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Digital Seclusion Analysis.

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screenshot0015.png


(Note: This analysis includes full spoilers for the game!)

First thing after finishing this visual novel, a sudden urge to go outside and get so much vitamin C till I get sunburnt, then to browse eBay for retro PC's. Digital Seclusion tells the story of a nameless and isolated protagonist who loves his PC-9800 and pre-new-millenium anime waifus maybe a little too much, heck you might call him cringe. But he's serious about his passions, our hero spends all of his days inside his Underground Man-Esque apartment and like the Underground Man, he is burdened by the guilt that comes with free will: He is perfectly aware of his degenerate way of living, and he knows with full reason that the road traveled is of his own making and despite this, rather, because of this, he continues to embrace his lifestyle.

The rays of sun seeping into his room guilt, he knows what he is, "The prisoner can feel the coarseness of the walls. He can feel the cool rust of the metal bars. And he can view the tantalizing freedom he is being denied. But what of the man whose free will has convinced him to reject his own freedom? (...) Instead, favoring to stare at a box for all his waking hours"

This sort of suffering felt like the main problem that Digital Seclusion poses to its readers, not the cause of why such people might exist in the first place, we know that is a fact, but the observation of the normativity such humans engage themselves in, and the consequences of those behaviors.

Our narrator is guilted by the alarm that he always could or be living a better life, I even suspect he won't go outside because he feels too guilty to try a better existence, it would be too painful, suicidal, to correspond the idea that he has been disregarding and rotting away the gift of his humanity.


We've all felt this. The idea that our current lifestyle is not exactly a promising way of going day-to-day, that we should be living a very different and better life, that for inexplicable reasons was taken away from us like we were shifted into a cursed timeline instead of the future we were meant to be in. Clown-World exists, but we're all part of its circus.

Our protagonist's heroin comes in the form of the phantasmagoria the computer monitor displays, visual novels, ghosts of stories the promise the sensation of a higher meaning, he connects with their characters more than he can with humans, he found a word for this sensation, Love.


The problems with Romanticism and Nostalgia.

screenshot0009.png



Romanticism was characterized as a melancholic reflection on the loss of the ethical and teleological systems that the Enlightenment displaced, the inner yearning for the lost experience, the observing consciousness wandering and never satisfied, it keeps looking for beauty in nostalgia for it feels like beauty can only be found in the world that was lost.

In the dialectics of art, romantic artists were criticized by their modernist successors for turning yearning into wishful thinking that then was turned into mere fantasies, and romantic fantasies pollute the ability to comment properly on the pertaining issues of modernity, which first starts in focusing on the real and vulnerable in order to exalt and redeem the human soul against his deserted landscape, something that romanticism can never refer, according to modernists.

And the visual novels our narrator enjoys himself in fit this description of romanticism quite well, I've never played them to be clear, so I'm going by the descriptions Digital Seclusion provides: Dating sims which despite any of their storytelling merits, seek to create a fantasy of fulfilled romance that has no referent in real life. The protagonist gives us a reason for his romantic yearnings, he couldn't find any meaningful relationships in his high school journey, worse, he found feeling closer to anime characters than his peers. So, he found himself enchanted by anime like Kanon, it awakened hope in him, he waited for years for its promise of youthful love in a character like Kawasumi, a shy, secluded, and misunderstood girl, he waited to meet someone like this. But how modernists pointed out, such a romance would never come, because it can't possibly be real with only sentimentality as its real-life reference.


screenshot0014.png


He knows this, at some point, Satomi, his only friend, asks him:

"Why do you have such an affinity to these characters... They aren't real"

"That's precisely the point"

To which she realizes:

"It's the fiction... It's the fiction you've fallen in love with."

He doesn't want to love, he wants the sentimentality of love, the simulation of the union of flesh, which his visual novels serve to stimulate, those narratives serve as a vehicle for him to satisfy his fantasies. Things get interesting when one of the characters from his self-admitted tropey visual novels becomes realized.


screenshot0013.png


I believe there is a clever meta-commentary: Satomi coming out of the screen to talk with him becomes a wish-fulfillment for our protagonist and in turn, we hold similar fantasies which can't be fulfilled. I would sure as heck love, however unhealthy that might be, to date any of the cute girls in my visual novels, perhaps precisely because of how little actual humanity they possess, characters most likely designed in order to appeal to a male fantasy of love.

It's not only thanks to the simulations of love that our protagonist likes his type of obscure visual novels so much, there are plenty of modern visual novels to fill that void, so why does he prefer old, untranslated, and obscure titles instead? Because they give the sensation that they are his.


"As Kanon becomes old and increasingly dated, with every wrinkle, I cherish it the more."

Waifu claiming is a meme, but the meme hides behind a very real desire, the longing for the heroines of whatever Japanese media to be ours, akin to how a girlfriend is one's own and no one else's. To possess them and yell the world: She's mine! She's mine because I know her better than all of you! Because she's so special to me, I've shared ineffable feelings with this character, feelings which no one else will ever experience or understand!

The protagonist's desire for possession is clear when he calls the Type-Moon franchise a whore (Based btw) for being "a once shy girl who became popular and forgot where she came from". He hates the idea of liking something that can be enjoyed by so many people.

I've pondered about this. I carry that sort of vice that makes fun of normie media that I will never attempt to watch (Says the Fire Emblem pfp) because my mind tends to equate popular with stupid and degenerate. I wouldn't have an issue with a movie like Taxi Driver suddenly becoming as popular as Avengers Endgame, besides the waves of pretentious essayists that will come, but I agree with the protagonist, Type-Moon being the money printing machine it is has a special kind of disgust attached to it, despite my only experience with it being fate/zero, which I saw as nothing more than edgy and pretentious nihilism (btw). I think it's the combination of what I see as mediocre writing plus popularity which gives this sense of anger thanks to perceived unfairness.

But I find there is something deeper to this. The need to feel unique. An issue that has become acute on postmodernity, for several reasons, but relevant here is how modern culture has displaced all of the meaning-making mechanisms that our ancestors had, like family, community, religion, so we are mostly left with nothing more than our individuality. And despite many philosophers' wishes, free will in itself doesn't seem enough to make life meaningful for many.

