Will play most anything: 2/2/12

Hello again! I don't have a game of the day today, I'm just going to ramble about stuff I've already talked about! Yayyyy! Also spoilers abound.

OVER-ANALYSIS CENTRAL: KATAWA SHOUJO

Hat=adorable

First off, I'd like to mention that the chatter on the internet about this game has been as a whole rather overwhelmingly positive, in more ways than one. By that I mean that the internet isn't being as much of a terrible place as it is want to be sometimes. Don't get me wrong, there's still some people being total assholes about this game. At least I assume so. I haven't really seen much of that at all. What I am seeing a lot of is people getting a lot out of the game emotionally. In one example, there was a post on the Katawa Shoujo subreddit about a person who had been having some struggles with his relationship, and after playing the game and experiencing the stories found himself a better person. I paraphrased heavily there, but that was the gist of it. And that's so great! This stories in this game are told in an inspiring and enlightening matter, and it's nice to see that getting through to people. As well as people being really nice about the story that the person shared.

On the other side of the coin are people who take things just a bit too...seriously? When I mentioned before that Lily and Hanako's stories caused me to cry, it's not that I was sitting there at my computer bawling my eyes out or anything of the sort. It was really more me tearing up, and having stupid smile on my face, coupled with the "feels" as a lot of people seem to put it. Someone, also on the KS subreddit, explained, with a large degree of embarrassment, feeling a serious emotional attachment to the character I have posted above, Hanako. He went so far to mention thinking about her, staring at her picture, dreaming about her, etc... As one somewhat insensitive redditor explained, that person has fallen prey to the "waifu" effect or something like that. (Every time I read or write that word I have to connect my hand with my face in an exasperated manner).

I find that when I read, watch, or play things that connect to me on an emotional level, I find myself thinking about them a lot. Really well written characters tend to be my favorite things, and like I mentioned before, I'm kind of a sucker for a romantic story. However, I always think of them in the context, of, well, stories. I like to imagine the future for character who's books have come to an end. Or imagine a world where me and my friends have to play SBURB from Homestuck or something. A lot of people do this I believe, at least, this is what the frequency of fanfiction lead me to believe. (A medium that can go from harmless and interesting to disturbing so quickly it's horrifying. This is the right sentiment here: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/05/04 )

It's all just, well, fiction though. Something that's fun to think about, but not reality. It's nice to get things out of stories and use them to make yourself a better person, it's one of the reasons that I love reading so much. All the characters from, well, everything fictional, exist in their own made-up universe. It's fun to imagine what they'll do once their stories end, but, well, none of them exist outside of the context of the mind. It sounds terrifying to me to be so consumed with a fictional character that you end up feeling romantically attached. Emotionally I understand, as far as I'm concerned, if I'm not emotionally attached in some way than I'm simply not reading that great a story, but that's just me, and I get attached to fiction easily, I have a good imagination for that sort of thing. I'm trying to be as tasteful as possible as I discuss how, well, absolutely crazy the concept of being in love with a person that doesn't exist except in a game is. It's an easy thing to make fun of for sure! Which is why I was impressed so much by the responses the guy got. They were sympathetic, gave advice, and posted things like:

Hey! That was well written! Nice! (Too bad it's so damn big jeez). There's just some good advice in general there, certainly stuff I wish I thought about in a past relationship. And that's really the type of thing I think that you should get out of Katawa Shoujo, I like to think I did. That guy from the reddit post sounds like he took the advice to heart, and is doing better for it. Good for him! It's nice that the internet of all places was able to be a sympathetic friend in an embarrassing situation, something it's usually, well, the absolute worst at.

What I had written here previously before I came to my senses was an insufferably wordy analysis of Hanako's route. It was about 5 large walls of text long and was basically me awkwardly explaining the ending of her route. In short, her Bad/Neutral endings defy what her character arch type is generally like (shy girl with traumatic past), and the path to the good ending has some real awkwardness and serious screwing up on both their parts, but ends with an incredibly heartwarming confession by both of them, with tears shed on both sides, that really shows that despite how early it is in their relationship, they're going to end up happily ever after. The final image is truly heartwarming.

I was going to talk about Lily's too, but I all you really need to know is I've never gotten emotional because of a little tune from a music box before.

