Well hello again. A lot of stuff happened between now and the last time I updated. I need to make a point to set aside time to update this blog, otherwise it isn't going to happen, huh?
Daikon and I played and rated all 400+ games in Unity Room's #Unity1Week そろえる (collect/arrange) game jam. We found a lot of cool stuff, which you can find in this thread of shout-outs and in our round-up videos. I will say that in general, there were far too many slot machine games. I don't know the exact numbers since I can't be bothered to count them up, but I feel like a good 10% or more were straight slot machines. I mean... come on, y'all. This is like when the theme was あける (open) and a good chunk of the games were straight gacha/lootbox-opening games...
This is also probably going to be the last time we're going to play every #Unity1Week game. (This doesn't have anything to do with how annoying the slot machine games were, I promise.) I don't know. I don't want to set in stone that we're not going to do full-plays again, but I also don't want to set up the expectation that this is something we're going to do indefinitely.
Without getting into too many details, basically U1W has been infiltrated by edgelords. There is a user with a very clear hate symbol as their profile picture and the name of a prominent hate group in their username. They left a really nasty comment on one of the games, made by a first-time creator. It's the kind of demoralizing shit that would turn a person off from ever making anything again, let alone participate in any more game jams like this. Daikon reported the user to the site admin, who acknowledged reading the report immediately but didn't take action until the next day. The admin deleted the comment on that game's page, but the user has not been banned and their profile name and picture are both still up, plus whatever comments that user left on other games. This is in spite of Daikon pointing out that both the username and profile pic are inappropriate and very prominently feature well-known hate symbols.
There are also users entering in slurs in the high-score rankings of certain games. I won't link the games nor write the slurs, but I have seen the N-word and F-word (not fuck) written in more than one game. When Daikon mentioned these to the admin, the admin said they'd let the game creators know. (Incidentally, it has been weeks since this message and none of the slurs have come down.) It's all just a very cowardly and weak way of handling all this. It makes me think that for everyone else on the site, this kind of thing is fine and dandy and that, in fact, Daikon and I are the ones causing trouble for complaining. I am very much of the belief that you need to stamp out this kind of shit as quickly and forcefully as possible, lest it be allowed to spread and fester until your entire community is nothing but shit. But, Daikon and I are apparently alone in this, so it's time to pull back and create some distance. At minimum, we're not going to recommend people enter U1W anymore. (And I mean, it's not like there's a lack of other, better game jams that AREN'T endless variations of slot machines...)
Okay, enough griping about gamers. Remember when I said we are really into Yuru Camp now? Well, we got so into it that we decided to have our own camping adventure! We booked a log cabin at this beachside campsite in the next town over. It was about a fifteen minute drive away, it was only one night, and we slept in a cabin and not a tent, but this was the most outdoorsy thing I have probably ever done. We ate way too much food, played a one-shot TTRPG at night using flashlights, listened to birds, and did all the fun camping things. It was magic.
A couple years ago, we bought a hot sandwich press, and then promptly put it in a cupboard and forgot all about it. Well. Yuru Camp has an episode where Rin uses a hot sandwich press to make a crispy nikuman-pie kind of thing, and we were enthralled. So we made sure to dig out that press and bring it with us, and boy oh boy is it an amazing camping tool. We used it to make pressed chicken, sausages, steak, and, yes, grilled cheese sandwiches. This thing is coming with us on any and all future camping adventures we have.
Our future camping plans are to go again sometime in the summer, preferably somewhere with cabins since we still don't have a tent. Once we get more gear together, we want to eventually go up to Akita and camp near Tazawako!
Stuff I read
I have been slacking on reading again, eep. I brought On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong with me on the camping trip and got about halfway through. Now that I'm back home, I want to savor the last half. I cannot stress enough how much I love this, and how intensely jealous I am that Vuong can tangle together all these rich emotions and images and memories into words. It is the good kind of jealous, the kind of jealous that makes me want to read this book again on a rainy day, when I am lonely and thinking of whatever home means. I cannot recommend this book enough.
I'm also quite enjoying Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa, translated by John Bester. The stories themselves are great, but the part that really interests me is the introduction by Bester. I kind of wish there were a whole companion book or something by the translator, giving his insights into both what he thinks of the text and Miyazawa, and also how he managed to wrangle such fantastic stories into this whimsical, fairytale English. I might need to fall down a rabbit hole and look up if Bester ever appeared in any translator magazines...
A lot more stuff happened but I am going to stop here for now because I am tired and also hungry! Enjoy the rest of your May and look out for rainy season starting soon!!