It's clear to me that there is a need to allocate our lives in a sort of transcendental narrative to feel comfortable with the going on of our existence. I include myself. And the world devoid of easy systems of meaning, the shortest and most comfortable route comes in the form of nostalgia.

There are several reasons why I feel so haunted by nostalgia (And nostalgia for lost futures), one of the main reasons is how nostalgia gives life a sort of self-referential meaning (To not call it narcissistic) that seeks to validate my present, when we present our past with the sort of mythical images nostalgia provides, we give our own lives a sort of mythical meaning, a story only you can interact with.


"But doesn't it further spice up the immersion knowing that you are one of the few people in the world who still experiences these games? In a whole globe, you are practically monopolizing, and therefore personalizing the experience. It's your own personalized journey"

Our protagonist hates Type-Moon in part because of its seemingly undeserved popularity, but mainly because so many people consume it, to enjoy such a franchise would put him in a plane equal to a vast amount of people he considers distasteful, and then he can't use the consumption of Type-Moon as a nostalgic and meaning giving mechanism for its mythical quality disappears when so many people partake in interaction with the franchise. In the same vein, why you are hurt by your girlfriend cheating on you? Because she doesn't care how special you are, and in turn, she ceases to be so special herself.


Because our protagonist doesn't have any sort of meaning that life could offer in the present or future, he has to be chained to dreams of a past with a meaning that he never experienced. Manifested through old computers and video games. A feeling I suspect most of Agora Road's users have felt. I certainly came here to get a simulation of Y2K internet forums.

The protagonist tells us: "I tell myself this is what it means to be a devoted fan. To hold the same intense fondness someone might have while reminiscing about a passionate love affair they cherished from many summers past" However, he never quite seems to achieve the meaning he is looking for, so let's focus at his ultimate wish fulfillment coming to life.



Satomi:

screenshot0002.png



(Satomi is probably not her actual name, this spirit just takes the form of whatever waifu our protagonist likes the most at the moment. To make things easier, I will just call her by the character she first takes the form of, Satomi from Pia Carrot. )

At first, Satomi is annoyed that the nameless protagonist doesn't interact with her in her visual novel, so she transforms into a character more of his liking, she goes through multiple transformations until she sticks, for the most part, with the protagonist's certified best girl, Misako Sayama. I believe her shapeshifting is key to understanding her character, she's a spirit set on capturing the protagonist by transforming into what she thinks he desires the most, as a hunter, she get's to know her prey, she interacts with him until she can get a clear view of what he wants. Yet when he sees her transforming for his desires the following is stated:

"Yet I felt that what I was staring at was all plastic. Hollow on the inside."

This recalled to me T.S Elliot's famous poem The Hollow Men. It talks about the spiritual crisis that followed after the end of WWI, specifically the inability of humans to become anything other than hollow men with the death of spirituality at the start of the 20th century. However, despite being empty inside, the hollow men wear deliberate disguises to cover their meaningless existence, they seek meaning and spirituality in a desert that only contains broken idols. The nostalgia and individualism that pushes the protagonist into secluding himself in obscure visual novels, the force that created Satomi, fits this description very well.

The protagonist is reluctant to interact or give room to Satomi in their first encounters, but as the story moves forward, he finds himself more and more captured by her company, the only company he knows, and wishes, at her suggestion, to get rid of his material body in order to consummate with her and be united forever. The fact that the protagonist dies after having sex with Satomi, seemingly devoured, gives us reason to be skeptical of the goodness of this relationship.

Satomi appears as nothing more than a spirit taking advantage of the protagonist's need for sentimentality rather than a real relationship. The fact that she keeps shifting appearances as she discovers what waifu the protagonist simps for the most is evidence for this. She gets to know her prey like a snake, it's only after several conversations of getting to know the protagonist that she is finally able to make him give up his body and seemingly devour him.


//As far as I'm aware, despite the game's menu suggesting choice, the story is linear. I replayed it again looking for hidden places to click in order to effect a change in the narrative (I clicked on the computer's buttons so many times!). After reading some reviews, it appears the story only has one ending. If it has more than the "Bad Ending" this next section might be useless lol. //

If there is only one end, it means there was never a way for the protagonist to escape his degenerate lifestyle, his life choices up until this point could only lead him to his death at the hand of his rejection of his humanity. His decision to choose the sentimental fantasy that visual novel characters offered him over facing his human nature and thus the possibility of a genuine relationship with a 3D girl, which he rejects when he rids himself of his body to have a sexual encounter with Satomi.

Despite some reviewers on the web saying that Digital Seclusion is a "love letter to visual novels", it did appear to me like the narrative was at least very skeptical of the lifestyle of those who obsess with the medium while at the same time showing immense appreciation for visual novels themselves.

You might end up loving your individual fantasies and/or a fantasy of what your live could be more than real life, and you might even indulge in that love for quite some time, but it might cost your humanity because you won't know anything other than yourself. Before he dies and after fulfilling his fantasy of having sex with Satomi the protagonist gives the last of his thoughts:

"Like a flipped switch, the previous bliss instantly evaporates, living only a residue of regret in my heart. Any and all interest I had in her has vanished. A desire to retreat into myself overcomes me."

He got his wish come true and found there was nothing but himself and his emptiness in it.

screenshot0011.png
 
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The reverse (but not actually) psychology of telling people Ending 1/1 was much more of a successful troll then I intended it to be. I think what compelled me to do that was to contrast the main character's circumstances to those of the characters in the VNs he reads. VNs are known for having multiple endings, but our MC doesn't get that and I just wanted to draw attention to that point.

So apologies if you wasted some time trying to find an alternate ending. But I'm glad you found the work interesting enough to reflect on!
 
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The reverse (but not actually) psychology of telling people Ending 1/1 was much more of a successful troll then I intended it to be. I think what compelled me to do that was to contrast the main character's circumstances to those of the characters in the VNs he reads. VNs are known for having multiple endings, but our MC doesn't get that and I just wanted to draw attention to that point.

So apologies if you wasted some time trying to find an alternate ending. But I'm glad you found the work interesting enough to reflect on!
Lmao, it's fine! Trying t figure out if there was a second ending was part of the immersion!
 
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Max Chill

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romantic fantasies pollute the ability to comment properly on the pertaining issues of modernity
Lots of trad bros in 4chan are gonna have a hard time to swallow this. Often times most of the youth and others who break away from the zoomers and/or modernity (respectively) mistake romanticism as a form of conservatism, or simply leaning on it for the sake of deviating. I know this cause I myself am guilty of it. Love this post.
 
