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Back to Japan – Otaru and Mega Night

TLDR: Japan is for drinking.

While I can’t say this statement has been true for my whole life, or for even times as recent as 10 years ago, I do loves me some Japan. I think after moving out of the country, we needed a few years apart to grow and develop, and now that I’m more mature, and I don’t have to deal with its everyday bullshit on a regular basis, Japan is again like a second home to me, full of enjoyment and wonder, and booze, and video games.

So back again I went into the fire, this time to both Tokyo and Kyoto in one trip, in search for the best drunkenest parties in the country, and people to talk about game dev with. I was not disappointed.

I left on Thursday morn, a chill wind from the north whipping through the trees, keeping my vodka at just above freezing. I questioned my own behaviour on Facebook, regarding always taking early flights, to which I received an immediate and repeated response.

“You’re a cheap bastard.”

The truth is hard to take at 3 am.

But after a short flight, a nap, and like 40 plates of sushi, I was off and rearing to go to Otaru, Tokyo’s video game industry weekly meet up. This was my second time visiting, and I was pleasantly surprised to be remembered, and not beaten to a bloody pulp on sight. It’s a super welcoming crowd. Y’all my fucking heroes.

#Progress

I don’t remember everything that happened, but these people know how to do up a Thursday night. Add some Kyoto peeps in town in the mix and dayum it’s nuts. We sanjikaied at a burrito shop where I had a few coronas and I woke up in bed the next morning, covered in mikan chuhai, trying to piece everything together over Twitter.

Them lemon sours pack a punch.

Twitter remembers all.

Pukey and 40, I rolled out of bed around 10 and trundled over to Narita T3, and dead-plebbed it JetStar to KIX, Kyoto bound to Mega. (Kyoto peeps took the train like civilized human beings.)

Mega, which I think might be a secret, but then again might not be, and no one reads this anyways so it doesn’t really matter, is Vitei Backroom’s RR celebration of video games, friendship, and alcohol. On Mega Eve, the three 1/2 kingdoms declare peace for a day, and all come together to rejoice, for there is ample booze in the freezer.  It is a time of joy and glee. And, for the second time in 24 hrs, I woke up with the taste of mikan chuhai in my mouth.

It’s the taste of freedom.

The rest of the time was spent handing with ex-Seoulites, and getting dat soosh. Good times.

Oh and Mushroom cocktails. That’s a mushroom cocktail up there.

Kyoto loves gin.

10/10. Would recommend.

Will get back to reviewing games this weekish.

 

Categories
Blog (Pre-Medium)

LocJam Japan – Thoughts

Speak Japanese and English? Interested in video games, especially indie video games? Want a good way to put those Japanese skills to good use? Or maybe do you want to really find out how terrible your Japanese has become since you’ve left Japan 12 years ago with a bonus crushing reminder of how you’ve how old you’ve become without having accomplished anything?

Perhaps the Localization Jam (LocJam) is for you, and I’m not channeling anything, Mom.

LocJam is a video game-based competition for people who can’t program, draw, design, or make music, but still want to be involved in the video game industry somehow without having to start by cleaning sinks at Nintendo. Naturally, I was drawn to this competition like a fly to a magnet. An moderately skilled fly to a magnet covered in metallic job offers.

The sickeningly sweet allure of a chance to reaffirm all the doubts I’ve ever had about my life choices proved too strong for my ever-present demons to resist. I downloaded the package as soon as I could (4 days late, somewhat ironically due to a trip to Japan), and hopped right in, pausing only every 20 seconds or so to look up every 5th word. First problem was of course with the title いきăȘり魔王 (Ikinari Maou), which I initially translated as Abrupt Archenemy, but later ended settling on Sudden Demonlord with the grim realization that sudden did not have any synonyms that began with d.

The rest of the translation went much more smoothly, sending 8-4 copy on most of the Japanese to translate. Perhaps it’s not an award winning entry, but it’s one I’m proud of nonetheless. My once semi-forgotten and fuzzy Japanese skills came to the rescue, I experienced raised self-esteem, and for once I decided not to make a self-deprecating joke. At the end of the day I got myself a pizza, sans maize, in celebration.

Since I speak both Korean and Japanese, like to write, and have no other viable skills (but a lot of heart, Mr. or Mrs. potential employer, Sir/Ma’am), I’ve often thought of getting into localization as a career in the video game industry. LocJam has shown me that this is definitely something I could get into on a larger scale.* Actually, my next step is to learn how to use professional translation software to minimize inconsistencies, which seems easy enough if you can get ahold of the crazy expensive software.

It’s a bit late now, but if you want to see what’s up, head on over to LocJam.org to check it out. If you’re interested at all in localization, the rest of their website might help as well. Fun!

*Remind me not to look back on this after becoming a embroiled in some sort of localization scandal in like 2026.