Can We All Just Agree That VR Was a Bad Idea?
Gamers with a more conservative disposition have been watching with a mix of bemusement and scorn as the VR hype train rolled into town and set up shop. We want no part of this, just as we wanted no part of 3DTV, as we are content with gaming on our conventional 2D TVs and monitors. If VR sticks around and becomes unrealistically cheap to purchase then we might buy one just to dick around, but the technology is not important to us, and that is not going to happen anyway. We like gaming on monitors, as that is just the hassle free path of least resistance to effectively playing a game.
Progressive gaming hipsters and SJW ‘journalists’ [insofar as there is a distinction to draw between the two] on the other hand have been the evangelists for virtual reality. They see VR as the next logical step in their endless cuckold’s quest to force gaming to be regarded as art – in obstinate defiance of the immutable fact that a good game can never be art [to wit they seem determined to disrupt the production of good games]. The ‘gaming’ sites that have been pushing this failed technology has been Marxist tabloid cesspits like Kotaku, Polygon, and NeoGaf, along with tech enthusiast rags such as Cnet, Gizmodo, and the like. This is the bold future they imagined, and it has arrived – $40 barebones tech demos in tow!
So now this progressive technological vanguard has their very own VR Utopia built specifically for them, and they hurry forward to throw wide the gates of Heaven, only to find themselves face-to-face with what looks to be a mirror. This is not a normal mirror however, rather it is one that reflects back at them all the evils of the world – and they do not like what they see. It would seem that the first wave of VR early adopters is actually comprised of a large number of virtue signalling blowjob-loving Jaffe-esque beta males, who happen to feel quite sexually entitled on account of what enlightened goony-beardmen they are. In short, progressive women are finding themselves shut in a room with the type of mouth-breathing manlets who would usually be their thirsty hangers-on, and are discovering that they actually do not care very much for their attentions IRL [or should that be IVL?].
It turns out that when playing around on this infant medium many of these cucks are finding that they have not yet sufficiently invested themselves in their VR identities for reciprocity to play much of a role, and so when the veil of anonymity descends their masks slip – and then the NeoGaf crowd becomes exactly what they accuse everybody else of being [though of course their doublethink spares them from this self-awareness]. At present there are hundreds of complaints on NeoGaf about the virtual sexual assaults that have been occuring in an app called Altspace, along with more detailed accounts that have been written up in an article on Tech.Mic:
“Within two minutes of walking into the welcome room in Altspace, a leading social VR app, I was given my first unsolicited “virtual reality kiss.” Shortly after, my skinny brown-haired avatar was swarmed by male users rubbing on me and asking if I was as skinny in real life or just a fatty behind an avatar. I felt ripped from the virtual world and transported back to middle school.
A moderator stepped in not long after to control the situation. He could tell I was uncomfortable and asked everyone to give me some space.
A few days later, Mic tech editor Alexis Kleinman went into an Altspace room using a female avatar and was also immediately harassed. Other users got in her face and tried to “kiss” her. The other male users jokingly yelled, “I have a boyfriend!” and “Harassment!” as she asked them to move away from her.
This account was then further corroborated by other user experiences on the Altspace sub-Reddit:
“Heard a guy making sex noises one time. Another guy kept on stalking a female, following her everywhere, even when asked to stop. Of course they only do it because there is no consequence
Well… my first experience in Alt Space was some idiot poking his Vive controller into every Avatars mouth while repeating the mantra “In your mouth” for an hour.”
Congrats guys, VR is what you made it. It was your space away from GamerGate, and this is what you have done with it. In fact one has not seen a single GamerGate, anti-feminist, or alt-right Twitter account even indicate that they have bought a VR headset. If [at the time of writing] one were to venture over to the mistake that is Reddit, then they would not find any mention of VR on the first page of Kotaku in Action topic threads. To put this simply, the wretched state of VR cannot be blamed on the boogeyman – it is the progressive enthusiast communities belonging to NeoGaf, Kotaku, Polygon, and the tech blogs that are the early adopters of this technology. They are the people who are causing the problems. Liberals are shitting things up for themselves. This is the future they chose. Now may the future they chose be mercifully brief, like 3DTV!
The Sega Approach to Demographic Shifts and Fan Feedback
Recently the Yakuza series has been celebrating its tenth aniversary, which is not bad considering that the West has seen the release of five mainline titles and two spin-offs during this period. The series director Toshihiro Nagoshi has described how the fanbase has changed over this period, which revealed some surprising results. The age of series fans was originally individuals in their early to mid 30s, but recently this average has dropped down to individuals in their 20s – which should give Sega quite some confidence in the future of the series, since new players are being introduced to the world of Yakuza. More surprising still is that 20% of the Yakuza fanbase is now comprised of female gamers, indicating that the series has broader appeal than one might think.