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eldritchkaiju

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View attachment 13009

(Note: This analysis includes full spoilers for the game!)

First thing after finishing this visual novel, a sudden urge to go outside and get so much vitamin C till I get sunburnt, then to browse eBay for retro PC's. Digital Seclusion tells the story of a nameless and isolated protagonist who loves his PC-9800 and pre-new-millenium anime waifus maybe a little too much, heck you might call him cringe. But he's serious about his passions, our hero spends all of his days inside his Underground Man-Esque apartment and like the Underground Man, he is burdened by the guilt that comes with free will: He is perfectly aware of his degenerate way of living, and he knows with full reason that the road traveled is of his own making and despite this, rather, because of this, he continues to embrace his lifestyle.

The rays of sun seeping into his room guilt, he knows what he is, "The prisoner can feel the coarseness of the walls. He can feel the cool rust of the metal bars. And he can view the tantalizing freedom he is being denied. But what of the man whose free will has convinced him to reject his own freedom? (...) Instead, favoring to stare at a box for all his waking hours"

This sort of suffering felt like the main problem that Digital Seclusion poses to its readers, not the cause of why such people might exist in the first place, we know that is a fact, but the observation of the normativity such humans engage themselves in, and the consequences of those behaviors.

Our narrator is guilted by the alarm that he always could or be living a better life, I even suspect he won't go outside because he feels too guilty to try a better existence, it would be too painful, suicidal, to correspond the idea that he has been disregarding and rotting away the gift of his humanity.


We've all felt this. The idea that our current lifestyle is not exactly a promising way of going day-to-day, that we should be living a very different and better life, that for inexplicable reasons was taken away from us like we were shifted into a cursed timeline instead of the future we were meant to be in. Clown-World exists, but we're all part of its circus.

Our protagonist's heroin comes in the form of the phantasmagoria the computer monitor displays, visual novels, ghosts of stories the promise the sensation of a higher meaning, he connects with their characters more than he can with humans, he found a word for this sensation, Love.


The problems with Romanticism and Nostalgia.

View attachment 13010



Romanticism was characterized as a melancholic reflection on the loss of the ethical and teleological systems that the Enlightenment displaced, the inner yearning for the lost experience, the observing consciousness wandering and never satisfied, it keeps looking for beauty in nostalgia for it feels like beauty can only be found in the world that was lost.

In the dialectics of art, romantic artists were criticized by their modernist successors for turning yearning into wishful thinking that then was turned into mere fantasies, and romantic fantasies pollute the ability to comment properly on the pertaining issues of modernity, which first starts in focusing on the real and vulnerable in order to exalt and redeem the human soul against his deserted landscape, something that romanticism can never refer, according to modernists.

And the visual novels our narrator enjoys himself in fit this description of romanticism quite well, I've never played them to be clear, so I'm going by the descriptions Digital Seclusion provides: Dating sims which despite any of their storytelling merits, seek to create a fantasy of fulfilled romance that has no referent in real life. The protagonist gives us a reason for his romantic yearnings, he couldn't find any meaningful relationships in his high school journey, worse, he found feeling closer to anime characters than his peers. So, he found himself enchanted by anime like Kanon, it awakened hope in him, he waited for years for its promise of youthful love in a character like Kawasumi, a shy, secluded, and misunderstood girl, he waited to meet someone like this. But how modernists pointed out, such a romance would never come, because it can't possibly be real with only sentimentality as its real-life reference.


View attachment 13011

He knows this, at some point, Satomi, his only friend, asks him:

"Why do you have such an affinity to these characters... They aren't real"

"That's precisely the point"

To which she realizes:

"It's the fiction... It's the fiction you've fallen in love with."

He doesn't want to love, he wants the sentimentality of love, the simulation of the union of flesh, which his visual novels serve to stimulate, those narratives serve as a vehicle for him to satisfy his fantasies. Things get interesting when one of the characters from his self-admitted tropey visual novels becomes realized.

View attachment 13012

I believe there is a clever meta-commentary: Satomi coming out of the screen to talk with him becomes a wish-fulfillment for our protagonist and in turn, we hold similar fantasies which can't be fulfilled. I would sure as heck love, however unhealthy that might be, to date any of the cute girls in my visual novels, perhaps precisely because of how little actual humanity they possess, characters most likely designed in order to appeal to a male fantasy of love.

It's not only thanks to the simulations of love that our protagonist likes his type of obscure visual novels so much, there are plenty of modern visual novels to fill that void, so why does he prefer old, untranslated, and obscure titles instead? Because they give the sensation that they are his.


"As Kanon becomes old and increasingly dated, with every wrinkle, I cherish it the more."

Waifu claiming is a meme, but the meme hides behind a very real desire, the longing for the heroines of whatever Japanese media to be ours, akin to how a girlfriend is one's own and no one else's. To possess them and yell the world: She's mine! She's mine because I know her better than all of you! Because she's so special to me, I've shared ineffable feelings with this character, feelings which no one else will ever experience or understand!

The protagonist's desire for possession is clear when he calls the Type-Moon franchise a whore (Based btw) for being "a once shy girl who became popular and forgot where she came from". He hates the idea of liking something that can be enjoyed by so many people.

I've pondered about this. I carry that sort of vice that makes fun of normie media that I will never attempt to watch (Says the Fire Emblem pfp) because my mind tends to equate popular with stupid and degenerate. I wouldn't have an issue with a movie like Taxi Driver suddenly becoming as popular as Avengers Endgame, besides the waves of pretentious essayists that will come, but I agree with the protagonist, Type-Moon being the money printing machine it is has a special kind of disgust attached to it, despite my only experience with it being fate/zero, which I saw as nothing more than edgy and pretentious nihilism (btw). I think it's the combination of what I see as mediocre writing plus popularity which gives this sense of anger thanks to perceived unfairness.

But I find there is something deeper to this. The need to feel unique. An issue that has become acute on postmodernity, for several reasons, but relevant here is how modern culture has displaced all of the meaning-making mechanisms that our ancestors had, like family, community, religion, so we are mostly left with nothing more than our individuality. And despite many philosophers' wishes, free will in itself doesn't seem enough to make life meaningful for many.

