Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters
Post Reply
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:37 am

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by RedDesertPhoenix » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:08 pm

I’ve noticed a lot of people posting how inspired Katawa Shoujo has made them. How the different characters stories have touched them deeply, and how their going to change their life around. This post is for them.

It’s great that you want to do this, but how often have you said this in the past?

If you’re your anything like me, there’s been countless times where you’ve decided you’d start jogging or something, gone a few times, then made more and more excuses, before finally giving up completely.

It’s easy to understand why. You want to be a character like Hisao, or Shizune, or Rin – someone interesting who has some goal to their life. But it’s easier reading about someone like that and the problems they face, than it is to face it yourself. Somehow, when you face the problems yourself, they don’t feel as glamorous.

I’ll tell you a secret? The problems aren’t glamorous for the characters either. In stories, problems are either glossed over or glamorized. A 2 hour maths classs might feel like 2 months to you, but any writer who makes it feel like that for the reader is an idiot. The writer either describes how tedious the class is in a sentence or two before moving on, or glamorizes it.

‘The two hour maths class on Wednesday evenings were tedious, but every lesson left him with something new. Left him just a little bit smarter. Left him one step closer to his degree in computer science.’

This doesn’t describe the characters frustrations with the subject, his screaming dislike of the teacher, his doubt that he’ll ever be able to learn the materiel. But all that would likely be there.
What makes characters like this interesting, is they Don’t Give Up.

That’s the universal theme for characters in stories. They don’t give up. They have something their willing to fight for, and won’t give up no matter how painful things get.

People like that always have stories about them. In fact, everyone is in a story. Sometimes (mostly for fictional characters) the story is a book, or a movie. For real people, it’s the story other people tell themselves when they see you. The trick is to make it an interesting story – one people want to learn more about.

It doesn’t mean boasting about your life, because no one likes that. It doesn’t mean complaining about all the problems you’ve had either, because no one likes that either. There’s an old writers adage – ‘Show, don’t tell’. While the way you present your ‘story’ is important, the most important is that it’s true. The story of your life will only be interesting to others if it’s interesting to yourself.

On that note – get more interested in your own story. Odds are, if you’re interested in changing your life around, you’re on the right step already. Don’t kid yourself it’s going to be easy, cause it’s not. Plan for it like it’ll be a marathon, because it will be. Do research on it. Find out what problems other people have had with it, and work out how you’ll get around it. Find out other problems you might encounter, and develop plans for them. Write out a schedule for yourself – easy at first, then building up (Like Emi’s schedule for Hisao). Work out what you want to do if your not feeling up to it on a certain day, whatever ‘it’ may be. Just because your ‘copping out’ doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything that day. If your doing a 5km walk each day, but one day your feeling sick, do a 1km walk instead. It’s not a failure on your part to take it easy sometimes, it’s only a failure if taking it easy becomes a habit.

Look at the reasons you gave up on your hobbies in the past. The real reasons. And plan your way around them. You WILL encounter obstacles when striving to improve yourself, and the best way around them is if you see them coming. Know your weakness and plan for it.

So to everyone out there, work out what you want to do (It doesn’t matter what, pick a hobby out of a f*cking hat if you have to), make plans on how you’ll achieve it, plans on how to overcome the obstacles, then DON'T GIVE UP. Even when you’ve forgotten why your doing it in the first place.

Whenever anyone asks the Devs for advice on starting their own project, one of the things they’ve always said is ‘realize your going to suck to start out with’. This goes for anything. Running (Remember how bad Hisao was to start with?), painting, rock climbing, clubbing, you name it. If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to suck at it.

So even if chasing your dreams is sucking balls, keep going, Come at it from a different angle, or change your dream slightly Just like Katawa Shoujo, realize it’ll probably take years, and most of those years it won’t seem worth it.
But it is. Not because of the goal itself, but because of who you’ll become while striving for it.

Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:02 pm

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by Freya » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:18 pm

started but then tl;dr

but you're quite right, and this wont be the last time we all say these words we say.
but as we say them we feel better about ourselves for a short while

User avatar
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:09 pm

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by Yuno » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:45 pm

I say, in essence, every story is the same. There will be some people that give up on what they're doing, that is true, but it's like this no matter where and what your inspiration comes from. Some people get inspired by their high school teachers to become teachers themselves - and those people fail because it's just not suited for them. Some people get inspired by their favorite athletes to get into the NBA, NFL, NHL, etc. and they also fail.
What I'm trying to say here is that regardless of your source of inspiration, there will always be people who don't succeed, and people who do. That is life.

