Friday, April 30, 2010

digiket registration

In order to be able to pay with with WebMoney at Digiket, you now need to be registered. This is a quick tutorial on registering, starting from the front page. You do NOT need a Japanese proxy for this procedure!

1st step: click the circled button in the banner. It will take you to this page, a secure connection.

2nd step: Look for the 電子マネー (electronic money) option, then click the button to advance to the next step.

3rd step: Now you have to fill in the form. The first box has to be checked, it means you agree to the terms. Then it's name, sex, birth date, postal code, phone number, email address and something about a bishoujo magazine I checked anyway because the tutorial I read at ib4f's /bara/ board told me to. You can make up those info, but be sure to remember them (at least birth date, postal code and phone number) cause you'll use them later. If you put too many characters in those fields, it'll display an error and you have to fix it - the ones in the pic have the precise number of characters needed.

Email address can be an issue. I tried using my regular email addresses but those wouldn't work. Therefore, I recommend signing up for a free Japanese-based webmail service. I used, which was recommended by the tutorial at /bara/, and it worked perfectly.

(EDIT: my friend Shawn has assured me Gmail works too. So there is absolutely no need for a Japanese email account to register, then - or anything Japanese whatsoever!)

4th step: Just confirm the data you are sending, and click the button. If it takes you to a blank page with only a message saying "申し込み申請内容に問題があります。", it means your application has a problem. With me, that problem was the email address - when I tried putting a, it worked just fine.

After that, wait for the confirmation email, click the link, confirm your birth date, phone number and zip code and you are all set. Feel free to start your spending spree, but don't forget to buy some WebMoney at Kanetrade or SuToCorp first!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

bakuman by kojiman

Shoutaroh Kojima, my own personal god, took us all by surprise and released a brand new doujinshi in Digiket: ニッチ・ボッチ・ステーション (Nicchi-Bocchi Station, whatever that means), featuring Miura from Bakuman. Nevermind the fact Miura is a chubby nerd in the series - in Kojiman's world even chubby nerds pack bodybuilder physiques! (and go to work with butt plugs up their rectums)

As a huge Shoutaroh Kojima fanboy, I couldn't conceive not making a day-one purchase (read: I skipped classes to buy it). Here's a sample!

You can make the purchase and check more sample artwork here, but be forewarned that Digiket has made sure foreigners will have to go though hell in order to make a purchase! Japanese hating foreigners? I know, right. You now have to be a member now to pay with WebMoney, the most readily available payment method for us foreigners. I'll try to write a tutorial later.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a game investor

When I was young I wished I could be a videogame developer to create my own games. Those childish dreams soon faded with the coming of age, but now I realize that perhaps I should have wished for something different: to be an investor in the gaming industry. These days investors seem to have as power in actual gamemaking as the developer themselves . Possibly even more – just how often do we hear "this and that were changed/simplified/bastardized to make the game more appealing to the masses" That’s investor interference if I ever saw one. And it’s not strange at all: it might actually be the natural course, given how videogames have become such a major moneymaking industry.

Take Hideo Kojima. He might be married, but in my mind he’s as gay as a glittery butterfly. No straight man would provide us with so much gay fanservice – Vamp, Volgin, Snake’s incredibly well rendered butt, cloned Snakes doing naughty stuff inside a cardboard box, scenes of Snake masturbating... etc. But even being the renowned mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series, I don’t think he could go all the way on the gayness factor without it being vetoed by the big people behind the screens. Were I the one financing Metal Gear Solid XYZ, heavy homosexual undertones in MGS would be welcomed with arms wide open (for instance, cleavage needs not be restricted to EVA – Snake manboobs FTW).

If I wanted to take part in gamemaking, I don’t think I would study programming or art. I would major in business administration and fund games. Then I would definitely be able to finance gay developers and allow plenty of gay-friendliness in the gaming industry.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

movie autism

Is there such a thing as "movie autism"? Because movies usually don’t impact me the way they should. It’s like when I watch a movie, I watch my own private version of the movie, instead of the actual movie. I’m scared by stuff that weren’t supposed to be scary, and I cry when I’m not supposed to cry.

