KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

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KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Prof. Coyote » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

I suppose this is an unusual post for this board, and if I ask questions that have already been asked then I truly apologize, as I've come to Katawa Shoujo very late. I will explain what this is about, though.

My username doesn't lie: I am indeed a college professor at a small college in the southern U.S. I initially heard about KS through KnowYourMeme.com, which had a very popular submission about the game shortly after the full version was released. Out of curiosity, I downloaded and played.

I'm a writing professor, so what first drew me in about the experience was how well the game was written and plotted; every possibility accounted for, very much like some of the best traditional print novelists. Plowing into the game full-bore, I played it initially without any of the flowchart walkthrough guides which have recently become available; simply answering the questions in a manner I felt comfortable with placed me on Emi's path. Although I've seen complaints about this path (one of which being it may have too much emphasis on the sexual aspect), I thought it had a brilliant plot and ending.

I then went through the other paths one by one, using a flowchart guide. (For those who must know, the order of paths I played: Emi-Rin-Lilly-Shizune-Hanako.) Certain storylines had me nodding knowingly, because it went along with the Japanese style of storytelling (particularly Shizune). Then there were the threads that prompted a deep emotional reaction ... Emi, Lilly, Hanako. Then there's Rin, whose thread is actually probably the most special to me because her personality reminds me a lot of my own wife.

So, after playing the whole game, I've come to the conclusion ... and development team, feel free to feel flattered ... that this game deserves academic study, not only for the way it's written but also for the reactions it's triggered in its players. I've never seen a game, visual novel, or any sort of computer entertainment media which had the effect of making its players want to be better people.

It's fascinating, really.

So here's what I'm doing: I'm preparing to write a conference paper, to keep on file in case a preferable conference comes up to present it (most likely a conference about popular culture, Internet subculture, or modern psychology). I'm thinking of approaching the paper from a psychological view, that the game can be used to teach elements of empathy to people who may be lacking in it. So I'm asking for some reactions from you, the players who appear on this board, in order to collect data for the paper. Rest assured, if you participate your anonymity will remain intact: at most I will only use usernames as opposed to actual names for respondents, but it's more likely you'll only be identified as "anonymous." I'm also planning on reading through some of the other threads on this board for resources.

I have a series of questions that I'd like you to answer:

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?

Thanks in advance for your participation, should you choose to answer.

For those who might want to know, my order of preference: Hanako-Lilly-Emi-Rin-Shizune.

UPDATE 2/10/12: I currently have 87 responses to this questionnaire. I will accept 13 more, then close my information collection for this study. I will, however, leave the questionnaire up for anyone else who feels they would like to share.
Last edited by Prof. Coyote on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby iamjagman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:21 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

I would have to say Lilly's, because of the heartwrenching ending ( When it seems like you missed her leaving and you're in the hospital)

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

Emi, by my own thoughts.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

Lilly, Hanako, Emi, Rin, Shizune

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

Lilly: Truthfulness
Hanako: Niceness
Emi: (be) Outgoing
Rin: (be) Supportive
Shizune: Faithfulness

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)

Hmm, 5 hours, give or take for all of them if I remember correctly (I always delete my saves :3 )

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.

In the wheat fields, when Lilly says, "I love you, Hisao. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!", then continues with, "Don't go away, I beg of you. Never, ever go away. I love you, so please...!"

Now, while this example wouldn't really work without the right type of character, it was just about the most loving thing I had ever heard in a piece of writing that wasn't poetic in some way.

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.

Honestly, I can't seem to remember most of Shizune's route, and from 15 minutes of searching I couldn't find one I liked, sorry...

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?