It's clear to me that there is a need to allocate our lives in a sort of transcendental narrative to feel comfortable with the going on of our existence. I include myself. And the world devoid of easy systems of meaning, the shortest and most comfortable route comes in the form of nostalgia.

There are several reasons why I feel so haunted by nostalgia (And nostalgia for lost futures), one of the main reasons is how nostalgia gives life a sort of self-referential meaning (To not call it narcissistic) that seeks to validate my present, when we present our past with the sort of mythical images nostalgia provides, we give our own lives a sort of mythical meaning, a story only you can interact with.


"But doesn't it further spice up the immersion knowing that you are one of the few people in the world who still experiences these games? In a whole globe, you are practically monopolizing, and therefore personalizing the experience. It's your own personalized journey"

Our protagonist hates Type-Moon in part because of its seemingly undeserved popularity, but mainly because so many people consume it, to enjoy such a franchise would put him in a plane equal to a vast amount of people he considers distasteful, and then he can't use the consumption of Type-Moon as a nostalgic and meaning giving mechanism for its mythical quality disappears when so many people partake in interaction with the franchise. In the same vein, why you are hurt by your girlfriend cheating on you? Because she doesn't care how special you are, and in turn, she ceases to be so special herself.


Because our protagonist doesn't have any sort of meaning that life could offer in the present or future, he has to be chained to dreams of a past with a meaning that he never experienced. Manifested through old computers and video games. A feeling I suspect most of Agora Road's users have felt. I certainly came here to get a simulation of Y2K internet forums.

The protagonist tells us: "I tell myself this is what it means to be a devoted fan. To hold the same intense fondness someone might have while reminiscing about a passionate love affair they cherished from many summers past" However, he never quite seems to achieve the meaning he is looking for, so let's focus at his ultimate wish fulfillment coming to life.



Satomi:

View attachment 13013


(Satomi is probably not her actual name, this spirit just takes the form of whatever waifu our protagonist likes the most at the moment. To make things easier, I will just call her by the character she first takes the form of, Satomi from Pia Carrot. )

At first, Satomi is annoyed that the nameless protagonist doesn't interact with her in her visual novel, so she transforms into a character more of his liking, she goes through multiple transformations until she sticks, for the most part, with the protagonist's certified best girl, Misako Sayama. I believe her shapeshifting is key to understanding her character, she's a spirit set on capturing the protagonist by transforming into what she thinks he desires the most, as a hunter, she get's to know her prey, she interacts with him until she can get a clear view of what he wants. Yet when he sees her transforming for his desires the following is stated:

"Yet I felt that what I was staring at was all plastic. Hollow on the inside."

This recalled to me T.S Elliot's famous poem The Hollow Men. It talks about the spiritual crisis that followed after the end of WWI, specifically the inability of humans to become anything other than hollow men with the death of spirituality at the start of the 20th century. However, despite being empty inside, the hollow men wear deliberate disguises to cover their meaningless existence, they seek meaning and spirituality in a desert that only contains broken idols. The nostalgia and individualism that pushes the protagonist into secluding himself in obscure visual novels, the force that created Satomi, fits this description very well.

The protagonist is reluctant to interact or give room to Satomi in their first encounters, but as the story moves forward, he finds himself more and more captured by her company, the only company he knows, and wishes, at her suggestion, to get rid of his material body in order to consummate with her and be united forever. The fact that the protagonist dies after having sex with Satomi, seemingly devoured, gives us reason to be skeptical of the goodness of this relationship.

Satomi appears as nothing more than a spirit taking advantage of the protagonist's need for sentimentality rather than a real relationship. The fact that she keeps shifting appearances as she discovers what waifu the protagonist simps for the most is evidence for this. She gets to know her prey like a snake, it's only after several conversations of getting to know the protagonist that she is finally able to make him give up his body and seemingly devour him.


//As far as I'm aware, despite the game's menu suggesting choice, the story is linear. I replayed it again looking for hidden places to click in order to effect a change in the narrative (I clicked on the computer's buttons so many times!). After reading some reviews, it appears the story only has one ending. If it has more than the "Bad Ending" this next section might be useless lol. //

If there is only one end, it means there was never a way for the protagonist to escape his degenerate lifestyle, his life choices up until this point could only lead him to his death at the hand of his rejection of his humanity. His decision to choose the sentimental fantasy that visual novel characters offered him over facing his human nature and thus the possibility of a genuine relationship with a 3D girl, which he rejects when he rids himself of his body to have a sexual encounter with Satomi.

Despite some reviewers on the web saying that Digital Seclusion is a "love letter to visual novels", it did appear to me like the narrative was at least very skeptical of the lifestyle of those who obsess with the medium while at the same time showing immense appreciation for visual novels themselves.

You might end up loving your individual fantasies and/or a fantasy of what your live could be more than real life, and you might even indulge in that love for quite some time, but it might cost your humanity because you won't know anything other than yourself. Before he dies and after fulfilling his fantasy of having sex with Satomi the protagonist gives the last of his thoughts:

"Like a flipped switch, the previous bliss instantly evaporates, living only a residue of regret in my heart. Any and all interest I had in her has vanished. A desire to retreat into myself overcomes me."

He got his wish come true and found there was nothing but himself and his emptiness in it.

View attachment 13014
sick, more waifus
 
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Max Chill

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We've all felt this. The idea that our current lifestyle is not exactly a promising way of going day-to-day, that we should be living a very different and better life, that for inexplicable reasons was taken away from us like we were shifted into a cursed timeline instead of the future we were meant to be in. Clown-World exists, but we're all part of its circus.
>Congratulations anon, you have just experienced the absurd :lainDance:
 
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eldritchkaiju

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Lots of trad bros in 4chan are gonna have a hard time to swallow this. Often times most of the youth and others who break away from the zoomers and/or modernity (respectively) mistake romanticism as a form of conservatism, or simply leaning on it for the sake of deviating. I know this cause I myself am guilty of it. Love this post.
I definitely felt this hard. I spent most of my late teens trying to be a trad bro until I became an insufferable cunt. Trying to romanticize the past does things to a man, swear to god.
 