(And the other routes are pretty good too)

Ok, that is quite enough! I need to stop writing wordy nonsense about this game that other people say infinitely better on random message boards. If you want some good love stories, than read this damn game. That is all that there is to be said on the matter.

And now introducing a new section!

WILL LISTEN TO MOST ANYTHING ESPECIALLY IF VIDEOGAMES

Man, what a great title.

Anyways, I like video game music. Some of it isn't really very good! But some of it is great. I hope to show you non-existent readers some of the good stuff! In my opinion at least.

I've always really liked the piano, and the Katawa Shoujo OST is full of it. This song is so good just because of how evocative it is of the moments when it plays. It means more if you've played the game, but I think it's worth a listen even if you haven't.

Cave story has great retro styled music, and this piano cover of Running Hell, one of the best tunes to begin with, is really just amazing. I've listened to this on loop so much.

Whelp, that's all for today! See ya later!

Start the Conversation
5 Comments
Posted by mattscout007

Hello again! I don't have a game of the day today, I'm just going to ramble about stuff I've already talked about! Yayyyy! Also spoilers abound.

OVER-ANALYSIS CENTRAL: KATAWA SHOUJO

Hat=adorable

First off, I'd like to mention that the chatter on the internet about this game has been as a whole rather overwhelmingly positive, in more ways than one. By that I mean that the internet isn't being as much of a terrible place as it is want to be sometimes. Don't get me wrong, there's still some people being total assholes about this game. At least I assume so. I haven't really seen much of that at all. What I am seeing a lot of is people getting a lot out of the game emotionally. In one example, there was a post on the Katawa Shoujo subreddit about a person who had been having some struggles with his relationship, and after playing the game and experiencing the stories found himself a better person. I paraphrased heavily there, but that was the gist of it. And that's so great! This stories in this game are told in an inspiring and enlightening matter, and it's nice to see that getting through to people. As well as people being really nice about the story that the person shared.

On the other side of the coin are people who take things just a bit too...seriously? When I mentioned before that Lily and Hanako's stories caused me to cry, it's not that I was sitting there at my computer bawling my eyes out or anything of the sort. It was really more me tearing up, and having stupid smile on my face, coupled with the "feels" as a lot of people seem to put it. Someone, also on the KS subreddit, explained, with a large degree of embarrassment, feeling a serious emotional attachment to the character I have posted above, Hanako. He went so far to mention thinking about her, staring at her picture, dreaming about her, etc... As one somewhat insensitive redditor explained, that person has fallen prey to the "waifu" effect or something like that. (Every time I read or write that word I have to connect my hand with my face in an exasperated manner).

I find that when I read, watch, or play things that connect to me on an emotional level, I find myself thinking about them a lot. Really well written characters tend to be my favorite things, and like I mentioned before, I'm kind of a sucker for a romantic story. However, I always think of them in the context, of, well, stories. I like to imagine the future for character who's books have come to an end. Or imagine a world where me and my friends have to play SBURB from Homestuck or something. A lot of people do this I believe, at least, this is what the frequency of fanfiction lead me to believe. (A medium that can go from harmless and interesting to disturbing so quickly it's horrifying. This is the right sentiment here: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/05/04 )

It's all just, well, fiction though. Something that's fun to think about, but not reality. It's nice to get things out of stories and use them to make yourself a better person, it's one of the reasons that I love reading so much. All the characters from, well, everything fictional, exist in their own made-up universe. It's fun to imagine what they'll do once their stories end, but, well, none of them exist outside of the context of the mind. It sounds terrifying to me to be so consumed with a fictional character that you end up feeling romantically attached. Emotionally I understand, as far as I'm concerned, if I'm not emotionally attached in some way than I'm simply not reading that great a story, but that's just me, and I get attached to fiction easily, I have a good imagination for that sort of thing. I'm trying to be as tasteful as possible as I discuss how, well, absolutely crazy the concept of being in love with a person that doesn't exist except in a game is. It's an easy thing to make fun of for sure! Which is why I was impressed so much by the responses the guy got. They were sympathetic, gave advice, and posted things like:

Hey! That was well written! Nice! (Too bad it's so damn big jeez). There's just some good advice in general there, certainly stuff I wish I thought about in a past relationship. And that's really the type of thing I think that you should get out of Katawa Shoujo, I like to think I did. That guy from the reddit post sounds like he took the advice to heart, and is doing better for it. Good for him! It's nice that the internet of all places was able to be a sympathetic friend in an embarrassing situation, something it's usually, well, the absolute worst at.

