Mark Reads ‘Games Wizards Play’: Chapter 4, Part I

In the first half of the fourth chapter of Games Wizards Play, Nita has a necessary conversation with Carmela, and ICE PARTY. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.


While I think the best solution at this point is for Kit and Nita to just sit down and be honest with one another, I am thrilled that the conversation that opens this chapter happened. Y’ALL, IT’S SO GOOD AND FULFILLING AND NECESSARY. I spoke frankly about the need for proper, detailed sex education, but you know what ELSE kids should be taught and discuss openly while growing up? HOW TO DEAL WITH RELATIONSHIPS. All kinds, too! While this chapter deals with the complications of friends becoming romantic, we should be able to talk about remaining platonic friends with someone and what being a good friend actually means.

Because we often think we know what being a good friend means growing up, yet we’re unable to recognize toxic behavior a lot of the time because of the harmful messages we’ve internalized. There were a lot of people in my life in junior high and high school who, at the time, I would have considered a close friend or even a best friend. In hindsight, that is hardly the case. They weren’t anything close to that. But there were so many factors at play that more or less prevented me from seeing that. Yes, lots of them were personal. Because I had strict parents, I did not foster relationships with people outside of school until I was 16 years old. (Nearly 17, actually.) I know it’s one of the reasons I’ve had a difficult time maintaining close friends and why I tend to work better by myself. Most people I knew started to learn to socialize on their own in elementary school.

Now, let’s complicate that further: what exactly are we taught to do if someone you’ve been friends with is someone you develop romantic or sexual feelings for? In general, it’s seen as a bad move. I know I always thought it was off-limits because… well, I don’t really know why! It was always painted as this bad thing, that you couldn’t date anyone you were friends with first. (Imagine how complicated this was for my little gay heart, since I was in a situation where I couldn’t hit on anyone ANYWAY, so everyone I had feelings for was a friend. TOO MUCH.) I am now at a point in my life where I don’t even like to pursue a romantic relationship with someone UNLESS I feel like they can be a friend first. Seriously! They have to be fun to hang out with, I have to be able to feel like I can depend on them and vice versa, and I must be able to do casual, non-date things with them. But becoming friends with a person first is not something I was raised to accomplish, and that’s even more so the case when you develop feelings FOR a friend.

Again, Nita really needs to sit down with Kit to talk through her anxieties and to start defining their relationship, most particularly their boundaries. You can tell that Nita doesn’t know if she’s supposed to behave differently or if Kit expects her to behave differently. It’s why she has such a problem with choosing an outfit. Sure, she’s probably nervous about this reception, but she’s mostly concerned about how Kit will perceive her. It doesn’t help that she also believes that he’s handling all this perfectly fine. HE’S NOT. HE IS A MESS.


Ice Party

Okay, I really want to go to Antarctica. REALLY BADLY. I want to go to a lot of places, but I’ve seen quite a few scientific documentaries and pieces about the place, and it just seems so COOl. It’s really fitting, then, that a location that is largely so sparsely lived in or traveled to would be where this specific facility was built. You can hide it from non-wizards quite easily, especially if you can hinge its existence on really bad conspiracy theories so as to discredit anyone who might accidentally find out about it. (If that’s even necessary!)

But y’all, I’m just so excited to SEE OTHER WIZARDS! I’m glad Tuyet and Nguyet are alive and well; Sker’ret is around and GROWN; and Carmela gets to attend these festivities, too! Is she the only non-wizard who is there? There’s got to be more of them, right? I feel like I’m going to learn lots more about wizards and their world from this scene. I WANT MORE.

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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