This is one of those weeks where I played a bunch of games and watched a bunch of movies, but I couldn’t really find anything worth a whole write up. I wanted to do a post about the Valis games, as I just finished replaying Valis 2 a couple days ago, but I felt that it would be in poor taste to talk about a series featuring scantily-clad high school girls right after I made a post about porn.
Instead, I think I’ll talk about observations about different aspects of the games…um…for lack of a better term, “community,” that I’ve picked up on lo these many years. So these aren’t necessarily new thoughts that I have, but I don’t think I’ve ever brought up my grievances outside of late night Discord calls before.
The thing about playing and writing about retro games is that the internet will give you lots of information that you don’t want. If I want to look up release dates and system ports? Google is occasionally good at that, when it isn’t trying to shove obvious spam links at the top of the query. Like yeah man, I bet I’ll find out all sorts of info on Hydlide from a URL like flyfishingwinelaw.shoes or whatever the fuck.
This bull shit carries over into the dread YouTube Algorithm. That evil thing that assumes you logged on specifically to watch 100% unfiltered white supremacist garbage after you watched three videos where cats did humorous things. Luckily, I’m getting a lot less “SJW’S RUINING STAR WARS!?” videos featuring some guy standing in front of a wall of Funko Pops. What I get now is video after video of people buying stuff. Retro collectors basically showing off how much money they have in the stupidest way possible.
I just want to say: first of all, collectors can go to hell. Because “collectors” also includes these motherfuckers hoarding all this rare, expensive shit, refusing to dump or scan these things for the rest of the world to appreciate, holding hostage the work of defunct companies and deceased artists. These anti-preservation sacks of garbage directly contributing to capitalism’s slow murder of art. I’m a person who doesn’t care if you play a game on original hardware or through a Retroarch core, or if you watch a movie on Laser Disc or in MP4 format, so long as you’re able to still enjoy it. These people are my enemy.
Second of all, you assholes are fucking BORING. I don’t know how to tell this machine that puts these garbage videos in front of me that I don’t give a fuck about some 40 year old idiot with no personality other than “I remember things I saw on TV as a kid” recording himself looking for 80’s shit at Goodwill, rubbing his hands all over the merchandise, which is definitely a good thing to do during a pandemic at a place frequented by lower income families, you selfish fuck, and going home with a bunch of Ninja Turtles merchandise to fix the hole in his heart left by his wife divorcing him. Or else you get these five minute videos about an old NES game that all follow the same script: “The game was good. The graphics are nice. The sound is an eight out of ten. All in all, I had a fun time. Like, comment, and subscribe.” You’re not going to tell me any of this shit in more detail? Not going to tell me what attracted you to the game or the Leonardo But With A New Hat action figure? Do any of you know how to think critically? Do any of you know how to think at all? Fuck! Get another Mario tattoo and drive to the store in your Dodge Dart that you customized to look like the car from Ghostbusters.
It can be very obnoxious, because I like to look for new voices. I like to find people who are creative with their thoughts. People with a fucking personality. People who can tell a joke that isn’t “the cake is a lie” or “arrow to the knee.” I mentioned before that I worry about being too normal. In my eyes, being a status quo Normie is the worst thing I could be. Being weird, traveling off the beaten path, having a little goddamned culture is where it’s at. I’m friends with multiple artists and free thinkers, I sometimes get a little self-conscious, because I talk about “normal” things like games. I’m developing games right now, games that are more in line with the mechanics-driven works I played when I was younger, rather than games steeped in a large narrative. I sometimes feel like I’m losing my touch; that spark of madness that makes me Me. Then I watch videos like this and it hits that no, me at my worst is still about a million times better then these clowns at their best.
But it could always be worse. They could be people who work on video game fan-translations.
Oh fuck yeah, bro, fan translations! A way for people to enjoy work in their native language for when companies don’t have the time, resources, or just straight up don’t exist anymore to do localizations themselves. And also at least 95% of the people who work on these (or at least work on the programing aspect of them) also happen to be, ironically enough, racist as fuck. Hey, thanks for translating this hours-long Japanese RPG, let me go to your web site or to your social media to see what else you’ve worked on. Oh okay, you seem to have some fucked up views on Black people! Hmm, yes, another joke about pronouns that got old ten years ago! Lots of Ben Shapiro and Mike Cernovich retweets you got here! You sure do have a wonderful theory that Trump can take back the White House from Joe Biden who stole the election thanks to the forced-feminization satellite laser owned and operated by Anita Sarkeesian! Nice sidebar on your website dedicated to showing a random Chuck Norris joke! A checklist of things anyone with any remote sense of empathy for another human being is beyond tired of seeing and hearing.
Shit like this is no secret; I’ve known about it for years. But I found out last night that one of these assholes did a bunch of Wizardry translations. It was bad enough that these motherfuckers tried to ruin the Ys series for me, now they have to go after goddamn Wizardry. What did those games ever do to you, huh?
I just want to grab one of these guys by the shoulders and shake them until they understood that YOU WORK WITHIN A REALM OF MEDIA THAT USES A LANGUAGE AND CULTURE THAT IS NOT RELATED TO WHITE PEOPLE IN ANY WAY, YOU STUPID ASS! Despite what your boy Hitler may have said about the Japanese back in the 30’s and 40’s, they are actually Asian. You know, the same people you blame for spreading the Coronavirus, assuming that you haven’t gone literally mask off and think that the virus is fake?
Now you, the astute reader, may think to point out Japan’s history of xenophobia and its own issues with right-wing bull shit, both in the past and at this very moment. I counter that with the following: do you actually think these fuckheads are actually smart enough to ingratiate themselves in the conservatism of another country? Let’s be real, these are guys who watched some an*me and assumed, wrongly, that Japan is this apolitical paradise where queers and women with their own autonomy don’t exist. Guys who think that their weird asses can simply stroll into the country and get the waifu of their dreams within moments of the airplane touching the ground. Guys who are dumb enough to believe that Metal Gear is not a political work. Hate the idea of the rest of us having to rely on the dice roll of whether or not a new translation of a piece of media that looks interesting was done by some shitheads that may or may not have tried to slide in their own bigoted beliefs into the text (see example: the Netflix version of Neon Genesis Evangelion). It’s fucking stupid, and if you’re going to be an alt-right fuckhead, at least be consistent and hate all of the races, not just some of them, and maybe the cognitive dissonance will get you the fuck out of game localization. And also leave things I like, such as Wizardry, the fuck alone. Jerks.
Despite all of this, I still love games. I love to talk about them. I love to make them. I love to find other decent human beings that can also do these things in a creative way. But fuck me if there isn’t also a lot of annoying and outright evil shit you have to deal with to get there. The reward is usually enough to make up for it, though.