DAI                   SEI              KO~~~!!!
\(^_^\) \(^_^)/ (/^_^)/
Whew! Glad I’m not insane, if you look in the jungle for bigfoot long enough everything with a patch of fur might look like bigfoot… Nice to have some other scientists willing to collaborate that there’s SOMETHING going on at least =)

@cgrajko Yep! I gotta say the emotional punch of this game seems particularly powerful, it explains how it got through so many of the more embittered denizens of 4chan. In fact, the most common complaint in the first two weeks after it released appeared to be “… I can’t fap to this!! D:” and the most common meme posted was ‘feels.’ It may be ‘only a story’ of a game, but it leverages a lot to really invest you in the result. Actually, another notable percentage of comments from those two weeks were people absolutely *ruined* by some of the bad ends. People saying they’ve never felt worse in their entire lives. How interesting!!

@rampantbicycle I would be very curious to learn who ended up on what path at the beginning and how it struck them, significant moments and the like, because for myself I ended up with Emi at first and I had the same feeling of “My god, my actual girlfriend has a problem almost exactly like this…” (Emi’s issues of being SO strong willed it becomes self destructive) It was a little stunning at the time but I put it down to coincidence, but in the two week katawa shoujo banazna immediately after release I have heard a similar comment many many times. I wonder if this is because the characters are so believable/well rounded or if the way you end up on a route moves you subtly towards a certain type of girl? I would be surprised if the 3-4 choices in act 1 had that level of scope, but then again, the 20 Questions bobble guesses right so often… The fact that this game and its story didn’t have to go through a ‘translation’ filter might also have contributed. So many questions! I’d love to hear more about people’s experiences with the routes they took

Another fascinating note is how all of these conversations so far are mostly only loosely related to the girl’s disability. The disabilities are used as a seasoning for a larger, well formed personality. Rin has no arms and that’s a primary concern to how she acts, but it’s nested in a far more compelling personality of a somewhat spacy artistic type with a strong philosophical bent rather then the other way around. It’s a significant element, but not an all encompassing one. In discussing the game you talk about the girls as a whole in a very… ‘real’ manner. The personality presented feels very ‘complete’ I’m not sure if that’s slight of hand or fully legitimate characterization. For me at least, the game managed to ‘connect’ on some level and create a certain emotional pressure by the end that I can’t really identify, it’s not love, not exactly… It’s like a contemplative pressure that makes me sit for a minute after the final curtain draws closed and go “…………………… Huh! ……… human potential sure is… big. It makes me want to sit and think about myself and where I ended up, how I am as a person overall and if I really am happy with how things are. It makes me want to get up and fix some of the things I don’t like about myself, to start those projects I’ve let sit idle, and it thuds with the promise of an emotional motive force sufficient to do it. Is that what inspiration feels like? I’m not sure I could tell. I’ve always been curious what drives folk to large endeavors that have no traditionally significant payoff. What is it that drives a man to put a hundred hours into building a tiny ship in a bottle, what does that man FEEL that makes him act that way? It fascinates me.

In the aftermath of the Emi route I prepared things to start running according to that Emi gradual start running chart someone put together and I know a fair number of people on the board (if you can believe what you read) have done so as well. I won’t lie, I haven’t yet, though I tell myself I’ll start the moment I kick this respiratory bug. This is not the first time this has happened to me. Way back (about a decade ago actually, where the hell does time go?! =P c_c) when I was in college for the first time I played an eroge called “Private Nurse” whose story arc involved a boy letting himself go at college and how he gets his life in order (with help from a fairly promiscuous tree spirit to be fair, not nearly as mature as KS) but it really encouraged me to start trying to get my life back in order.

Of course, at that time I didn’t manage much in the end. I don’t know if the pressure is exactly real, or transient, nor do I know where the game’s influence stops and my susceptibility to that sort of thing begins. I know I’m more prone then most and the average call of duty player is unlikely to blink many lids at this story, however well crafted… but I gotta say, I can’t think of any other game I’ve played that was *as* effective at connecting as this one. Normally I’d have put it down to “oh, this again! how interesting!” but judging by the reactions in the /a/ board, it was able to reach a fair number of people who can’t possibly ALL be as sappy as me… So perhaps they really did manage something special here? Dunno, but I’m really REALLY interested in the discussion and dissection regardless of what the final answer is!

(EMF, it’s an electricity joke! Ha! haha!…. ha……. ¬_¬ )