A couple of months ago, I started playing a video game for the first time in my life. I never had gaming consoles when I was younger, so this was a new experience which led to a lot of frustration and more enthusiasm. This blog post will come in two parts: a genshin advertisement, and an introduction to my vibes and what I do on campus!
Part 1: What exactly is Genshin? / How do you play Genshin?
I’m glad you asked! Genshin is an RPG01 Role-playing game, though those words make me cringe for unknown reasons. in which you play as one of two characters: Aether or Lumine. I chose Aether,02 I’ll say “Aether” from now on because saying “one of the twins” or “traveler” (as he’s usually referred to in the in-game dialogue) is kind of confusing. at one of my friends’ encouragement.
Aether is,,, adorable. I love him and his braid and his armor (?) crop top.
Basically (with no spoilers), you play as Aether after an evil (?) god traps his twin Lumine in a weird cube thing. Aether wakes up, alone, and a small, flying creature named Paimon asks for his angsty backstory. Now, Aether is on an adventure to reunite with his sister.
Paimon says that she’ll help you (after Aether apparently fished her out of a lake?) and you head to Mondstadt, the city of freedom, to start looking for Lumine. Aether touches a statue03 The statues are ??? something related to the city’s gods. Each of the cities has an associated god, though Mondstadt’s god has been gone for a while. and gets the power of Anemo, or wind.04 Essentially, all of the playable characters have an associated element, which they control using a vision. Aether, *said singing* the only exception, doesn’t have a vision but can go around to different statues in game and switch between elements. There are currently six playable ones: Anemo (Air), Pyro (Fire), Cryo (Ice), Hydro (Water), Geo (Rocks), and Electro (Electricity? Lightning? Idk it's purple).
Okay, that’s the introduction. From there Aether meets a lot of new characters and goes on some [redacted] adventures. Eventually, Paimon and Aether head to Liyue Harbor, the city of contracts, to keep searching for his sister and talk to Liyue’s god, who goes by several names: Rex Lapis, Morax, and [muffled noises as I avoid an apparently obvious spoiler which I did not see coming].
There’s a ton of worldbuilding and lore to explore throughout Teyvat, but I’ll let anyone interested in it explore it themselves. Also, the game is beautiful!!
Okay that last one was just Diluc, my favourite character. In my defense, he is beautiful.
So how do you play Genshin?
Well, personally, very badly.
My favourite part of Genshin is its characters. There are a lot of characters, and you can get new ones through in-game activities or, more commonly, wishing on a specific banner. To people who understand gaming: yes, Genshin is a gacha game.
However, I didn’t know what gacha even meant when I started playing so I’ll explain. Essentially, it’s a gambling system. You collect (through lots of different activities, including spending real life cash) a currency called primogems which you can then use to wish on a banner and potentially get new characters.
There is loads of stuff to do in Genshin, including but not limited to:
- Gameplay stuff like domains (you get materials to level up characters) and challenges
- Meeting and getting a lot of characters05 My favourites are Diluc (pictured above), Bennett, Zhongli (who I don't have), Ayaka (who I just got), Jean, and Xiao (who I also don't have), in that order.
- Literally just wandering around the various cities and exploring the world that the developers have clearly poured a lot of time and effort into making
- Regional quests, sometimes featuring characters or new areas to explore
If you want to start playing, I really recommend it! You can download it for free on mobile, PC, playstation, or other? platforms?06 Have to admit here that I don’t actually know what platforms you can play video games on… but at least I never claimed to be a gamer hehe and start finding out these things yourself.
Part 2: What, I still haven’t introduced myself yet? Let me do it in a Genshin style…
Okay so part of the point of getting characters is unlocking more of their backstories and personal quirks. There are voice-overs (done by very talented voice actors), character stories, and more! I took a screenshot of Diluc’s so you could see what his looks like but I’ll fill in the information with my own things >:).
As the daughter of doctors, Ana has had a long childhood of listening to her parents talk about gross medical things. One might assume that that has led her to a science-y field, but her majors capture her love of writing long academic papers. She’s planning on going to law school in the future, so that’ll come in handy!
In her free time, she reads, writes, cooks, and consumes an absurd amount of fan content.
Character Story 1:
When Ana was seven, she decided that she wanted to go to MIT. No one really knew whether she was joking or not, but she ended up applying anyway.
Her life at MIT was interesting to say the least. Things took an unexpected turn when she ended up in a sorority, AEPhi. She’s spent a lot of time with her fellow members, and is currently one of two presidents.
At some point, she’ll have to learn to say goodbye. But not yet.
