Site-Wide Activity

  • One decentish fic about Dawn rescuing Cyrus from the Distortion World, and yet another fic where the legendaries are a divine bureaucracy.

    Your summary is missing spaces after every sentence. You also have […]

    • It’s “demon”.

      Could also be that they were going for daemon spelling but missed it.

    • Oh, that’s interesting. I must have gotten it mixed up with the Pokemon Generations version, where he very explicitly is content.

      …More evidence that Pokemon Generations was the inmates running the asylum.

    • I generally do try to review everything; the only thing I always skip is PMD fic, since I haven’t played past the first game and also I hate it and wish it didn’t exist. If I fall behind, I prioritize the things I have canned spiels for (unlabeled anime fic and original fiction, sometimes pokemon/trainer romances). The stories I’m actually drawn to are anything that looks different from the norm, but especially ones that look like they might question the status quo (pokemon revolutions, N fic, protagonists with pokespeech, etc.).

  • So, it’s been nearly three months since I made one of these! There was a little activity in June, but afterwards SYOC fic just tanked. Plenty was posted, but everything was dead on arrival. I was holding out for […]

  • And I Darken by Kiersten White is a really interesting piece of historical fiction, the central premise of which is that Vlad the Impaler is born female instead of male. It’s unfortunately somewhat undercut by […]

    • Hmmm. I wonder if the premise wouldn’t work better with a different figure? Vlad already faced many, many difficulties related to people not respecting his power or accepting his authority, did changing his gender really add so many layers to the story? Plus, it feels a bit flimsy that the only reason Lada wasn’t married off was because she was unattractive.

      That said, I’m actually quite interested. Shame even the ebook is so expensive, though, particularly when it seems it’s just not well-written. I’ll probably give this one a pass, unless I find it at a cheaper price somehow.

    • I thought I saw a view of this somewhere else saying that it was really orientalist and the sexuality was actually handled really badly (can the whole unrequited gay love trope please die in a hole).

      If even someone who loved the concept found the writing dry I think I might skip this one. :/

      • Wait, are you referring to this review? Because its complaints range from nonsense to objectively wrong.

        Or maybe that’s unfair, taking the microcosm of Romania and Turkey and projecting it onto the dynamic of Western Europe and West Asia.

        I actually think the complaint here is a fair one, but unavoidable given the time period.

        The Ottoman Empire is a place of myths and religions and hidden gardens and hares, while Wallachia is a place of physicality, even as it exists for the better part of the narrative only as an idea in Lada’s mind.

        This sentence is absurd, and even internally contradicts itself. The bulk of the book is set in Turkey, and the main conflict between Lada and Radu is that she pines for this idealized Wallachia she’s created in her mind while he’s become happy in the reality of Edirne. The two settings literally serve the opposite purpose the reviewer says they do, with Edirne being real, physical, full of nuanced people and placeds they come to know, while Wallachia is an idea and a myth.

        In this world, bisexuality is not a thing

        This is objectively untrue. The book ends with Memet and Radu confessing to each other, first of all, and Radu meets multiple soldiers who make passes at him while also being involved with women.

        And when you are the object of queer love, as Radu is for a soldier ten years older than him who often acts like a mentor for him, it is repulsive and uncomfortable, even predatory.

        This is another ridiculous misreading. It was the soldier’s affection that made Radu realize he was gay, and the ‘discomfort’ was from not realizing his own identity and coming to face it, not because gay is gross but because Radu had never confronted his own feelings before. Nothing at all about the soldier was predatory or wrong, and painting him as some kind of predator ‘grooming’ Radu, who never gets together with him, like the review does is really creepy.

        every Muslim other than Mehmed is incidental (and Mehmed is called “the little zealot”––so the only major sympathetic Muslim character is one whose primary characteristic is his faith and religiosity

        This is so untrue is makes me genuinely suspicious of the reviewer’s motives. First, Radu’s major character arc concerns his conversion to and love of Islam. He meets a kind older man at the mosque who becomes a dear friend of his, teaches him how to pray, and how the morality of Islam makes one a good person (can’t remember his name again — it’s been a while since I read this). He’s actually Nazira’s father, and their whole family is devout and may be the only group of characters in the whole book with no ulterior motives. They’re a huge part of the story, and literally are there to demonstrate the good of Islam and what it can offer to people.

        Meanwhile, Mehmed is called ‘zealot’ by the people who rebel against him, who Lada and Radu defeat. Historically, Mehmed goes on to conquer Constantinople, vindicated his plans and cementing his legacy. The people who disparage him this way are wrong

        every queer character other than Radu is incidental, where every girl other than Lada is incidental, every Muslim other than Mehmed is incidental 

        …yes. Yes, the characters other than the three protagonists are less important. Yes, this is a thing that is true.

        Ottoman Empire, harems are not handled well.

        No elaboration — how should they have been handled?

        Eunuchs are Othered, Muslims are Othered, gay people are Othered 

        I have no idea what this means. Eunuchs, indeed, do not factor largely in the story. Maybe they should have, though in what capacity I’m not sure. But how the hell are Muslims and gay people othered when the major plotlines of the story involve Mehmed and Radu being gay and Muslim and happy about it?

        I wonder if perhaps the reviewer was mistaking Lada’s purposeful mental Othering of Edirne and the people in it for the book’s feelings. Lada’s main character conflict in the Edirne portion is that she does come to love the city and people, and can’t reconcile this with her devotion to Wallachia and her dream of being prince. She spend a lot of time purposely casting Edirne, its culture, and its people are ‘foreigners’ in her mind in an effort to deny that she’s come to feel that it’s home (this isn’t even subtle — she literally catches herself thinking ‘let’s go home’ and then angsts about how she can’t forget it’s not really her home). Her attitude ruins her relationship with her brother and leads to her turning on Mehmed even though she’s fallen for him, all while preventing her from escaping because the truth is she loves the place. The whole damned point of Radu was to show that Lada’s struggle here was subjective, not objective, since he gives himself fully to Edirne and he’s not wrong.

        I can’t even imagine how you misread the book this badly unless it’s purposeful. Or, I guess, if you’re really used to reading straightforward YA, and when you hit something with a bit more subtlety, you’re not prepared and take things at face value anyway? This is one of the reasons I don’t like the dumbing-down of kids’ and YA, but it’s hard to tell if that’s the culprit here.

