MACE & CROWN
FALL 2019 EST. 1930
old dominion university student magazine
A & E EDITOR
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
FRONT COVER +
The Nu Theta Chapter of
Alpha Phi Alpha
Rivers Raye Middleton
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Trey Lyon & Jada Carson
Alpha Phi Alpha
Dr. Joyce Hoffmann
Mace & Crown is a student-run magazine written and published for the students of ODU. Originally
founded in 1930 as The High Hat, the paper became The Mace and Crown in 1961. Mace & Crown
is primarily a self-supporting magazine, maintaining journalistic independence from the university. All
views expressed in this collegiate magazine are those of the author, not of the university, Mace &
Crown or the editors.
FALL 2019, ISSUE 8
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
4 Student Entrepeneurs
11 Hunter House Victorian Museum
15 Auntie’s Restaurant Review
18 Joker Movie Review
19 Alpha Phi Alpha
31 Taking Initiative
33 Player Profile: Lala Davis
35 Interview with Bobby Wilder & Keion White
37 Interview with Dr. Moberly
41 Hey, I See You
43 Four Freaky Metrovania’s
45 Psychology of Terror
46 I Am Saving You
47 Sleepwalking Cliche
49 Jack O Lantern Tale
51 Real Life
53 How Do You Spell Epiphany
Campus buzzes back to life once the summer is over and fall rolls
around. The trees shed their leaves, turn brighter, and leave
remnants of the hotter season behind. Break out that dusty
cardigan, comfy sweater, and tailgate attire. It is my absolute favorite
time of the year, spooky season - autumn.
Even though the season brings joy to those who are tired of the
beach and long for the somber scenery, it is a sadder time of the
year for me. This fall semester marks the last few months I will be the
Mace & Crown’s Editor-in-Chief, and this magazine is the last to be
produced with me in the office.
I didn’t know who I was, or even if I deserved a place somewhere -
anywhere - on campus when I came in as a freshmen in 2014. The
world was too big, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible to break
into. When I randomly walked into a Mace & Crown general interest
meeting one day in 2015, I never imagined myself ending up here.
The Mace has brought myself and so many others opportunities we
never thought were possible.
It wasn’t just about the joy being in this position brought me, but it
was seeing the writers’ faces when they saw their published articles
for the first time, when someone found out they were going to grace
the cover, or how others felt comfortable enough to share their uncomfortable
story with creativity and courage.
It was about the ODU student entrepreneurs, those moving mountains
in Greek life, the woman who develops tools to help others, and
the rest of the student body that kicked ass to bring this altogether.
The past year has been about challenges, facing the impossible, not
being afraid to go outside and beyond the box, and creating something
special just for you. I cannot wait to see how the Mace continues
to grow, encourage, and support those willing to share who they
are within our pages. For now, please enjoy our special fall edition of
the Mace & Crown.
Brooke Nicholson | Editor-in-Chief
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
PROVE TO BE
Fall 2019 | 4
Photos by Nicholas Clark
ODU has certainly seen its share of student entrepreneurs
grow within its community. From the new student
store on Monarch Way that has expanded to a small
store in Webb Center, to students growing their own businesses
individually, ODU is not shy when it comes to having the students
display their products and services. One student, Anthony
Whitaker, is proving to his peers that with a little hard work and
dedication, up and coming students who want to pursue entrepreneurship
are able to do just that once they put their mind to it.
Anthony Whitaker is the founder and CEO of Unparalleled, LLC,
an up-and-coming clothing brand designed for anyone and everyone.
Anthony, along with his two friends, CFO and COO, they have
been able to expand Unparalleled, with Anthony being the clothing
brands’ main designer. The Mace was able to ask Whitaker some
questions about his business, what his plans for his clothing brand
Unparalleled is, and what students should expect from other students
when they start their own businesses.
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What was the inspiration for
To start off I would have to say my mom. One night
my father (DeMon), my mother (Nadine) and my
sister (Asia) were all sitting around table in the
kitchen and my mom simply said, “we have 6 kids
one of yall need to make us some money” and I
said why not start my own brand. From there the
inspiration for Unparalleled stemmed from my own
motivation to want to be better in every aspect of
my life. I started thinking about ways to motivate
myself and others to be the best in their own walk
of life. After some self-reflection I realized the only
way to be the best was to not worry about what the
next person was doing, or being “Unparalleled” to
everyone else. The only competition is myself.
Did you look at other clothing
brands before starting your own
Originally, I did not look at any other brands before
developing my designs and ideas. I taught myself
how to use photoshop and began freestyling
from there and I discovered that I had some hidden
talents. Later on, I began researching and looking
into other brands and I began following Kith which
is now my favorite brand and where I get a lot of
my inspiration. Also, Its founder Ronnie Fieg. On
a smaller scale I follow brands like WrldInvsn, For
The Leaux, Macc, and Catharsis Apparel. By looking
at these smaller companies it helped me understand
the focus and grind that you have to have to
get a brand/clothing business off the ground.
How has the reception to
Unparalleled been with the ODU
Within the ODU community we are shown nothing
but love and encouragement. The students understand
our message and we couldn’t be happier with
the support we have been given through the school.
This has been shown through the amount of purchases
we have had at the monarch way store and
an ample amount of inquiries about being a brand
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Is the clothing brand doing well,
and what kind of feedback have
you seen come from it?
The clothing brand is doing extremely well for
starters, but we know we can always be doing better,
we want more for ourselves and this brand.
There have been some road blocks, but we continue
to work through them as a team. The feedback
given has been constructive. This is definitely
a learning curve, with that comes trial and
error. The setbacks we did have happened for a
reason and allowed us to come back even harder.
How we overcame these issues was simply living
through our brand. When you “Retrieve Your
Reflection” anything is possible.
What should students know about
student entrepreneurs’ clothing
People should know that this is not an easy task,
juggling a business and academics takes a lot of
self-discipline and organization. We do this to
help other people more than ourselves. We want
everyone around us to make an impact, that’s the
true heartbeat of unparalleled.
What might some misconceptions
We do not make as much money as people think,
this is a marathon not a race. All profits at this
current time go back into the business. You have
to learn how to delay gratification in this game
we call life and especially when starting a clothing
brand without any major Investors.
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What are some plans for the
We would like to build this company into a multipurpose
organization. This will be more than
just a brand, we will be the expectation for what a
business truly is, having our hands in more buckets
than one. We plan to transform Unparalleled
LLC into a Marketing/Management Company
similar to how Roc Nation operates, but instead
tapping into every industry we can get a hold on.
We will also continue selling and developing apparel
and we plan to dive deeper into the athletic
industry by making athletic wear that’s Unparalleled
to any other.
What might you do differently?
Continue to be different from the rest. Making
sure we stay unrivaled, unmatched, and Unparalleled
in everything we do. We are always going
to change it up and do what people won’t expect.
Being Unparalleled is untraceable, you will never
know what is coming next.
You can find Unparalleled apparel at
the student stores on Monarch Way and
in the Webb Center, as well as :
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
TAKE A TOUR THROUGH
Nestled between the modern world and a cobble stone street in the
Historic District of Norfolk, sits The Hunter House Victorian Museum.
The home was built for the Hunter family in 1894 and turned
into a museum in 1988. James Wilson Hunter was a successful Norfolk
merchant, banker, and civic leader. Lizzie Ayer Barnes Hunter
placed a condition upon their marriage that defied tradition. James
Hunter was responsible for providing for the family, but it was Lizzie
who was in charge of the family finances. At the time the home
was built, it was estimated to cost twenty-thousand dollars. Today,
the figure would rise to just over half a million.
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The couple had three children,
James W. Hunter, Jr. (1878-1940),
Harriett Cornelia (1880-1958),
and Eloise Dexter (1885-1965). None of
the children married or had children.
James W. Hunter, Jr. went on to serve as
a medic in World War I and later became
a successful physician in cardiology and
radiology. The sisters remained active in
several local, state, and national patriotic
and genealogical societies. All except
James Jr. passed away in the home. Upon
request, the home was turned into a museum
after the passing of the last family
member with the home containing ninety-five
percent of its original contents. Today,
it is cared for by a wonderful group
of staff member’s and docent’s that have
fallen in love with its Victorian charm.