For instance, I cried buckets through all of How To Train Your Dragon. I'm saying I cried in almost every scene, and it isn’t even close to being an emotional tear-jerker (for what it's worth, dramas seldom if ever made me cry). And the scariest movie I’ve ever seen in my life is... 2001: A Space Odyssey. I watched back when I was 14 and it gave me a month of sleepless nights. I remember I was terrified of silence for months after seeing it. I really think that movie is the most psychologically disturbing piece of mindfuck ever made.

A friend at work was telling me how he doesn’t like David Lynch’s storytelling. Out of his movies I’ve only seen Mulholland Drive and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, or whatever I made out of it. In fact, if that movie hadn’t scared the crap out of me, I would have watched every other David Lynch film. The only one I saw made me a fan... maybe since I don’t watch movies themselves, but rather the autistic creations of my mind, bizarreness isn’t all that of a turn off. I can’t wait for Alice in Wonderland. It opens this week here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

gays in games

Despite the traditional fanservice, sexual innuendo and lustful voluptuous women, I never considered videogames in general all that sexual. The oversexed imagery and female exploitation was mostly catering to the wide audience of sex-starved virgin nerds – actual sex has historically been a fairly rare occurrence on games not specifically created to have sex as a selling point. While there has always been the usual share of romantic relationships, references to sexuality were mostly indirect. Things might be changing this last decade, when storyline became a major part of most gaming genres and adult games seem to be well-received. Admittedly, those aren’t my favourite type of games, but they exist and are displays of a modern trend that brings videogames closer to other medias, movies in particular (and not only in the sense that you watch more than you play).

However, it bothers me how even with the "newfound adulthood" of videogames, references to homosexuality in mainstream gaming has to be shown either a deviant behaviour or as jokes, or ways to generate awkward moments for the straight dudes holding the controller. Not necessarily offensive (personally, I don’t recall being offended – maybe I’ve forgotten), but seldom usual. There are examples of gay-friendliness, usually in games with an open-ended bent. Funny how whenever I play one of those I do as a gay character... I wonder why. Fable II’s way of handling homosexuality is probably my favourite of the bunch: you can flirt with guys and even marry one. As a matter of fact, this fact about this game was one of the deciding factors that led me to buy an Xbox 360 instead of a PS3 (a shame I found out most of the gay guys are bald and ugly). I also heard in Bully you can be romantically involved with another kid, but I never played it. There’s always The Sims, which to me is more asexual than gay-friendly, but that might be too subtle a distinction. In Dragon Age Origins you can fuck an elf, but he’s a morally ambiguous bisexual elf, which by itself carries all sorts of connotations. There’s Volgin in MGS3 who fucks an effeminate dude, but he’s a nasty sadistic Russian villain, and so on. These might be welcome signs that things are changing, but I don’t think it would hurt if the homosexual characters didn’t have those negative undertones.

In the most social gaming genre ever, MMORPGs, homosexuality is a touchy issue. There has been major media backlash related to World of Warcraft when Blizzard threatened to ban people who were advertising a LGBT-only guild, a telling anecdote that shows how even major studios aren’t certain of the best way to deal with gays on MMOs. But honestly, I think most of the problems aren’t the developers’ fault: you have to blame the (mostly horrible) community. As long as the word "gay" is used as a swear word, things will stay that crummy way in MMOs, and I doubt developers could have any influence on that.

I wish there were more games of whatever genre that featured gay heroes – not necessarily "gay games" (although I would certainly love 100% gay games - gimme more Japanese gay dating sims!), Fable 2 isn’t a gay game and there’s a fair amount of gayness in there. The gay characters need not be main characters, but necessarily need not be oddities or psychos or whatever mental disturb people associate with homosexuals. You don’t need to show guys fucking other guys in order to have gay characters. Gays in games have already been done in a tasteful manner, and I see no firm reason other than prejudice for them not to be more widespread. We most certainly have more than enough straight heroes already.