Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters
User avatar
Mattyd
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:35 am
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Mattyd » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:16 pm

A22 lives!
Neat.
:)
.

All my stuff @ MacDaddyMatty.com

.

A Certain Citrus
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:40 am

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by A Certain Citrus » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:36 pm

Please let me try again:

The fact that KS evokes feelings is not the point. Almost everything evokes feelings: from every interaction, to every piece of media. Evoking feelings is not exceptional.

But KS evokes a specific feeling: elevation. That alone is noteworthy; elevation is only rarely evoked, and is enormously positive; bordering on the transcendental. And in KS,the degree of elevation exceeds that of anything I know; with the possible exception of what some people feel on reading religious texts.

Of course, alone, elevation is rather facile, hollow, and meaningless.

It’s what COMES from elevation which is important.

In the context of KS, I believe that the evoked elevation inspires people, and drives them to go out and become better men - more generous, more thoughtful, and more helpful; on top of wanting to improve themselves. I believe that this is indistinguishable from a religious awakening; albeit a secular one, so that it comes without the baggage.

I contend that these are fantastic goals to achieve with a work of fiction. In fact, I can hardly think of any that are better to strive for.

As for why I wanted to evoke that emotion in the audience: there are people who have never read KS, and likely never will. Part of my original intention was to reach them through a video essay and evoke in them the same emotions that I felt; to achieve the same immensely positive results.

Naturally, I appreciate that this hasn’t happened yet, and depending on how things go, might never happen.

That’s about the size of it.

If it’s not too forward of me: I also feel like there’s an interpretation of your work that you’ve long wanted to hear; someone who can tell you that they understood what you said. I’m not that person, and don’t think I ever can be. And maybe I’m wrong. But if not: I am truly very sorry for that.

Grayest
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:13 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Grayest » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:48 pm

Anonymous22 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:37 pm
I don't get it. It took you a year and 60,000 words, and you just summarized the game and said it was sentimental.

big talk coming from the writer of Shizune's path :P
What if the real 'Best girl' was the friends we made along the way?

User avatar
Feurox
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:03 pm
Location: England, Oxfordshire

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Feurox » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:57 pm

Grayest wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:48 pm
big talk coming from the writer of Shizune's path :P
Come on man.

User avatar
Anonymous22
sounds kinda gay
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:23 pm

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Anonymous22 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:58 pm

When you are trying to convince others that something is good, and trying to explain why it is good, you should not just summarize the story shot for shot. This is a poor way to get people to experience the same emotions that you felt, because you are robbing them of an actual experience.
hurr durr

User avatar
Mattyd
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:35 am
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Mattyd » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:19 pm

A Certain Citrus wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:36 pm
Please let me try again:
No my dude.

Rule #1 know your audience.

The response from many to your dissertation has been positive.

But...
If you've seen A22's posts here (including the ones on this thread),
just embrace that you will never "get him to get" your feelz on it.

(Especially with a bulleted 1500 word summary on the dissertation)

It is what it is.

Image


Disclosure: I have not read it.
Last edited by Mattyd on Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
.

All my stuff @ MacDaddyMatty.com

.

A Certain Citrus
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:40 am

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by A Certain Citrus » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:29 pm

I largely agree. Again though; I rarely just summarised the biggest moments. I rewrote most, added my own anecdotes, and explained the underlying aspects that were not obvious but which made them more evocative.

As for robbing people of an experience: I’ve been going around on that recently, and while I don’t think you’re wrong, I also think you’re missing something.

One of my favourite video essays is Noah Gervais’s one on Planescape Torment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_rHuBwaFdw

I’d heard of the game. I’d heard it was amazing. But I’d spent ten years not playing it and was likely never going to.

I listened to Noah spoiling the entire game. I had an amazing experience, afterwards I did just wish I’d played it. Was I robbed of an experience? I suppose. On the other hand, I was never going to treat myself to that experience in the first place, so it’s not as though I missed out. I also got to skip the mediocre and genuinely terrible parts of the game, and which may have put me off on a full playthrough anyway. While there’s scope for discussion, I guess that I’m not dissatisfied that I watched the video.

I’ll add that the essay I wrote also re-triggered a strongly positive response in several people who’d read KS years ago; so it also achieved something thoroughly positive for them, which would not have been achieved with a more traditional review.

