Foreign Friday: Environmental Influences

Reading manga has really taught me to keep my horizons wide, since Japanese culture is not the same as American culture. Things that the characters do or say reflect the environment of the author, and if I’m not paying attention I won’t understand. But only recently have I considered the effect of my own environment upon READING.


Have you ever read a book or watched a movie, and then forever related it to the events or location during which you first read/watched it? Pride and Prejudice in the summer. Cardcaptor Sakura in the spring. The Lord of the Rings at Christmas time. The Hunger Games in a windowless room with dry snack food. Harry Potter in the back of a minivan. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with my brothers, watching them play and reading out the strategy guide for the Water Temple. Can’t read Redwall without cheese and iced tea. Final Fantasy XIII at a friend’s, trying to figure out the plot and debating the pros and cons of Xbox vs PlayStation.

I’ve found that those environmental relations tend to color how I remember the story (hot, cold, fun, lousy).  Starting Naruto Shippuden was super exciting, but it could have been because I started reading it at Easter after having given up manga for Lent. I hated The Hunger Games, but perhaps it had something to do with the institutional room and substandard food I was eating, making me feel a little too sympathetic. Final Fantasy is awesome and intricate, but it may be colored by the pleasure of playing it with my friend.

These are the fun observations that can lead to brilliant character development! And it all started because I wanted to finish a video game…



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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Andy Straub-Walden
    Oct 24, 2013 @ 17:30:57

    I play Minecraft while listening to public domain literature on podcast. My creations become monuments to the stories I listen to while building them. I have a castle dedicated to Dracula, a lighthouse haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and a tower which stands as a relic to Edmond Dantes.


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