A Call to Madness…or just a break to the Monotony of Man.

by J. Voltagaard

To my fellow grinders of the work week; to the homies I pass in the street; and to the wild, the mild and the meek – my name is J. Voltagaard, and I’m here to make to think a little deeper about the shallower things in life; to make the question of monotony of the mundane; and to (hopefully) make you smile while you read this on the can.

With introductions aside, I have a question, that I will also answer…because that is the kind of guy I am. What do the first and only Emperor of the United States (and defender of Mexico) and the director of the “Worst Movie Ever Made” have in common?
Both were eccentric (and probably interesting) weirdos who you either loved or hated.
Both showed how the power of personality could influence the world around them.
Both had a terrible experience that made them re-evaluate their situations and strive to strike out on their own and shape the world around them as they wanted it.

Joshua Edward Norton before he acquired the title of “Emperor of the United States and Defender of Mexico” was left destitute after a bad business deal and the ensuing lawsuit he pursued in order to recoup some of his losses. Right after this he issued his first proclamation declaring himself emperor of the United States.

Emperor-Norton-1870s-cI’d be on board with this guy 

Tommy Wiseau – before he directed “The Room” (2003) and after he arrived in America from “parts unknown, Europe” – worked a variety of mercantile jobs before he was in a near fatal crash that made him re-evaluate the circumstances of his life and pursue his dream of acting and directing in Hollywood.

"The Disaster Artist" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals
I think he was the Monty Python “Dancing Teeth” Guy

Both these tumultuous tribulations were necessary for these men to pursue their higher calling of being the most eccentric wierdos they could possibly be. But this then forces me to ask if the sudden destitution, and near fatal collision, knocked the madness into these men required to undertake their monumental tasks that allowed them to
transcend mortality, OR were these men mad to begin with, but too mild not to be monotonous, only to be awoken by the sudden slap that is the awareness of the fragility of the human condition also known as Existence, OR did the sudden break of monotony in their life awaken the latent strange that lurked like a hibernating beast in the deepest recesses of their mind?

If any of this first is true, that leads me to the heart-breaking conclusion that we as people don’t appreciate the fragility of our collective condition that we call existence and the complicated yet of so beautiful dance of the day to day, that we call life, until they’re jeopardised. Or even worse…

…we are too afraid too fail to be the weirdest and best we that we can be.

The Room is famously among the most widely enjoyed “Terrible” films of all time. For greater insight into the story behind that film, check out “The Disaster Artist”. If you are keen for a whole new Tommy Wiseau experience, take a look at his upcoming project: Spaceworld.



A Case of the Mondays – It’s My Party

“This is it, the final battle. Nobody’s ever faced odds like these before, and for good reason; any smart man would call this mission suicide, but it has to be done. The fate of the world is riding on our shoulders people, if we don’t succeed here, there won’t be a home to go back to. Are you ready? Great! You two come with me, everyone else stand over on the sidelines while the three of us take on these ridiculous odds. Let’s go!”



Seems crazy doesn’t it? But time and time again players are confronted with this scenario in role-playing games. The fate of the world hangs in the balance, but they’re forced to tell most of their party to stay behind and take it easy while the player takes a couple of companions on a suicide mission. It’s become such a common part of these games that a lot of players barely even bat an eyelid when this happens – it’s the norm rather than the exception.

We all know the reason; it’s a video game and all of the fights are based around the player having a 3 character party, if they could bring everyone along the game would be completely unbalanced. But RPG’s are a story driven genre, and from a story perspective, the decision to leave everyone behind doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to ask the question:

Why can’t I take my whole party with me? Continue reading

The Best and Worst of 2012

With the new year kicking off, it’s time to look back at 2012; a year that brought a close to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Twilight franchise as well as kicking off a new trilogy in the form of The Hobbit. Marvel’s multi-movie continuity experiment payed off with The Avengers taking over $1 billion at the box office, and studios continued to push 3D – re-releasing everything from Titanic to The Phantom Menace in a bid to rake in some extra revenue.

There were a lot of great films this year, but if I was to write about all of them my hands would probably fall off. So I’ve narrowed down the field to a few standouts. Without further ado, let me present my awards for 2012; like the Oscars, but without any of that pesky credibility.

Continue reading

Blizzcon 2011 Impressions

Blizzcon 2011

Every year, more than 20,000 gamers descend on the Anaheim Convention Center to hear the latest news on the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo franchises from Blizzard. For the last few years, they have been joined by tens of thousands of people from around the world on the Blizzcon livestream; but the viewing experience has always had its share of problems. 2011 was no different, in fact the viewing experience this year was the most problematic that I have experienced. Continue reading

Skyrim Preview

The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesised Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.

The Elder Scrolls series of games is one that has attracted many dedicated fans over the years, myself included. The huge open world gameplay in a fantasy world is something that has been tried by other studios, but nobody has come close to creating a similarly immersive experience. Skyrim, the 5th game in the series is due to come out in November, and Bethseda have been demoing footage behind closed doors at QuakeCon and PAX Prime to help build some buzz. The footage has recently been released to the public, so I thought I’d dive in and have a look at what Game Director Todd Howard has to show us about one of my most anticipated games of 2011. Continue reading