Upon entering the house through the
large glass door, it’s as though you have
stepped into another place in time. The
floors creek and moan in acknowledgement
of your arrival. Passing through the
front parlor, lies a wicker casket used for
viewing purposes prior to burial. The parlor
is slightly curved, with draperies hung
from top to bottom that puddle on the
floor. Our lovely tour guide, Patty, said
“this was a way for Victorian’s to say they
could afford to waste this material.” The
fireplace is large, equipped with its beautiful
original ceramic tile. Each fireplace
on the first floor contains an image on
the tile. One image is that of three women,
known as “The three muses.” On the
mantel lie another original piece; a clock.
Although the clock stopped working
decades ago, one staff member, Renee,
claims that when alone with the clock,
it will start ticking until they take their
Up next we move to the green back parlor
and dining room where original books
and china remain on the shelves. Patty explains
how during the Victorian era, the
green dye came from arsenic. This dye
could be poisonous to those who wore
green clothing. Thus, women in green
were considered beautiful but deadly.
There is a donated 148-year-old taxidermy
owl, lovingly named Mr. Owl, that is
thought of as the guardian to the home.
It is claimed Mr. Owl roams the home
at night as the staff will find one of his
feathers where it should not be. On the
dining table lie the original Ouija board
that was found in the attic. According to
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the staff, the Hunter’s did hold seances
and were interested in making contact
with the deceased. Clairvoyant readings
in the home state that the reason contact
with the family has not been made is because
the planchet is not original to the
board. Readings have also indicated the
spirits of the family are still attached to
the home which accounts for the unexplained
noises heard by the staff.
Up the curved staircase is a small
landing area, Patty explains a
common phrase used during that
time called “come hat in hand.” This is
where potential suitors or visitors would
sit the bench, just under a stained-glass
window and small fireplace, their hat must
remain in their hands at all times. Further
up the stairs you will find the bedrooms
of the family. In Victorian times, it was
common for the husband and wife to have
separate bedrooms. At the top of the landing
was Mrs. Hunter’s rooms. On the wall
next to Mrs. Hunter’s bedroom is a call
button that she would use to call up her
live-in servants. Her bedroom contains
the original oak bed frame with a ninetythree-inch
headboard. It also contains a
sitting area in front of a large window, and
a large vanity. On the vanity sits mourning
pins and a hair jar. When women would
brush their hair, they would take fallen
out strands, place them in the jar and
when they had enough, they would send
the hair away to be weaved into broaches
or chains for a watch or other tokens. The
final item in the room is a marriage cabinet.
The custom was to gift this cabinet to
a newly married couple, and they would
have to put it together themselves. This
was probably the first real test of how well
their marriage would go.
Moving into another room connected to
Mrs. Hunter’s was her morning room.
This is where she would spend a great
deal of her morning at her desk going
over correspondence and other responsibilities
for the day. The desk contains
all of its original contents. Opened envelopes,
reading glasses, books, and
more. Although the papers are too fragile
to handle, you get a sense of how she
spent her day. Off to the side is a large
wardrobe, a donated Victorian sewing
machine, and an early Victorian metal
mannequin. Just a few feet further are
the washroom that connects the morning
room and James Hunter Jr’s office. The
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washroom is tiny, only containing the
tub and sink. On the sink are the washroom
belongings of James Hunter Jr. The
Victorians still had not moved the toilet
into the home, so it is located in the outhouse
in the backyard.
Transitioning into the office of Dr.
James Hunter Jr. you will find
many wonderful objects. On his
desk remains all of his papers, letters,
writing materials, and more. Above the
fireplace are pictures of James Hunter Jr.,
his diploma’s, and an atomizer. The atomizer
was used with water and carbolic acid
in “sick rooms” so help kill the germs. One
of the best pieces in the house is one of
the first EKG Machines that belonged to
him, along with its original instruction
book and a couple of x-rays. Across the
hall from the office is Dr. James Hunter
Jr’s. bedroom, formerly Mr. Hunter’s bedroom.
Here you find his oak bed, dresser,
and a Victorian recliner. On the dresser
remains a few of his items such as collars,
a handheld mirror, and hairbrush.
Lastly, down the hall from James Jr’s.
bedroom, you will find the servants entrance
and the children’s bedroom. Only
a few items remain that belonged to
the children. In the room is small shop
where you can purchase teas, stationary,
mugs, and more.
The Hunter House Victorian Museum is
a wonderful place to visit. They are open
April to December and offer a large variety
of fundraising events that correspond
with the season. For the month of October,
the house is in mourning so every
Wednesday is a fundraising event where
you can get a fifteen-minute psychic
reading for $35. Additionally, throughout
October, they host events called Enchanted
Fall where you can experience a
murder mystery, have an evening of Poe,
experience a carnival cult and more. For
event details, pleawese visit their Facebook,
Hunter House Victorian Museum.
The desk of James Jr.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Brings the Island Life near Campus
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Photos by Anthony Evasco
few blocks away from campus and alongside Colley Ave,
stands a small Filipino-Hawaiian fusion restaurant called,
Auntie’s Tiki Bar and Restaurant. The restaurant is based
in Virginia Beach, where it all began when Doddie Braza and his brother,
Raymond, opened the restaurant out of deep admiration for the Filipino
and 1960’s Tiki culture in 2018.
Looking forward to today, Auntie’s has been very successful in the Virginia
Beach area. Braza decided to open Auntie’s Norfolk in mid-2019,
and it has been just as successful as the original restaurant.
The restaurant itself was relatively small but cozy. The inside was dimly
lit, with the exception of the afternoon light. The walls were painted
pink and black to mimic palm tree leaves. Laughter and loud chatter
filled the place, as patrons with their drinks chatted at the bar as well
as the outside patio area.
Like any other restaurant, when seated, the waitress will be able to
greet customers with water, along with the option of another drink.
Though there was only one waitress on a steady Saturday night at
Auntie’s, she was very patient with customers ordering and took a
generous amount of time to come back to take orders.
Because Auntie’s is a fusion restaurant, the menu had a smaller amount
of choices to choose from. However, the menu is still growing with
more Filipino/Hawaiian dishes. The restaurant’s head chef, Abrizl Levantino--former
chef at Bad Saint, is always being innovated at perfecting
their craft; oftentimes, Auntie’s menu has a section of limited time
dishes. If the dish is favored by customer reviews, then usually it will be
added to the menu as a permanent item.
The word, “Sisig” originated back in the 18th century, it
comes from the full word, “sisigan” which is an old Tagalog
dialect for, “to make it sour.” With such strong influence by
the Spanish, a friar named Diego Bergaño initially defined
sisig as a, “Salad, including green papaya, or green guava eaten
with a dressing of salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar.”
Lumpia are a Filipino take on fried spring rolls, since the Chinese had influenced the
Philippines. Lumpia are a staple to any Filipino party, street vendors and of course,
a perfect appetizer.
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For starters, I had the vegetable lumpia and spam musubi.
The vegetable lumpia came in within 15-20 minutes perfectly crispy.
While hot, the taste was airy and salty from the minced vegetables,
but also tangy from the sweet and sour dipping sauce.
The spam musubi came shortly after the lumpia. The appetizer came
in four spam musubis, enough to fill anybody’s stomach. The spam
musubi was just as airy and light from the perfectly steamed rice.
The sesame seeds and the light drizzle of teriyaki gave the spam
musubi an umami flavor. The spam and white rice that stacked
on top of each other had an amazing combination of grilled and
steamed along with the smooth, salty taste of the seaweed.
Moving on to the entrees, there were the spicy sisig and loco moco.
The spicy sisig may sound quite intimidating because of the word,
“spicy.” On the contrary, the dish was far from what it may taste
like as stated on the menu. The spicy sisig was served on a sizzling
platter filled with grilled, pulled-pork, a bed of perfectly-steamed
rice and topped off with a sunny-side-up egg covered in coleslaw.
Though the pork was not spicy, it had a delicious tangy kick to the
dish. The pork was very juicy, as the egg’s runniness made the dish
feel like an island breakfast.
The loco moco came in a hot bowl with a sunny side up egg and
minced beef covered in gravy, with a bed of white rice. Though the
gravy was pretty salty, it was fairly sweet from the perfectly steamed
rice. The dish was absolutely tasty and would go flawlessly as a perfect
The Filipino-Hawaiian atmosphere was very much alive. Auntie’s
food was on point, the service was as steady and accommodating
as they possibly could. Ideally, the restaurant can be a good recommendation
for a big party of people on a Saturday evening. Overall,
eating a night on the town at Auntie’s was pretty good as it is a
great place for patrons to socialize, for groups of people to come
together and enjoy the Tiki culture.