Hmm... I'm not entirely sure on this one. I believe, that, while KS would be the game that has the biggest chance of helping you in a relationship or helping you cope better in one emotionally, I would say that every relationship is drastically different, and there are few ways to prepare yourself for them.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:53 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
I have to say that would be Rin's. It's an emotional rollercoaster almost from beginning to the end. The Bad End scene in the rain was especially moving.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
I first completed Emi's path. I didn't use any guides (there weren't any yet), but saving at each choice point, it was rather easy to tell if a choice led to the good or the bad end.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
If you ask about the quality of the writing:
RIn > Emi > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune
I rank Lilly rather low, because I think her plot twist - leaving the country - was a very clichée and her starting a relationship just prior to that felt not quite like it was in Charakter for her.
While I don't dislike Shizune's path, I thought there was too much filler in it - characters like Hideaki that didn't really serve any purpose etc.
If you were asking me to rate the paths according to my enjoyment of them, it would be Emi > Hanako > Shizune > Lilly > Rin
(Rin's path is really well written and it did evoke emotions, but it wasn't good emotions...

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Emi - Concern
Hanako - Respect
Lilly - Honesty
Shizune - Fidelity
Rin - Empathy

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Hard to say. I was in the beta, so I probably spent as much time in the forum reporting stuff as I spent actually reading the path. Also I did lots of reloading to check out the other branches... An estimate would be about 8 hours per path, longer for Rin and Shizune.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
The graveyard scene from Emi's path: I really liked how Hivemind let Emi work her way up to the great reveleation - Even if that revelation wasn't that great a surprise...

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
The Misha H-scene in Shizune's path: The awkwardness of the situation transferred really well to the reader.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Not really. There were a lot of situations I recognized from my own experience of past relationships, especially in Emi's and to a lesser extent Hanako's route - which may be one of the reasons I liked those routes best - but I don't know if any of the "lessons learned from KS" will be applicable for future relationships.
I think that KS has taught me a lot about people with disabilities, though, since I have next to no real life experience with those.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I'll be glad to help in the name of science ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.

Sore wa himitsu desu.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby encrypted12345 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:55 pm

You'll find a lot of material in the Thank you 4LS thread, Professor.

1. The route that affected me the most was the Rin route. Rin was the character I could relate to the most and seeing how and why she suffered in her route reminded me of unpleasant events of my past.

2. The Shizune route was the one I did first and since there was only one, fairly obvious choice, I got the good end easily. I understand that some people may not have comprehended exactly what Comfort Misha meant, but seriously. The choice was still painful though since I had grown attached to Misha as well.

3. Objectively speaking, the quality is more or less the same. Each route had subtly different tones from each other. Which routes you like or don't like depends more or less on the type of person you are. Subjectively speaking though, I will say Rin's route was the best followed by Lilly, Hanako, Emi, and Shizune.

4. Emi: Tactful
Hanako: Equality
Lilly: Honesty
Rin: Support
Shizune: Faithfulness

5. More or less 8 hours for each.

6.Rin: "Why? Why does all this happen? People are doing things I don't ask for and don't want and everyone keeps getting angry at me, I have no idea what is going on anymore and can't stop feeling like I want to run away from everything..."
She shuts her eyes tight and breathes out deeply, calmly. Then they open, all I can see is dark green desperation.
Rin: "I have no idea what's wrong with me!"


7. Shizune: Somewhere down the line, I think I started to ignore Misha, or see her as less of a person, or something like that. I think I took her for granted, I think would be the best way to put it. It was like she was just an extension of myself. I forgot that the whole time, Misha was there, opening up to me, and giving a hundred percent everyday.I missed what I was looking for, because it was in plain sight. How stupid of me. I really did become arrogant. That's why I've lost. I'm more short sighted than I was back then. I went in reverse.

8. I think after playing Katawa Shoujo, I am a little more prepared for a real life relationship. Katawa Shoujo taught me that coddling something or acting like a knight in shining armor is a bad idea for relationships. People in a relationship should be equals and help each other out. I also learned that it's fine if members of a couple don't fully understand each other as long as they work bit by bit to lessen that gap between them.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Lolz2day » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:17 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

Rin, because she believed that she needed to change herself. It reminded me of myself.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

Hanako, I used my own judgement to make decisions.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

Hanako- Lilly- Rin- Emi- Shizune

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

Hanako-respect/equality
Lilly- Truthfulness
Rin- Supportive/understanding
Shizune- Fidelity
Emi- Concern

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)

2 hours max

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.

