the million dollar question: do i have a boner, or do i need to pee?
what if both
the million dollar question: do i have a boner, or do i need to pee?
what if both
and the bar is a nazi hideout
imagine a video game where you create a hero whose destiny is to save everyone, but throughout the game you start making harder and more questionable decisions, and the game gets darker and darker. and in the end you’re just standing there, clutching the controller and finally realizing you were playing the villain all along
What is mgs2
ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS
For a while now I’ve been kind of meaning to write a long, in-depth post about 4chan. With the recent controversy between them and some significant feminist figures in the gaming industry, I think it’s important that I finally go ahead and do this. Since, let’s be honest: any time there’s a big controversy on the internet, 4chan is going to be involved. And yet, a lot of people don’t really understand what 4chan is.
First, I should probably start with some explanation of where I am coming from. When my webcomic first began taking off, I went to great lengths to keep an eye on everyone who discussed it. I like feedback on what I’m doing; the way I see it, the natural progression of an artistic career is that you eventually come to rely on audience feedback rather than individual critics who purport to represent it.
For the most part, this just entailed reading forums and blogs, nothing too complicated. however, there was this one audience segment that continually eluded my sight: 4chan. I could see 4chan links in my referrers, but could never find anything there about me or my work. The threads, with their short, transient lifespans, were always gone by the time I got there.
Well, needless to say, I eventually did catch a Prequel thread, and then more, and gradually over the next few years I learned a lot about 4chan - as well as a lot of other sites, major and minor (this one included). Of them all, though, 4chan stands out to me as having the most interesting culture - as well as being one of the most confusing, misunderstood, and outright scary entities to outsiders. I can understand why they are such a prevalent and relatively powerful force online, and I think it’s important for everyone to understand exactly what 4chan is.
I’m going to be sharing my personal observations and conclusions regarding 4chan. So, buckle up and put on your ethnologist hats, kids, because we’re gonna talk comparative internet cultures!
The first thing that always trips people up about 4chan is this idea of an “anon culture”. Like, we all understand the idea of anonymous comments on a site, or accepting anonymous asks on Tumblr, and probably understand that such anonymous submissions are often used to attack someone without suffering any social ramifications or backlash for doing so. But what happens when you bring hundreds of thousands of people together who idolize the idea of anonymity and the freedom it brings?
Well, you get something kind of cool, in my opinion. What you end up with is this concept of a fluid identity. Not only do people on 4chan have no social ramifications for being rude, but they face no social ramifications for being inconsistent with themselves. On 4chan you have no obligation to stick to or defend your past beliefs or opinions, because no one knows they were your past beliefs, nor do you have any incentive to display beliefs that will make you look good - since no one will ever even know it was you.
It’s like… imagine being an invisible person in a room with a bunch of other invisible people. You, as well as each of them, are wearing an (also invisible) random voice-changing mask. From the seemingly empty room, one voice calls out: “so, what webcomics do you guys read?”
If you were in a public place, you’d pick the answer that makes you look good. It’ll be something pretentious (if you’re around pretentious people), or something relatively normal and acceptable (if you’re around normal people), and you’ll choose the answer that doesn’t ostracize you otherwise negatively affect you socially.
In the room of invisible people, that pressure does not exist. You are speaking to the equivalent of an empty room. You can say the most embarrassing shit you can think of - let them know about that horrible, poorly-drawn DeviantArt comic series you are super into. If they laugh at you for it and you regret your choice to bring it up, then all you have to do is step a few feet to the left and say you like something else. All of a sudden, you and are effectively a different person. Alternatively, you could just own up to your love of this awesome DeviantArt comic. Why not? You can unassociate yourself from these claims at any time.
Or, imagine someone else in the room says they like some poorly-written little ComicGenesis comic, and you decide to rail on them about how horrible it is. Suddenly, they come back at you with this amazing explanation about its hidden nuances, and you realize that you misjudged this little comic and it is in fact the epitome of perfection. If you want, you can just instantly pretend you are a different person who liked the comic all along. You don’t have to feel any shame for wrongly disliking it at first, or any obligation to remain consistent with your earlier beliefs. You just do what you feel like. It can’t hurt you. You are just you.
Of course, the consequence of this is that 4chan is completely depraved by normal societal standards. Without the pressure to conform, it turns out people are naturally pretty weird. But, you know, they live it. It’s a culture where nobody is really shamed or hurt for the things they enjoy. Someone can try to shame them, but it’s not going to have any effect and it’s usually more of a joke.