Originating from Hawaii, spam musubi was created by a nutritionist Barbara
Funamura. During World War Two, spam was often eaten by troops. Because
of such a large military presence, it became a local adoption leading to the
creation of spam musubi.
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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
CRAZY, INSANE AND UNEXPECTED
One of the most anticipated films of
the year, “Joker” officially hit theaters
on Oct. 4, making audiences praise and
stir up discourse about the newest
adaptation to the famous comic book
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Arthur Fleck,
an entertainment clown who aspires
to be a stand up comedian. At the very
beginning of the film, Fleck is rotating
a sign on the streets of Gotham city
where a group of boys take his sign and
lead him on a foot chase, where it ends
in Fleck being jumped. Once hearing of
the situation, his coworker hands him a
gun to use for protection.
Fleck’s life consists of going to work,
meeting with his social worker and
taking care of his sick mother Penny
(Frances Conroy) whom he lives with.
After he brings his gun to the children’s
hospital, Arthur is immediately fired and
his fast descent into complete madness
The music in the beginning establishes
the time period the movie will take
place. It has old time elements and
sounds somewhat like a show tune. This
gives an insight to what direction the
film could be going, and at times the comedic
timing did fit with the scene, but
it also throws off where things are going
as the movie gets darker and crazier as
it goes. Warner Bros. has been pushing
for a “dark” universe since the release
of “ Batman vs. Superman.” That film was
a failure among fans, but “Joker” is a film
that can be a model for the dark tone
they want to achieve. As the character
itself is one of the most villainous people
in the D.C universe, focusing on villian’s
origins or exploring the storylines
outside of the regular heroes to expand
the cinematic universe.
Many media outlets and fans voiced their
concerns with how the movie glamorizes
mental illness and the portrayal
could only bring more negative attention
to the discussion of mental health.
The portrayal in the movie held truth as
it coincided with real life situations that
are out of someone’s control. Fleck’s
diagnosed with a neurological problem
which is addressed a few times in the
film and is seen taking medication and
attending sessions with a social worker.
It attributes to how Fleck becomes the
Joker and refers back to early parts in
the movie which points out things one
missed throughout its entirety.
Phoenix stated that he did not take inspiration
from previous jokers to model
his, but there were parallels in the movie
that many related to other actors, from
the late Cesar Romero to Heath Ledger.
Details can be pointed out and reminded
of those, which is a perfect choice to
the new adaptation.
“Joker” is a must see for everyone as
no person would look at it the same.
The psychological-horror element is
strong and Phoenix’s performance
was realistic to the character and has
reimagined the origins of the villain
to be open-ended and incite discussion
for many people, almost like it
was intended to do.
Rotten Tomatoes critics have rated it
at 69% but audience score is at 90%
and a 9/10 in IMDb.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
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LPHA ALPHA P
I ALPHA ALPHA
CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF GREEK LIFE
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HI ALPHA ALP
PHI ALPHA AL
PHI ALPHA A
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Photos by Jorge Zamudio and Nicholas Clark
There is more than what meets the eye
when it comes to greek life on Old Dominion
University’s campus, especially when it
comes to the NPHC fraternity, Alpha Phi
Alpha (Alphas). Beyond the strolls, probates,
and colors they are men who seek to make
a difference in themselves and the community
around them. The brotherhood of these
men is a deep rooted life-long relationship
that they will carry beyond the yard of
Joining a fraternity is making a lifetime commitment
to brotherhood, the community,
and empowerment within yourself. Contrary
to the partying stereotypes of fraternities,
the Alphas hold themselves to a
higher standard beyond just having a good
time. They believe in representing themselves
with strong character, honor and authenticity.
For a large group of young men
to have the equivalent strength of willingness
to learn, to never forget their deep
rooted brotherhood, and to hold each
other accountable to a higher standard as
human beings, is an incredible and honorable
accomplishment as a fraternity and as a
member within it. But having such a sturdy,
long lasting connection from generation to
generation all starts with a strong history.
The Alphas first originated in 1906 as a social
club for African American students at
Cornell University who were alienated from
attending their college classes. The professors
would do everything in their power
to restrict African American students from
attending classes or lectures. Seven students
then formed a social club to help each other
with school work, uplift one another to
pursue their dreams of getting an education,
and formed a strong bond to uplift their
community. The fraternity officially founded
a chapter on Old Dominion University’s
campus in 1977 and still upholds to this day
the same work ethic, humbleness, and loyalty
that it placed in the very beginning.
“I joined this fraternity because I wanted
to be a mentor for other people, and this
fraternity gave me an opportunity to channel
that. Last semester we did a weekly
mentorship and partnered with “Brother
to Brother” where young black men were
taught how to cook. We as the Alphas would
come in and speak to these kids that did
not really care about school or college. By
having them see us in our suits, being in
college and making a difference maybe it
would change their outlook on what they
are capable of,” said D’Andre Jones, Chapter
President. The Alphas feel it is important to
set an example to other black men and children
and encourage them to be their best
self. They do this by implementing outreach
programs where they work with the community
to set a positive example on being
successful. One of the programs the Alphas
host is “Go to high school, go to college”.
The purpose of this program is to educate
the youth about the opportunities they can
have after high school whether it is pursuing
a college degree, going to trade school, or
joining the military. The Alphas take pride in
having an influence and giving back to their
“Being black I would say we definitely have
an obligation to put on a good image for
other black men to follow so they can be
leaders like us and that is a fundamental part
of our foundation [as an organization],” said
Mohamed Rebeiz, Intake Coordinator.
Each individual in the organization seeks to
have a leadership position in order to positively
influence the people around them.
They seek to lead by example and not get
distracted by the hysteria and stereotypical
greek life reputation.
“To impact other people is important. One
year we had a football camp for kids and
after they would play football outside, they
would go inside and learn about science and
technology, another year we went to feed
the homeless. We held a lot of programs
last year, one of them was informing others
on knowing their rights in circumstances
that may have you be encountered with
law enforcement. I did whatever I could to
get people to come out to that program
because I feel people do not know exactly
what their rights are. The main purpose of
these programs are to see how any piece of
my knowledge that I have can change your
life,” said Marcus Lee, Recording Secretary.
“I joined this organization because it gives
a platform to advocate for things you care
about… We have a responsibility to make
others strive for greatness.”
The Alphas are always on the move, constantly
striving to have a positive impact and
inform the campus community about political
and ethical issues,” said Negus Assefa,
Vice President. The brothers of Alpha Phi
Alpha seek to uphold their duty as a male
fraternity to strongly support women on
campus with their annual “ Mrs. Black and
Gold Pageant”. The pageant is a scholarship
opportunity for women at Old Dominion
University and strongly uplifts every woman
taking part in it. Scholarship pageant as an
extension of the fraternity. The contestants
are strong women who are active in the
community, successful students and uphold
the characteristics and traits of the fraternity.
Their main goals for young women is
not necessarily to win, but to develop confidence
in themselves, building character, and
to develop a strong sense of women-hood
for themselves and others around them.
Former pageant winners come back to help
the new contestants with their walks, give
them advice from their previous experience,
and to incorporate a strong sense of uplifting
each other as women.
“The pageant is actually really beautiful. One
thing a lot of girls don’t realize about the
pageant in the beginning is what they gain
from it. Some girls come in super shy and
soft spoken, but going through the pageant
they gain confidence and build character. By
the end of the pageant you won’t even know
what woman that is,” said Mohamed Rebeiz.
The pageant is also an opportunity for Alphas
to get a better understanding and perspective
to learn some of the struggles and
experiences that women face, and to help
the women participating in the pageant conquer
those insecurities or struggles in a respectful
and safe environment.
It would be a disservice to boil this group
of men down to just a fraternity label. From
the outside looking in, it can be seen as an
exclusive group of men who parade around
in colors and greek letters not knowing
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Drink tester initiative on ODU’s campus
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Sonya Williams, a student at Old Dominion University
is planning on bringing drink testing tablets to the
campus. As a member of the Student Government
Association (SGA) she is working along with other
members to provide these tablets in order to increase
safety for students and faculty around the university
community. When these tablets are dipped in a drink it will
be able to detect traces of drugs that may be in the drink.
Sonya was inspired to bring this product to the campus
when the former SGA senate speaker, Jasmin Carmon
shared information about the product as an idea for the
organization to look into. Sonya’s own story inspired her
to really make this idea a reality of the campus.