The ending of Rin's where she accepts that she does not need to change

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.

Shizune's response to Hisao's confession

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?

Not really, the characters have a fixed emotion/response. Also, some decisions were obvious and life will not work according to that decision.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Waytfm » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:31 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
Lilly's.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
Emi's. I used a guide, which is something I very much regret. In hindsight, I would have loved to do it blind the first time.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
Lilly's=Hanako's>(very slightly) Rin's> Emi's>Shizune

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Emi- Support
Lilly- (It's hard to come up with a single word...) maybe "Togetherness?"
Shizune- Faithfulness
Rin- Intimacy
Hanako- (Let her be) independent

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Probably in the 4-5 hour range for most of them.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
Hanako: I know that I'm not pretty like Lilly. I just wanted you to see me. The real me.
Hisao: I've already seen the real you, though.


7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
Hisao: I wonder if I'll be able to meet someone in the future like me. Someone filled with bitterness. I want to talk to that person, since I can't talk to myself. I want to tell them that lie is too short; something that couldn't be told to me, only shown. I want to do it without pity. If I had been pitied, I'm sure that I'd have only died a little more. When I think about that first week, I still think about how well it went. So well that it could only be called the result of kindness. I feel like I want to show others the same kindness.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
I think I will be able to be able to relate better with other people as well as the person I'm currently in a relationship with. I feel like I've strengthened my capacity for empathy.
Con Amore: a musical Visual Novel set in Italy, currently in the works.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby UncleJellyfish » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:42 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
That would be Rin♥. I'm a writer, mostly of poetry, but I do short stories as well, and she really spoke to my artistic side. Her personality was the most interesting and compelling, and much like Hisao, I just wanted to understand her better.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
Shizune's route was the first one I finished, and the only one I didn't use a guide for. Turns out I didn't need one, as she only had one choice to make, and it was fairly obvious.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
It's in my signature, but Rin♥, Hanako, Shizune/Lilly (they're about equal, can't decide), then Emi.

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Rin♥: Support
Hanako: Equality
Shizune: Competition
Lilly: Honesty
Emi: Tact

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Some were longer than others, but most were about 8-10 hours in length. First one I played, though, was the longest because I pretty much just skipped all of Act 1 with each subsequent route.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
From Rin's♥ Act 4 good ending: "What's the word for when you feel inside your heart as if everything in the world is all right?"

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
Erm....I'd have to go back through Emi's route again....and I really don't want to. I guess it'd be the part in the graveyard where she tells Hisao all of her little secrets, building up to the point where she tells him about the accident that took her legs and her father.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
My wife refused to play Katawa Shoujo, and sorta thought it was silly.My oldest step-son, 15, showed it to me and I was instantly hooked. I got a bad case of "the feels" from it, and I do believe that if nothing else, I've progressed a little bit as a person (thank you, Rin♥), but I personally don't see it effecting my relationship much. Then again, I guess I'm one of the few people out there that actually has all my shit in order.

I really like what you're planning to do here, and I fully support it. Feel free to use my username, as "anonymous" just doesn't sit right with me. >_> Anyways, good luck with your endeavor.
I'm a Jellyfish that just so happens to be someone's Uncle.
Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby chaosxmk » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:40 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
Hanako, the general depressing tone of the story really set the mood, and I felt her emotional bits were extremely touching.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

Hanako, I reached the good ending by going through and picking the options I would have picked if I were there.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

Hanako
Lilly
Shizune
Emi

Rin is unrated, haven't finished yet.