User avatar
cpl_crud
Project Scapegoat
Posts: 2003
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:19 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by cpl_crud » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:19 pm

Anonymous22 wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:54 pm
Dude you're just doubling down and saying you summarized the whole game practically scene for scene because you wanted people to understand that it evokes feeling. I don't get it.
ProfAllister wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:49 pm
Harsh, but not unjustified.
Praise from Caesar

Hi Dude.


Good to hear you are alive. I hope all is well.
My Novel - Now available The Zemlya Conspiracy
Blog: http://cplcrud.WordPress.com

------
<Suriko> Crud would be patting Hanako's head
<Suriko> In a non-creepy fatherly way
<NicolArmarfi> crud is trying to dress hanako up like miku and attempting to get her to pose for him in headphones and he burns money

A Certain Citrus
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:40 am

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by A Certain Citrus » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:57 am

I answered A22 poorly the first time, without getting my thoughts in order. I’d like to acknowledge that he’s right: I didn’t think through my aims and wound up writing something very stupid.

There are 3 cases when it’s worth introducing someone to a story by re-telling it yourself (“worth it” meaning that you aren’t robbing them of an experience; or that you can offer a better one). Those cases are:

1) You can re-tell the story better than the original;

2) The original work is lost, or hard to acquire (e.g., Panzer Dragoon Saga; which costs ~$500 USD, is difficult or impossible to emulate, and is almost guaranteed to never be re-released);

3) The story has moments that are worth experiencing, but which are sandwiched among a sea of crap. You can isolate, contextualise, and properly evoke those moments.

Katawa Shoujo meets none of these criteria, so I can’t say that my retrospective should be anyone’s first experience. I can claim it offers a better-than-nothing alternative for anyone who won’t read the original, but that’s a weak justification when I haven’t made even the barest effort to encourage anyone to read that.

Presenting the retrospective as an introduction to KS would be selfishly making the story my own for my own aggrandisement - and yes, potentially robbing people of the very experience I’m espousing.

Writing it wasn’t a complete waste of time; I still think it’s worth reading for anyone who’s been through the VN. But yes, it could be sharpened greatly, and I’ll need to rethink my approach with future work.

Thanks for your patience.

User avatar
Anonymous22
sounds kinda gay
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:23 pm

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Anonymous22 » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:58 pm

Why would anyone who wants to give people the best of a work just summarize the whole thing?
Trying to graft on opinions to evoke a similar experience as to reading it... what a silly idea. Like there is actual equivalence there.
When Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse and lay in a coma, between life and death, his mother said that he probably wished to die rather than be in such a pathetic state. When he woke up, it turns out that he wanted to live.
All that big talk, including THREE conclusions, to have it all boil down to a message of "it gives me feels."
Every assumption in there is wrong, too. You really have no clue how much respect I have for Moekki.
hurr durr

A Certain Citrus
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:40 am

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by A Certain Citrus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:45 am

I can think of many reasons you’d summarise a work to give someone the best of it. First, there are many works that are valueless save for one or two scenes deep inside them. Having those moments contextualised and explained is a far better experience than having to, say, first sit through 80 hours of a video game that is otherwise bad.

More importantly, a summary can still be extremely powerful, and may sometimes be the most powerful way to tell the story. I referenced the Parable of the Good Samaritan - which is, itself, a summary. I don’t think that parable is improved by expanding its characters’ backstories or giving them extra description. Neither is it improved by adding music and animation (you can check this for yourself on Youtube). I submit that the summary of that story, as seen in the Bible, is close to its most powerful variant. Likewise, I posit that a large number of stories lose nothing, or even gain something, when they are stripped down to parable form.

As for grafting on opinions/anecdotes: it is patently incorrect to claim that no two experiences can evoke similar feelings. Connecting a moment in a story to a personal experience can also re-evoke the initial emotion in a listener, provide greater context for the moment, and let the listener go away seeing the moment in a new and more fulfilling way. All of these things have value.