      • sexuality was actually handled really badly (can the whole unrequited gay love trope please die in a hole).
        Historically, Radu and Memet do end up together, so ‘in the first book of the three the gay charcater’s main romantic relationship isn’t completely solved’ seems like an unfair complaint, especially since the bulk of this book is his childhood and him discovering he’s gay as he grows up. Meanwhile, Radu does have a love toward the end and the lesbian side character whose name slips my mind is in a long-term relationship (edit: Nazira! And her partner was Fatima; their family were my favorite side characters).
        If after the third book (or even the second) Radu and Memet never end up together, that would certainly merit a lot of complaint, and I’d be more suspicious if there weren’t other depictions of gay relationships, but this doesn’t really ring true to me for book 1.
        really orientalist
        Any chance you could elaborate? The book was exceptionally well-researched, and as far as I could tell the portrayal of Edirne was accurate.

  • “If you found my story hard to understand, I’m sorry, but that’s really not my problem. I didn’t write it for you.”

    re: Your review to Survivor Pokemon: Laguanian Islands (Season 1)
    Aug 6ANineTailedFox
    A […]

  • A lot of weird nonsense, but not much of interest. There is one B/W novelization that claims the main character will get the ability to understand pokemon, but the first chapter ends before that […]

  • Last time, midnight passes with a whimper.

    It’s still pouring rain the next morning. Kanon and Genji head to the main house to open everything up. Kanon is surprised that Gohda isn’t already up making […]

    • Oooh, some really intense music.

      As I recall, the song playing during that scene is goldenslaughterer. You should be able to find it in BGM folder in game files (though the file name is something like rh_goldenslaughterer).

      Or you can listen to the orchestral remix here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH2p8S5GNAM

      I also wonder what Rosa’s line about meeting her again means.

      Most likely the same thing as Shannon’s entry: once the ritual is complete, the witch would be revived and grant the resurrection of all the dead.

      Natsuhi and the servants come back, and Natsuhi has a rifle.

      I’m going to whine about anime again, because the scene was just so different there. As you see, Natsuhi actually comes across as badass in those scenes, taking charge and organizing everyone. In the anime, however, she comes across as positively unhinged, screaming and waving the rifle like a maniac.

      Anyway, any thoughts on how the murder could be accomplished by human hands, who is the culprit and what is the motive? Umineko definitely benefits from thinking about it and doing some detectiving.

      Also, some of your comments are hilarious in retrospect, but we’ll have to wait for future episodes for you to get why.

    • Oh hoh, now what do we have here? Could George know Shanon’s pre-creepy-maid-renaming name?

      It was established in their previous scene, actually. Presumably, Shannon just told him. As for Kinzo, he probably wouldn’t like it much since the whole setup with the servants reeks of objectification, considering their “we’re furniture” thing combined with “professional” porn star names, but then, I’m not sure he would care about George or Shannon that much to begin with, not in his current state.

      I feel like it’s important to remember that the resurrection of those who died, and the resurrection of probably Shanon, are two different things. There’s gotta be a reason why.

      It should be noted that line could just as easily refer to Kinzo/Beatrice pairing. I mean, Kinzo was the one who wrote the epitaph (possibly even before George and Shannon were together), and he’s always going on about how he wants to see Beatrice’s smile one more time.

      He’s basically writing a fixfic about his waifu. With blood and miracles. Because that’s the reverse weeaboo way.

      • Rating: M

        Tags: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Poetry, Romance, Supernatural, Western

        Pairing: Yes (Beatrice/OC)

        • Tags: OH DESIRUH, demon roulette, You, the one reading it, you too shall attempt to solve my riddle and find the promised gold! The more people waste their lives in this way, the greater miracle I could achieve when they fail!, Will the miracle be fulfilled first, or will those fools expose the gold first? What a sight. If those fools solve my puzzle, at that time I will be completely defeated. They can suck my corpse down to the last fragment of bone. Great magic can house a miracle from the fools’ greed. And yet!! If the fulfillment of the miracle comes first… If it comes first! Beatrice will be resurrected again!! That smile which I have been chasing half my life will be restored…! The sacred night when the miracle is wagered will come, and the devils’ game will begin…! I will definitely win, and will definitely remain alive!! I’ll give up the other people’s lives! I don’t need wealth or honor or assets or gold or anything! I only want to see your smile one more time!!

    • Yeah, I remember also wondering what the significance of Shannon and Krauss having their heads half-smashed in instead of their whole faces smashed could be, since they specifically draw attention to it. So far I’ve come up with nothing, though (though admittedly “so far” is only “a little ways into EP2”).

      Oh, also, I mentioned a while back that there was one instance where the PS3 port’s CGs (probably unintentionally) added a layer of subtext to a scene that I actually liked better than the original? It’s in the scene where George finds Shannon’s body. In the PS3 version, there’s a CG during the scene where George proposes to Shannon, which looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/XP0izAY.jpg

      Later, when he thinks back to the last time he saw her, they flash back to that CG… except it looks like this instead: http://i.imgur.com/VmRou1m.jpg

      Considering that the CGs were added totally after the fact, that scene was probably not _actually_ intended to carry the subtext that memory is unreliable and self-serving and that George’s memory of how Shannon felt about his proposal is a bit selective/revisionist. (Or even intended on the part of the CG artists, considering what a mess they managed to make of at least one other scene.) But it sure was what I got out of that scene from playing it blind without realizing the CGs were a later addition (especially because it really seemed like the kind of thing this game would do), and—barring any later developments that could make even that small change in subtext incompatible with the story—is probably going to stay my preferred reading to some degree.

    • Besides, he’s definitely a Choose Not To Warn kind of guy. Only if you risk reading something with greatly upsetting content will you had a chance at a great reward!

    • I don’t know, the epitaph actually provides a list of trigger warnings alright.

      TW: gouging of the chest, gouging of the head, gouging of the knee…

      The issue is that it ommits less obvious, subtle warning like mutilation of faces (an easy mistake to make), which trips some people up (like Battler).

    • Also,

      Battler has a complete breakdown, crying and screaming that they have no faces.

      At least he didn’t go the Shinji route and decided that now he must cut off everyone’s faces.

    • I’m following with great interest. I’m also not commenting on anything cos all the spoilers I know informs everything I’d write and it’s all friggin spoils. That said,

      some really intense music

      would be goldenslaughterer and should be somewhere in the game files as illhousen said. It’s one of the better known seacat musics and sort of a mild warmup to the awesomeness to come.

      The character profiles in the TIPS menu have updated to creepily reflect the deaths…it even creepily reflects the mutilation.

      Always remember to check that whenever something happens to someone and possibly post it for posterity. Experts agree that it’s at least as cool as FSN character sheets.

      Lastly, LOL. LOLs everywhere.

    • Forgot this was going to post while I was away — oh well. I’ll fix all the links and such when I get back.

      I’m not checking my comment emails which means THERE ARE NO RULES.

  • A lot of stuff happens, including someone finally going to the capitalization thread when asked.