What I had written here previously before I came to my senses was an insufferably wordy analysis of Hanako's route. It was about 5 large walls of text long and was basically me awkwardly explaining the ending of her route. In short, her Bad/Neutral endings defy what her character arch type is generally like (shy girl with traumatic past), and the path to the good ending has some real awkwardness and serious screwing up on both their parts, but ends with an incredibly heartwarming confession by both of them, with tears shed on both sides, that really shows that despite how early it is in their relationship, they're going to end up happily ever after. The final image is truly heartwarming.

I was going to talk about Lily's too, but I all you really need to know is I've never gotten emotional because of a little tune from a music box before.

(And the other routes are pretty good too)

Ok, that is quite enough! I need to stop writing wordy nonsense about this game that other people say infinitely better on random message boards. If you want some good love stories, than read this damn game. That is all that there is to be said on the matter.

And now introducing a new section!

WILL LISTEN TO MOST ANYTHING ESPECIALLY IF VIDEOGAMES

Man, what a great title.

Anyways, I like video game music. Some of it isn't really very good! But some of it is great. I hope to show you non-existent readers some of the good stuff! In my opinion at least.

I've always really liked the piano, and the Katawa Shoujo OST is full of it. This song is so good just because of how evocative it is of the moments when it plays. It means more if you've played the game, but I think it's worth a listen even if you haven't.

Cave story has great retro styled music, and this piano cover of Running Hell, one of the best tunes to begin with, is really just amazing. I've listened to this on loop so much.

Whelp, that's all for today! See ya later!

Posted by matti00

I agree with you with all the piano in the Katawa Shoujo OST, it is very evocative of the emotions I felt whilst playing. I think Lily's theme, Concord, is my favourite. Seems like you got a lot of the same things out of it that I did, being a sucker for a romantic story myself too. Good blog.

Posted by Pezen

I think many people that connected to the characters more than on a fictional level are people who are.. for lack of a better word.. emotionally underdeveloped/inexperienced. Maybe that's a bit harsh but what I mean is, I read somewhere someone who didn't have any major love life until after school and he/she felt like there was always that part missing. Katawa Shoujo fills that awkwardly early love life that is bordering on being adult yet somehow it's more innocent, irrational decisions and total dedication to their own emotions. As an adult, and as someone who fits that description, I connected very heavily with this game probably for that reason. It's well written enough to where I can "tag along" the emotional path of Hisao and whichever girl he pursues, but it's also hard to ignore the fact that some of those girls have traits that feels ripped out from me personally so that helps me connect with them deeper than just being "another character" in a story.

However, I wouldn't go so far as to say I get romantic over them, but more to the point that every time I played through a path thus far (Emi, Hanako, Lilly) I come out feeling like you do when you wake up from a really great dream. You come out feeling disappointed in your real life because it doesn't measure up to an idealized rose tinted existence.

Certainly all of those feelings will fall by the wayside as time passes and all that's left is the core ideas listed in that big picture and more. But there's no denying that entertainment can deeply connect you to fictional characters, whether that's healthy or not. Because let's face it; everyone around you is fictional in a sense until you actually get to know them. The only difference between Hanako and some girl walking down the street is that the girl walking down the street exists physically but I know nothing of her personality, thoughts or dreams. She's just a walking image. So in a sense, Hanako exists more to me than she does, even if that's completely crazy and I'm fully aware of that fact.

Posted by mattscout007

@Pezen: Thank you for posting this! That was a really interesting take and all the stuff I was talking about. (And I think more eloquently put too). The feeling I get after playing/reading things like this really does feel kind of like waking up from a dream, that's the best way I've heard the feeling described yet. And I don't think your last thing really is so crazy. After all, that random person on the street will probably never have any effect on you whatsoever, while fictional Hanako and her story will in some small way.

Posted by mattscout007

@matti00: Yeah, Concord is one of my favorites from the OST too, especially since I liked Lily's route so much. And thanks for saying so! I appreciate you reading through my wordy nonsense.