Act

  • Last time, Kyrie’s backstory and three more deaths.

    Back in the guest house, it’s become obvious that something has gone wrong. Krauss and Natsuhi are trying to keep their compure when Eva bursts out of her […]

    • It’s interesting. Eva is very obviously the culprit of the nonmagic killings this time, with EVA as a metaphor for the part of herself that could do such a thing. Given that, though: was Eva also responsible in the other routes? And who will be responsible going forward? Will EVA be the new villain, with Eva the culprit on every route? Or will things continue to juggle around?

      Well, the question in this context is, who’s Beatrice? Is she a metaphor for a culprit unknown? Or for a specific person? Could Eva had been the culprit without EVA being around or not?

      The gameboard and the metaworld are intertwined, but not necessarily in obvious ways.

    • This really reminded me of how the nonmagic version of this one is absolute bonkers bananas

  • Act commented on the post, Misc Discussion Post 4 weeks ago

    This why I figured my $5 would be better going directly to charities and funds, why would I want 1,000 terrible indie games, I have like 50 already and it’s far too many.

  • Act commented on the post, The Talos Principle 1 month ago

    That comic is me, frustrated, in every single philosophy course I’ve ever taken.

  • It’s clearly Greek and I’m an idiot.

  • Last time, a break between Battler, Bea, and the audience.

    Ron steps forward. It’s time to start the game again.

    Bat takes a deep breath and says, okay, maybe Rosa and Maria’s deaths were […]

    • LOL, WTF

      Never thought I’d miss the Stakes’ designs.

      Don’t know what you mean. Fetish bunny girls assassins with a pseudo-military theme are a perfectly reasonable addition to the cast.

      BTW, do they get their character profile now or later? There is some interesting stuff in there if you click through them all.

      Very curious to know what the Cyrillic says.

      It’s not Cyrillic. Looks Greek to me.

      • Act replied 1 month ago

        It’s clearly Greek and I’m an idiot.

        • TBF, anime sorta has a weird fascination with Russian (not as prevalent as using random English words, but I do encounter it here and there occasionally, even in anime where you wouldn’t expect it), so it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to make when faced with an unfamiliar alphabet.

      • Fetish bunny girls assassins with a pseudo-military theme are a perfectly reasonable addition to the cast.

        You joke, but actually think the absurdity of that combination is part of the point. They aren’t suppose to feel “reasonable”. The nonsense of military bunny girl assassins serves to highlight even more the wedge between the mundane and the magical. The “fetish” part is probably too much.

        • I mean, I’ve read Umineko in full back in the day, I know what’s up with the design (though it kinda makes the fetish-y elements stand out even more). They’re ridiculous, but in a way appropriate for the story.

          Part of it is that, yeah, magic doesn’t need to be constrained by reason and logic and, in fact, can be said to stand in defiance to them, rejecting mundane problems and mundane solutions in favor of, well, a fantasy.

          Another part would be spoilers.

          They’re still pure WTF when you encounter them for the first time, though.

    • Never thought I’d miss the Stakes’ designs.

      Heh, I sorta prefer the Chiester sister design more, actually. Not by much, though.

      These designs are such a shame, really. I truly love Umineko and wish recommend to everyone. But stuff like this make it really hard to. The worst thing is that I don’t think their design is pure shameless pandering with no thought to it. I think there is a point to some of the choices made that serve to enhance the story. But they probably could have worked something out that didn’t include leotards…

      • For some reason, it looks like more of a hodgepodge than the Stakes to me.

        • I find them somewhat more coherent in their motif, at least. Like, they are military bunnygirls. So they wear playboy bunny outfit with a military outfit over it. Like, it is a weird arbitrary combination but I can see the themes at least. With the Stakes I don’t even know what they are supposed to be dressed as. What are they supposed to look like?

          Take the leotard, for example. Like, it is “fanservice”, obvious, but the concept of “playboy bunnies” is so integrated it is not that weird that you would put a bunny girl in a leotard. With the Stakes it just feels random.

          Like, neither outfit is “good”. I just appreciate the Chiesters more for theme consistency, I guess.