    Your review on my story
    Aug 1HomeRunHitter11
    Hi there! Thanks you for the review on my story. While I must […]

  • Act wrote a new post, Lagoon 1 week, 1 day ago

    Continuing my adventures in Nnedi’s Okorafor’s catalogue, Lagoon. I’m happy to say that this one was absolutely incredible. Okorafor seems to be hit or miss, when when it’s a hit she’s just […]

  • Today we have a SYOC fic with a ridiculously detailed form but no story content, a short fic about Hau with a conspicuous absence of Lillie, and Pokemon Revolution.

    This belongs in the Anime world. Find your […]

    • The answer’s actually pretty simple: because nobody uses them properly.  What I’m really submitting with my characters are concepts and themes, but all anyone pays attention to are the surface traits. This is another reason why SYOC is bad.

      I actually did just come out and say what I wanted Havan’s thematic contribution to be for this one because I’m so fed up with this, but updates have predictably stalled so we’ll have to wait for the results.

      • So, is your new policy to outright tell people what your characters are useful for, themes-wise? Well, if anything, it sould be interesting to watch the results.

        • Unfortunately, I can’t do this for most of them. Most of my characters are jabs at authors’ assumptions and prejudices, so they’re going to act differently if I tell them that, say, Kidra is a test to see if they’ll demonize an otherwise good person just for being flirty.

          • That’s understandable.

            How’s the next charapost coming along, by the way? Any particularly memorable character moments so far?

            • There’s been an utter dearth of SYOC fic. I cheekily claimed the last one was the end of a cycle but there’s just been nothing for months. There have been a few — you can check the collector — but this is the only one that hasn’t been dead on arrival.

              (That one about the chosen guardians has also kept going, but Kidra hasn’t appeared again yet.)

              Edit: Oh, actually, I just checked the next post and I think I do actually have enough to post. I was waiting for Guardians to update again but it looks like it’ll be a while before Kidra shows up again, so what the hey, I’ll just post it.

    • And I don’t even think what I wrote was particularly any good.

      Gaze upon what other people think are “any good”, and let your shame melt away. Even if you think your story is terrible, there’s bound to be at least one person who likes it, and only by writing can you improve.

    • Drabbles are really hard! Maybe fixed-wordcount challenges just aren’t your forte. I myself am unable to say anything in less than ten thousand words. Embrace wherever your muse takes you.

  • Act wrote a new post, Akata Witch 1 week, 2 days ago

    Akata Witch is Nnedi Okorafor’s stab at the ‘magic school’ subgenre, and unfortunately it’s kind of a mess. Like her other two books, it really shines in just how unique and exciting its ideas are, but the […]

    • I find it a little amusing but mostly disturbing that you can put a word like “gringo” in the title of a children’s book just because it’s not in English. I guess it just goes with the whole issue of defining people by the fact that they’re outside your ethnic group or whatever rather than who they actually are. There’s also the issue where we’re so Eurocentric that the words that cultures use to refer to us are just these cute little nonsense words that you can use in the title of a kid’s story.

      • I actually read today that the title for the Nigerian release was “What Sunny Saw in the Candle,” so it looks like it wouldn’t fly in the actual culture, which makes it really weird. I’d initially read that isn’t wasn’t that bad a word, but the book makes it sound like a real slur… and probably not something you’d want kids adding to their lexicon.

        I’m pretty sure Okorafor was born and raised in the US, so she’s probably been called it herself and it’s likely a reclamation thing, but that would make more sense for an adult novel, I think.

        • Yeah, regardless of the adult author’s intention, it’s not something you should be exposing children to without a plan. The fact that the original culture completely changed the name really puts the nail in the Good Idea coffin. Theirs is the metric by which one should judge the word, not ours.
          Props to the Nigerian publisher/localization team for having more sense than the Akata Author did, though the fact that nobody piped up to her and said “should you really be titling a children’s book like this” is kind of tripping red flags. 

    • Honestly, there have been quite a few times on this blog I’ve liked stuff more in hindsight, but the more I think about this book the less I like it. I finished it a week ago and if I wrote this post from scratch now it’d probably be a lot harsher.

    • To use a non-racial example: If you asked Americans living in America who knew what the word meant what they felt about being called “gaijin”, an overwhelming majority of them probably wouldn’t give a fuck. It just means “foreigner”, and well… they are foreign to Japan.

      I’ve seem in multiple places “gaijin” being specifically about white people, so I am not sure if it is trully “non-racial”. Sure, it can be used for any foreigner, but its usage to describe white people is popular enough to feature in a dictionary.

      And, you know, I’ve actully seem people who dislike being called ‘gaijin’. Usually people who actually live in Japan, so I am not sure it is a good example all around.

      In the end, these issues are complex and affter people in different ways. Some words might not be a big deal for some, but are for others.

    • I still like how Starcraft 2 used the Killbot idea in one of the Co-Op Mutators. And it works exactly the same way. They’re invincible until they hit their preset kill limit and then shut down (and their explosions makes all player units unable to fight for a bit out of respect for the majestic killbot. The debuff is even called Moment of Silence). They constantly spawn and basically someone’s gonna have to throw corpses at it.

  • Responses are civil today.

    Le Review: JPWC
    Jul 29DraconicFox
    Alright, well, you’re in. On the banning non story chapters, I read the rules just in case of something like that, and I consider the very first […]

  • Today we have a Guzma origin story that makes him the privileged Z-user; a gay love story that spends a page tooting its horn about how it’s God’s gift to the queer community; and a well-written Nuzlocke fic that […]

  • Last time, a spoiled family gathers for a magic murdergame… I think.

    The kids hang out in the guest house until dinner, lazing around since it’s raining so hard. When Kanon comes to get them for dinner, […]

    • Rosa starts to freak out, chastising herself for losing control of my emotions. That’s a mild way to put it.

      I got mad and thus beat the shit out of my 10 years old daughter. You know, that happens.

      As someone with a poor temper, I can actually sympathize with the “losing control” argument. I think many just don’t understand that “controlling yourself” is just not that simple for many. Still, that was still you. “Losing control” doesn’t change your personality, it just removes your filters. If you without your filters are beating up children, or doing anything else morally repugnant, then you probably should be reflecting on what this mean about you.

      George basically won’t stop telling Jessica she’s being a baby until she’s so upset she has to leave the room, and Bat wonders where Maria is. George walks away.

      Man, you are way more critical of George than anyone I’ve seem. Not that I disagree with your criticism.

       You’re probably with the dude for the money, so suck it up.

      That seem excessively mean. Why do you think Kyrie married for the money?

       

      Well, anyway, I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am. Loving reading your comments so far.

       

      • Why do you think Kyrie married for the money?

        It’s not like it’s his stellar personality >.>

        But overall I found it really fake that she has the nerve to whine about the adults talking money. She chose to marry into the family knowing what it would entail. Hell, the dude cheated on his wife with her. He’s not exactly a stand-up guy and she knows it, so why does she have the vapors over them talking cash?