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Jackeline

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I definitely felt this hard. I spent most of my late teens trying to be a trad bro until I became an insufferable cunt. Trying to romanticize the past does things to a man, swear to god.
Imagine being 16 and wanting to the "old times to comeback" just because you saw an homosexual couple on the street, nah man, the only good thing about the past is their aesthetics (and the lack of internet), besides that, is just unexperienced blind nostalgia, you won't become the man you are idolizing, because it's just a mere fantasy, the times we left behind are no more, and the present had changed for a reason, for the same reason our grandparents hated our father's generation, and how your great grandfathers hated our grandparent's generation, how us, we are gonna hate our sons generation, and how our sons are gonna hate our grandchildren generations, just disgusting nostalgia, nostalgia and fear/distrust of the future, times had changed, and the future would change even more, you can decide to stick to a dead memory, be scared of the future, or embrace the present and be a better person for yourself, your feets on the past, your head on the present, and your mind on the future.
 
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Jackeline

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Romanticism was characterized as a melancholic reflection on the loss of the ethical and teleological systems that the Enlightenment displaced, the inner yearning for the lost experience, the observing consciousness wandering and never satisfied, it keeps looking for beauty in nostalgia for it feels like beauty can only be found in the world that was lost.

In the dialectics of art, romantic artists were criticized by their modernist successors for turning yearning into wishful thinking that then was turned into mere fantasies, and romantic fantasies pollute the ability to comment properly on the pertaining issues of modernity, which first starts in focusing on the real and vulnerable in order to exalt and redeem the human soul against his deserted landscape, something that romanticism can never refer, according to modernists.
Yeah, the proble of escapism is that, if you get too much into it, you would have a really hard time trying to get out of it, to most people results really hard to see the difference between the real world and the fantasy world, most people who tries to act like larpers are an example of it, they adore the idea of the past, nations, empires, ideologies, they think the past could lead us to a better future, when i reality, the sole idea of the past, is to make a point of reference for our own mistakes, wanting, to bring back feudalism, from the commodity of our couch is just a mere fantasy, a really conformist one, oh? you dislike modern world and you can't handle situations out of your control? Do you like to come back at the times you were a mere puppet? do you like a genocider to be your country leader just because you dislike the contemporary world? oh yeah, yeah harassment, very based and ancientpilled. Internet is filled with a lot of people uncapable of handle reality, so they decide, to went full escapism, almost like the japanese, but more cringe.


So, he found himself enchanted by anime like Kanon, it awakened hope in him
But in a more positive view, sometimes escapism could help us a lot to cope with suffering, just like some sort of a life coach (in a sense), giving us that kickstart we need, i remember when i broke with my GF and i left my best friends behind, i was really depressed because of that, but i got an Epiphany once when i was really drunk watching Princess Mononoke, it was like life saying me "stop crying like a bitch, bitch and start doing something with your life, you are not even 19 years old yet and you want to throw all your life to the gutter, you should start doing something, stop feeling sad about you and start doing something" so since then, i was in my own personal journey of improving myself, went to the gym, i decided to study more, practice more hobbies, in general, gaining more motivation in life, and like that, i learned that, to be happy, you really shouldn't care about what other people says, how the society is going, or if you will be love, hated or forggotten, the happines in life comes by enjoying the small things, loving yourself, and always trying to be a better version of yourself, through suffering you build your character, but by overcoming your suffering you become the man you needed to be.
Waifu claiming is a meme, but the meme hides behind a very real desire, the longing for the heroines of whatever Japanese media to be ours, akin to how a girlfriend is one's own and no one else's. To possess them and yell the world: She's mine! She's mine because I know her better than all of you! Because she's so special to me, I've shared ineffable feelings with this character, feelings which no one else will ever experience or understand!
1643794198137.png


The protagonist's desire for possession is clear when he calls the Type-Moon franchise a whore (Based btw) for being "a once shy girl who became popular and forgot where she came from"
1643794260982.png

But I find there is something deeper to this. The need to feel unique. An issue that has become acute on postmodernity, for several reasons, but relevant here is how modern culture has displaced all of the meaning-making mechanisms that our ancestors had, like family, community, religion, so we are mostly left with nothing more than our individuality. And despite many philosophers' wishes, free will in itself doesn't seem enough to make life meaningful for many.
I can relate that, gatekeeping exists for a reason really, people is kinda tired of the things they like became popular, because the fanbase is gonna grow so much the content would become dull or cringe, for example, Hotline Miami, i remember when is started to playing the franchise, was around 2012-2013, and i was "Oh man, this is the shit i love it so much" and at the time, almost nobody played the game, the community was really small in fact that didn't even had a wiki, every discover felt unique, every victory, every score you break yourself, the unique aesthetics (for the time), was, so freaking good, it was an experience in fact, but then more people started to playing it, youtubers started to talk about it, sooner or later, the fandom became filled with mediocre content, pretencious essays, and "omg this is the gamerino of the decade, the best indie game you haven't played yet" and with the oversaturation of users, the magic was lost, that is something you could apply to many things, is the idea of individuality, is the "i'm unique, nobody knows about this" that makes it special in a way, the fact you found a niche stuff nobody else has tested is almost magical in a way.

Individuality, and free will, i always tought as freedom as being overrated and not understood at all, because most people thinks about freedom as Debauchery, the act of doing whatever you want without any consequences, that you are the ruler of destiny and everybody should bow down under your opinion, because it's your self entitled "master of the existence" when, in reality, that's not how freedom should work, you see, real freedom is the respect of your individuality and the individuality of others, the importance of a responsability and the consequences of your actions, doesn't matter which ideology or politician you decided to adore, harassment is not free speech, discrimination is not free speech, disinformation is not free speech, incite violence is not free speech, is just toxic, disrespectful and uncivilized behaviour, it's debauchery, and that's not real freedom, what freedom really is, is being yourself, believing what you want, and doing what you want, but assuming the responsability of your action, if you did something good it was because of your actions, if you did something bad, it's because of your actions, individuality is the spirit of the west i guess.