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

Not a single word, but still
Hanako: Don't be too overbearing.
Lilly: Don't lie.
Emi: Push to be supportive of her.
Shizune: Be outgoing

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Between 6 and 8 hours each.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
When Hanako takes her clothing off to show Hisao the scars: "This is me. All... of me."

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
Can't think of anything for Rin that striked me as powerful.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
No answer.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Fretless » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:04 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
Hanako's path probably gets the most emotion out of me. She's got such a depressing backstory and her path is riddled with such melancholy and sadness that when I finally get to see her happy in the ending, I can't help but shed tears.
2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
I got to Hanako's first. I initially got the neutral ending, then the bad ending after I haphazardly went back and changed both my answers and didn't pay attention. Finally got the good ending after that.
3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
Hanako = Lilly > Rin = Emi > Shizune
4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Shizune: Commitment
Lilly: Honesty
Hanako: Equality
Emi: Perseverance
Rin: Understanding
5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
About 6-8 hours.
6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
Hanako: But I'm just a useless--!
Hisao: You're my friend Hanako! You're...No, you're more than that. I love you Hanako. I love you so much that the thought of losing you frightened me so much...
Hanako: I'm sorry, Hisao...I can't help...feeling a bit happy...For so long...that's what I've wanted...to hear.

I cry every time I read that. Same goes for the very ending of her route.
7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
I can't think of a thing for Shizune that worked...aside from maybe Kenji breaking up the tedium.
8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Honestly, I do. Even though I disliked Shizune's route the most of them all, I still found myself relating to Misha, because I was, at one point, in the same exact situation as her, and my reactions were worse than hers, as I built walls that blocked out two of my closest friends. It was only after playing this that I noticed that those walls were still there, and I wanted to break them down. It was the first time I'd been over to her house in almost a year since she told me they were dating. I might not be ready to ask her out or anything, but I'm at least making progress towards breaking down the walls that almost ruined two friendships at once.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby PineTrees » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:14 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

This question and part of the second question I already wrote about and posted here.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
I tried not to use guides very much, using one of the hint threads on the forum but mostly going with my own thoughts. However, the at the pivotal point for Hanako, my first choice brought me to the neutral ending. After I finally calmed down that the ending was so abrupt after that I looked up a flowchart for her.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
Rin, Hanako, Lilly, Emi, Shizune

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Rin- Understanding
Hanako - Trust
Lilly - Empathy
Emi - Oh god, um . . . Support I guess. There's not exactly a good single word for her.
Shizune - Same problem with Emi for me. I guess . . . Honesty

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Each girl was between 4-8 hours of play time, Hanako being the shortest as her story was the shortest.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
See link in question 1

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
For Shizune, either the chapter "Look Ahead" or "Infinity". Both were easy to relate to for anyone who had experience with relationships or high school, and the part where Misha says she thinks she should die brought me back to when one of my best friends thought the same over a similar situation.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Again, link from question 1.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby KrakenOmega » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:26 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

Hrm, tough call. I'll go with Lilly though, due to the entire chase scene at the end and the thoughts that flashed through his head (not wanting to lose her) hit home. I also shed a tear when he woke up to the music box.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

Emi's path, answering the questions according to my own thoughts. I chased after her like a moron, of course, but got back to the good ending thanks to Misha.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

Lilly = Hanako > Emi > Shizune = Rin

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

Lilly: Honesty
Hanako: Openness (to experience and Lilly's opinion specifically - sorry, this one was tough)
Emi: Caution
Rin: Support
Shizune: Faithfulness


5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)

About 5 hours apiece, give or take a half hour.


6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.

I have to second Lilly's "I love you"s in the field.

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.

The image of Shizune in front of the fireworks with her arms outspread.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?

I do, I feel like I related to each of the girls at least a little (even though Shizune and Rin are on the bottom of my favorites list, that doesnt mean I disliked either by any means), as well as to Hisao when interacting with them. Each accurately (I feel) portrayed at least one specific trouble that would come up in any relationship, and dealt with them in a very real-feeling way.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby quellsnarg » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:04 pm

How fascinating. I'll bite.