        She really came across as trying to schmooze Bat to me in this scene, IDK.

        • I understand why you were ticked off by Kyrie in that scene, I just didn’t get how that relate o her marrying for money. That seems like a big leap to me. I can buy Kyrie just genuinelly likes Rudolf. I mean, not every mistress is in it for monetary interest or something like that.

          What I am saying is that I understand you thinking Kyrie is not a good person. I just think it is mean to from there jump to “she is only with him for money”, as if bad people can’t genuinelly like others. And it is too close to “women are money hungry harpies” to my confort (though, of course, I know you didn’t mean like that).

          • I mean, the same goes for Hideyoshi. He and Kyrie both married terrible rich people. They don’t seem like awful people themselves, but I doubt at this point that either of them would be around if the family they were marrying into wasn’t loaded. 

            • I don’t know. I get the feeling that Kyrie and Hideyoshi do care about their spouses. Money most likely did factor into their relationship, but I think there is a genuine connection between them that isn’t tied to gold digging.

              • Yeah, I think they both seem happy and like they have good relationships, but, I mean, at the same time Eva explicitly says her marriage was a business arrangement that worked out fortunately. We admittedly don’t know Kyrie’s deal (or Rudy’s, for that matter), but I feel like in either case the marriage wouldn’t have happened otherwise, and I think it’s pretty rich for Kyrie (or Hide) to be complaining about all their money.

              • Yeah, that’s pretty much my impression too. Putting aside the obvious “everyone here is terrible people” and “but why would you want to marry these assholes” (which I doubt anyone here would dispute), Kyrie and Rudolf/Hideyoshi and Eva come across as too genuinely into each other for me to think they’re only there for the money.

    • I’m willing to believe Beatrice can synthesize umbrellas, but this seems a bit melodramatic, even for Kinzo.

      The World Ends With Kinzo.

      Hmm. Nothing about a messenger in the epitaph, so the Meaningful Tags aren’t about that specifically.

      I’m fairly sure the tags just denote Maria speaking in English.

      Kyrie is stupid.

      I feel that Kyrie mostly uses reasoning to promote her agenda. Her methodology revolves around projecting, putting herself in the position of the opponent and thinking what she would do. It has its benefits, but it’s also limited in that she thinks everyone else thinks like her.

      Earlier, Krauss had called her aside, and taken her to a room in the mansion no one was allowed to enter. Inside, Krauss showed her a bar of gold with the family emblem in it. He’d tracked it down from one of Kinzo’s old business contacts, and it seemed to prove the gold horde was real.

      That scene was so awful in anime. It was almost literally just, “Behold! A golden bar!” with zero context or much lead up, and then it immediately jumped to the next scene with zero explanation.

      R07 does tend to overestablish and repeat the same thing three times occasionally, but God, is it better than what anime did.

    • So, what you’re saying is that, more than anything else, THEY NEEDED A LOT OF MONEY RIGHT NOW?

      (But yeah, that was one of the most cheesy scenes this route.)

    • Speaking of Gohda, Act kinda omitted the heavy implication that he used Maria’s rose as a decoration for dessert.

      (I mean, it could have been just the storm tearing the rose away, but when you make the readers pay attention to a rose and then there is dessert covered in rose petals, and then the rose disappears, well…)

      • Act omitted or Act didn’t notice?

        This is the kind of thing I was talking before the LP started. Just because something was obvious to you when you read, it doesn’t mean it is obvious to everyone.

        • True enough, bad choice of words on my part.

          Let’s just say there was an implication to that effect that I consider interesting.

          • I can confirm that I didn’t notice!

            • Well, now you know. And knowing is half of hating Gohda.

            • I dunno why this is something that makes Gohda hatable. He wouldn’t have known about the rose.

               

              Also, I like Gohda. Initially it was in rebellion but he actually comes off as really likable as time goes on.

               

              Fuck George forever though. He’s such a fucking creep and it really annoys me that people LPing this seems to instead think that he’s being romantic.

            • I think there is plenty reason to hate Gohda(mostly the way he treats Shannon and Kanon) but, yeah cutting some random Rose he knew nothing about is not one of them.

            • I’m mostly jesting about it. Indeed, he wouldn’t have known about the rose.

              Gohda is pretty flawed in that he’s sleazy: he craves the validation of his higher ups and doesn’t much care for other servants. Part of it is probably that the majority of servants are in special club under Kinzo’s command and are technically considered higher than him, though.

              But I don’t think that Gohda is some irredimable asshole or anything. I don’t think anyone there is, actually, even George. The characters so far mostly look to me like they’re broken by the situation they’re in and the larger system, and probably would have been better people under different circumstances (if, like Battler, they could just fuck away for five years, for example).

            • Oh, I don’t mind it from the other servants one bit. They have a reason to dislike him.

    • God, I still can’t get over Kyrie’s whole “but if there really was a 19th person, they would just show themselves and prove it!!” logic. Yes, Kyrie, what could this 19th person possibly accomplish by just leaving the family of greedy, backstabbing assholes who hate each other to draw their own conclusions about who’s messing with them? I can’t even imagine.

    • To be fair to Kyrie, she probably does OK in business and when dealing with normal adults. It’s just that currently she’s dealing with a reverse weeaboo sorcerer and a kid witch cosplayer, which throws her off badly.

    • Well, the agenda behind this specific marriage would be “strengthening Jessica’s position as the heir(‘s wife)”, which would certainly not be accomplished by marrying a member of the family who’s not exactly held in high regard.

      Not to mention that it is likely Battler would become the heir, not Jessica. Patriarchal structures and all.

      • Yes. It’s established by Natsuhi that even in the case of an outsider marrying Jessica, he would be the head of the family. In Battler’s case, it’s made worse by the fact it would advance Rudolph’s position and, since Battler is an Ushiromiya, lowering Jessica’s position compared to what she’d have if she had an outsider marrying into the family.
         It’s an objectively suboptimal move even without, you know, bringing up incest and how even Ushiromiyas are probably not that into it.

    • Why not Battler?
      Well, the agenda behind this specific marriage would be “strengthening Jessica’s position as the heir(‘s wife)”, which would certainly not be accomplished by marrying a member of the family who’s not exactly held in high regard.
      The most she can hope for is for Jessica to do to George what Eva did to Natsuhi, and have her marry a not-completely-awful and successful person who’s willing to change their surname while George is dealing with the consequences of his engagement (should Shannon accept, of course).

    • I wonder how this is a battle against Kinzo. It seems like the contest against the contest itself. If they fail to decipher the epitaph, Beatrice wins. If they do, then she loses. How does Kinzo factor into this at all?

      He was the one who wrote the riddle and hid the gold, so it’s his wits the family needs to defeat, technically speaking.