Because our protagonist doesn't have any sort of meaning that life could offer in the present or future, he has to be chained to dreams of a past with a meaning that he never experienced. Manifested through old computers and video games. A feeling I suspect most of Agora Road's users have felt. I certainly came here to get a simulation of Y2K internet forums.
Tbh, what attracted to join agora road, was the aesthetics, but aesthetics are just part, are just a feeling, the real reason why i stayed, it was because of the users, the felt of community you know, this honesty, camaraderie and respect is something you won't find anywhere else, and in a way, it helped me a lot to cope with loneliness (along with my tulpa)
At first, Satomi is annoyed that the nameless protagonist doesn't interact with her in her visual novel, so she transforms into a character more of his liking, she goes through multiple transformations until she sticks, for the most part, with the protagonist's certified best girl, Misako Sayama. I believe her shapeshifting is key to understanding her character, she's a spirit set on capturing the protagonist by transforming into what she thinks he desires the most, as a hunter, she get's to know her prey, she interacts with him until she can get a clear view of what he wants. Yet when he sees her transforming for his desires the following is stated:
I would like to add, that i have the interpretation about how fetishes can change the perception we have over people, i'm not talking about paraphilia, more like, the romanticied idea of what we are looking for in a relationship or a friendship, how the internet and the media had distorted our idea of the human being, how everyone tries to imitate a character, an influencer, another person, that is not like them, and what those persons are really striving for when they talk about close relationships, must people had a perfect person or a person with some specific characteristics on their minds, the kind of people they want to know, which in most cases, ended up being nothing more than a facade, for example, they are weirdos obssesed with "muh femboys" or "uwu tomboy" thinking about just the sexual idea of the concept "a guy that looks like a girl, a girl that looks like a boy, sign me in" but not the people behind it, what did event made those people dress and act like that, is just because they like it? or is just because they want approval, attention, they want what they couldn't get in live before of that, and that's my problem with 4chan (and most of internet, but it has been more common in 4chan) and their romantization of disabilities, you see, the meme of apu and the asperger girl, in which people likes to portray what is their idea of a relationship with an autistic person, ignorants about the daily life of people with autism and what they had to experience everyday, and i'm talking to experience, i used to have a ciber relationship with a "neet autistic girl", like, around 2 years ago (when i was around 17 years old, just my last year of bachillerato, (idk how you guys called it, but it's basically the education you receive before university) she was quite a case really, was really quiet, almost didn't spoke at all, and when we do was about really out of place topics, for example, cars and cylinders, she had a rough time trying to express herself about, basically everything, yeah her parents were really supportive, but she had a rough time in her highschool, because of her condition, she struggled a lot in school too, even if she was 16 at the time, she just entered in her first year of bachillerato, used to tell me that she struggled to even exit her home, and her mom had to pick her up everytime, and it was just a pain just to go to classes, because of her teachers, idk about you, but here in latam our teachers are such assholes, so much that even the teachers were bullying her because she couldn't focus or do any math at all, people like that had a rough life in general really, and the only time she seemed happy, was when we played TF2, we used to do a combo, because she was main engineer and i was main sniper, so we ended up trolling people on the server, we laugh out ass off, those were good times, but one day she dissapeared out of nowhere from the internet, and since then i haven't seen her, that was in a way an experience i would keep for the rest of my life, for two things, it was the best relationship i ever had, i never felt pressured, or in a toxic enviornment, i didn't had the need to be "sweet" (because i kinda cringe when i talk like that to people, even to my gf), because she didn't did any of that stuff, it was just, me, being me, and having fun talking with a really fun person, and also, because it made me have another perspective on people with disabilities, since then, idk, i try to be kind and respectful with any disabled person, because they have an struggle everyday, so when i saw those posts on 4chan i can't stop thinking about what kind of distorted reality this people live, it's just a glorification of a paraphilia, the ignorance of the reality, it's their most darkest desired portrayed in a really sad, sad meme.

The same applies to any category of people, you can call it what you want, milf, tsundere, tomboy, trad, doesn't matter, people doesn't exist to fulfill your fetish, people are their own unique world, and instead of focusing on their appearence, you should instead look for what they have to say.
You might end up loving your individual fantasies and/or a fantasy of what your live could be more than real life, and you might even indulge in that love for quite some time, but it might cost your humanity because you won't know anything other than yourself. Before he dies and after fulfilling his fantasy of having sex with Satomi the protagonist gives the last of his thoughts:
Yeah, that was my point, people nowadays just try to cope with their life problems like that.
1643797505124.png
 
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eldritchkaiju

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Imagine being 16 and wanting to the "old times to comeback" just because you saw an homosexual couple on the street, nah man, the only good thing about the past is their aesthetics (and the lack of internet), besides that, is just unexperienced blind nostalgia, you won't become the man you are idolizing, because it's just a mere fantasy, the times we left behind are no more, and the present had changed for a reason, for the same reason our grandparents hated our father's generation, and how your great grandfathers hated our grandparent's generation, how us, we are gonna hate our sons generation, and how our sons are gonna hate our grandchildren generations, just disgusting nostalgia, nostalgia and fear/distrust of the future, times had changed, and the future would change even more, you can decide to stick to a dead memory, be scared of the future, or embrace the present and be a better person for yourself, your feets on the past, your head on the present, and your mind on the future.
I feel it more for the 80s now. Just wanting to see all my favorite bands in their prime.
 
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SomaSpice

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Imagine being 16 and wanting to the "old times to comeback" just because you saw an homosexual couple on the street, nah man, the only good thing about the past is their aesthetics (and the lack of internet), besides that, is just unexperienced blind nostalgia, you won't become the man you are idolizing, because it's just a mere fantasy, the times we left behind are no more, and the present had changed for a reason, for the same reason our grandparents hated our father's generation, and how your great grandfathers hated our grandparent's generation, how us, we are gonna hate our sons generation, and how our sons are gonna hate our grandchildren generations, just disgusting nostalgia, nostalgia and fear/distrust of the future, times had changed, and the future would change even more, you can decide to stick to a dead memory, be scared of the future, or embrace the present and be a better person for yourself, your feets on the past, your head on the present, and your mind on the future.

I think we can learn a lot about about the nature of man when you remove the social and technological constructs we've imposed on ourselves. Generally you can do that by looking at the past.

I also believe that while in the past they had much, much, worse material lives, they did have much better emotional and "spiritual" health. No one can say if they were actually happier or not, but I think people in the past were more fulfilled. At least those that survived.
 
