The Professional Gamer - March 16, 2018

We are now less than a week out from Colorado Anime Fest, as Chris pointed out earlier this week. Crystal will have a table and be selling lots of great art work, which I will encourage all attendees to check out. Meanwhile, I've spent most of my weeknights watching anime that was formerly secured behind the Anime Strike paywall. Apart from that, I've spent a lot of time working in my garden, getting ready for the growing season. But, I'm sure most of you aren't super interested in yard chores. Let's talk about anime instead.

Read More

The Professional Gamer - May 15, 2017

Hi everyone! There still isn't a whole lot to report on my end. I've been running a lot this past week to get ready for the Bolder Boulder which will be coming up in a few weeks. This hasn't left me with a lot of time to very many geeky things. I've spent most of my evenings watching Crystal play Breath of the Wild and finishing Ouron High School Host Club. I'm not ready to start talking in depth about BotW yet, so let's talk about Ouron instead. Although the rest of the series is largely a clever satire of shoujo tropes, there are some problematic parts to the series. Let's take the points one at a time.

Transphobia

First, let me lay out some assumptions, since these things are not well defined within the series itself. Ryouji Fujioka's gender identity and sexual orientation are not explicitly defined in the anime; therefore, I will be assuming the Ryouji is a straight (or possibly bi) male identifying person who enjoys cross-dressing. Having gotten through that, other characters referring to him as a "tranny" is highly offensive. Even if "tranny" is the most straightforward translation of the Japanese used in series, the adaptation staff could have spent a few minutes to explore alternatives. Perhaps, "queen" or "drag queen". Maybe the intention was to show that although the Host Club is tolerant of Haruhi cross-dressing, they are not accepting of a man cross-dressing. But without a moment in the script of someone (especially Ryouji or Haruhi) pointing out that this is a slur, this comes off as both the original creators and the English adaptation staff condoning transphobic language and attitudes.

Poor Pacing in Late Series

After a leisurely pace in the middle of the series, taking full episodes to develop most of the members of the host club more fully, the end of the series is incredibly rushed, with a bunch of new characters, completely new plot lines, and character developments that come out of left field. This leads us to the last issue:

Poorly-defined Character Motivation

Kyoya and Tamaki's fathers are introduced in the final episodes. They are initially portrayed as very hard-nosed, thinking only of the family reputation and profitability of their companies. By the end of the final episode, however, they are joking about how they were actually nice guys after all. Eclair is a similar case. She's comes out of nowhere in order to cause trouble for Tamaki and the host club, with no real defined motivations. She seems to just enjoy jerking people around, but even this is not established as a trait that has some grounding in a personal history. Nope, she's just a jerk cause she likes to be a jerk.

I think I've talked enough about that at this point. Come back next week and see what I've been up to. Game on!

The Professional Gamer - December 19, 2016

Hi everyone! A short article this week due to some travel at the end of the week. I didn't have a lot of time to geek out this week, but I did get a chance to see this handsome guy:

I watched the latest episode of Yuri!! On Ice just a few minutes before sitting down to write, so I'm still processing the episode (especially the stinger). At this point, I anticipating that next week will be the last episode, which I'm thinking will be an early Christmas present to all of us fans.

That's all I have for now. I'm not sure that I'll have an article next week due to the holiday. See you next time! Game on!

The Professional Gamer - June 6, 2016

Hello readers and welcome to another installment of The Professional Gamer.  I hope you all had a good Memorial Day.  I spent my morning running the Bolder Boulder.  Then, most of the rest of the day was spent recovering from the race.  I had a decent time this year, especially considering how much my training was interrupted this year due to a number of other life events. During the rest of the week, I spent most of my free time this week reading, but also finished watching Golden Boy with my friends.

Let's start this week with discussing Golden Boy, which wins the award for the most raunchy anime that my wife enjoys to watch.  Kintaro is a rather terrible perv, but in the end he also has a drive to do good for those around him.  I want to really hate him for his lecherous ways, but in the end he tries to make sure that things turn out well for everybody around him, so it is hard to be too hard on him.