      Even without knowing that there is magic and Beatrice is obviously real because of the genre of the game, this seems unlikely. If it was, say, Natsuhi pretending to be Beatrice, when she gave Maria the letter, wouldn’t Maria have just said Natsuhi gave it to her?

      Maria earnestly believes in Beatrice, and it’s emphasized how literal-minded she is, often falling for even the most obvious jokes. If Natsuhi were to give her an envelope while dressed up in some attire unusual for her as well as Genji’s wig and calling herself Beatrice, it’s likely that Maria would have believed her fully and might have retroactively misremembered her face to match her mental image of Beatrice even. Or Natsuhi could have said some bullshit explanation for why she looks like Natsuhi that amounted to “it’s magic, ignore it,” which would have worked just as well.

    • Well, do remember that he practices enthropomancy: the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. What he wants is for the family to lose but have a very solid, very fair chance of winning, because the easier it is to solve the riddle, the more likely the miracle is to work if they don’t.

    • Maybe, but he also has virtually zero contact with Natsuhi and doesn’t like her much, as he pointed out (doesn’t dislike her, either, but the communication between the two is all but non-existent), so it’s not something Natsuhi would know and not something she would advocate.

    • From the first post:

      Kinzo tells canon that everyone, even he, must attempt the riddle to give his ritual the highest chance of working out.

      In general, he makes some references to great risk giving rise to great miracles.

  • Mr. Act sent me this interesting article today about men using female pseudonyms to sneak into detective fiction sales, and I have thoughts on the topic to inflict on you.

    Overall I think it’s good (it’s […]

    • This is making me wonder where the Female Protagonist tag on Steam sits in the grand scheme. One of the interesting things about being friends with Act on Steam is that I’m flooded with 1. her reviews (seriously Act, I can scroll down my Store page for almost a minute and see nothing but your writing) and 2. tags that seem blatantly aimed at women. I am pretty sure I didn’t have that before; I only had (and still have) a flood of Adult VNs offered to me. Steam will never rest until I buy one.

      • (seriously Act, I can scroll down my Store page for almost a minute and see nothing but your writing)
        Step 2: ???
        Step 3: Profit
        2. tags that seem blatantly aimed at women. I am pretty sure I didn’t have that before; I only had (and still have) a flood of Adult VNs offered to me. Steam will never rest until I buy one.
        That’s interesting. Steam has my tags so down to a T that I never considered it takes factors other than your own purchases into account. (Seriously every rec I get is “Story Rich; Female Protagonist; RPG; Indie” I GET IT STEAM YOU HAVE AN ALGORITHM gosh.)
        But yes I also get swamped with porn VN recs.
        edit: It also aggressively recs me things I have on other services. I wish I could indicate that I already own PS:T, BG, and Steins;Gate so Steam would calm the fuck down about how up my alley they are.

        • Can I add you on Steam Act?

          • Of course! My handle is actonthat, though I believe my display name is just Act. If you can leave a note when adding (I don’t remember if you can?) just let me know you’re from DQ.

            • Thanks. I get a lot of hits when I search ‘act’, and nothing when I search ‘actonthat’. How can I tell which one is you?

              • Well my profile pics is Archer xD

                If that doesn’t help shoot me a PM and I’ll give you my email, as I think you can search that way.

              • Found you! I think you can figure out that it’s me based on the timing, haha

        • It also aggressively recs me things I have on other services. I wish I could indicate that I already own PS:T, BG, and Steins;Gate so Steam would calm the fuck down about how up my alley they are.

          On your rec list, you can mark them as “not interested.” There is a button somewhere under under the trailer panel. Not sure if it works for other ads, though.

      • Oh, you get porn VNs too? I’ve noticed their influx in my recs after starting playing Higurashi. I guess it’s inevitable with the tags algorithm. VN + anime = porn, according to Steam.

        I’ve gor a really weird rec about, like, a Scarface setup but in high school or something. Nearly bought it just for the WTF factor.

        • Steam won’t rest until I’ve played the Grisaia series, and at this point I’m not 100% sure I won’t.
          Also I had a friend rec a VN called Chrono Clock or something, which I may actually try out and report back on.

          • Unbeknownst to his fellow classmates, Rei Sawatari has spent his years putting together a list of cute girls.One after another, he would confess to these girls to gauge their interest in him, before using the power of his pocket watch to turn back time.
            An ingenious strategy that is virtually free of risk.

            …Good luck, you’ll need it.

            • I… I’ve never seen a VN with jiggle physics before…

              • So I uh wanted to go into it blind, but thanks. I wasn’t even sure I had the name right, haha.
                Goddamn, this first impression.

              • Well, my quote is from the summary, and I think Act’s comment is on the trailer, so it’s not something creators wanted to hide or surprise you with.

                The name is actually ChronoClock, no spaces, because what we really need is DragonRaid anime porn.

                It’s also a funny name given that it’s literally Time Clock. That sure is a useful clarification.

              • All I could think was, “What other kinds of clocks are there?”

              • They probably wanted to crib on the success of Chrono Trigger series a bit, since my fingers wanted to type Chrono Cross. And like I said, I knew literally nothing, and now I know there’s jiggle physics and the premise itself is bottom-feeder-cowardice.

              • What other kinds of clocks are there?

                Broken ones.

              • But even those are right twice a day!

              • Pretty sure NekoPara has jiggle physics.

                 

                The fact that I’m unsure is funny considering I’m one of the people who worked on the games for the publisher.

    • Steam knows about your great work with Fate and wonders if you’ll do the same for the whole industry.
      Yeah, I get mostly the same tags, in addition to all the tags I get for having wide appetites. Been sucked into Rimworld lately; it’s so good. A colony simulator on the premise that humanity became super advanced and sent out sleeper ships to populate outer worlds, but they’re so far apart that they end up developing mostly on their own.

      • Ahh I saw you playing Rimworld and was going to ask, it keeps popping up during sales and sounds like something I’d love but I can’t get over how ugly it is for the price.

        • I wasn’t sure if I should rec it, but I can say that since it’s still in Alpha, you can absolutely put it off with no fear. It should only get better.
          It’s not going to get any prettier, probably. The game’s philosophy is a familiar one: sacrifice looks for depth.
          edit: You should, however, play Darkest Dungeon. Beautiful, atmospheric, Lovecraftian in the best sense, and narrated by the dude that does Poe/Lovecraft audiobooks. I have made this exact spiel before, I am sure.

          • I know, I know. It hurts to compromise. Rimworld is hilariously fun though. It’s the kind of game that spawns a hundred anecdotes among players.
            Speaking of which, what was with all the bots linking to, I think porn sites? Yesterday night.

          • RE: bots: That’s weird, someone else must have cleaned it up. That would explain why I checked the spam queue this morning and saw nothing on the Telepath post.