The other consequence of this - and the one that probably scares the most visitors away - is that people can’t really be shamed for being what we would consider horrible people. Someone can be flagrantly racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or whatever, and you can’t really harm them. All you can do is talk to them. Things that would garner death threats on Tumblr or Twitter tend to be short, comparatively nonconfrontational exchanges on 4chan. With many people from Tumblr or Twitter, that does not sit well.
Sort of separate from this idea of “anon culture” is this idea of “the Anon” as an individual.
When we get an anonymous hate comment on Tumblr or something, we know that person has an actual identity they are hiding. It becomes a guessing game as we speculate who they “really are”,
With 4chan, however, there is this idea of anonymity as an identity. By posting an anonymous message, you are not “hiding” your identity, you are an Anon. In their art, you typically see the Anon represented as a thin, green-skinned man or woman with a suit and no facial features other than a mouth. It’s an intentionally race- and class-neutral representation of a human - the Anon can be anybody. They celebrate this idea that they are indistinguishable - coming across as one single, undefined individual with a lot of conflicting tastes and perspectives.
This is a somewhat foreign idea on other internet cultures like Tumblr, where individuality is greatly valued. Look at anyone’s Tumblr page - we go to great lengths to define what is us. We often wear a banner declaring our race, gender, and sexual orientation. We list our interests and phobias. We even choose a picture to represent ourselves - mine is a little blue butterfly drawn by me and colored by a friend. Our identity gains strength and influence as we do things that please people, and weakens as we do things that they disapprove of. After posting this, my influence will probably reach 1,100 people, and I’ll do a little dance in celebration of this milestone. But, posting in a random 4chan thread, I would still just be an anon like everyone else.
The World To 4chan
Looking at it from this perspective, you can hopefully start to understand the political angles that someone who regularly participates in 4chan is inclined to take.
In their own weird way, 4chan is a sort of utopia. They circumvent a lot of the harassment problems that places like Tumblr and Twitter have. You probably aren’t going to see someone on 4chan depressed over harassment they got on 4chan. They also circumvent most peer pressure problems - nobody on 4chan is going to agree with anyone else there just to look good. You are also going to have very few people who hide things, since there’s very little incentive to do so. If you feel a little gay that day and want some hot beefcake, say it, nobody will care and you’ll be happy.
Imagine how the rest of the internet looks to someone who is used to that as their background, though. It causes the person to develop a certain distrust. If someone publicly supports a position and a large group praises and rewards them for it, you wonder if they really believe what they profess. When someone publicly attacks and uses social leverage against a person who disagrees with them, you wonder if the attacker really has a decent argument that could stand on its own. The world becomes a vicious and uncivilized place full of powerful, violent people who might be lying or keeping secret agendas, and you want to look into it. You want to knock people off pedestals, jam their weapons, air their secrets, and leave nothing but a depraved and equal Anon behind.
And you see that in what 4chan does. When a controversial figure declares they were hacked or bullied, 4chan are the ones compiling evidence of whether or not it was faked. When someone tries to defend a position with their social standing or identity, 4chan is the first to stand against them, confronting them as an equal. And when someone preaches what others should be doing, 4chan is the first to get on their case if they don’t do it themselves. They are not a unified group so much as a group of people who share a common mindset - that inequality and its associated social pressures are the root cause of problems. They tend to confront people as equals - and if that doesn’t work, they try to knock them down to their level.
4chan To The World
Equally important to understanding 4chan, I think, is looking at the way 4chan is seen and portrayed by others - especially those who actively oppose its ideals.
It’s no secret that 4chan is often viewed as this hive of racism, homophobia and misogyny. They’re this chaotic force that harasses feminists, hacks websites, and spreads the personal information of any good people who try to stand up for justice. It’s this vague, faceless force, and it fits the common perception of “evil mooks” we are fed in movies.
I find it kind of a shame that, for all that 4chan’s culture does to maintain the Anon’s gender, race, and class neutrality, the common assumption is that they consist entirely of middle-class, straight, white males. You see this whenever there’s some clash between 4chan and Tumblr - 4chan is the oppressor; some angry, privelaged mass that wants to make life difficult for minorities.
The nature of an anon culture makes it difficult to get actual statistics on 4chan - these are people who are not only anonymous, but often revel in the nature of anonymity. Race is almost impossible to analyze, since someone will only bring it up if it’s relevant to what they’re saying. Gender is easier though - according to 4chan’s advertising page, the userbase is 30% female - if you don’t believe their self-report, the third-party analytics site Alexa.com claims it to be over 50%. I have a few friends who frequent the site’s (often extremely risque) My Little Pony board - they once ran a lingerie selfie contest there, and exactly 50% of the entrants were female.