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Lots of trad bros in 4chan are gonna have a hard time to swallow this. Often times most of the youth and others who break away from the zoomers and/or modernity (respectively) mistake romanticism as a form of conservatism, or simply leaning on it for the sake of deviating. I know this cause I myself am guilty of it. Love this post.
I know right? It has to be one of the biggest ironies in the 'trad' community how much they are into romanticism. When the vast amount of conservative thinkers, like Edmund Burke, TS Elliot, Russel Kirk, to name a few, have detested romantic projects. To be fair to 4chan, I think most of them would describe themselves as reactionary/traditionalist rather than conservative. I've seen some of them hate on conservative ideas more than progressive ones. I haven't studied traditionalism, but I doubt people like Evola had a higher view of the romantics than your average conservative.
 
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Yeah, the proble of escapism is that, if you get too much into it, you would have a really hard time trying to get out of it, to most people results really hard to see the difference between the real world and the fantasy world, most people who tries to act like larpers are an example of it, they adore the idea of the past, nations, empires, ideologies, they think the past could lead us to a better future, when i reality, the sole idea of the past, is to make a point of reference for our own mistakes, wanting, to bring back feudalism, from the commodity of our couch is just a mere fantasy, a really conformist one, oh? you dislike modern world and you can't handle situations out of your control? Do you like to come back at the times you were a mere puppet? do you like a genocider to be your country leader just because you dislike the contemporary world? oh yeah, yeah harassment, very based and ancientpilled. Internet is filled with a lot of people uncapable of handle reality, so they decide, to went full escapism, almost like the japanese, but more cringe.



But in a more positive view, sometimes escapism could help us a lot to cope with suffering, just like some sort of a life coach (in a sense), giving us that kickstart we need, i remember when i broke with my GF and i left my best friends behind, i was really depressed because of that, but i got an Epiphany once when i was really drunk watching Princess Mononoke, it was like life saying me "stop crying like a bitch, bitch and start doing something with your life, you are not even 19 years old yet and you want to throw all your life to the gutter, you should start doing something, stop feeling sad about you and start doing something" so since then, i was in my own personal journey of improving myself, went to the gym, i decided to study more, practice more hobbies, in general, gaining more motivation in life, and like that, i learned that, to be happy, you really shouldn't care about what other people says, how the society is going, or if you will be love, hated or forggotten, the happines in life comes by enjoying the small things, loving yourself, and always trying to be a better version of yourself, through suffering you build your character, but by overcoming your suffering you become the man you needed to be.

View attachment 16744


View attachment 16745

I can relate that, gatekeeping exists for a reason really, people is kinda tired of the things they like became popular, because the fanbase is gonna grow so much the content would become dull or cringe, for example, Hotline Miami, i remember when is started to playing the franchise, was around 2012-2013, and i was "Oh man, this is the shit i love it so much" and at the time, almost nobody played the game, the community was really small in fact that didn't even had a wiki, every discover felt unique, every victory, every score you break yourself, the unique aesthetics (for the time), was, so freaking good, it was an experience in fact, but then more people started to playing it, youtubers started to talk about it, sooner or later, the fandom became filled with mediocre content, pretencious essays, and "omg this is the gamerino of the decade, the best indie game you haven't played yet" and with the oversaturation of users, the magic was lost, that is something you could apply to many things, is the idea of individuality, is the "i'm unique, nobody knows about this" that makes it special in a way, the fact you found a niche stuff nobody else has tested is almost magical in a way.

Individuality, and free will, i always tought as freedom as being overrated and not understood at all, because most people thinks about freedom as Debauchery, the act of doing whatever you want without any consequences, that you are the ruler of destiny and everybody should bow down under your opinion, because it's your self entitled "master of the existence" when, in reality, that's not how freedom should work, you see, real freedom is the respect of your individuality and the individuality of others, the importance of a responsability and the consequences of your actions, doesn't matter which ideology or politician you decided to adore, harassment is not free speech, discrimination is not free speech, disinformation is not free speech, incite violence is not free speech, is just toxic, disrespectful and uncivilized behaviour, it's debauchery, and that's not real freedom, what freedom really is, is being yourself, believing what you want, and doing what you want, but assuming the responsability of your action, if you did something good it was because of your actions, if you did something bad, it's because of your actions, individuality is the spirit of the west i guess.



Tbh, what attracted to join agora road, was the aesthetics, but aesthetics are just part, are just a feeling, the real reason why i stayed, it was because of the users, the felt of community you know, this honesty, camaraderie and respect is something you won't find anywhere else, and in a way, it helped me a lot to cope with loneliness (along with my tulpa)

I would like to add, that i have the interpretation about how fetishes can change the perception we have over people, i'm not talking about paraphilia, more like, the romanticied idea of what we are looking for in a relationship or a friendship, how the internet and the media had distorted our idea of the human being, how everyone tries to imitate a character, an influencer, another person, that is not like them, and what those persons are really striving for when they talk about close relationships, must people had a perfect person or a person with some specific characteristics on their minds, the kind of people they want to know, which in most cases, ended up being nothing more than a facade, for example, they are weirdos obssesed with "muh femboys" or "uwu tomboy" thinking about just the sexual idea of the concept "a guy that looks like a girl, a girl that looks like a boy, sign me in" but not the people behind it, what did event made those people dress and act like that, is just because they like it? or is just because they want approval, attention, they want what they couldn't get in live before of that, and that's my problem with 4chan (and most of internet, but it has been more common in 4chan) and their romantization of disabilities, you see, the meme of apu and the asperger girl, in which people likes to portray what is their idea of a relationship with an autistic person, ignorants about the daily life of people with autism and what they had to experience everyday, and i'm talking to experience, i used to have a ciber relationship with a "neet autistic girl", like, around 2 years ago (when i was around 17 years old, just my last year of bachillerato, (idk how you guys called it, but it's basically the education you receive before university) she was quite a case really, was really quiet, almost didn't spoke at all, and when we do was about really out of place topics, for example, cars and cylinders, she had a rough time trying to express herself about, basically everything, yeah her parents were really supportive, but she had a rough time in her highschool, because of her condition, she struggled a lot in school too, even if she was 16 at the time, she just entered in her first year of bachillerato, used to tell me that she struggled to even exit her home, and her mom had to pick her up everytime, and it was just a pain just to go to classes, because of her teachers, idk about you, but here in latam our teachers are such assholes, so much that even the teachers were bullying her because she couldn't focus or do any math at all, people like that had a rough life in general really, and the only time she seemed happy, was when we played TF2, we used to do a combo, because she was main engineer and i was main sniper, so we ended up trolling people on the server, we laugh out ass off, those were good times, but one day she dissapeared out of nowhere from the internet, and since then i haven't seen her, that was in a way an experience i would keep for the rest of my life, for two things, it was the best relationship i ever had, i never felt pressured, or in a toxic enviornment, i didn't had the need to be "sweet" (because i kinda cringe when i talk like that to people, even to my gf), because she didn't did any of that stuff, it was just, me, being me, and having fun talking with a really fun person, and also, because it made me have another perspective on people with disabilities, since then, idk, i try to be kind and respectful with any disabled person, because they have an struggle everyday, so when i saw those posts on 4chan i can't stop thinking about what kind of distorted reality this people live, it's just a glorification of a paraphilia, the ignorance of the reality, it's their most darkest desired portrayed in a really sad, sad meme.