          • I’m still peeved that Umineko didn’t use actual Ars Goetia demon designs. Like, it has an owl on very long legs. How the fuck do you learn about this and not use it in your game?

    • “If anything, you’re witch of the kitchen!” Oof what a way to prove her point

  • Act commented on the post, Black Lives Matter 1 month, 1 week ago

    ActBlue has put together a page for those looking to donate to some of the major funds:

    https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ab_mn

  • Act commented on the post, Black Lives Matter 1 month, 1 week ago

    A crosspost from my FB page:

    Since a lot of people are looking for resources right now, I thought I’d do something I don’t normally do and share some recs, in this case for books by and about black women. There’s no hierarchy here; they’re just among what I’ve happened to have read in the past six months or so. Feel free to share or add one.…[Read more]

  • Like many websites and blogs, we will participating in the blackout. This is not a time to say nothing, but instead to put aside things that can wait and focus energy on helping those in need. To that end, I have […]

    • A crosspost from my FB page:

      Since a lot of people are looking for resources right now, I thought I’d do something I don’t normally do and share some recs, in this case for books by and about black women. There’s no hierarchy here; they’re just among what I’ve happened to have read in the past six months or so. Feel free to share or add one.

      NONFICTION – SOCIOLOGY AND ACADEMIC

      Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris
      Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror by Kinitra D. Brooks
      Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks
      Afro-Future Females: Black Writers Chart Science Fiction’s Newest New-Wave Trajectory ed. Marleen Barr
      “Introduction” to Othello, Arden Third Edition, by Ayanna Thompson

      NONFICTION – MEMOIR

      You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson
      Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

      FICTION – NOVELS

      Everfair by Nisi Shawl
      Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
      There Is Confusion by Jessie Redmon Fauset
      The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

      FICTION – SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

      How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
      What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

      • Fiction – Novels

        The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin. It’s been rec’d here before and must be rec’d again.

      • Just to reinforce Act’s rec: the Arden Shakespeare series is excellent, and Dr. Thompson’s introduction to its revised edition of Othello is particularly good.

    • ActBlue has put together a page for those looking to donate to some of the major funds:

      https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ab_mn

    • A countrywide list of bail funds

  • But then what is that research based on? There has to be initial research somewhere… 

    Yes, usually in long-term projects that are well outside the purview of a single seminar structured by someone else.

    What is it about undergrads that makes them seem stupider than high school sophomores, though?

    Different expectations. High schoo…[Read more]

  • No Umineko this week because I’ve been huddled in a ball weeping finishing up my final papers, but y’all are apparently more interested in dry books about other books than I thought, so here’s some of my favorite […]

    • “Speaking of nothing ever changing, this book is utterly fascinating. It’s a study of the different portrayals of industrialization in the writing of men and women in the Victorian era.”

      It is. At least, the main body is – I really don’t agree with her commentary on the present state of my country in the introduction, or her remarks re Thatcher, and I suppose it’s probably best we leave it at that – I’m half-way through the first chapter at present, and it’s an enjoyable read. I’m not sure yto what extent I agree or disagree yet.

      “Basically, Zlotnik argues very persuasively that men’s fiction was characterized by the valorization of a bygone era that actually sucked for everyone but the very privileged (HA HA HA)

      I’d been noticing a very gendered “cyberpunk good, steampunk bad” trend in the SF stuff I’d been reading, which rang all kinds of “this is actually because so many women write steampunk” bells, and this book left me with a lot of interesting thoughts on why steampunk seems to draw women writers. Basically, my working thesis is that women are driven to return to the industrial revolution because it was the last time positive social change seemed inevitable, and by returning to that time women and POC can rewrite a history wherein industry’s promise of freedom is fulfilled. If, as Zlotnik argues, men saw industry not as a site of promise but of sexual and economic threat, it makes sense they can only dismiss it and instead go to a future in which all the ladies are fuckbots and all the men are noir.”

      So, from the sound of it, you’ve read much better steampunk than I have. The only steampunk I’ve read that isn’t “valorization of a bygone era that actually sucked for everyone but the very privileged” and just generally bourgeoise as all hell is China Mieville’s Bas-Lag trilogy, and obviously he’s a man (and a communist, hence the interest in the industrial period).

