ve read a ton of devil’s advocate pieces recently about how Impact is righting the ship. None of these earn a reprieve for the devil. It simply is not delivering anything that can really hook a viewer. In my opinion, they believe (like WWE does) that the Attitude Era model is the one with the most potential for cash, so they try to tie every week’s episode to the next one, they throw together car crash matches and car crash angles, everybody attacks everyone else, etc. Do you know the real difference between Impact 2016 and Attitude WWF? The talent. What made Attitude WWF work was not the car crash booking, and in fact it’s my opinion that the way their show was booked probably restricted the heights they could reach. What made it work, what made it thrive, was the fact that they were led by Steve Austin and the Rock, they had luminaries like the Undertaker who could take on any role, like Chris Jericho, like Mick Foley, the Acolytes, Edge & Christian, the Hardyz and the Dudleyz, they had charismatic side acts like Too Cool & Rikishi, Lita, the New Age Outlaws, Steve Blackman (in his own way…), and Trish Stratus. The talent is why Attitude WWF was what it was.… Keep reading→

Mass Effect’s Many Distractions

Mass Effect 2 still

Storytelling in video games is one of the biggest challenges in front of a game developer. A gripping story gives shape and meaning to the obstacles of each stage. What makes video games unique is the participation of the reader, the viewer, the gamer. In a traditional storytelling mode like prose fiction or cinema, we … Keep reading→

Mara Neptune in “In And Out Of The Between”

Mystic Mountain

A repost of my episodically-posed adventure “In and Out of The Between” starring the plucky space drifter with rad pink hair Mara Neptune!
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The problem with running so close to the wire with every job was that Mara couldn’t afford to heed every warning broadcast. She knew that a hijack alert had been set on this region and yet she had her ship’s computers set to take her right through it. The hope was that a little one-soul ball-ship like Mara piloted would escape their notice.… Keep reading→