Like any other young adult in their twenties, Williams
went out for a night with her friends to a bar to have a
good time. Her friends had insisted in going to a poetry
event that was inside a bar, but Sonya was not so much
interested in the poetry and more the party. Her friends
went to grab some drinks and have a fun night while
Sonya got a mocktail made up of sweet tea and other
juices. Sonya chose not to drink that night because she
was the designated sober friend of the evening but she
still wanted to fit in with her friends having fun and pretty
“While I’m still at the bar, I drop my bag on the floor
and I lean down pick up my clutch and put it back on the
counter of the bar area and I keep drinking my drink…
time passes, I’m not sure exactly how long but next thing
you know my legs gave out and I’m bucking trying to
stand up and I urinated on myself… I was telling my arms
to catch myself, but my hands were not responding… it
was like my brain was disconnected with my body… A guy
from base had seen me handpicked me up and threw me
over his shoulders and took me to the emergency room
[where they] pumped my stomach. [The doctor’s] asked
if I knew why I was [in this condition]… the police [later]
came in and told me I was roofied and that I had a large
amount in my system. I filed a police report and months
later I was contacted by the police that this was an actual
case and they found the guy who did it and I guess he
had done it to multiple other women and some of them
weren’t as lucky as I was to see have seen me and take me
to the hospital,” said Williams.
“Some people would say that I’m blessed and I am and I
do view it as that, but in a sense it’s like you have no idea
how bad it could have been,” said Williams.
Sonya is motivated to seek justice and provide preventative
resources for students and faculty. She wants to provide a
space for people to feel comfortable and speak up about
their experiences. She plans to implement this initiative
across the campus and has the support from various
organizations and students around the university.
“It seems like a secret that no one want to confront and
I’m tired of feeling like it’s a secret. It’s a part of my story
and if other people have a way tolerate then let’s talk
about it,” said Williams.
When Sonya first started the initiative to bring
drink testers to the campus she spoke to
students to get an idea of how students would
approve and react to it. Williams received an influx of
approval and heard stories and testimonials from men
and women about their experiences.
“I think [not as many people come out and talk about
their experience] has a lot to do with people not knowing
if it happened like the confusion. People second guess
themselves thinking about what they did but you didn’t
do anything but it took me a while to face that,” said
Fall 2019 | 30
Photo by Keith Lucas
In the past year, Old Dominion Universities
football program has received
an abundance of attention. After the
2018-19 season the football program lost
a few key players on their roster. Players
like Elijah (Lala) Davis have helped Old
Dominions program continue to remain
promising during the current 2019-20
The Redshirt Freshman from Lynchburg,
Va has contributed to ODU’s team stats
since first stepping on the field in 2018.
Lala played in only four games last season
at the running back position contributing
131-yards along and four touchdowns
with 35 carries overall.
Davis was a three-star recruit while being
ranked the No. 30 recruit in Virginia and
No. 97 running back overall in the country.
Lala attended Heritage High school
where he rushed 6,690 yards. While helping
create the opportunity for his team
to see a State Championship he rushed
for 229 yards along with one touchdown
during the game while earning first-team
All-Area honors and All-Area Offensive
Player of the Year.
Until Davis’s senior year of high school he
did not receive any offers for football. On
February, 7 2018, Lala signed his letter of
intent and committed to Old Dominion
University. “I haven’t fully established myself
but I think the goals I’m shooting for
along with the teams goals are able to be
achieved.” said Davis
Elijah Davis plans to commit himself to
Old Dominions Football Program while
continuing his success as not only an athlete
but also a student. The ODU fan base
is valuable to Davis and he expresses that
the community can expect a player that is
hungry, fun and a “people person.”
One of Davis’s goals is to prove himself
and his game to the ODU community. “In
the future, exciting things are coming.”
33 | maceandcrown.com
Photo by Keith Lucas
Davis carries the
ball against VT
Sept. 7th 2019
Fall 2019 | 34
AN INTERVIEW WITH COACH BOBBY WILDER & KEION WHITE
35 | maceandcrown.com
Photo by Keith Lucas
The ODU football program is in its 10th season and it continues
to build a winning program with excellent recruiting
by Head Coach Bobby Wilder and staff. The Monarchs are
looking for a chance at a Conference USA Championship and a return
to a bowl game which they achieved back in 2016; they played
in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl and defeated Eastern Michigan with
a winning score of 24-20.
This year the offense is led by Redshirt Senior running back Kesean
Strong, who has showed his versatility with running the ball efficiently
and catching the ball out of the backfield. The dual threat
quarterback Stone Smartt will add to the offensive explosiveness
with his progression in the passing game and his ability to break the
pocket for positive yards. The defense ranks in top two in rushing
defense and total defense in Conference USA, giving up an less than
90 yards on the ground. When Mace & Crown had the opportunity
to sit down with Coach Wilder and defensive end Keion White several
questions were answered about the direction of the program,
The first goal every year is getting Bowl eligible which includes winning
a Conference Championship. Playing power five schools like
University of Virginia and Virginia Tech has allowed for the program
to receive positive recognition and will help in the football
team’s growth during the process. With Virginia Tech, University of
Virginia, and University of North Carolina on their schedule over
the next few seasons this will influence the local talent to stay put
and dawn the slate blue, silver, and light blue uniform.
The talent stretches throughout the Hampton Roads and as the football
program continues to grow so does the caliber of player who
elects to enroll at Old Dominion University. Coach Wilder expresses
how imperative it is that the team takes on a 1-0 mentality, this requires
the team to approach each week with winning that one game
by finding a way to win.
The Mace & Crown was also able to find a food favorite of Coach
Wilder. The Monarch’s Head Coach was born in Madison, Maine,
and attended the University of Maine where he was a highly recruited
quarterback. After that Coach Wilder held multiple coaching positions
at Boston College and University of Maine before taking the
Head Coaching position in 2007 for ODU.
“We take pride in the 11 letters across our
chest that say Old Dominion.”
- Coach Bobby Wilder
expectations for the team, and some personal food favorites.
Last year Keion White played tight end and lead the team with receptions
at that position. This year Keion made the move to defensive
end and had to acclimate to a different role. When Keion was
asked about the challenges of switching to the defensive side of the
ball Keion replied with “playing defense allows for me to play more
freely and able to make plays”.
Keion also hinted at the possibilities of a few plays Offensive Coordinator
Brian Scott may have that would require his experience
down in the red zone back at the tight end position. When Keion
isn’t playing football, he enjoys playing basketball down at the student
recreation center and checking out local places to eat in Norfolk.
A local food favorite is the Greg Brady Burger over at Jack
Brown’s on Granby Street. This burger is topped with house-made
Mac N’ Cheese,
American-Cheddar blend cheese and Martin’s BBQ potato chips, a
sandwich built for man in hot pursuit of a quarterback on a routine
basis. Keion is a Real Estate Major and aspires to buy and restore
desolated homes in Norfolk and then make them available for low
income families in the area. The ferocious defensive end wants to
continue building on his remarkable year where he has already been
named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after his performance
against University of Virginia.
With the heart of the schedule left to be played, it is vital for ODU
students to get out and support the football program. When asked
what it means for students to come out and support the program
Coach Wilder responded “I tell the players that those are your classmates
and to thank them for supporting us. We take pride in the 11
letters across our chest that say Old Dominion”.
When asked if he was a New England clam chowder or a
she-crab soup kind of guy Coach Wilder replied “I would
take a bowl of clam chowder with every meal. Breakfast,
lunch, and dinner I can eat New England clam chowder all day”.
The clam chowder sounds good, but the ODU football team is in
pursuit of something else that would fill all fans and players appetite.
The coaching staff and team put emphasis on winning all conference
home games and a few on the road. If the Monarchs accomplish this,
they could see themselves playing for their second Bowl game in
the program’s short history. The new stadium has been consistently
selling out with a large student body population.
Quarterback Stone Smartt continues to improve every week at
the position. The defense shows tremendous speed and effort that
demonstrates unity. Shut down corner back Kaleb Ford-Dement
endlessly demonstrates why the opposing quarterback shouldn’t
throw in his direction. This defense is stacked with pass rushers like
Jordan Young and Keion White leaving quarterbacks running for
With the additional seating and the added leg room for fans, the
home games are the ideal place to spend your Saturdays. The stadium
has also upgraded their impressive new state- of-the-art video
board and ribbon scoreboards that line the west, south, and east
sides of the stadium. Don’t forget the increase numbers of concession
items sold at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Crab cake sliders, tacos, Philly style cheesesteaks, and nacho builders
add to the reason to come route for your Old Dominion football
squad. This team continues to improve every week and with conference
play heating up, it could make for a recipe for success for the
ODU Monarchs football program.