However, I think if you want to change and better yourself, the reason doesn't matter. I think the way a lot of people are touched by this game is not only the characters and the plot, but the legacy of the people who made it as well. I think, in the end, knowing that and playing the game, it's a powerful thing to take in at one time.
All the while, as you play through whatever, your memories of what went in to making this game linger.

Here's my personal example:
I played through Rin's route. It was closer to who I was because I'm sort of an artist myself, but I fell out of it because I wasn't really inspired, even though I had potential.
Not only was I touched by the way the character was written, in the back of my mind, Rin's destruction and re-birth paralleled what 4S has gone through. They struggled so many days of their lives. They wrote, they drew, they composed, they did everything they needed to, over 5 years, to make this game real. That, IMHO, is the true message of this game. Not only did the characters not give up, but a bunch of amateurs, through hard work, dedication, and a can-do attitude never gave up either, and the end result was spectacular and glorious.

These people went in one way, and through constant challenges, created something beautiful. This is what drives people who play the game to succeed - because not only did the characters themselves inspire them, but so did the story of those who made the game. For me, it was the subject matter of Rin's story (the artistic theme) coupled with the drive of the devs to really consider pushing myself forward.


Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by Weaver » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:59 pm

Speaking for myself, the game inspired me in a way I haven't really been before. I'm more confident that the changes I'm making now are going to be a bit more permanent.

And I really know the reason for it, even though I took me today to understand why it was "different" this time. It's because I want to make these changes.

For example, I joined the gym 6 months ago, went a few times, then didn't go again.
I'd get home and think "But i'm so tired. The gym is far and crowded. I want to sleep. I'll go tomorrow." whatever; usual shit.
Even though I knew I should really be going to the gym. I knew I was getting out of shape. I knew I had to go to stay in shape but the secret that I didn't want to admit to myself is I didn't really care.

These were things I had to do to turn myself into something I thought others would want me to be. I just wanted to play video games and read books and laugh at funny youtube videos. There's nothing wrong with this life if you want it, but it can get one into a secluded and depressing lifestyle that's hard to break (take my word on that one).

This VN snapped me out of that. I don't go to the gym now because I have to, I go because I WANT to. I desire to actually get more fit for the sake of myself, not because it's some societal rule that "You should be healthy".
I find myself thinking at work "hey I can't wait to get home to eat and go to the gym and work on my guitar" instead of "Hey I wonder if my favourite Let's Player put out more videos".

I don't honestly believe any life is better than another so long as you're happy with it, but I was getting more and more miserable. I was in a spiral, I felt like I just couldn't get out of it but KS let me realize that I could.

Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by Murex » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:01 am

Interesting post. I've definitely been inspired by KS, but for me it was less of an inspiration to do something specific (start exercising more, get a job, etc.) and more just inspiring in general. Reading stuff like KS makes me feel more confident, even better about the world. It sounds silly--it is silly--but it's true.

That said, you're spot on about people making resolutions and not keeping them. I'm extremely guilty of that myself, but I do really try to change, and I think I'm a slightly better person than I was a few years ago.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:37 am

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by RedDesertPhoenix » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:07 am

Having written such a lot about how people should stick to their resolutions, I guess I'm probabally first in line for breaking them. Uni is the first thing I really have stuck too, and I wish I had a dollar for every half-finished project I've got out there....

That said, over the last two or three years I have slowly gotten better at finishing things.

Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:59 am

Re: All 'Katawa Shoujo inspired me' posts

Post by yuastnav » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:15 pm

RedDesertPhoenix wrote:[...]
Bravo, this is an excellent way of wording and phrasing this issue!

If I may add a little bit myself (although you have already mentioned that): a good writer can write an interesting story with interesting characters but the main reason why the story is interesting it's because the boring stuff is left out and only the interesting parts are shown, at least that is the one argument. The other one is that the story is deterministic, it has a clear beginning and a clear end everything that happens the way it does is supposed to happen. Both of these arguments are difficult to relate to real life because the setting you usually live in is often very different from a wondrous, fictional world that the author has imagined.
The other issue are the characters - they are, in a sense, archetypal. If you imagine how fun it would be to be together with them it is because they are like that by definition, by the choice of the author and are therefore not real people

It is far more beneficial to take a greater moral from the story and ponder about your own life - and maybe things that you can do better in real life. A story like that is not enough, you have to set yourself some real goals that you are willing to sweat blood for so you can achieve them.

Again, chapeau, chapeau! Very well said, indeed.
"[...] it's just a ride."

Post Reply