The same applies to any category of people, you can call it what you want, milf, tsundere, tomboy, trad, doesn't matter, people doesn't exist to fulfill your fetish, people are their own unique world, and instead of focusing on their appearence, you should instead look for what they have to say.

Yeah, that was my point, people nowadays just try to cope with their life problems like that.View attachment 16753
Thanks for sharing so many of your thoughts! I'm glad my post got to be this engaging lol. I found your paragraph about fetiches the most interesting, and I think you hit the nail with your observations. I think we live in a highly romantic society, to the irony of many conservative larpers, where we want people to act more like fictional characters than real humans. I'm certainly guilty of this. It's a grave spiritual sickness to prefer people acted like anime waifus instead of complex human beings.

Your story about your autistic girlfriend is so tragic as to be almost romantic. Irony aside, it felt very touching, I'm sorry you have to go through that, I wonder what happened to her. I'm also autistic (If you couldn't tell already by the OP) and I also had big trouble in high school, even if my teachers and parents were supportive, I went through a rough depression and had to switch to being homeschooled. I used to think I was superior to everyone at the time, to this day I regret not being more humble and making friends in that period. Nowadays it feels like a part of life I missed. However, I also believe it happened for a reason.
 
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Old thread but,
"Why do you have such an affinity to these characters... They aren't real"

"That's precisely the point"

To which she realizes:

"It's the fiction... It's the fiction you've fallen in love with."
I've had a theory for a long time that art and media has become the new "religion" of the people. Throughout history there have been those who did not find content in the living of each day. Instead of being content with the natural pleasures of being alive, and reproduction, these privileged few with for more in life. These uncontent few spends their lives searching for meaning finding it in politics, creation, and especially religion.

As time went on human survivability, went up which lessened the importance of reproduction robbing more and more people of being content with their lives. (Not that this is a bad thing, not having to worry about survival and reproduction allows humans to pursue higher callings.) Now you can argue that most of society no longer finds contentment in just surviving.

Throughout history those uncontent with survival, have found relief in creative projects, politics, and religion, typically with a fervent and usually irrational devotion that time and time again is used by others to gain power. Think politicians, evangelical scammers, and pyramid schemes. As time as gone on however, religion has lost its power in first and second world countries which in the modern day has been the central place of those uncontent. As such these people have to find new places to place their fever, which is why we've seen more political extremism and the rise of fandom.

This rise of fandom has only been accelerated by the advent of the internet, and has such we've seen more and more fan projects and fan art and equally horror stories from these groups. Stories have circulated of harassment, toxicity, and even people being bullied into attempting suicide (Let's go Tumblr! :schitztroll:). Just like the religious groups of old these fandoms seem to have both extremism and dedication in spades.

Going back to Digital Seclusion I believe it's a great example of what happens when people are allowed to fully commit themselves to art without any distractions. We see in the main character the fevertism and devotion of a medival scholar. He holds hoards of knowledge about the most minute details of his passion that only the few has devoted to him will ever care about. He languishes alone pouring over what so few will ever know about, let alone care. In the end he gives up existence itself for the promise of being even closer to his passion, only to be betrayed. For him these prices of art have become so important to him that he willingly and easily gives up everything to a charismatic character that represents everything he longs for without a second thought.

Anyways this is my first really long post, but I really loved this game and just had to thanks to include my opinion on it. Thank you so much to [email protected] is here for making it, and to you for reading.:D:
 
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Old thread but,

I've had a theory for a long time that art and media has become the new "religion" of the people. Throughout history there have been those who did not find content in the living of each day. Instead of being content with the natural pleasures of being alive, and reproduction, these privileged few with for more in life. These uncontent few spends their lives searching for meaning finding it in politics, creation, and especially religion.

As time went on human survivability, went up which lessened the importance of reproduction robbing more and more people of being content with their lives. (Not that this is a bad thing, not having to worry about survival and reproduction allows humans to pursue higher callings.) Now you can argue that most of society no longer finds contentment in just surviving.

Throughout history those uncontent with survival, have found relief in creative projects, politics, and religion, typically with a fervent and usually irrational devotion that time and time again is used by others to gain power. Think politicians, evangelical scammers, and pyramid schemes. As time as gone on however, religion has lost its power in first and second world countries which in the modern day has been the central place of those uncontent. As such these people have to find new places to place their fever, which is why we've seen more political extremism and the rise of fandom.

This rise of fandom has only been accelerated by the advent of the internet, and has such we've seen more and more fan projects and fan art and equally horror stories from these groups. Stories have circulated of harassment, toxicity, and even people being bullied into attempting suicide (Let's go Tumblr! :schitztroll:). Just like the religious groups of old these fandoms seem to have both extremism and dedication in spades.

Going back to Digital Seclusion I believe it's a great example of what happens when people are allowed to fully commit themselves to art without any distractions. We see in the main character the fevertism and devotion of a medival scholar. He holds hoards of knowledge about the most minute details of his passion that only the few has devoted to him will ever care about. He languishes alone pouring over what so few will ever know about, let alone care. In the end he gives up existence itself for the promise of being even closer to his passion, only to be betrayed. For him these prices of art have become so important to him that he willingly and easily gives up everything to a charismatic character that represents everything he longs for without a second thought.

Anyways this is my first really long post, but I really loved this game and just had to thanks to include my opinion on it. Thank you so much to [email protected] is here for making it, and to you for reading.:D:
Thanks for your comment as well! Happy that you found it interesting
 
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