      Hence, if you told me steampunk is dominated by women – which I also haven’t noticed, but I’ve read little of it – I’d probably guess that it was more an outgrowth of the gender imbalance in readership for Austen-style period pieces. If you’ve read something that’s actually got a bit of punk in it, or anything which is more than a fetishised version of Empire (like Gibson’s bizarre venture into the genre) or the courtship dances of Victorian Britain, I’d be quite interested.

  • Bit of a content warning for discussion of rape and violence against women.

    Here is your BG music for this post.

    Back in fall of 2018, I wrote what Mr. Act and I have been referring to as “the rape […]

    • There’s a degree to which I’m glad Nora Roberts used a pseudonym for her In Death series; I’m not 100% sure I’d have picked them up at 13 otherwise. They were pretty formative in how I look at adult fiction. One can only imagine the horror I’d be if I found John Green first.

    • Like, if it is a villain, I enjoy watching them being defeated, not punished, if that makes sense.

      It does! Pratchett brought some of that up in The Fifth Elephant, when Vimes kills the werewolf Wolfgang. The narration mentions how a bunch of dog-related one-liners pop up in his mind when he does the deed, but he says none of them: just because Wolfgang had to be taken down for good, it didn’t mean it was a clean or fun act, certainly not something to be turned into a spectacle.

    • Thanks for this… article(?), I think it puts to word some things I always had a problem with in media. I still not sure if I fully realize the extend that all of this apply to women, but the idea of violence as punishment, of suffering as something we are meant to enjoy being inflicted at someone, is something that is very weird to me and, yet, crops up all the time. Like, even if it is a villain, I enjoy watching them being defeated, not punished, if that makes sense. But I know many other people want to see characters being punished, and enjoy watching them suffer in some way. And considering the deed the character is punished for often is “being a woman who had sex once” or something like that, it becomes unconformable really fast.

       

      Come to think of it, I think this is part the reason I enjoyed Higurashi so much. I have some issues about its last chapter, but the explicit and deliberate lack of overt punishment for Miyo is not one of them. I think Higurashi promoted a kind of radical empathy that it is related to that. Even if you think, without a doubt, that a character is bad, it doesn’t mean you need to enjoy their suffering.

      And that might be part of the reason I disliked the animes, even though at least Higurashi’s are rather popular. I feel it revealed into the violence much more than the novels. As if the violence was part of the fun, not part of the drama.

    • Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an interesting case. It definitely broke the mold with regards to the genre in that there’s almost no gore in it, it’s a horror movie which is more about the tension than the shock. And yet, it does veer toward torture porn at the end (more psychological torture than physical, but of course the victim of choice is a woman), and even before that, the most brutal deaths are those of the other female character and the one disabled character. It’s positively subdued by the standards of the genre (some of it more by serendipity than design*), but even then, its violence is unequal.

      * It has no exploitation or sexualisation of women, for instance, but apparently that’s more because the actress refused than any actual intent on the part of the creators.

      ETA: Also, there are apparently some horror stories from behind the scenes…

  • I don’t typically talk about all the academic books I read here (though… is that something people want?), but I bought this for a research project a month ago and I’m still irritated about it so I’m unloading on […]

    • (though… is that something people want?)

      Yes. :-)

    • proposals rely on using preexisting research to show you’re not just making things up

      But then what is that research based on? There has to be initial research somewhere… And literary academia loves to just make shit up!

      Not just as though they’re by undergrads, but like, if my COMP101 students gave me some of these I’d give them a B. 

      What is it about undergrads that makes them seem stupider than high school sophomores, though? Now that’s a research proposal. Maybe not in your field, but hey.

      The two essays that are actually on topic are “Tipping the Fantastic,” by Cheryl Morgan, the only actually useful essay in the bunch, a survey piece about trans representation in speculative fiction, and a piece called “Badass Bisexual Babes.”

      “Badass Bisexual Babes.”

      This is an essay in an academic book. Amazing. You can’t just throw that in there as an aside and not expect someone to wonder “wait, what?”