Character Story 2:
“In life, man draws his own portrait, and there is nothing but that portrait.”
Ana first heard those words her senior year of high school, but she read them again more recently during a philosophy UROP with her advisor.
They mean many things to her, but it serves mainly as a reminder that her actions are what make her an individual. What does it mean to do something when it affects your identity? That’s a question she’s still trying to answer.
Character Story 3:
Relationships are like baking bread. She first heard that metaphor more than two years ago, but it still rings true. There is nothing that Ana does that is not out of love, for someone.
Still, love can be reckless and intangible. It is hard to say that loving so freely isn’t sometimes itself a burden.
She wonders, sometimes, whether it wouldn’t be easier to let go of that weight for just a second.
A lot can be said in just a few words. There’s an ever growing dictionary of words that Ana’s friends discover the longer they’re around her. Ache, hunger, perceive, bento boxes are just a handful of examples of what it means to speak Ana’s language.
Still, what’s more meaningful, she thinks, than someone learning how to speak something for you?
Voice-Over07 Template is shamelessly stolen from the Genshin voice lines that each character has! All of these are my honest answers though~
|Hello||Should we do introductions? Okay, I’ll go first! Hello, my name is Ana. I’m a rising senior in Course 18 and 24-1, which is math and philosophy.|
|Chat: Fun Fact||Oh, a fun fact too? I always use the same one, so sorry if you’ve heard this before… When my parents and I first moved to the U.S. and we went through security, they stopped me because I share the same name as a serial killer! I was five at the time, hehe.|
|Chat: Cursed Thoughts||Do… Do you want to hear a cursed thought?|
|Chat: Breakfast||I always eat breakfast! Usually, that’s a sunny side up egg with three tortillas—one for each of the yolks, and the last one to finish the egg like a taco! Efficient, right?|
|When It Rains 08 These categories occur when the weather changes in game!||You know what this reminds me of? Chill lofi study beats to relax/study to.|
|When the Sun Is Out||It’s always so nice and sunny in California! Sure beats all the other states I’ve lived in, hehe.|
|When It’s Windy||God, maybe I should have worn an actual jacket.|
|When It Snows||You know I always seem to be wearing a dress when it’s snowing, but I didn’t have any other clothes.|
|Good Morning||Hnnnnnn, can’t I sleep for another 10 minutes?|
|Good Afternoon||Oh sorry, did we schedule a meeting?|
|Good Evening||I’m just heading back from class, did you want to walk with me?|
|Good Night||Do you want to go out? Yes, right now! I’m feeling a little bit restless…|
|About Ana||You want to know more about me? Well, ask away! I’m an open book~|
|About Us: Articles||You— You read my articles? No wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.|
|About Us: “I Love You”||Ah, please don’t perceive me.|
|About the Vision09 I should state here that I obviously don’t have a vision, but this is all part of the game… unless?||
Hmmm, my vision? Well, I think it’s like anything else really, a reminder of my duty as a moral agent.
Let’s see… how to put this… Do you know what it means to act from duty? It’s a Kantian term, I think. Basically it means acting morally, because it’s the right thing to do. That’s what I think of when I see my vision.
|Something to Share||
I have a letter for you.
No! Oh my god, why would you read it in front of me? Please pretend like I don’t exist and never gave you anything.
Have you ever read this poem? It’s one of my favourites; it always makes me cry, but there’s something about the tone Kaufman uses.
“Leave something of sweetness // and substance // in the mouth of the world.” That’s what I’m trying to do too.
|About Kant||Kant? That punk ass bitch? Yeah, I don’t really like him. His moral theories kind of slap though…|
|About AEPhi||Oh that’s my sorority. No, it’s ay-ee-fie, not ay-fee, haha. It’s an easy mistake to make but APhi is another sorority! I never expected to be in Greek life, but there’s a lot of cool people here~|
|About MIT||I don’t know what there is to say about MIT. Honestly, I’m a little shocked that I’m already in my senior year. Feels like just yesterday I was a baby freshman.|
I’ve been in a lot of fandoms in my time! Hmmm let’s see. My first fandom was probably Percy Jackson, then Harry Potter, and then maybe Welcome to Night Vale? Obviously, I’m into Genshin right now, though.
Superwholock? No, I can’t seem to remember what that word means… My phone background? Yeah, that’s Cas, angel of the lord. He’s my best bud; not sure how he’s related.
It was my first love, really…
I’ve been thinking about changing it to a minor lately, but don’t tell anyone… For now, I’m just going to try sticking it out!