Overall, you’re looking at this very diverse community that has its minorities effectively erased by its opposition so it can make a better enemy. 4chan knows this, and you can see it leading back into that aforementioned concept of them seeing their detractors as hypocritical and barbaric. You’re not likely to get any big moment where 4chan’s minorities band together and say “hey, we exist!” because so much of 4chan values their anonymity. Gaining social leverage by declaring what you are is the sort of thing they generally stand against.
Equally interesting is the way 4chan responds to hatred against them. Though it may not be readily apparent from the outside, they stick by their ideals at least as strenuously as Tumblr does. With the recent controversy in feminist gaming, for example, a number of people from 4chan have been watching Twitter and boycotting any company that claims the attack on The Fine Young Capitalists was justified. There’s been a lot of disappointment any time a loved developer comes to the attack’s defense.
Similarly, there’s a lot of disappointment every time a creator directly speaks out against 4chan. I remember a time a few months back when the author of the comic Paranatural tweeted about how nobody should ever go to 4chan. Over on 4chan, there was a rather touching post where an anon described how it hurt them to have a figure they admire speak out against a community they loved. I actually emailed the Paranatural guy about that, though I never got a reply. I like to pretend it’s because he got a million other emails about it, but it’s probably not.
I think the one last thing that is most misunderstood about 4chan is that if you are a horrible person, it can be a tool.
4chan has no barriers to entry. There’s not even a signup process; anyone who wants to can go there and instantly become a part of their community. If you want to do something bad and hide that it was you, you can go to 4chan, make posts about it, and have it look like 4chan is to blame. You will suffer no ramifications for doing so - like any action on 4chan, it is effectively done by “the anon”.
Nothing keeps someone from setting 4chan up as a scapegoat. Heck , you could even go there and pose as multiple people, organizing entire attacks on someone. Even yourself, if you want. This is not a hard thing to do.
The question is why you would do it. Like, 4chan is fundamentally not a bad place. Its one property is that people there interact anonymously - for better or for worse, that ideal of fearlessly being the person you want to be is viciously preserved. It has a very interesting and generally nonconfrontational culture that can still bring ridiculous change or over-the-top revenges when them or their ideals are attacked directly. Between the social equality, lack of fear, and ability to drive action, it sometimes feels like everything Tumblr wants to be.
I guess what I’m saying is: be informed. It’s easy to use 4chan as a scapegoat, or construe it as an unstoppable force of evil, but if you really look into it it’s one of the more interesting cultural designs to come out of the internet. It’s worth lurking and understanding where they are coming from on things before dismissing them enemies.
I decided to make a comic just like all those ultra cool ones i see on tumblr nowadays!!
TOO LATE! IM MADE OF STRAW, FUCK BOY
the ben garrison signature is a nice touch
evil fat kid incoming
What is considered to be many weirdly by one of the best games ever ends up being seems to be a bit too much of a blind opinions by its fans on its terms. Earthbound is a satire on the genre it’s using, not only in a way it makes fun of some JRPG but has is more of a light hearted comedy filled game, it is most praised by people for this fact that shows in quirky dialog around the game, kind of making the NPCs fun to talk to (Which of course Is mostly something people give Earthbound about), references and some mature themes in a kids game. The game is about a kid with physic powers that finds an alien from the future that says the world will end by the hands of Giygas, it’s your mission to find other psychic kids to join your party and defeat Giygas while having this adventure around places. The game uses some content that may be new or interesting such as weird surrealism out of nowhere without any real symbolism which is just basically showing “Hey we can be weird check it out!!” but I wouldn’t call it practically ground breaking like many people do, the gameplay isn’t unique either as it brings things heavily from… Ugh… Retro RPG yet simplify it a bit more, everytime someone dies you gotta bring them to the hospital… Until you learn a magic spell (COUGH) I mean PSI to that revives them, the strategy the game is usually USE THE strongest attack and heal or simply just use it’s weakness so I wouldn’t praise it that much, the only thing I would understand really truly is the reason people enjoy this game is little things… Well… If what the game excels at is in the little things… So it might aswell have negative things following the same rule. Yes the game has it’s touches with some attention to detail but honestly in the end when you compare it to many other RPGs, even RPGs that came out BEFORE, those had more content and where less dull. When people praise Earthbound it’s because it’s SIMPLE. When did simple become better than actual effort? The presentation of the game isn’t really the best as some things seem that there isn’t any weight to them (Being that the game hardly has any plot or character development WOOPSIE DAISY) and the only things you may get out of the game is this one dialog that is supposed to say something deep and short but all and all it’s just meaningless. I mean Earthbound is like the primest example of people treating something to more than it actually is, like no matter how much you make the quirky dialog sound deep inside your head the game itself is pretty one dimensional, mature elements or not.