Fall 2019 | 36
ODU’s Game Studies & Design
Major with Dr. Moberly
37 | maceandcrown.com
Dr. Kevin Moberly is the Associate
Professor spearheading the new Game
Studies & Design (B.S.) degree here at
Mace & Crown staff writer Tyler Eddins
sat down with Dr. Moberly to discuss the
ins and outs of the new program. Below
is a portion of their conversation.
What’s your background in
Dr. Moberly: I’ve always been interested
in gaming. My brother and I grew up in
Portsmouth… I remember we went to
a mall in Newport News, we were very
young and saw our first video arcade. We
immediately on the way home were like
‘How can we make one of these things?’
So, we were thinking like strings and like
screws and all the things to make Pac-
Man move around. So, I’ve always been
sort of interested in games… I’ve always
been interested in how games draw people
in, how they construct experiences,
how they reward people, how they punish
people all of that kind of stuff.
What are some of your favorite
Dr. Moberly: Some of my favorite games
are ‘Borderlands 2’, ‘Portal’. Some early
games, ‘Star Flight’, ‘Star Flight 2’. The
genre of games I really like are games
like ‘Oblivion’, ‘Skyrim’, ‘The Witcher’,
these medieval themed roleplaying
games… The types of games I like are
these just kind of enormous epic things
where you as a character go into these
worlds and you feel like your completely
overwhelmed and then you little by little
unlock the world and unlock the puzzles
and things like that. I also do really like
casual games just for how they can put
a lot of gameplay in five-minute sessions.
I’m always looking at games.
This Game Studies and Design
degree that you’re bringing to
the school, was there something
similar in place or is this new to
Dr. Moberly: This is new to the university,
but this is the second attempt. I’ve
been working for five years to get this
started. It grew out of the Video Game
Design and Development Club. I’ve
been teaching for the past five or six
years a class called Gaming and Rhetoric.
I’ve always advertised the class
to a wide swath of students and I had
some students in the first or second
year I taught it say ‘We came here and
we would like a major’ and ‘How do
we start with a major?’, and things like
that. So, Avi Santo and I started an initiative
with a gaming company idea that
students at ODU would work for private
and public clients creating games
as a kind of internship and then they
would have something for their portfolios.
That one we did good work, but it
didn’t work out because of some issues
at the time. This is not me just doing
this program. It’s Andrew Kissel in Philosophy,
Marc Ouellette in English and
Virginia Tucker in IDS.
You mentioned the Game and
Rhetoric Course, are there any
new courses in the program?
Dr. Moberly: All of the game courses
are new... GAME 201 introduces the
students to the 4 core areas. The
two explicit areas of the degree and
the two hidden, or Easter egg areas.
The two main ones are Design and
Development. Design being art,
levels, sound, story, that kind of thing.
Development being programming.
But there’s also a strong emphasis on
entrepreneurship because the gaming
industry is a creative industry, and
if you’re going to go into a creative
industry you need to have a portfolio.
“We want to produce
thoughtful, mindful game
You need to know how to market
your ideas. You need to know how to
sell your ideas. You need to be able
to come up with innovative ideas and
recognize opportunities. The other
piece is the criticism piece.
We want to produce thoughtful,
mindful game designers. We want
to produce game designers who can
analyze games to say, not just what
looks good and what doesn’t, what’s
fun and what’s not fun, but also to
sort of come up with games that
reach broader audiences. Games that
are more politically conscious. Games
as art… We want are students to
distinguish themselves and to work
in the industry. But also, to say I have
this ability to think in new ways and
different ways. To see opportunities
where other people didn’t see
opportunities… Then we have GAME
240 which is a class that is all about
reading games and about the critical
angle of games. It’s about how to
Fall 2019 | 38
“I love games. I’d love to have this program
help make Norfolk a kind of a
center for games.”
Because I think game designers and
game developers need to know
how games communicate messages.
How games are at once the same
as cinema, fiction, sports and other
things, but also different… It’s about
critically playing games. We have a
GAME class on the books that’s all
about world building… We have a
class on mechanics of course and
balance and all that kind of stuff. Then
a lot of the skills-based classes, since
it’s an IDS degree the programming
classes are in computer science. I
put an English class on the books for
creative writing for games. The art
classes are in the art department
and we have some communications.
So, what we are trying to do is take
what’s already there, the expertise
that the university has and then tie
these together with a core.
Is there a way that you’re
planning on integrating games
in your course like how the film
courses integrate movies?
Dr. Moberly: Every day I have the students
play games. You know, it would
be silly to have a Shakespeare class and
not read Shakespeare. In the GAME 240
class I’m going to assign games that students
will play, and we’ll talk about these
games. Also, a strong emphasis on creating
games. The final project for GAME
201 is the students will create games.
Right now, they’re coming up with game
ideas and then they’re going to design
and then program things because we
think it’s important for people working
in the gaming industry to not be an expert
in every aspect but know how the
aspects fit together and work together.
Again, we’re trying to teach people an
entrepreneurial way of figuring out, ok,
this is a game I want to make. Being able
to evaluate whether or not this game
will be marketable. If you want to make
serious games for education whether it
will be effective and then figuring out,
ok these are what the assets I need to
create for the games. These are where
the resources are, and this is what I need
to teach myself and this is what I already
know. Then putting all that together in
a way that creates a final package… The
gaming industry is constantly changing
and constantly evolving… We want to
prepare our students to be able to come
to terms with those changes and not
get stuck in a rut… One of the primary
ideologies is new, better, faster, brighter.
Every game tends to be better faster
brighter than the other game, and that
requires a certain mindset.
How many students have
expressed interest or committed
to following this new degree
Dr. Moberly: I think we have about… 20
majors right now. 20 majors, but I’ve just
met with a student earlier today about
it. I have an email from another student
who wants to meet with me. So, I think
there’s a ton of interest.
As of right now is it strictly a
major or is there a minor as
Dr. Moberly: It’s a major right now. We
want to eventually get a minor, but in
order to get a minor we need to be
able to offer all the courses that are required
for the minor in one semester.
This semester we are only offering one
game class. Next semester we’re offering
GAME 201, GAME 240 and English
355… Then hopefully next fall we’ll be
offering more but we’re just trying to
ramp our ourselves up… Just building
up speed. Just gauging interest because
we don’t want to build all this infrastructure
and then have it go to waste.
But at the same time, we don’t want to
underestimate the demand either
What kind of jobs and internships
can students who follow this degree
program expect to get? Are
you focusing more on just the development
side or are there going
to be later iterations dealing with
game marketing and other areas?
Dr. Moberly: Yeah. Right now, we’re just
primarily focused on design and development
because we took a look at the
job ads out there... Eventually we would
like to branch into business for games,
game marketing and the other way we’d
like to branch into is education games
and things like that. We’re still working
for internship opportunities and still trying
to identify those with local people
around and nonprofits and things like
that. So, yeah that’s what we’re aiming
for. But right now, we’re just going for
what the job ads kind of tell us.
39 | maceandcrown.com
Is there some sort of student involvement
where they’re telling
you what they would like to see
Dr. Moberly: Right now, it’s informal
through informal feedback but eventually
I’d like to put together a student advisory
group and also a faculty advisor group.
So it’s having students say this is what
our feedback is and the classes and you
get the students involved because, like I
said, this from its genesis was the Game
Design Club coming to me and saying we
really want to study this thing and there’s
no program. I mean George Mason has
a program, but that’s four hours away...
So, it’s been kind of student driven from
Are you looking to eventually
move into a portfolio system of
progression for the degree like
the art programs?
Dr. Moberly: Yeah. We are doing that.
The first assignment for this class is an
invention challenge. Basically, how to
come up with ideas for games and each
step, but the last thing is to culminate a
mini game proposal which they will publish
on their WordPress portfolio site.
I don’t see this as being a test or quiz
based major. I see this being a major like
art, like creative writing in which the primary
way that students are going to get
jobs is that they have a portfolio. One
thing we know in design is that nobody
gets design right the first time around.
It’s a lot of stops and starts, going forwards
and backwards and so portfolios
allow for that to happen versus thou
shalt submit, you know?
Where do you want the
program to go?