Despite this change in demographics, Nagoshi has pledged that the series will continue to be made for Japanese men, which is a level-headed position that just makes sense. For one thing it makes more sense to satisfy the tastes of 80% of the audience rather than 20% of the audience. And for another, Yakuza‘s female audience is likely playing the games because they enjoy exactly the same elements that also appeal to the male segment of the audience, making gender a bit of an irrelevant distinction when looking to satisfy the fanbase. If these women enjoy playing as hotblooded males who are able to romance glamorous female hostesses then any drastic changes designed to broaden series appeal might actually turn them off of the product. The Anitas of this world would claim to speak for this 20% of players and demand that the experience change to be more inclusive of women, yet Sega should be applauded for interpreting the situation with more sophistication than is typical of SJWs.
However, this is not to say that Sega is not willing to change a game’s structure when there is strong demand for it. Recently a demo of Valkyria: Azure Revolution was bundled into the current gen re-release of Valkyria Chronicles, and a strong negative domestic response to it has caused Sega and Media Vision to rethink its gameplay. The game’s director Takeshi Kozawa found that fans did not like the very action-oriented focus of the game’s battle system, and has decided to rework it to be more RPG-like. Kozawa plans on slowing down the action by including unit action gauges which must be refilled before player and enemy units can take action. Yet again this is a very clear-headed response from Sega. By contrast, if Square Enix had noticed a series demographic shift then they would have changed everything, whereas if there was a strong demand from a series fanbase then they would obstinately ignore it until they drove that series into the ground. Being a Square Enix fan is such fun!
Rumour: Ballpark Performance for PS4 Neo and Nextbox Revealed
This week the rumoured details of the next gen updates to the current gen hardware of the the PS4 and Xbone was leaked, yielding some kind of interesting information. As it stands the PS4 outperforms the Xbone in terms computing power to the order of 1.84 teraflops to 1.32 teraflops. The PS4 Neo is set to beat out the performance of the original model of PS4 by more than twice, raising performance from 1.84 teraflops to 4.14 teraflops. Most importantly however, the Xbone is looking to eclipse the upgrade offered by the PS4 Neo by upping the ante to approximately 6 teraflops, with the Xbox Scorpio.
This promises a reversal of fortunes for the relative performance of the PS4 and Xbone. The console generation has thus far seen the PS4 maintain a persistent advantage in resolution when comparing ports, yet now the Xbone will potentially offer superior resolutions and framerates – though this should only manifest when the consoles are set to output in 4k. By contrast Microsoft are actually at something of a disadvantage on account of getting into the half-gen console cycle kind of late, as the PS4 Neo will release in early 2017 while the Nextbone will launch in late 2017. This leaves Sony with the better part of a year where their premium console vastly surpasses the competition. Apparently it is because of this late debut that Microsoft are desperate to have something substantial to show off regarding the Scorpio at E3, as they want consumers to know that their console update will be along at some point.
Perhaps the most significant question all this talk of console updates raises however, is the question of whether we have seen the last traditional console cycle of our lifetimes. It is looking increasingly likely that both Sony and Microsoft are looking to adopt the iPad model of overlapping hardware lifecycles, and any time that Sony and Microsoft feel that games need a boost in power they can simply drop the support requirements for the most outdated iterations of the hardware. On one hand it makes a lot of sense as platforms can retain their userbase over time instead of starting over from zero, yet on the other hand it is hard to imagine that this will not cheapen the feel of console gaming in some intangible sense.
Anime Spotlight: Dramatical Murder 
One of the fun parts about writing a regular section on anime is that this author often begins viewing a show at random, without first having read up on the show’s background and synopsis. This often leads to viewing experiences that are surprising. They are not always surprising in a good way, but when they are not surprising in a good way they do tend to be surprising in a memorable way. Dramatical Murder was a surprising show, not least because it does not actually seem to contain any kind of murder in it. It starts out with an interesting world and premise, with events being set on a Japanese island that had been divided into two halves – one a resort area, and the other a declining urban sprawl. The music is extremely pretty and the design and colour palette of the show are rather attractive in a pretty garish kind of way. The animation is fairly rubbish though, particularly during action sequences. Things progressed normally for the first couple of episodes, and then in the third episode Dramatical Murder takes a hard left to Yaoitown – and there is stays. One should have known this would be the case from the utter lack of sexually viable female characters introduced in the first two episodes. The show was actually quite amusing to watch up to a point, insofar as the fanservice tropes were so blatant that they provided a certain degree of unintentional comedy. There is no shortage of camera zooms as teenage boys gaze meaningfully into one another’s eyes, and the protagonist, despite being allegedly good at fighting, tends to stand around like a damsel in distress so that all his fine young suitors can swoop in and save the day. Special mention must go to the character Clear, who valiantly sacrifices himself in order to save Senpai by singing the Jellyfish song. The show is funny. One ultimately lost interest in Dramatical Murder late in the series though, as events became formulaic. Senpai is able to enter the subconscious of his suitor companions in order to resolve their emotional turmoil, and from around episode seven onward each episode focuses on doing this for a different character, which got a little samey.
It is a little difficult to give Dramatical Murder a clear recommendation as it is not a very good anime, though one imagines that most anybody would be able to tell whether or not they are interested in watching it from the above description. All twelve episodes of the show have already aired, and they are available for viewing on Crunchyroll.