Single axis of favorites (or, why I don’t like making “favorite ___” lists)

Many of us, at some point, have been asked what’s our favorite song, favorite musician, favorite game, favorite film. etc. Or a list of favorites in a particular category, which is an extension of that concept.

I don’t like to list what my favorite whatever is, because it would require me to put things I like on a single axis of quality.

Let’s take games for example. Two of my favorite games are Ketsui and Gradius Gaiden; if you made me compile a top 5 shmups list at gunpoint, they would be in that list. I love the former because playing it competitively encourages fun but risky point-blank attacks, but won’t cripple the player completely just because they died or fired a bomb (unless they were going for the ura loop), and the latter because it provides a wonderful selection of ships that are all balanced yet stand out on their own and a vibrant, diverse collection of stages. But that doesn’t mean these two games are better than everything else in every way; no one game is going to be perfect. Another game I play, Eschatos, is something I wouldn’t consider one of my favorites because of a few qualities that make playing it seriously a bit of a joke, but its wave-based stage progression and emphasis on speedkilling in Original and Time Attack modes are two things I really like because they don’t show up enough in 2D shooters. Every game is different, and even if I don’t get as much enjoyment out of one game over another, I can still find some things to appreciate in the game I enjoy less.

Another example would be music. For the most part I have no single favorite song or favorite musician, or even favorite genre. It’s hard to call a single song my favorite, or even a small collection of songs my favorites because what I enjoy listening to depends on my mood and what context I’m in. For example, eurobeat and trance sound better for driving on a highway, but when I’m driving around the suburbs at around 11 PM coming home, my musical mood may shift more towards Asian pop or chillout. Doing repetitive tasks? Game music, particularly music from 2D shooters, often keeps me going. Studying, or doing something that requires me to think? Ambient music, or no music at all. I think of my enjoyment of music as something that’s multidimensional, not just "this is my favorite track, this is my second favorite track, etc."

Because of this way of thinking about the things I enjoy, for me to put down a favorite _____ would not only disregard the individual merits of each item, but would also take a lot of time because I’d have to spend a lot of time mentally processing which items I enjoy overall before coming to my conclusions, to the point where I’ll just say "I like thing A, thing B, and thing C, among other things I also enjoy".

Some can easily state what their favorites are down to single all-time favorite items in each category. But I don’t have a mindset like that.

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Programmed Publicity

A major point of contention amongst the non-eA-market BEMANI community is a unofficial implementations of eAMUSEMENT for machines outside of Konami’s markets.

On one hand, it’s pretty much a blatant breach of copyright; Konami did not intend for their services to be duplicated and their games pirated. But on the other hand, machines on these unofficial networks are often in public. It’s not like you need to take a 5km elevator ride down and go through ten blast doors each with authorization measures to play on such machines; anyone can walk into, say, Sunnyvale Golfland or such and play on these cabinets that are not running official eA, and if they have an eA pass they can see the address for the network’s web interface (which replaces the official eA URL). On top of that, Chrono Seeker is translated into English, and anyone with a pass will see all that delicious translated text. That’s an unofficial fan effort, not an official localization.

Tau himself has stated that Konami doesn’t really care what goes on with BEMANI cabs outside of their markets, because it doesn’t affect them. It’s when, for example, Spada Omnimix screenshots or obvious home setups of arcade IIDX games make their way around Japanese and Korean communities that it becomes a major issue.

Finally, as my friend says: Piracy is a service issue. Why are such networks implemented in the first place? Because we want a way to experience these various online-only goodies without having to travel to Japan or other countries with eAMUSEMENT. If BEMANI games were released for the international market and eAMUSEMENT was an international service–two things that I highly doubt will ever happen–this entire discussion would not exist in the first place.

“Real” Feminism

If you’re male, just like me, you do NOT get to dicatate what “real” feminism is.

Yes, there are people who say some uncomfortable things in the name of feminism. Yes, it can be a sucky feeling. But try to put yourself in their shoes, to imagine what it’s like to be met with prejudice that is in favor of the opposite gender and at the expense of one’s own gender on a daily basis, something that I’m sure is far more of a hassle than “x person talked about men who cause problems to women”.

Not everything is about you and your feelings. Don’t just dismiss a socially progressive idea just because it makes you feel a little bothered.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine Nintendo region-locking their gaming platforms–forever.

So the new 3DS and new 3DSXL are region-locked, just like the basic 3DS, 3DSXL, and 2DS. In other news, the grass is green, the sky is blue, and Aerith dies.

Maybe there will be a day when Nintendo embraces region-free once again; after all, in 2001, an issue of Nintendo Power features a reader letter response touting the region-free properties of the Game Boy Advance. But maybe that day will never come and there will be more chance of Konami releasing their entire active BEMANI lineup in the US. I’m enjoying my 3DS but I don’t enjoy not being able to play games that will never get released here.

Ironically, the Vita is region-free as far as physical copies go, yet has shown to be a commercial failure.

Justice

Much as I dislike social justice advocates who take it too far (e.g. "die cis scum", "lol straight men don’t exist", etc.), the anti-SJW scene pisses me off as much sometimes, if not more; "anti-feminism, pro-equality" blogs are one such example of this sort of trash. Like, fucking whatever…just treat everyone with respect and kindness to the best of your abilities, stand up for oppressed and weakened people, etc.

Take feminism, for example: If you think the point of feminism is to harm men rather than to call the inequality between the genders to attention, then please look at the movement as a whole, not just female supremacists who think they’re feminists. Yes, men face issues as well (e.g. the acceptance of F-on-M abuse in contrast to attitudes towards the reverse, etc.) but those issues shouldn’t be brought up when the current subject is the rights and treatment of women.

SJWs suck, but a lot of anti-SJWs suck too. Throw them into DPRK-style reeducation camps or something please.

If you see something bad going on within your communities, do something about it, and when approached about it don’t resort to the “not all of us are like that” defense or deny that it exists, because that tells me that you are refusing to address the problem; it’s likely that someone who does either is actually participating in the bad behavior themselves. When someone does bad things within a community and no one speaks up, it carries the implicit impression that everyone supports it, and as a result makes the entire community look bad. 

This is why I’m glad I co-admin a decently sized fandom community, so that I’m in a position to directly handle any harmful communication that emerges.

Crimson Clover: /World/ Ignition

As spadgy of Shmups Forum puts it: A physical release of CCWI would be nice, but I’m just glad the game is getting released at all, even if it means a digital Steam release. Saying things like “the game should get a physical release instead of a Steam release” is pretty inconsiderate of its target audience; the purpose of the port is to get the game out to Western players, who are not able to play its arcade counterpart.

You have to put it this way: Physical releases outside of Asia are dead. Not everyone, or even a decent plurality of Western players, are willing to order and wait for a physical copy to arrive in their mailbox. We live in societies where convenience is considered a very high priority, and the process of getting a physical copy has an obvious lack of convenience compared to digital content delivery.

This is to say nothing of how some countries deal with imports; I have friends who have to wrestle with customs, including paying obnoxious fees, just to get their goods to their front doorstep.

Plus, I’m sure Yotsubane is not that big of a reverse-xenophobic asshole that he won’t put out a physical release in Japan, or at least on a client-free, nihonjin-friendly service like DLsite or Playism. Even so, we’ll just have to wait and see what he says about a Japan-domestic release.