          • The bots were going hard last night. But yeah I’ve not been playing much besides Rimworld; I have actually been trying to read again. After your rec, I thought I was forgetting something, and then I remembered to pick up Infinite Jest, which you had Mr. Act rec a million years ago.

    • The game’s philosophy is a familiar one: sacrifice looks for depth.

      But I want boooooth.

      (ARK spoiled me so much.)

    • Hmm. That is a very interesting perspective htat I don’t think many consider. Critics love to talk about how the content of books react to readers; but few consider how they’re sold to readers.
      Now I’m curious,  how do online retailers categorize female protagonist/writer books?

    • I meant his work under his own name; I’ve actually never read his work as Snicket. I hugely rec We Are Pirates and The Basic Eight (though big sexual assault TW on the second one), and Why We Broke Up was very cute.

    • This is a good and insightful post, but I feel that it lacks John Green, Savior of the YA hate.

      Also,

      Or hey, maybe she’ll take the Mary Fucking Shelley route, use her own name, and spend motherfucking centuries having people argue that a woman could never have written a good book so her husband must actually be the author.

      …It’s actually a thing?

      *looks up Wikipedia* Huh, so it is. At least the consensus seems to be that her husband was an editor and just did the job of an editor?

      • …It’s actually a thing?

        You have no idea.

        At least the consensus seems to be that her husband was an editor and just did the job of an editor?

        This is what actually happened, yes, he edited and wrote a preface because they were living in the middle of the woods and there was no one else to do it, likely.

        I highly rec Romantic Outlaws, a dual biography of Mary Wollstoencraft and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

        • John Lauritsen debunks the myth that Frankenstein was written by a teenaged girl

          Ffffffffff.

          Great way to present your book, Jesus fuck.

          Male love is a central theme of rankenstein.

          Amusing typo, that, and right in the summary. Rankenstein has a nice ring to it. A monster born out of sexism and conspiracy theorism.

          • But illhousen, she’s so “weak and sentimental,” how could she write such a book without having the vapors???

            I can’t stop giggling at ‘Rankenstein.’

            • I’m pretty sure there is some kind of pun I could make about pulling the rank, but I have trouble forming coherent sentenses.

              The reviews are also worth checking out in that they’re likely to give you hysteria (by which I mean, you may become irritated with people writing them and snippy, which is a sure sign of mental illness).

              As an independent scholar, Lauritsen is beholden to no one.

              Well, there is his problem, glad we cleared that up.

              At least that’s one person who isn’t devaluing your degree, but don’t worry, he has people for that:

              This book, which is a hybrid of mystery story, polemic and paean to poetic beauty, shows just how boring literary criticism has become over the past 40 years. I haven’t been this  exhilarated by a book about literature since I devoured Leslie Fiedler’s iconoclastic essays in college back in the 1960s. All that cr*ppy
              poststructuralism that poured out of  universities for so long pretended to challenge power but was itself just the time-serving
              piety of a status-conscious new establishment. Lauritsen’s book shows what true sedition and transgression are all about.

              Academic discourse is useless, true transgression comes in the form of denying that a woman without formal education (even if she was a daughter of two philosophers) could write a good book, got it.

              (On unrelated note, Wollstonecraft is an awesome name that I would expect to find in Nasuverse.)

              • There was a huge lightning splitting the sky right across my window when I clicked “post.” I’m going to take it as a sign that I’m right and also possibly that Mary is going to raise from her grave sometime soon.

              • This book, which is a hybrid of mystery story, polemic and paean to poetic beauty, shows just how boring literary criticism has become over the past 40 years. I haven’t been this  exhilarated by a book about literature since I devoured Leslie Fiedler’s iconoclastic essays in college back in the 1960s. All that cr*ppy
                poststructuralism that poured out of  universities for so long pretended to challenge power but was itself just the time-serving
                piety of a status-conscious new establishment. Lauritsen’s book shows what true sedition and transgression are all about.

                The writer of this paragraph is in severe need of a maiming from a collapsing shelf full of thesauri, regardless of the meaning behind this vocabular vacuousity.

  • “You seem to be convinced that the convention of the English language is to not capitalize the names of Pokémon, but this is clearly false. The convention of every single person using the English language to […]

    • I haven’t published any stories that you would have reviewed, but Farla’s reviews were the first critical readings of stories I had seen, way back…eight years ago? It was when this blog was still a livejournal. I had a similar revelation and gained the ability to be critical of what I consumed. So thanks!

    • On the other hand, I think this site has broken me, by making me way too unreasonably critical of my own work

      Join the club, buddy! This is a real thing, though: critical analysis and creativity are separate skills, and while most artists hone them concurrently, weird things happen when you only focus on one. If you spend too long on just analysis, you can feel your creative skills are hoplessly subpar and won’t realize that you need to practice despite that so they can get better.

    • Everything and everyone is Problematic™ in some way or another. Don’t beat yourself up too much. It’s good to be self-conscious, but don’t let it paralyze you.
      Having beta readers from diverse perspectives can help here, though of course no single woman speaks for all women etc. At the end of the day you just need to be receptive to how people react, and use your own judgment for if it’s something you think you need to change. We all need room to learn from mistakes.

  • GoldenFalls changed their profile picture 2 weeks ago

  • When people accuse the gaming community of being entitled pissbaby manchildren this is what they’re referring to.

    These concerted hate campaigns against devs make me angry as a creator, reviewer, and consumer. […]

    • I am curious, are you referring to a particular recent event or just in general? But, yeah, review brigading is generally awful all round. It is not just a Steam problem. It is why I find hard to trust user reviews, not only on Steam but on any big site, like meta critic or whatever.

      • In general, though I know there’s a few recent relatively big ones that went on.

    • What’s “review brigading?”

      • A coordinated effort to affect a thing’s reputation by flooding its online reviews with either positive or negative ratings. So in this case, flooding a gameswith negative reviews on Steam because you have an agenda against its creator.

    • Online user based systems are, and have always been, utterly shit (exhibit A: youtube comments/likes/subscriber). The faster everyone figures Steam scores are pile of useless crap and they lose anything resembling meaning or importance, the better. So I approve of this dumbfuckery and hope it gets even more terrible as time goes on.

    • Review screening is typically the solution here, but the volume makes it unfeasible. I feel bad when folks try to make something like that in good faith and a bunch of jerks shit on it for no other reason but bigotry. 

      • You don’t need screening, you just need some way to tell which reviews are more suspicious than others and make them matter a bit less. I don’t think it’d be that hard to minimize this if Steam actually wanted to do so. They don’t need to keep a watch out for a swarm of negative reviews, which is a lot of trouble and requires more humans to do the job, and risks backlash as people shout about censorship. You just need to mess with how much weight each review is given.