Dr. Moberly: I want it to be one of
the leading programs in the nation. I
want people to come out of state and
from out of country to ODU to study
games. A lot of programs I see are either
in development or design they’re
not in both. I don’t see any having the
entrepreneurship. Focus. I don’t see
many having the criticism focus. Another
area we want to expand is to
prepare students to go to graduate
school in games and games studies
and stuff like that… In the near term
what my vision is we’re going to, I
think it might be too soon to say this
but I think we’ve talked with the administration,
have a stand-alone lab
which we can teach classes in but
then students can also come in and
work on their own projects and programs.
Also, to have a gallery space
so we can show of the games that
students make. Work with the local
community with Pixel Fest and some
of the other things to encourage gaming
in the area and Norfolk, Virginia…
I love games. I’d love to have this program
help make Norfolk a kind of a
center for games. We’re halfway between
Washington D.C. with Bethesda
and then Raleigh so we’re in this
area which is kind of sandwiched between
these two major areas of production.
You know, I just want it to
have a reputation for employers to
say if you hire an ODU student from
this program the student will not just
know the fundamental skills but be
self-motivated or be able to take on
projects without having to look over
their shoulder. Will be innovative and
a good communicator and that kind
of thing. That’s what my vision is.
Fall 2019 | 40
41 | maceandcrown.com
Cameras are everywhere. Traffic cameras
catch someone speeding or running a red
light. Surveillance cameras can act as a deterrent
from stealing in a store, or any number
of things. Police wear them on their
bodies. You have one in your pocket. At this
point, they are just another part of everyday
life. They have become so commonplace that
we do not even notice them anymore. But
what if these cameras could recognize you?
Facial recognition software is the technology
that is able to recognize and identify
an individual from still images or a video
frame. They work by selecting certain facial
features and then matching those against
a database of other faces. The technology
has been around for longer than one would
think, getting its start in the 1960’s.
The original software, developed by Woody
Bledsoe, Helen Chan, and Charles Bisson,
worked by manually picking out various aspects
of human faces and then compared
against other faces in a database in order
to determine the identity of said face. This
technology would evolve from having humans
manually enter faces and the distances
between features, to involving AI learning.
Since then, facial recognition has been used
in a variety of circumstances. The most
common instance is on smartphones. Replacing
the old PINs, passwords and fingerprint
scanners is facial recognition which
has emerged as a new way to unlock your
phone. All that’s required is the phone owner’s
face and a front facing camera. The software
stores an image of the owners face
and then scans their face against the stored
image whenever they open up their phone.
Another usage of this technology is in the
world of medicine. Similar to how smartphones
will unlock by scanning the user’s
face, some hospitals dispense medicine by
scanning the face and matching it with a prescription.
While those former uses seem relatively benign,
there are some other uses, and flaws,
of this technology that should raise some
Using facial recognition software to catch
criminals sounds like something out of a science
fiction film. It conjures images of grainy
camera footage zooming in on a crowd,
where it singles out the perp’s face, scans it,
and then enhances the image to a sharper
clarity. The police then do their job, and the
case is solved.
Or it could go in a different direction, where
the software misidentifies a suspect, and the
police arrest the wrong man. These fears
were shared by many in the field of facial
recognition software who feel that this
would give the police and other government
organizations too much power in monitoring
While the software has the potential to
be used to make breakthroughs in missing
persons cases, or track criminals, it is still
not perfect. This would lead to mistakes and
false positives being used as the basis for
making arrests. Or even worse abuses.
This has led to companies who produce the
software refusing to sell it to law enforcement
agencies, and even calls to congress
to limit the uses of this technology. Brian
Brackeen, CEO of Kairos, a company that
produces facial recognition software, expressed
his concern for the potential uses
of this software, saying “It’s not too late for
someone to take a stand and keep this from
Brackeen’s concerns comes from the software’s
lack of ability to differentiate faces
of people who have darker complexions.
This concern was also noted in a New York
Times article, which detailed the success
rate that these technologies had in terms of
differentiating between lighter skinned faces
and darker skinned faces.
Steve Lohr, the writer of the New York
Times article, noted that in the cases of
the software trying to identify white males,
“the software was right 99 percent of the
time.” Contrast this with the software’s success
in identifying darker skinned women
which was “35 percent for images of darker
These disparities were documented by M.I.T.
Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini, who
demonstrated that biases can creep into artificial
intelligence, due to what kind of data
is fed to it in order to train it.
When the AI is given more images of white
male faces, it will be better able to differentiate
which face belongs to who with a much
higher rate of success. The inverse is true, in
that when given less faces of African American
women, the lower the rate of success
will be in terms of differentiating between
Think back to how this could be used in
the field of law enforcement. If a law enforcement
agency purchases a software
that was trained disproportionately to
identify white men with a higher rate of
success when compared to black women,
the chances of the latter group being
wrongfully misidentified and targeted will
Or, consider how the technology has been
used by law enforcement abroad in places
like Hong Kong. While political protestors
fill the streets of Hong Kong, the police
have taken to using facial recognition tied
to surveillance cameras and phones to target
individuals who lead the protests in order
to arrest them. This has led to protestors
covering their faces in order to avoid
being targeted by the increasingly aggressive
The same goes for protestors, who have
taken to using facial recognition apps to
target undercover police who have tried
to infiltrate said protests. One protestor,
Colin Cheung who was wrongfully arrested,
defended the use of the apps, saying in a
New York Times article “If law enforcement
officers don’t wear anything to show their
identity, they’ll become corrupt.”
These are just some of the ways that facial
recognition software can be used. While
there are some positive uses, there can be
just as many negative uses that could ultimately
harm a society and it’s people.
Fall 2019 | 42
Indie Games to play this Halloween
Castlevania : Symphony of the Night
This article couldn’t exist without mentioning
this one. It’s, like, THE one. I mean,
Metroid gets you with its tone, the atmosphere
all lonely and oppressive, and you
can get killed by big aliens - but you play as
a vampire in Castlevania. And think about
what else defines traditional horror. Frankenstein’s
monster? I’m pretty sure this has
that. Werewolves. They’re hanging out in
there too. Whips? Oh, of course. But, I know,
I’ll admit – the game isn’t all that creepy. Yet
I give it a pass because of the legacy. It’s in
the freaking name of the genre. Halloween
is around the corner, too, the fetid musk of
zombies and other ghouls wafting in. So,
Symphony of the Night is worth mentioning
for the thousandth time. The game did
some great things for Metroidvania combat,
no doubt inspiring Blasphemous and Hollow
Knight’s swordplay, with those deft horizontal
swings. Then there’s the map, which
is brilliant for many reasons, but especially
so for the big flip, I mean, big twist. It’s a
map that’s pulling double duty. Still, while
there is so much more that could be talked
about, it is my imperative to use this final
sentence as a reflection on this game’s burning
question: the question which reverberated
throughout the decades following its
raucous disquisition: “What is a man? A
miserable little pile of secrets. But enough
talk… Have at you!”
Hollow Knight isn’t permeated by horror, but
it is certainly touched by it. Everything in the
game is dark and it makes sense. I mean,
the game is underground. At least 90% of it,
anyway, is underground (and no, not in the
sense of the word that most indie games are
underground). What’s underground, then?
A lot of things, and a lot of those things are
animated by a want to kill you. There’s levity
here and cuteness there, but it seems a proclivity
to perturbance runs deep, where long,
serrated bugs unfurl out of caverns and into
deeper, and darker, pits. The game is something
to be marveled, as a game, where the
sense of progression is strong, and the length
of the core experience is gloriously exhaustive
and touched by all the right kinds of lore in
that it doesn’t tell you anything, ever, without
a question lingering as to the past. Why
are all these buggy monsters trying to kill
you? What happened to this great, decrepit
empire? Where did everybuggy go? Most
players won’t ever know and that’s half the
beauty of it and half of what makes me
43 | maceandcrown.com
Metrovanias are some of the best indie games, especially during the Halloween
season. Let’s take a look at some of the scary stuff.
Thomas Happ Games LLC
Axiom Verge is very strong, with satisfying
map traversal and combat, its inspirations
loud and emblazoned, from Metroid
(of course) and, interestingly enough, from
Contra, and it’s creative in drawing attention
to its medium, too, as the player character
glitches through walls and defrags swirling
fractals. Yet at the outset, Axiom Verge appears
to be a far cry from the macabre, with
its typical assortment of hostile alien fauna
and laser guns. However, upon further inspection,
science fiction gives way to something
nasty, writhing just beneath the skin. It’s
the heart of what makes it special, as well as
what makes it relevant this time of year: it’s
pulsating and disturbing. Walls breath, complete
with many deep mouths and blushing
veins, rippling with life. A young man purses
a cycle of life and death, as he is birthed and
rebirthed endlessly by a pimpled egg. And
most fun of all are the Rusalki - giant, dubious
mechanoids grafted to chamber walls
and sometimes lumbering through their
open spaces, tubes jutting out the backs of
their heads while neck tendons hang in the
open air. The game’s like Metroid if it leaned
more into the whole H.R. Giger thing,
The Game Kitchen
This one is open about its, erm, tastes. It may
even be over-the-top - but it’s done in such a
way that I can’t help but take to it. Blasphemous
is manic about pain and it is obsessed
with penitence taken to gruesome extremes.
