Thursday, September 10, 2015

About me

Profile page describing my background, eroge coverage, and personal projects

Social media

Blog mirrors (only listed if they also host content not on this blog)
  • Fuwanovel (has some older content I didn't import to this blog)
  • HongFire (loli content hosted here to avoid hosting issues with Blogger)


I've been into VNs since around 2002, and active in the community since about 2004. I've gone by various pseudonyms including sanahtlig, Dark_Shiki, and magusgs. Boards I actively follow include Mangagamer, JAST, Fuwanovel, and VNDB.  I also post occasionally in the visual novel subreddit, and I was formerly active at NIS America. I've been actively following VN localization for over 10 years, so I've become familiar with business aspects of the market that often elude other fans.

Over the years I gradually became interested in playing games outside the walled garden of English releases. I enrolled in a year of Japanese courses in 2005 and casually studied the language. I used text hookers to machine translate Japanese VNs, especially RPGs and other gameplay-centric titles. Since 2013 I've gradually shifted to using dictionary lookup more often as my knowledge of the language improves and machine translation becomes less attractive as a crutch. Today I remain reliant on text hooking, and I use machine translation as a grammar reference (or when I'm feeling particularly lazy), but my Japanese is good enough that I can often understand written dialogue unaided. With all the tools at my disposal, I'm fairly confident my overall comprehension approaches native level for the games I typically play, even if my reading speed is a bit slower and I don't necessarily understand every word or every phrase.

I play VNs voraciously, though I go through spells where I play 30+ hrs a week, and other times where I'll go months without playing any. These days I mostly play Japanese-language VNs, though I try to sprinkle English VNs in (with auto-mode enabled) to give my hands a rest from scrolling over unfamiliar Japanese phrases and repetitive clicking. I keep my VNDB profile mostly up to date. My focus is eroge with gameplay; I consider myself nearly an expert on this genre and I've played games from most of the major developers. I play eroge almost exclusively because, well, I like my animu ero, even if it's just a scene or two tacked on at the end. I usually shy away from nukige, which tend to bore me, but I play a few. To this day I've completely spurned original English VNs for several reasons: the low production values / severe lack of professional quality releases, lack of Japanese voice acting, lack of ero, and a general disdain for Western cultural and artistic values which often creep in (especially into the ero, if any). I might be persuaded to try one eventually if some or all of those concerns are addressed.

I like to argue and debate, and my forum post history is filled with posts on all sorts of topics including the VN industry, VN piracy, censorship, legal issues and obscenity, and much more.  My tone is often callous but I typically attempt to argue concepts and ideas, not people. My view is that ideas exist to be challenged, and unchallenged ideas lead to complacence and zombie-think: simply echoing what others tell you. Wherever I see complete acceptance of an idea, I see a viewpoint not being considered. True objectivity means openness to new ideas, an ability to see controversies from multiple perspectives and understand how different premises and viewpoints can lead to different conclusions. I pursue truth, and where truth is elusive I seek to approach it through the sum of all valid viewpoints. Even viewpoints that don't hold up to scrutiny often provide a valid insight into the minds of men.

Eroge coverage

I've written feature articles for VN fansite Fuwanovel's official blog and eroge news site LewdGamer.  My goal with such articles is to provide professional-level coverage of topics that are of particular importance to me, such as censorship and gameplay-focused VNs.  I have specific causes that I work to promote, and thus I consider what I do to be a form of activism, though one could also view it as 'news and views' journalism.  I generally label coverage that focuses on my opinion with the "perspective" label, fulfilling the transparency requirement of what has been termed 'advocacy journalism'.  My coverage is also fact-based and considers other viewpoints, distinguishing it from mere propaganda.

I strive to create novel content.  I don't repost news that other outlets have already covered, reworded just enough to claim it as my own.  That's a waste of everyone's time.  I cover topics that no one else wants to cover.  I draw attention where I feel attention is needed.  I tend to shy away from reviews of English titles because there's plenty of people already doing that.

My articles are written to inform and provide my unique insider's perspective.  I write in wiki-style, with numerous links to external content and references wherever appropriate.  This is rare even among professional journalists, much less fans who write about VNs.  I write in this style to provide important context for the topics I discuss.  I also want my articles to be primers on the topics I choose to cover--references that people can bookmark and share with others long after the initial post date, as they did with my article on the censorship of If my Heart had Wings.  To this end, I strive to update my articles to keep the information relevant and correct.

Those who want to support what I do are encouraged to share my articles in their online communities.  I write to support the eroge industry, and you can support both me and the industry by clicking my affiliate links and making purchases through their stores.  I consider page views and affiliate sales as votes for my content.  They tell me I'm making a difference.  The more attention my articles receive, the more likely I am to keep at it.

Personal projects

I've also tried my hand at writing fiction.  My current project is Memory's Wounds, which is freely available as a Google document.
Memory's Wounds: my novella work-in-progress
Ch. 1 synopsis: Eight years after a tragic accident claimed the lives of his father and beloved sister, Brian and his mother Clare struggle to cope with the rift their lost loved ones have left behind, as well as the growing rift between each other.
A tale of memories that brings time to a standstill. One who traverses the world of memories, lost in the past. One who willfully forgets, frozen in the present. Both helplessly fleeing a reality that brings them only pain.
Three chapters are available as of 9/10/2015.  The first chapter, Memory's Burden, is an introduction to Brian and Clare.  The second chapter, Tainting Memories, takes place one year later and introduces an impish 14-year-old girl named Sena.  The third chapter, Magnetism, depicts the growing bond between Brian and Sena.

The project is on hold due to my eroge coverage, but I do plan to get back to it.  If there's sufficient interest I might pick it back up sooner rather than later.  In the meantime the existing content can be enjoyed as is, much as one would enjoy a serialized manga or light novel.

Feel free to share the quoted synopsis above if you like the story and want to see more.  I'll probably continue hosting the project on Fuwanovel unless they decide to ban it because lolis. >.>;

1 comment:

  1. I would like to learn Japanese to enjoy untranslated works too.

    Please fight for the freedom to use descriptors in the NMe field on VNDB. Names are not always known but that should not stop people from beginning to work.


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