      “Gender, Identity and Sexuality,”

      A lack of Oxford commas instantly turns me into a prescriptivist.

      This is why editors of these anthologies are always major academics in the field

      I mean, I dunno. I agree with you that this would definitely improve the quality of these sorts of books, but on the other hand… this seems like such a major mistake that even a moderate academic in a field shouldn’t have made it. Hell, I wouldn’t have made it, and I know shit about the topic.

      That the editor could publish one essay about trans issues in a “gender identity” anthology and feel like they’d done their job signifies that this person wasn’t thinking about who the marginalized people were in this context, and that’s a recipe for a collection full of all kinds of -isms and -phobias.

      … So I’m guessing the other essays weren’t even about LGB women/feminism? Sheesh, I really could’ve done a better job.

      • But then what is that research based on? There has to be initial research somewhere… 

        Yes, usually in long-term projects that are well outside the purview of a single seminar structured by someone else.

        What is it about undergrads that makes them seem stupider than high school sophomores, though?

        Different expectations. High schoolers are expected to regurgitate information in a predefined structured format. College students are expected to give their own ideas in a format they believe is best suited to expressing them. Transferring from one to the other is absurdly difficult. We don’t prepare students to think on their own in the US.

  • Inside: SteamWorld Heist, Kynseed, AER

    SteamWorld Heist
    Roguelike/TRPG

    This series is just so fun! It has such lovely graphics, sense of humor, music, and gameplay. This is also the rare game here that […]

    • I’ve grown more curious about the Steamworld games, but damn, a combo tRPG and roguelike sounds pretty kickass. I may have to try it. I have no comment on farm sims, but AER also sounds pretty cool. 100% in 5 hours for $3 reminds me of that other game you rec’d once, uhhhhhh Pale Echoes, there we go. Damn, I kind of miss that game.

  • Last time, a new witch is crowned.

    We get a new profile:

    If there’s not crossover EVA-Umineko fanart out there fandom will have disappointed me.

    Rosa and Eva have rejoined the group. No one is […]

    • Eva having a fever while EVA is killing people is really reminiscent of the Heaven’s Feel route to me.

      Also, Jesus Christ Hideyoshi for that comment when you just saw Rosa friggin slap her child. That was one of the moment that really threw me off him, cuz I generally think he’s a pretty likeable character. It sucks that the cousins are the only ones who speak out about it and try to help Maria, but given the generational divide and authoritarian atmosphere of the Ushiromiya household, it makes sense.

      It’s also kind of interesting that Bea is so upset to see Battler genuinely angry with her, considering her initial premise of making him suffer as much as possible. Like, girl, what did you even expect here LOL

      • Also, Jesus Christ Hideyoshi for that comment when you just saw Rosa friggin slap her child. That was one of the moment that really threw me off him, cuz I generally think he’s a pretty likeable character.

        It makes sense with how George turned out, though. Hide doesn’t seem the type to distribute abuse, but he is the type to stand by it. Though Eva is probably more into verbal than physical abuse.

        Like, girl, what did you even expect here LOL

        She thought Battler was into some kinky shit from the opposite end of her.

      • Also, Jesus Christ Hideyoshi for that comment when you just saw Rosa friggin slap her child. That was one of the moment that really threw me off him, cuz I generally think he’s a pretty likeable character. It sucks that the cousins are the only ones who speak out about it and try to help Maria, but given the generational divide and authoritarian atmosphere of the Ushiromiya household, it makes sense.

        The true message of Umineko is that all adults are assholes. =p

    • EVA Beatrice’s seen with Rosa is terribly uncomfortable but also fascinating to me for soem reason. If I am not mistaken, the music used there is the same as during the “coronation”, right? As I said before, I really liked that scene, and the use of music was a big reason why. To see the track that evoked happiness in the previous scene being used so brutally here is very interesting, specially because it is still appropriate for EVA’s mood.

  • …or Pokemon…

  • but… but why

  • This is a digression, but I have been wondering — would I have to play both Fates games to really do a review of them? Or is it like a Pokemon thing where there’s just slight differences but they’re functionally the same game?

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