In metroidvania fashion, the player needs to
traverse, but what characterizes this world,
exactly? It’s the literal mountain of dead
bodies. It’s the pathways marked by blood-
soaked iconographic monoliths. Blasphemous’
world is tainted by some oxymoronic
force that is, at once, loved but feared,
gentle but brutish. By the zealous force of
some anachronistic and unnamed religion,
there is endless self-flagellation and endless
blood, that seemingly must go into conical
helmets. It’s gripped with this kind of thing
and thank god, right? It’s wonderful looking.
Gameplay-wise, it’s great. Dodge, and hit,
good movement, etcetera. This may help the
reader understand, but it will come at a great
price. I will now commit the cardinal sin of
game editorials and say that Blasphemous is
the Dark Souls of metroidvanias. I am aware
this is a silly thing to say, but, oh well. Now I
must be punished!
Fall 2019 | 44
HOW HORROR GAMES MESS WITH YOU
Horror games and movies are a Halloween
staple when it comes to wanting to get into
the spooky mood, and people love to scare
the crap out of themselves. While we know
horror movies employ the use of certain
techniques such as blue tones, use specific
instruments like the apprehension engine,
and do not use a normal amount of lighting
when filming, horror games use a variety of
other individual, unique techniques in order
to make sure the person playing the game
is able to get into a petrified state, all in the
name of fun.
One of the first ways horror games project
the feeling of dread onto its players is the
same as horror movies - the use of lighting.
Horror games, like the movies, create
a sense of unknowingness when they force
their players into a dark forest alone, or
through a seemingly never-ending hallway
loop. Being afraid of the dark has been a
common phobia for as long as humans have
roamed the Earth, and is an easy way for
developers to hide a creature in, or to play
an inhumane noise to echo in the distance.
This darkness gives players the false hope of
thinking that if they just keep moving forward,
that eventually they will see light at
the end of the tunnel.
Have you noticed that when you play a horror
game, there usually aren’t that many
other people around besides your main
character? Developers do that on purpose.
Most people tend to gather up some courage
when they know they have someone
else by their side who might be able to help
them. Having another person beside you in
tough situations brings out certain characteristics
such as pride and false bravery, but
once you’re by yourself, there is no one else
there to judge you by your actions. This tactic
works especially well with horror games;
unlike horror movies, where the camera
decides where you look and the director
chooses what will happen to the main character
and you’re guaranteed an ending, horror
games force you to make those decisions
for yourself, and if you don’t make the
correct ones, then you may not make it out.
The fear of the unknown and being cast
into unfamiliar territories and situations
is wired into the human brain, and horror
games do us justice by messing us up when
it comes to its crazy environments. When
anything is taken to the extreme and wildly
out of context like religion, emotions,
and even children, we as humans do not
know how to handle situations that deviate
far from the norm. Developers of horror
games use that weakness against use in order
to explore what it would be like if we
had to suddenly fight off a extremist cult, or
wander through environments that do not
exist in real life, or handle a child who constantly
disappears/reappears again with the
concept of murder on their mind. Because
the concept of horror and terror are not
what we normally experience in day-to-day
life, we are forced to revert back to basic
survival instincts in the game and would do
anything just to make the nightmare end.
Courtesy of Hideo Kojima
45 | maceandcrown.com
You take my hand and your hand is cold.
Cold, but not like ice. It is not wet, or uncomfortable.
No, it is like marble. Smooth and
I think, this is not bad. This is nice.
I think, to myself, what is everybody so afraid
of? This is nice.
I wonder again why I came out here tonight. I
wonder aloud, and you answer me.
You say, ‘To find me, of course.’
And I, of course, agree. I don’t know if you
are right, but I agree.
The woods are a strange place. There are
bugs chirping and leaves rustling. The wind
cools the earth and the branches dance to
unheard music. The stars glisten from between
tree-heads. The moon peers down at
me like a cyclops. You sit beside me on the
tree trunk, in silence.
I’ve yet to ask you your name, but I know who
you are. Because you are right. I did come
out here seeking you.
And now I’ve found you.
I’ve toyed with the idea of meeting you for
quite a while now. I just never had the stomach
to follow through with it till tonight.
I couldn’t tell you why tonight seemed like
a good idea to meet you, because I am still
trying to figure that out myself. I vaguely remember
a reason. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not
sure anymore. My brain feels like it is filled
with fog and clouds. Every moment spent out
here in the still of night with you is making
my memories and processing so rusty, it
feels like I haven’t tried to think in a century.
My heart is beating so hard. It is alive. I am
all emotion, no logic.
I have no proof, of course, but I think it is
because of you. I think you are changing me.
I’m becoming simple again. You are bringing
me back to childhood, to infanthood. I am
falling apart, but coming together.
What are you doing to me?
I do not dare say it aloud, but you seem to
hear me, and answer.
You say, ‘I am saving you.’
And I agree.
Is that not exactly what I sought you out to do
for me? To save me?
But you speak again, with a voice so soft, like
a whisper. But you are not whispering, you
are speaking aloud. You say, ‘I will save you.’
I nod my head.
‘I will save you, but you will not like how I
You are confusing me. I came here perfectly
aware of who you are. I know what you will
do. I know how you will save me. Why should
I not like it?
Granted, I did not think it would be pleasant,
but I knew what I was getting into. It annoys
me to think that you thought I came here
when I was not yet ready.
I am ready.
I would not be here if I were not ready.
To meet you.
I say none of this, but again you hear me.
Your voice slips into my ear, like a comforting
endearment. Your voice is very beautiful,
like your flawless pale complexion. It is poetic
and rhythmic. The rhythm is slow and the
poem a tragedy. But it is beautiful.
You say to me, ‘You must go home tonight.
Tonight is not your night to go home with
Your words sting my heart.
Why not? Why? I came here to meet you. To
go home with you. Tonight.
‘Not tonight,’ you say. ‘Tonight is not your
night. Come back to me, later, and I will take
you home to be mine. But not tonight.’
Then you let go of my hand, and I panic.
I reach for you, but you are already out of
reach. Don’t go. Don’t go. I cry aloud, but
you do not come back. You slowly drift away
from me, shaking your pretty face. You are
so cold, you are marble. I cry out, what are
you doing? Where are you going? Why are
you leaving me?
You say, your voice becoming the wind. Becoming
the murmur of night. You say, ‘I am
I want to run after you, but you are already
gone. I am left alone, saved you say. I do not
feel saved. No, I feel forsaken.
I wish you would come back. I think of falling
and night and falling stars. I remember falling
in an effort to run after you. I am a mess,
a puddle of grief that tragically shimmers
with moonlight of hope.
You are still in my head. Telling me ‘go home,’
whispering in my head, ‘to tomorrow.’ This is
not how I wanted to be saved. I wanted to
forget every shade of tomorrow.
The moment is lost.
You have taken it from me.
I cannot tell, Death, whether you have saved
me or left me broken beyond repair.
Fall 2019 | 46
47 | maceandcrown.com
My inflections quiver like, like, like
It hurts. I- I want you to understand that it hurts.
I’m having trouble sleeping
Having trouble eating
Having trouble thinking
I push against the broken door
Hoping the frame will cave in on me
I want to move forward
Shear will won’t fix anything
They are heavy
Like, like, like
Fuck, I wish I could think.
Like, the rain during a hurricane
I cling to… I can’t decide which word would be better
More conveniences are consumed.
I’m not afraid.
Like, like, like androphobia
Tell my non schizophrenic brain “I’m fine.”
Like, like, like the exhaustion is temporary. Normal.
Whispers cascade, tumble down my brain
I’m having trouble thinking
Having trouble eating
Having trouble sleeping
Sit alone, sit with the uneasy, uncomfortable
Air suffocates my waterlogged lungs
Like, like, I can’t find the words to explain
Petrification of body numb silence
Screech into my mind
I will never hear you
We all die here.