        1) The older an account, the more its vote is worth.

        You’ve still got the problem of there being legions of cranky assholes, but they only get one vote each. If you’re trying to get outsiders riled up, or existing users to create duplicate accounts, you now need absurd numbers of newbie accounts to move anything. Bonus – your existing community will love the idea their votes count more, AND once there’s one factor changing the numbers by an unknown amount, it’s harder to see what other factors are in play.

        2) Whether or not the account actually bought the game, especially if the account usually buys games on Steam but not the ones it reviews negatively. And if the game was bought and returned, how long was it played? Does this account consistently buy and return games after five minute’s play? If someone’s willing to pay for the priviledge of hating on a game, or even just willing to play a good chunk of it, then fine, they’ve earned the right for their negative review to count.

        3) What’s the average review they give? Someone who gives 100% negative reviews just hates all games and their opinion doesn’t tell you anything about a particular one. If they hate 90% of games, then their negative reviews count that much less than their positive ones. If they love 90% of games, on the other hand, then their negative reviews should count for a lot more.

        (Of course, this one’s abusable, but combined with weighting for if you actually bought/played, as well as making the numbers non-obvious and never telling people exactly how review weight is determined, it should be fine.)

        4) What genres are they playing? Someone who plays nothing but FPS dropping in to say this one particular visual novel/puzzle game/platformer is garbage shouldn’t count as much as someone who played and rated similar games before.

        And if the internet is still able to pull off dogpiles through sheer determined volume, you can add in weighting by average-per-day/week. A huge influx of reviews all at one time will count for less individually than a couple trickling in later, so a game’s score can recover more easily. That’ll also help moderate day-of-release hype reviews.

        • Forcing someone to actually buy the game (and play it for at least a few hours, depending on the actual length of the game in question) does sound to me like a decent way to keep reviews in check.
          I mean, like all the other examples you gave, they are still open to abuse/circumvention, but they do make life harder for jerks, and that is 100% a valid move. Though, since you bring up the difficulty of review screening, I’d say that even most of the suggestions you made would bring up shouting over one thing or another. These folks won’t stand any resistance to their right to free speech hate.
          I don’t think actual concerted review brigading on Steam is difficult to recognize, especially since it would be basically the same accounts every time, or extremely young accounts that have basically no games. The same algorithms that the marketing division on the Store pages uses can be used to track account reviews. A human being should eventually look to make sure the careful pruning of downvotes and reviews is legit, but Steam should be as angry as anyone else about this.
          Also wow, you’re really getting value in this new upvote system. GJ.

          • Well, ideally you don’t tell users exactly what factors you’re using to weight things. Review screening is really obvious, and people who were, or at least feel they were, leaving the review legitimately are going to be infuriated by being told their opinion doesn’t count at all.

            If review brigading is just a couple dedicated trolls, then yeah, banning them would do it, but then more would pop up and it would require constant attention, plus it’d result in recurring issues when something did sneak through. More, I’d guess there’s a whole host of intermediate reviews. Someone making a thread on a game forum saying “THIS GAME IS HORRIBLE WE NEED TO TANK ITS SCORE!!!” might be able to get lots of people who already have accounts to leave a bad review. Or someone making a thread saying, “THIS GAME IS JUST WALKING AROUND WITH NO GAMEPLAY, WE NEED TO TANK ITS SCORE!!!” resulting in reviews from people who really believe a game needs gameplay to count. Even a sudden influx of negative reviews doesn’t always mean they’re fake, and could end up protecting really bad developers from legitimate backlash. Etc. Saying that longterm community members who actually played the game and are widely played in general get listened to over random newbs, on the other hand, is relatively uncontroversal, especially if you don’t say anything specific about precisely how much each thing counts for.

            • Act replied 2 weeks ago

              Honestly I’m in favor of a really hard-line approach, because no matter what you do Reddit will lose its shit about freeze peaches. Have a rule that if negative brigading starts, all reviews from that time period will be purged and review submission frozen until the hoopla passes. Take away the opportunity. Then if suddenly it starts somewhere else, you have identified the people who are the problem and can start perambanning them from reviewing.

              Yeah, community moderation is work, but if you don’t want a shit community that fucks over devs, you have to do it. If people don’t want to be reasonable, don’t reason with them, and tell them they dug their own graves when they whine.

              If people would just stop falling for bullshit CENSORSHIPPP!!! screaming abuse on the internet would never have gotten this bad to start with.

              • Yeah, community moderation is work, but if you don’t want a shit community that fucks over devs, you have to do it.

                Basically, if you want a community, you need community modaration. It is that simple. I don’t think every site needs a community. I am always in favor of closing comments sections or whatever if you think it is too much work.

                But Steam goes out of its way to create a community space. Not only with user reviews but with their forums as well. But, of course, they hardly bother actually monitoring these spaces and enforcing rules, which results in the chaos most steam forums and reviews are.

              • Farla replied 2 weeks ago

                The problem is that requires more overhead, which in turn means the site has a monetary incentive to ignore as much as possible. I’m also not sure banning people is a disincentive. It shows people that they’re successfully being disruptive, and trolls are used to making fresh accounts. (If they banned the accounts and also removed all purchased games, that’d matter, but people would just shift to using exclusively disposable accounts.)

                There’s also the possibility that if rating down a game doesn’t work, they could spam praise to their preferred games and push the others down that way. Slate-style voting wouldn’t be that hard to pull off. It’s less damaging than directly tanking a game’s rating, but much harder to stop – “we froze reviews because it was getting too much positive attention”?!?!?!

              • Yeah, trolls are used to being a problem and dealing with the minor consequences of that. If Steam did anything that actually took away a game someone paid for, you can bet there would be lawsuits. On the other hand, freezing accounts is definitely a punishment used by MMO games and the like for cheating. There are hilarious videos of people getting banned from Battle.Net mid-stream on Diablo III and stuff, and that is a paid game.
                If the company could make it clear that they’d extend the same punishment for concerted harassment, maybe with a box you check for each review, then that might be a bit better.

              • Farla replied 2 weeks ago

                If Steam did anything that actually took away a game someone paid for, you can bet there would be lawsuits. 

                The new legal system favors the idea that consumers are paying a fee for licensing the right to use something. A lot of people have gotten screwed over by bans that prevent them from using their digital goods and it’s even expanded to a lot of physical objects with any digital component. So, legally, they should be fine. The issue is people responding by buying games through other platforms instead, but this is assuming it’s punishing a small number of dedicated trolls and not much of their overall userbase.

                The easiest is just to say that reviewing a game you didn’t play blocks you from getting a refund for that one game. And you’re free to try again the next time you feel like being a dick online but there’s that risk you won’t be able to return that one either.