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
As much as I'd rather not admit it, Hanako's. It made me furious, honestly. The H-scene and the follow-up kept me mad for a good three or so days because I was unhappy with how it was presented and was expecting more after following the project for two years, although in retrospect I understand why it was the way it was.
If you want to talk about good emotions, probably Emi's. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a teenager and it was a little cathartic seeing her grow up faster than I did.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
Shizune. I did waffle back and forth for a second before picking because I really did want to make Misha feel better, but I knew in my gut that it would be wrong if I did. After her route, I used a guide for Rin's and Emi's but not for Hanako and Lilly's. I got the good endings on the first try aside from Hanako's; for hers, I got the neutral ending first.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
This is difficult for me because I think the quality of the threads is different than how much I like the girls... this is how I think they are in terms of overall quality and artistic merit:
Rin > Emi > Shizune ≥ Hanako > Lilly
(The symbol between Shizune and Hanako depends on my mood, really.)
If I had to go by how much I liked the girls, it would go like this:
Shizune >>> Emi > Rin = Hanako >> Lilly

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Emi - restraint, although diligence is a close second
Hanako - respect, and humility is a close second
Lilly - integrity
Rin - perception
Shizune - devotion

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
About three and a half hours each. I think I spent more on Shizune and Hanako's routes, closer to four hours with them... and I spent the least amount of time on Lilly's route. I deleted most of my saves so I don't recall how much exactly.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
Mmm, my favorite part of Shizune's route was actually when she and Hanako played chess together. I saw it was Shizune challenging Hanako to come out of her shell, which I thought was touching... and how she found insight into Hanako's past from just a simple game really interested me. I also really liked the end of her act 1 and Looking Ahead/Sneaking Mission.

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
Definitely the scene where Lilly and Shizune make up. I think it's funny looking back on the scenes I liked and realizing they're all about personal development, not romantic development.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Not really. I've been a relationship with my current boyfriend for two and a half years and we have been through our number of hardships before and during this relationship... I think I know what problems we'll face in the future if we do face it, and I think I was pretty equipped to handle them even before playing KS. What I think did change after playing KS was how I viewed myself; playing KS made me want to be more like Shizune because there are traits in her that I really admire.
Shizune >>> Emi > Rin = Hanako >> Lilly
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Tank » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:17 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?

Lilly's thread affected me the most emotionally because the story centered around togetherness even as the characters face an uncertain time their lives. Hisao and Lilly are hesitant to fully rely on one another, but they must overcome their inadequacies to be together as they desire. Togetherness and emotional support are very important to me, and I wouldn't be who I am without the kindness and acceptance of those I love.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?

Lilly's path was also the first I completed. This is because I had played all routes to the end of Act 1 in the demo. I appreciated the calm and companionship in Lilly's path up to the end of Act 1 more than the other girls at that point and was more eager to continue it.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?

1.Lilly, 2.Emi, 3.Rin, 4.Hanako, 5.Shizune

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?

Lilly: Honesty, Emi: Trust, Rin: Acceptance, Hanako: Confidence, Shizune: Loyalty

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)

A rough guess, approximately 5 hours each.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.

Hisao to Lilly, "We're just two children pretending to be adults, aren't we?"

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.

Hisao to Shizune, "[I like you because I like you not because I got tricked into it by you.]"

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?

I don't believe Katawa Shoujo reflects back on my social life. I played it for fun and it entertained me, and much more than it needed to. It is high quality, and it is fun to play. However, this work has not shown me anything I need to pursue in a real life relationship. It is a good drama and romance, my life is neither.
Tank
 

Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Harco » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:20 pm

1. Which girl's thread affected you the most emotionally? Why did it do this?
It depends. Lilly's route had one very sad moment in it, but I think Emi's route affected me more on the long run because she's something of a mirror for me. I too lost my father eight years ago and I too shut people out. I didn't know I was doing that, I just thought I was sort of a loner type. While that is still true to some extent, it now realize that is is also a way for me to prevent losing someone again. And by "losing" I mean not only because a person might die, but also because some relationships, friendship and romance, might end at some point. I'm afraid of that, so I keep people at a distance at much as possible.