One of the things I disliked in Earthbound are mostly the difficulty curves which are with you FROM the start, these are the types of things in a RPG that makes you enter the grinding mumbo… I got in the grinding mumbo from the game forcing me to become level 7 to pass the very first screen, I never want to feel that way ever again and there are so many easy enemies that give many XP, it basically makes you never stuck again of how overpowered you get. Most mandatory encounters anyways can be easily defeated with their weakness like one of the first bosses being a mole, after you paralyze him the rest of the battle is over. In most normal occasions it’s just use bash (or some psi if bash is useless) then use LIFEUP. There was never a real occasion throughout the entire game which I needed to use food because PP is easy come easy go, which is quite sad because the food items are always interesting but I end up dropping em instead due to almost no space. Sell em? I’ve got all the money in the world it’s not until later of the game where I feel as if I gotta buy all my characters some bracelet but I hardly use money! Fall of capitalism indeed… Also grinding feels forced the most when you get a new character, there is no auto-leveling in the game and they give you a low level character when you are high level, this makes me want to grind because any small strike will DESTROY the low level character, forcing me to a hospital to revive them… ALSO ISN’T IT NICE THAT USUALLY THE PLACE IM GOING TO USE MORE MONEY DOESN’T HAVE A ATM? This wastes my time, it wasn’t until I figured out teleportation Beta that made me go ALWAYS like no exceptions to Saturn Valley where EVERYTHING IS PERFECT (Except the butterfly being in unreachable areas). But yes the game not letting you proceed to the first location if you don’t grind atleast to level 8 with 3 enemies next to the first place is EXTREMELY ANNOYING. This pauses the game’s chance of having an actual flow and it’s not the only part this happens! The whole game sometimes simply feels unbalanced! But really enough about the negatives (which sadly bothered me throughout the game making me struggle to find enjoyment) time to say what is good in the game which is the the artistic merits! Anything but plot writing is a bit ok, the music is very experimental in some occasions in which it feels as if it’s really going for the limit of the system by ACTUALLY making sounds that sound like you’re in real life such as the burp and some echo effects they do with some reverse techno sounds which are AMAZING. Like I’ve said the presentation is very weak but the dialog in which you get and the odd stuff you get around to is I guess neutral in my opinion on whenever or not they should satisfy you, for example let’s say a very big surrealist monster attacks you in REAL LIFE and the only thing he says is “Wow I am bad” like there’s not really dramatic about that or actually deep it’s just stupid and not impressive at all but either way it’s cool to see a well painted drawing even if it feels dull in terms of meaning, the visuals of the game are indeed very impressive and this shows allot in battles in which the backgrounds are well animated psychedelic illusions? Not sure what to name them, maybe call them Po-mo, Post Modern. And many who played this game are shocked by one spooky moment in the ending in which the final boss is supposed to be scary? Personally by the time I got to play this game, Giygas was already known as a joke for me, not being scary at all and certainly being a boring fight. Don’t call this spoilers because I haven’t really explained him, besides like I mentioned it’s been spoiled by basically anyone by now. The game’s soundtrack isn’t experimental all the way but that’s also a whole thing I felt missing for earthbound, it doesn’t go all the way, it rather be a simple satire than I feel what it wants to feel… A Very experimental balls to the walls RPG. This shows throughout the entire game that tried SO HARD to do it but going back to the music, many of the soundtrack’s is a bit too simple perhaps? I really enjoyed the calm music themes they have, which have a nice intro and relaxing cut down along some simple slow notes. There are also a quite allot genre mixes during the adventure you’ll hear and honestly Earthbound’s soundtrack is VERY variational yet falls flats in some catagories, out though this I consider it to be one of the best video game soundtracks and ESPECIALLY one of the best features of the game.
Earthbound is a RPG that tries to survive solely on its artistic merits and uniqueness yet fails a bit being dull. Being funny or satirical doesn’t really make yourself better of a game compared to games with more content and effort but what I can give to to the game is that it somewhat succeeds is following the RPG rules of giving you a… Maybe… A fulfilling adventure. (The variation of locations are there, the moments are aswell but all and all it’s just TOLERABLE.) I also feel to note at the end that this review contains the word QUIRKY quite allot because… That’s basically the game’s only offer. If anything it’s the best Retro RPG which I give it that but it seriously lacks substance or real personality at all.
Then there’s always this family member who say this every family reunion
You ain’t never lie
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