In book news, this week I've been reading Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, which is basically the big book of how to run a meeting for a voluntary society, club, or business.  It's very interesting to see a general set of rules that can be adapted to many different types of organizations.  I wanted to read the book due to getting involved in my local political party, since parliamentary procedure is big part of the official meetings that we have.  In the end, it makes me wonder if I should have more structure in my day to day interactions with lots of people.  Also, I just want to start a club so that I can practice with all the finicky procedural stuff.  Does that make me too much of a nerd?

Anyway, today is my birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday to me!  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - May 2, 2016

Hello readers!  I’ve managed to have a week with a more normal work load, and therefore had some more time to enjoy myself.  To start with, I’ve spent a few more hours in Elite: Dangerous and manage to get myself to within about 2 million credits of my new ship goal.  I only need about another hour to get myself to my goal, and start the process of searching the galaxy for my new ship and all the equipment that I want for it.  Then, I’ll be off to make a living as a bulk trader: stocking up on goods in one station and hoping that I can make a profit on them by carrying them to another system.  I may keep my existing ship so that I have an option to go back to if I find that I’m not enjoying life as a merchant.

In other space news, we had the first session of our Traveler game this past weekend.  Everything seemed to go fairly well.  Most of the session was dedicated to role-playing the characters and introducing the world, with only a few skill checks to see how things went.  Next session should get us much more involved in the rules system, and therefore have a much greater chance to bog us down with making sure that we’ve learned how to play the darn thing.  I’m expecting the players to spend some time negotiating commodities prices, searching for delivery jobs, and booking passengers on their vessel before heading off to one of the neighboring systems.  Who knows, we might have a space combat.  But that will depend on the random encounters table.

And finally, I’ve discovered a rather bizarre little anime to watch.  The show is called Dagashi Kashi, and the plot is a bit hard to explain.  To start, “dagashi” are inexpensive Japanese snacks, sort of like penny candies, both in terms of size and price, as well as a degree of sentimentality attached to them.  The show centers around Kokonotsu, a middle school boy who dreams of becoming a manga artist.  His father, Yo, owns a dagashi shop in a small town, and wants Kokonotsu to take over for him.  Hotaru, daughter of a snack manufacturer, comes to the town to recruit Yo.  Yo says that he can’t leave unless Kokonotsu agrees to take over the shop.  Hotaru agrees to convince Kokonotsu to take over the shop in exchange for Yo coming to work for her father’s company.  Hotaru is passionate about the snacks, and spends most of the show trying to kindle Kokonotsu’s passion for dagashi.  In spite of this somewhat odd and convoluted plot, much of the show is basically a love letter to the dagashi themselves.  So, if you are interested in the niche world of Japanese snack foods, it’s a fun watch.

That’s all for this round.  Have a great week and game on!

The Professional Gamer – February 15, 2016

Hello, readers!  I’ve been at the inaugural Colorado Anime Fest.  I’ll have a full article about my experience here a little later this week.  Other than that, I’ve spent my time this week watching Snow White with the Red Hair, and flying around some more with my space truck.  Also, since we are starting to get close to spring, I’ve started reading more gardening books, and have started some herbs to keep in pots in my house. 

Snow White with the Red Hair is very enjoyable.  I like seeing that the two lead characters, who maybe have some romantic interest in each other, also have plans and goals that do not simply revolve around the relationship.  Without relying on the typical "love conquers all" trope, the creators are much more free to develop the characters as individuals.

My adventures in space trucking in Elite: Dangerous continue apace.  I've been a bit more busy this week, especially with helping Crystal get ready for Colorado Anime Fest this weekend.  So, I haven't moved much further towards my goals of a new ship, but my rare trading scheme still seems to be working well as a means of earning the needed capital.

Look for a full article from me about Colorado Anime Fest to come out later this week.  I took a few pictures and had a lot of fun at the cultural track programs.  I hope to see you all here again later this week.  Game on!