2. Which girl's thread did you successfully complete first (good ending)? How did you reach the good end of this thread? Did you use a guide, or did you answer the questions according to your own thoughts, as I did?
Emi's. I think this was before there were any guides available, so I guess I choose the options I thought were right.

3. In what order would you rate the quality of the girls' threads?
Define quality. If you mean how much I enjoyed each route, then it would be:
1. Lilly
2. Emi
3. Hanako
4. Shizune
5. Rin

4. If there was a single word which describes the key a player must remember to complete each girl's thread, what would that word be for each girl?
Lilly --> Honesty
Emi --> Determination
Hanako --> Equality
Shizune --> Faithfulness
Rin --> Support

5. How much time did it take you to complete each girl's thread? (Play time, not total IRL time)
Act 1 not included, I think about five hours.

6. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your favorite girl's thread.
The doctor's sounds different from that of the nurse at Yamaku though, come to think of it. As I ponder why, I realize why the man in front of me feels just that little bit "off". His smile is neat and sterile. He delivers his little joke perfectly, with a customary, inoffensive chuckle. It is like, rather than talking to the man whose name is neatly printed on the nametag pinned to his lab coat, I'm merely interacting with an actor reading off a prerehearsed script, every action having been choreographed beforehand.

I suppose he has to be this way though, being a doctor. He has to keep his neat and sterile smile when chatting to the girl with cancer slowly spreading to her body, when reassuring the woman who'll surely die from childbirth, and with every other terminally and critically ill patient. That little bit of distance, that little bit of aloofness. It makes me wonder if I've been to harsh, especially considering it's a disposition far from being adopted only by people in his profession. After all, the one I loved kept the same distance from others herself.


Wonderful writing here. The first part makes you think that Hisao is falling back into his bitter outlook on life, but the second part immediately makes it clear how much he has learned.

7. Give an example of a particularly effective piece of writing from your least favorite girl's thread.
I'm sorry, but I can't think of something and I don't feel the desire to plow through her whole route again in search of effective writing.

8. Do you feel that, after playing Katawa Shoujo, that you are better equipped emotionally for a real-life relationship? Why or why not? If you are currently in a relationship, do you feel that playing KS will allow you to strengthen it? Why or why not?
Not more than from any other fictional story involving romance.
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Re: KS Academic Conference Paper - Seeking Help

Postby Feo Takahari » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:29 pm

Got linked to this thread from elsewhere. I can't answer all the questions, since I only played one route, but I'll answer as best I can.

The only reason I played this game was that I saw a picture of Hanako. She's only the second female character I've seen in a video game who has facial scars (the first being Imoen in Baldur's Gate 2), so I immediately wondered what her story was. When I finally played the demo, I was amazed to discover that in some ways, it was my story--I don't have visible scars, but my school experiences left me with a lot of the same behaviors she demonstrates, which I'm still learning to control.

I didn't look at guides when I played, but I've checked afterwards, and with one exception, I made all the right decisions for Hanako. Over the course of a couple hours, I threw myself into her story, giving her the gentle affection I wish someone had given me. I viewed it as a form of therapy, redoing and rewriting my past.

I made the choice that automatically results in her worst ending. Then I turned off the game. I tried replaying it, but I couldn't make myself go through the opening act again.

I don't think this game helped me in developing relationships. I don't think it helped me at all. But I concede the writers' ability to manipulate my emotions, and their ability to accurately represent the sort of behaviors that come from trauma.

I don't know what word sums up her route. I tried "gentleness," but that backfired.
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