Trapped in Faerun, Send Help

I started playing Neverwinter Nights 2 last Thursday and it has occupied most of my free time since; now that the end of the game is in sight it’s starting to lose some of its pull (that, and the lack of sleep catching up and exerting its undeniable imperatives on my location in bed vis a vis sitting in front of the computer).

Coupled with a busy weekend schedule that had me hauling down to Akihabara on Saturday for the Clayz Matsuri, a subsequent date that had me home in the wee hours, and a surprise kidnapping on Sunday in which a couple of friends brought me over to Isesaki and environs for a bit of a tour of the otaku spots of interest (as I’ll be moving there in a month or so for the new job) I found myself with very little time or inclination to do anything other than work, eat, game, and sleep.

I’m not presenting this as an apology for lack of posts, as I’m reconciled to the fact that as an otaku – a label which I see no point in rejecting given my current circumstances – random periods of gaming hikikomorihood are inevitable. I would heartily recommend NWN2 to anyone who liked the first game, likes D&D, or is a fan of computer-based RPGs in general. Fun stuff.

Immersion in the Forgotten Realms hasn’t hindered me from dogged pursuit of loot, and as usual items for review have been stacking up on whatever horizontal spaces present themselves in my room at the time of acquisition. A last-minute ploy netted me copies of Megahouse’s Tsukasa Jun-designed Mizuki and Mariko Imai, both of which are quite nice, as is Kaiyodo’s Peke-chan; I’m planning a side-by-side review of the new volume of Comp H’s and January’s edition of Megami as well.

Running through my head recently are thoughts of a second annual quasi-academic post, something along the lines of a more in-depth look at otaku society in Japan and motivations behind fan activity and the moe boom. A recent piece on NPR concluded with the hypothesis that otaku “buying subservience” will lead to social problems down the road, but I want to question whether otaku activity can be so tidily summed up.

Also on the table is a side-grade to the site itself. Observant readers will note the disappearance of links to the forums and 2DDB; over the past several months neither has gone anywhere fast (aside from all the spam accounts on the forums), and I’m faced with the unpleasant reality that I don’t have the time necessary to nurture them properly. HD needs to remember that it’s no more – or less – than a blog, and a return to its roots as such will likely be benificial for all concerned. I do still want to attract further editorial contribution from outside, and it would be great to increase the number of regular writers as well, but site growth will be an organic process instead of something arbitrarily mandated. I still do plan to send out the Negative Campaign prizes, by the way… apologies to all those waiting. Look for changes to the site, and more information on them, soon.

Plenty of other things on the mind right now, what with the new Marimite OVA out and about, a Genshiken OVA trailer, a stack of eroge in various stages of play, and the Bishoujo Figure Convention Tokyo coming up on December 3rd – not to mention Comiket looming large on the horizon. I’ve sworn that this time around I’ll get the countdown done right, along with a renovated version of the HD Comiket guide. We’ll see how that goes; there are a LOT of distractions coming up in December, including major game releases on the 15th (Queen Bonjourno, the new Ail game with the irresponsibly long title) and 22nd (Moe Ero Onii-chan), the Comiket catalog on the 2nd (paper) and 9th (CD-ROM), Genshiken vol. 9 out on the 22nd, etc. I really need to get that event calendar plugin working…