Haha, are you sure you want to mention philosophy to me? I’ve heard that I go on tangents sometimes…
Well, my favourite subject is ethics, which is why I can never make decisions. I started studying philosophy in high school with my favourite teacher and I guess I just never stopped.
I’m glad you also noticed. There’s something special about the word “home” isn’t there?
I’ve been thinking recently that my home is all over the place now, especially since my family is on two coasts…
|More About Ana: I||
Where am I from? Well, short story is I live in California now. Longer story is I was born in Mexico, moved to Minnesota, then Arizona, then Massachusetts, and finally California.
I like wherever my family is best, although I don’t miss the extreme weather, haha.
|More About Ana: II||
Oh, I don’t do that much at MIT, honestly. Basically all my time goes to my sorority and the philosophy major. Maybe also The Tech… and there’s also CoMM actually…
Overcommitted? Me? Of course not!
|More About Ana: III||
My life plan? Well, how much time do you have, haha? Admittedly, I only planned up til MIT when I was younger, but I’ve got some good ideas for after…
Here’s the story: I’m gonna go to law school, become a kick-ass lawyer, meet my spouse in court (we’ll be on opposite sides, obviously), start a feud which isn’t really a feud, fall in love, then move to the countryside to get married. The feud ends because I bring them soup when they’re sick, obviously.
Also, I’ve always wanted to reject a Nobel Prize… Sartre did that, you know!
|More About Ana: IV||Sorry, I’m just a bit tired. I was up late last night reading. Reading what? Well, uhh just some transformative fiction…|
|More About Ana: V||
You want help with your Google calendar? That’s great, I’ve got just the thing! Okay, so I timeblock on gcal so this might look a bit intimidating, but just let me screen share…
Oh, no, don’t worry this isn’t too much! Look, everything is just sorted into different colors depending on the activity: green for sorority stuff, blue for academics, pink for personal, yellow for clubs, orange for work, purple for Law School, and gray for everything else. That way I can see what I need to do at a glance!
Why are you looking at me like that? It’s a good system!
|Ana’s Hobbies||Pspspsps do you wanna read something I’ve written? It’s kind of cursed though…|
|Ana’s Troubles||My troubles? Well, I’ve been making them public a lot recently so I’m not sure there’s anything more to share there. I just want to do something good in the world. That’s a bit vague, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why it’s so difficult.|
|Favorite Food||My favourite food has always been Mexican food. The best dish? Well, all of them. But really, anything with tortilla, beans, cheese, chicken, and salsa works for me! Yeah, I know that’s basically all Mexican food. That’s the point.|
|Least Favorite Food||Eggplant? Absolutely not. You know, my mom insists on making it even though no one likes it and she’s allergic!|
Happy birthday! I got you something… but don’t open it in front of me. There’s just something about presents… they reveal too much about you.
But, well. I’m happy to be spending time with you right now.
|Feelings About Ascension: Intro 10 Ascension, in-game, means leveling up your characters! You unlock more of these voice-lines the more you level them up.||Ah, I feel so well-rested.|
|Feelings About Ascension: Building Up|
|Feelings About Ascension: Climax|
|Feelings About Ascension: Conclusion|
- Role-playing game, though those words make me cringe for unknown reasons. back to text ↑
- I’ll say “Aether” from now on because saying “one of the twins” or “traveler” (as he’s usually referred to in the in-game dialogue) is kind of confusing. back to text ↑
- The statues are ??? something related to the city’s gods. Each of the cities has an associated god, though Mondstadt’s god has been gone for a while. back to text ↑
- Essentially, all of the playable characters have an associated element, which they control using a vision. Aether, *said singing* the only exception, doesn’t have a vision but can go around to different statues in game and switch between elements. There are currently six playable ones: Anemo (Air), Pyro (Fire), Cryo (Ice), Hydro (Water), Geo (Rocks), and Electro (Electricity? Lightning? Idk it's purple). back to text ↑
- My favourites are Diluc (pictured above), Bennett, Zhongli (who I don't have), Ayaka (who I just got), Jean, and Xiao (who I also don't have), in that order. back to text ↑
- Have to admit here that I don’t actually know what platforms you can play video games on… but at least I never claimed to be a gamer hehe back to text ↑
- Template is shamelessly stolen from the Genshin voice lines that each character has! All of these are my honest answers though~ back to text ↑
- These categories occur when the weather changes in game! back to text ↑
- I should state here that I obviously don’t have a vision, but this is all part of the game… unless? back to text ↑
- "Ascension, in-game, means leveling up your characters! You unlock more of these voice-lines the more you level them up. back to text ↑