I take your Christopher Reeve anecdote to be a demonstration of why summarising a story is a hopelessly underwhelming thing to do. As a counter, I’ll first point out that EVERY write-up of ANY person’s life is ALWAYS a summary, because you can never live someone else’s life for real. Of course, any summary you write can be crude and underwhelming, as I imagine yours deliberately was. Of course, here’s a more powerful, higher-resolution summary of that same story: https://www.biography.com/news/christop ... g-accident and we can easily imagine, say, a 60,000 word summary of Reeve’s story that is even more moving than that.

(Now that I’m proofreading this for the last time, it also occurs to me that Katawa Shoujo is itself a summary of Hisao’s time at Yamaku, that all stories are summaries, and thus that your entire contention is moot).

You say “All that big talk, including THREE conclusions, to have it all boil down to a message of "it gives me feels."” My poorly constructed conclusion aside, your claim is once again reductive and inaccurate. I could similarly claim that Paradise Lost boils down to “Mankind falls,” that Hamlet boils down to “He dithers then gets revenge,” and that Ulysses boils down to “Some largely inconsequential things happen.” Anything can be reduced to a trite summary. Beyond that, yours isn’t even an accurate trite summary; a better one would be “Here’s how Katawa Shoujo gives people feelings that encourage them to go out and be better men.”

As for my assumptions: I’m sorry to hear that I was wrong, and sorrier still to know that I might have spawned an unfair and inaccurate rumour. You’re right; I have no inkling of how much you respect Moekki. I wish I did. I wish I hadn’t had to make any assumptions in what I wrote, because I’d known exactly why each decision was made. Of course, I didn’t know that, and assumed that you’d ignore me if I asked. Thus, there could be no other result.

User avatar
Anonymous22
sounds kinda gay
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:23 pm

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Anonymous22 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:19 am

>I admitted that I was wrong, but now I say that I was right and you are in fact wrong, because summaries are... the universe
Everything you write is to reinforce the idea that you are smart rather than any kind of good faith analysis, so it is not worth my talking about.
hurr durr

User avatar
cpl_crud
Project Scapegoat
Posts: 2003
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:19 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by cpl_crud » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:43 am

I mean, if you do the whole Holographic principal then the entire universe is summarized on the 2D surface of itself so information is less complex than we think...
My Novel - Now available The Zemlya Conspiracy
Blog: http://cplcrud.WordPress.com

------
<Suriko> Crud would be patting Hanako's head
<Suriko> In a non-creepy fatherly way
<NicolArmarfi> crud is trying to dress hanako up like miku and attempting to get her to pose for him in headphones and he burns money

A Certain Citrus
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:40 am

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by A Certain Citrus » Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:53 pm

Anonymous22 wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:19 am
>I admitted that I was wrong, but now I say that I was right and you are in fact wrong, because summaries are... the universe
Everything you write is to reinforce the idea that you are smart rather than any kind of good faith analysis, so it is not worth my talking about.
I admitted it was wrong to introduce someone to a work via an experience that was inferior to the original, without first encouraging them to experience the original. That was all.

I'm amazed that you can talk about good faith. You've continually misrepresented what I've said and refused to acknowledge it. You've ignored nine tenths of my responses. You've ascribed completely the wrong intentions to me. This very post is a sarcastic summary of my point meant to belittle it.

I don't know what else to say.
cpl_crud wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:43 am
I mean, if you do the whole Holographic principal then the entire universe is summarized on the 2D surface of itself so information is less complex than we think...
Yeah, I guess you could argue that even our experience of reality is only a summary of it.

User avatar
Mattyd
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:35 am
Contact:

Re: Post-PhD, I spent a year writing this 60,000 word KS Essay

Post by Mattyd » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:26 am

Hey Citrus,
I haven't read your piece as I've yet to play Lilly's route (we have a date in the spring!),
but I've seen that some people did enjoy reading it.


My Q is this...

I get the whole emotional purge thing.
The vids I make summarizing/picking apart the nuance of the routes, and rolling around in the feelz
(A22 wouldn't like them - I'd still love to do a chat with him!),
are pretty lengthy for a review vid (5-8k words).

So, 60k words strikes me as A LOT (and much longer than a good chunk of Visual Novels out there).

Was there a point where you thought - "it may be easier for someone to play a route instead of read a thesis?"
As the time investment is not a small one, and a dissertation lacks the multimedia experience that the VN brings (music, visuals, ect).
.

All my stuff @ MacDaddyMatty.com

.

Post Reply