Japanese Streamer Mutekimaru Channel has a long-running series where their pet fish plays a variety of pokemon games. It does this by swimming over a grid of labeled controls, which is then picked up by a motion tracker that relays which controls the fish is currently swimming over.
During a recent stream of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the game unexpectedly crashed.
First, the fish navigated to the home menu, opening up the settings and changed their owner’s switch username. After this, it browsed around it’s owner’s friends list. The fish decided that it wanted to browse the eshop. The fish opened it’s owner’s wallet page, revealing their credit card information live on stream. The fish then decided to add 500 yen to it’s owners eshop balance.
It got into the Nintendo Switch Online App, where it would purchase a variety of profile icons and download the N64 App. Satisfied with its exploits, the fish then returned to the home screen and closed the console, ending its reign of terror.
Lafcadio Hearn (aka Yakumo Koizumi) was born of Irish parents and had a difficult upbringing by most standards. He became a writer and journalist, but was captivated by Japanese culture that he experienced at the World Exposition in New Orleans. Shortly after, he traveled to Japan in 1890 at the age of 40. He soon made Japan his home, married, raised a family, and found continued success as a writer.
One of his favorite subjects was Japanese ghost stories. Japanese ghost stories are interesting because they are heavily influenced by Buddhist thought, and often carry a hint of moral elements. He collected and translated several works on the subject. Kwaidan is probably his most famous collection of ghost stories – stories which were even turned into a movie.
It turns out there are at least 3 different Lafcadio Haern museums/homes in Japan. Hopefully I’ll see them someday, but until then I’ll be happy just reading the stories.
Ghibli Park – location of Satsuki and Mei’s house along with a forest and other movie inspired attractions.
Totoro Forest -In Sayama, Saitama Prefecture is Totoro Forest. It also holds Kurosuke’s House which is Japanese traditional house which was built over 100 years ago. You can see a big Totoro sitting in the house and walk the grounds. (more here)
Yakushima – registered as natural world heritage site. You can go there by plane or ferry.
Shirakami-sanchi – world heritage site and it is mainly filled with greenery such as Japanese beech. There are some famous lakes called twelve lakes which means you can see twelve lakes at once from the upper side of the mountain.
Seiseki Sakuragaoka – Seiseki-Sakuragaoka suburb is conveniently located just outside of Tokyo. The highlight of the town is the staircase to the top of the hill where you can enjoy a typically Japanese nostalgic night view.
Tomonoura (Hiroshima) – This beautiful cityview of Tomonoura in Hiroshima is another spot not to be missed. Ponyo’s house is believed to be inspired by Naramura Museum.
Secret World of Arriety
Seibien (Aomori) garden – Seibien is a western style house with Japanese garden in Aomori featured in ‘Arrietty’. Its garden is counted as one the three greatest gardens of Meiji-era and is an attractive sightseeing spot.
From Up on Poppy Hill
The city of Yokohama is depicted in ‘From Up on Poppy Hill’
Minatonomieru oka koen (Kanagawa) – Harbor View Park
Negishi natsukashi koen – (The Old House of Yagishita Family) reminds of Coquelicot Manor, a boarding house overlooking the port in the film.
Yamate seiyo-kan (Kanagawa) – There are 7 western style houses collectively called Yamate Seiyoukan in the area where you can read different edition of Weekly Quartier Latin, the newspaper featured in the film, at each house
Saffron fields of Takase District – Taeko travels on her own from Tokyo to Yamagata in this animated film. There are many sufflower fields in Takase District like the one depicted in ‘Only Yesterday’. Maybe you can even try out a Yamagata farm stay like she did.
The house has been recreated in extraordinary detail. You sign up for a time slot and they give you a tour. That, however, is where similarities to other tours end. Unlike normal recreated gems like this, the tour allows you to open drawers, Mei’s backpacks, look in books and really explore the space. They have a strict no photography policy – which I think is great as it probably makes you really enjoy the space more instead of focusing on the perfect Instagram shot.
Tsundokuis the Japanese word for the stack(s) of books you’ve purchased but haven’t read. Its morphology combines tsunde-oku (letting things pile up) and dokusho (reading books).
I personally love that I have a pile of books I have bought but not yet read. Probably for the same reason that others have suggested – that it creates a sense of wonder and excitement there is so much more yet to learn:
These shelves of unexplored ideas propel us to continue reading, continue learning, and never be comfortable that we know enough. Jessica Stillman calls this realization intellectual humility.
People who lack this intellectual humility — those without a yearning to acquire new books or visit their local library — may enjoy a sense of pride at having conquered their personal collection, but such a library provides all the use of a wall-mounted trophy. It becomes an “ego-booting appendage” for decoration alone.
I wish we had more radio dramas like this one from the BBC by Robert Barr.
Set on an island in the Outer Hebrides in north west Scotland, a fisherman discovers what appears to be a torpedo washed up on a deserted beach. Upon closer examination, the container is found to contain materials for a spy and a couple of army officers go under cover to investigate.
Game development is now as much art as science, or rather the art of science. Even something as simple as how and when to use randomness can profoundly impact the fun of a game. Enter the observation of two different kinds of randomness: input and output randomness.
Input randomness is randomness that is decided BEFORE a player makes their strategy and decisions. Examples would include having a random number of enemies generated before the fight starts. While the number is random, knowing how many will show up actually lets the user decide to use different strategies and feel more in control.
Output randomness is often a big contributing factor to frustrating parts of gameplay. Examples here would consist of attacking an enemy, only to find out your attack completely missed out of sheer bad luck or an usually bad hit roll. This kind of behavior, while mathematically correct, often leaves users feeling like they were ‘robbed’ and that the game is cheating.
Games are increasingly using input randomness as a way to give users control. Even games that rely on output randomness often put their thumbs on the scales so that you do not lose as often as you’d like. In Civilization, if your unit with a 33% chance of hitting misses twice in a row, it’s guaranteed to hit on the 3rd try – even though real randomness wouldn’t behave like that.
Anyway, this is a great video about the different kinds of randomness.