As someone who writes a lot of long-form pieces — and someone who is an old fart — I’ve never quite latched on to the appeal of “YouTubers”.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of having the opportunity to “get to know” someone via the videos they put out or, in the case of gaming-centric YouTube channels, to see how games look, play and “feel” before purchasing them, I’ve just always been someone who preferred to enjoy content about the things I’m interested through the written word rather than watching or listening to someone.
I say all this to give some context to the following: there’s one YouTuber in particular I have, to my surprise, come to enjoy very much recently. And there’s something rather special about her.
That YouTuber is Kizuna Ai.
Continue reading Kizuna Ai: A Perfect Parody
The arrival of relatively affordable virtual reality solutions has the potential to allow us to explore narrative and characterisation in all-new ways — and I’m especially excited to see what Japan comes up with.
An oft-cited strength of narrative-centric Japanese interactive entertainment is the sense of “intimacy” it engenders between the player, the protagonist and the core cast. Visual novels in particular are noteworthy for their in-depth explorations of characters and in allowing the player to “ride along” inside the protagonist’s head as they encounter various situations.
So what might virtual reality bring to this kind of experience? It’s an interesting question to ponder, and an exciting prospect to imagine.
Continue reading Virtual Intimacy
In this episode of the GameCast, we talk about the prevalence of “auteurs” in Japanese game development, NepNep in VR and one of the bleakest anime series I’ve ever seen.
Music, as ever, is the work of MusMus, and the awesome retro font is by Style64. Other music in this episode remains the copyright of its respective owners — though Kaiji fans may be interested to know that the complete soundtrack is available via archive.org: CD1 and CD2.
If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.
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If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning to find out more about the characters and what this is all about!