Feeling light in the head
My bed is more comfortable than your friendless concern
Like, like, like
Relaxing more than just my suicidal self loathing
I don’t know how to- shhhhh.
Fall 2019 | 48
Jack O Lantern Tale
By Rivers Raye Middleton
49 | maceandcrown.com
Time to carve the jack-o-lantern!
Sister and brother sat down to watch.
Father had been very stern;
Do not eat any butterscotch.
She looked back to her parent
To tell them he was stealing
But she couldn’t see where they went
And she got a funny feeling
“We will hollow you as your mother
Hollowed us! Just stay right where
You are don’t be a bother.”
They dance in a circle around the pair.
Brother had taken some
Only for sister to get blamed.
Anger made sister numb
For she had been framed!
Use a knife to carve
Eyes a mouth and nose
Make sure it has a good curve
And the teeth cut in spiky rows
The Pumpkins seem to squeeze tighter
Around the children their wicked eyes
Seem to glow a little brighter
Jack-o-lantern is the demon’s guise
Sister crossed arms and put down her
Sister could not carve a jack-o-lantern;
She would much rather go to bed,
Instead she watched the candles burn.
She wished brother were gone,
Or never born then she could
Carve the pumpkin; it was wrong
She pulled her head into her hood.
Scraping scraps scratching
Seeds and pumpkin splat
Scratching scraps scraping
Thinking about the little brat.
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
Hollowed out inside
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
Crushed to make pumpkin pie
Sister looked up across the streets
A ring of the hollowed out things
And in the middle a bowl of treats
Butterscotch and hard candy on strings
Jack-o-lanterns soon to be
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
That is what once they were; free
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
Brother followed to get more sweets
And sister got a little bit mad
And tore off his ghostly sheets
Tears sprung from the lad
Scoop out the seeds
Scoop scoop scoop
Pull out the pumpkin; juice bleeds
Scoop scoop scoop
Sister finally noticed something
Something something endless
What she finally noticed was something
That made her feel helpless
A face blank; oranged
Horrendous expressions cut across
Evil expression madman deranged
Just a head lying in the moss
A hundred of them in a circle
Gathering around brother and sister
Fear was monumental
For this could not occur
Put in a candle light the candle
A light flickering monstrously behind
A spark of madness few can handle
More human than a simple rind
Sister was unsure what to do
Brother was shaking uncontrollably
All around the children they grew
There was no room to flee;
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins!
Glowing evilly in the night
Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins!
Cackling in fiery delight
Everywhere the children turn
Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins
Pairs of eyes into their hearts burn
Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins
They seem to come in closer closer
Hovering around the children in the
A little candy performed the lure
And now all those raucous pumpkins
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
What a death to die by pumpkins
Pumpkins pumpkins pumpkins
The Jack-o-lanterns cut off brothers
And hollowed it and made teeth
He was a Jack-o-lantern now; dead
Now she looked at her body nothing
This was impossible to swallow
No one could hear her plea
She had become a hollow
She was nothing; empty
Scream scream scream
Dream dream dream
Her mother brushing her hair
So sister finally awoke
She had fallen asleep. “Brother?”
The tears stung and choke
Sister ran and hugged brother.
She knocked the jack-o-lantern off
The table on her way. “Sister! Why,
You knocked our jack-o-lantern off!”
And the sister just laughed then sighed.
Fall 2019 | 50
I always liked horror films. I liked to go to the movies
with my buddies and get myself scared out of my pants.
The scarier the better, ya know? Bloodier, darker, more
shocking. Or whatever. I’m just saying that I liked that
But only because I guess I thought it wasn’t real. Or at
least not real for me. Never me. No one does, you know.
No one thinks that that mess would happen to them. The
ones who do are the ones who ‘don’t like horror movies.’
For others, for me, it was never real. It didn’t happen in
I didn’t realize how easily it could happen.
I guess maybe I should’ve seen it coming? I had always
been the outsider within our friend group. I use that
term as an understatement, to be polite. I was part of the
group, I guess, but I was the one who’d be told to take the
trays to the trash and be left behind at the cafeteria when
I did. I was the one who’d they have run errands, like buy
the drinks. And then get the drinks poured on me and
have to go back to get more. All in jest, of course. As a
hilarious joke, of course. Of course.
I guess I should’ve seen it coming. I was living it after
all. I guess I just thought it was better than being alone.
I thought that if it meant I belonged, if it gave me a place
to be from or of, what did it matter? If putting up with all
the jests would keep me from being alone…. Of course,
look at what it’s come to. I’m alone after all.
Alone in a dark tunnel covered in graffiti. Is it sad that
it has to be such a cliché setting? Do you wish it was a
bit more original? Like... but that’s the problem. Horror
movies are cliché anywhere. They’ve used up all the
good places: abandoned sheds, sewers, fortune-teller
lairs, carnivals, woods. Nowhere is not cliché, so it really
doesn’t matter, okay? I mean, don’t you think?
It smells bad in here. Really odd combination of smells.
I wonder how many things are coming together to produce
this specific opposite-of-cliché odor. I wonder why
I sound so detached, even in my head. Coping method, I
guess? My psychology professor could maybe tell me. Not
that I’ll be seeing him anytime soon.
The day started out so normal. I mean, something
like this takes a lot of preparation so I guess it
should seem normal for a perfect crime. I went to
class, a little tardy, I guess, but that’s an inconsequential
deviance from the norm. Wouldn’t you
say? Happens to anybody, anytime, without meaning
As usual on Fridays, a call to go out tonight was
sent to the group chat. As usual, it was sent by Aria,
a criminal justice major, and the only girl among
us, so the only one with access to parties in the
first place. This was normal. Usual. A pretty much
weekly thing that I was expecting. Completely normal.
Nothing suspicious or out of order or implicating.
Completely normal. What did I have to worry
Don’t you see? It was the perfect precedent, the
perfect setting, for a crime, for a perfect crime, far
better than any of the cheesy horror movies I used
to love so much.
I used to love them. I really did. Horror was my favorite
movie genre. It really was. Until it became
real. Until it happened to me.
I was there though, you know. It was my own damn
life. In hindsight, the signs were everywhere. The
subliminal hate and mockery and rage. How did I
not see it coming? Why did I pretend it wouldn’t
happen, wouldn’t come?
As usual, I was the DD. Everyone crammed into my
car and I drove for some frat house, which just so
happened to have a shortcut through a dark tunnel,
where my car just so happened to break down.
It’s old and battered, so this is normal too. It usually
broke down once a night whenever we went out
as a group.
So many things had to line up, you see. For the perfect
setting to a perfect crime to a perfect horror
story. But they lined up so easily. All the necessary
checkpoints were made.
The car stopped. I got out. I dug out my toolbox. I
perform a thorough engine check. One by one they
came out to help, each getting their turn. It was one
against 5, 2 of ‘em D2 athletes. Done so beautifully,
really. Most efficiently. The goriest way possible
to get all the shock factor points in for the horror
movie that was being enacted. In real life. So fitting.
Such a perfectly executed crime.
I should have seen it coming. I should have, don’t
you think? I should have known the horror stories
are real and that they can happen to anyone, anytime,
anywhere, by anyone. All six of us should’ve
How weak life is. How fragile. How bloody death is.
My hands are covered in blood. So much, so much
blood. It’s everywhere, and it smells bad.
So this is what death, what murder looks like in
real life. It’s pretty messy. And actually kinda
slow. Took forever. Much longer than I thought. Of
course, it was 5 people, going one at a time.
51 | maceandcrown.com
So, so much blood.
On my hands.
On my car.
On my toolbox
On the ground.
All over my friends.
Am I still allowed to call them my friends?
So much blood.
So much life lost.
I should’ve known it would happen.
All the signs were there.
I guess I just didn’t think I would be brave enough.
Or that I would succeed.
But it was just so easy, too easy.
I knew I had it in me to be a murderer, but I guess
I still thought it didn’t actually happen in real life.
Goes to show you huh.
Fall 2019 | 52
How Do You Spell Epiphany
The walk did more
The reds and blues -
and greens -
were inked on
by a creature wanting more
The faded colors over
the crooked bridge,
the one whose boards were not
held together well and manifested
the personality of its surroundings,
beheld another whose primary purpose
But, despite the ominous beauty of it,
the look on his face says it all.
The black cloak
and ghostly head could not contain
the feeling, the thought,
that the environment, nor the outfit can be seen
as the burden that gouged the hole on his face -
into a scream.
53 | maceandcrown.com Courtesy of Public Domain
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