When I found out that Loot Crate, known for their different subscription crates, was looking for fans to get involved with a project they were setting up around the idea of designing your own “Dream Crate,” I was definitely all for it. The chance to put together a hypothetical box of stuff that’s not only awesome and full of pop culture and geek stuff, but also that really speaks to me? Yes please!
I tossed around a few ideas at first, looking at games or movies or aspects of mythology that I both liked and that were popular enough to have merchandise. Vampires? Origin Stories/Creation Myths? Deities? I love all of these things, and there was enough in pop culture that I could probably group together some cool merchandise for a Crate, but these ideas seemed like things that other people would be able to come up with without much trouble on their own.
Then one day as I walked away from a shift at work, I thought to myself, “Ah, freedom.” And there it was. My Dream Crate idea.
Freedom like the beginning of Stardew Valley, when your avatar becomes too tired of the corporate grind killing their soul and decides to take up their grandfather’s offer of a farm near a peaceful town. Freedom like having so many options for things to do in that game, be it farming, fishing, exploring the mines, hunting monsters, all sorts.
Freedom like the Elder Scrolls series, which — at least in the last 3 main games — always starts off with you being a prisoner, then attaining freedom, then attaining greatness. The freedom to explore a vast world, to meet people, to choose how to spend your time, whether you enjoy mixing potions or picking pockets or just Constantly Jumping Up Mountains.
Freedom like what Sen/Chihiro seeks in the amazing Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away, also known as Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. She seeks freedom for herself and her parents, who are all trapped in a spirit realm. The movie also has a major theme involving the dangers of greed, and ultimately, overcoming the trappings of greed and finding freedom from unrelenting lust play a big role in the family gaining their freedom.
Freedom like Fox Mulder being able to investigate the weird cases that meant something to him, freedom to explore the boundaries of science and pseudoscience to uncover the truth that was out there. Dude got a lot of leniency over the years. And he knew he had more freedom than others to advance his personal mission, too; the show never made a secret of how much other people covered for him, and the character never acted ignorant of how much others made sure he could keep that degree of autonomy.
Even if they made it seem like a punishment sometimes.
Freedom like the ability to lock and unlock entire worlds in Kingdom Hearts. The freedom to travel between those worlds. The main weapon from the series is shaped like a giant key, and if unlocking things isn’t related to freedom, I’ll eat this extremely warm-looking hat.
I’m certain I missed some great examples that could go into something like this. Freedom like the ability to explore a vast world in Minecraft, but I’d already used 3 video game examples that I felt worked better. Freedom like the broken chains on Windrider’s hooves, but since Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar novels aren’t really big in pop culture unless your pop culture consists solely of my house, I didn’t think it was entirely appropriate. Freedom like… something in Game of Thrones, I’m sure, but I think at this point in the sentence it’s obvious why I didn’t include something from that franchise.
Freedom means different things to different people. Sometimes freedom means having the money to do absolutely anything you want in life. Sometimes it means knowing you have what you need and don’t need to seek the money to do anything else. Sometimes it’s having strength to carve your own path, and sometimes it’s the ability to dance along the path others have carved before you.
I’d love to hear what elements from pop culture make you think of freedom. Leave a comment and let me know!