              • Oh, I didn’t realize things got that friendly for digital developers, but I suppose that does jibe with how lenient they’ve gotten in terms of some other things (like digital purchases no longer being necessarily final).
                Yeah, I don’t think a relatively small review brigade is going to scare Steam overmuch, at least. I think prioritizing the developers a little would be a good move, since those are the actual creators of the goods. Though, if Steam successfully kicked out the bulk of the trolls, in a magical fantasy universe, those trolls would go to smaller outlets that would be less capable of turning down their custom. I’d be sad to see that happen to something like GOG, which I don’t visit much but still love.

              • I’m also not sure banning people is a disincentive. It shows people that they’re successfully being disruptive

                See, I’ve kind of changed my feelings on this. Because: everyone knows trolls are disruptive, and pretending they’re not has obviously not been working. I think we’d be a lot better served in general by saying, “Yeah, these people suck and they’re making everyone feel like shit. What can we do about them?”

                There’s also the possibility that if rating down a game doesn’t work, they could spam praise to their preferred games and push the others down that way. 

                I also don’t think this is a problem for two reasons:

                1) These people feed on negativity. It is a lot easier to whip up an angry mob than a happy one. They do it because putting someone down makes them feel good. The motivation isn’t there for positive reviews.

                2) The effect of a game going from “Mostly Positive” to “Very Positive” is minimal compared to it going from “Mostly Positive” to “Mixed” or “Mostly Negative.” Most games on Steam are going to have mostly positive reviews, except in extreme cases, and most people know this. 

                A game getting better reviews than it deserves is good for the dev and neutral for most consumers (either people are going to be swayed by any positive review or they’re actually going to pay attention to substence, and quanitiy doesn’t affcet either of those. People who regret buying after an hour can return the game. Negative brigading can legit put people out of business and fuck with their mental health. Positive results in Steam having to process some extra refunds.

                Even a sudden influx of negative reviews doesn’t always mean they’re fake, and could end up protecting really bad developers from legitimate backlash. 

                I think the Type II error here is preferable. I’d much rather a bad game get unreasonably good reviews (which happens en masse anyway) than a decent-to-good game get unreasonably bad ones.

              • But Steam goes out of its way to create a community space

                Yeah, this is why it bothers me so much on Steam as opposed to like Metacritic or something. Unless you want your community to be toxic shit, there’s a significant effort that has to go into moderation, and Steam’s active positioning of itself as some kind of Game Facebook + Valve’s refusal to crack down on problem users is irksome.

    • Farla replied 2 weeks ago

      Ah, but that’s five hours they have to have a game running between leaving reviews, and five hours they can’t be playing something else they want on Steam. If they do stuff like leaving it on overnight, they risk playing too much to ask for a refund. The goal here is just to make it more and more work for less and less reward until people get bored and wander off.

      Also, you can sorta tell if people are playing with achievements. If someone claims they played for ten hours but doesn’t have the Finished The Ten Minute Tutorial achievement… You could even tie this to requests for refunds, refusing to refund games people are lying about having played. I think developers would accept the coming of the brigade if all of them had to pay for the game.

      • To be fair I’ve seen people with 1000+ hours on games like Skyrim having never finished the first story quest. But they get a billion other achievements so your point still stands.
        I think you’re absolutely right that the point is to make it too much effort to hate on things. That’s why I think the original suggestion of simply weighting reviews differently is insufficient by itself. It diminishes the reward, but when the bigger part of the reward is self-satisfaction, it doesn’t go far enough.

      • Farla replied 2 weeks ago

        Well, too much effort to successfully hate on things. I don’t think we can make the internet stop hating. It’s a matter of channeling that hate into useless things. It’s like, yes, youtube comments are garbage. But would we be better off if all those people were busy commenting on other sites instead of arguing with each other on youtube?

        If we say, “You can totally post an angry review without any effort! …but it won’t count for much…but you can make it count!…by jumping through these extra hoops…” The person who super ultra cares about you hearing why Game By A Minority Woman is a violation of the very concept of games will spend thirty hours fulfilling every requirement (and then the other twenty requirements that are just rumor) including paying for the game, to make their one review count, which is thirty hours they can’t harass the developer on twitter. Meanwhile, a whole host of less informed trolls will spam the page with reviews and go away, unaware their review counts for effectively nothing. Sure, they’ll feel good about themselves, which is a bit annoying, but a self-satisfied troll is one not trying to find ways to get around the system. And a lot of people in the middle will go in thinking they’ll do the extra requirements, then get bored partway through and give up.

         

         

      • *cough*

  • Tessa became a registered member 2 weeks, 2 days ago

  • Unfortunately we’ve lost old likes (which is sad because I was really enjoying all that sweet, sweet internet validation lately), but on the bright side this one is less obtrusive and not affected by comment […]

    • I like the look of the heart more, too, but I did feel a little like it was unclear what it was, whereas the thumbs-up is obviously an upvote button. That could just be me.
      This is indeed a totally new plugin. While the old one was glitchy, the one thing it did do was keep careful track of who was upvoting what, and I can confirm I never saw and issues on that front!

    • I vote for just upvote. Downvote is too easily abusable and I am not convinced they actually add anything to the discussion.
      That said, we should be able to remove our own upvote, which it seems we aren’t.

    • Argh, and it took me so long to get over the loss of my Disqus likes.1. Thumbs-up is more clear. That gets my vote.2. Yeah, no downvotes.3. No chance we could get back the function of saying who liked a post, I am guessing? It was fun to point out that trolls were just self-loving. (I’m not that invested in it; it’s just for the sake of the joke).

    • Hearts are better. It motivated me to occasionally like the post since I liked to see someone’s soul destroyed.

      Downvotes are mostly useless, especially in a small community like that. You won’t get any useful data, just someone’s expressed butthurt.

      No opinion on the ability to remove the like. I guess it’s better to have that than not?

      I did like the ability to tell who liked what post to keep a list of people who don’t like me so I could hate them forever to point out when trolls liked themselves, though it’s not absolutely crucial.

      • The heart break was a part of the vote-removal function. Without that, it’s just a normal heart. 

    • I like the heart better than the thumbs-up.

    • FYI one or two of your comments ended up in spam — our spam filter is very aggressive unless you’re advertising pharmaceuticals. Might be worth making an account to avoid it.

    • I’d prefer to have neither of them because internet validation is pointless. However, thumbs up looks better than hearts and if one of two must be, it might as well be the thumb up.

      Also now unupvoted comments have a “heart zero” at their bottom, as if we’re Captain Planet villains or something.

  • A lot of people messing up their verb tenses today. But we’ve got a few decent concepts, including a fic about Leaf that isn’t terrible.

    “And also, thanks to St. Elmo’s Fire’s helpful critisism, I had to r […]

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