Open Thread

Open Thread #277

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59 thoughts on “Open Thread #277

  1. I recently got my hands on a broken laptop, for free. The keyboard is defect, but this can be easily overcome by connecting an external keyboard. This laptop is a few years old but it contains a discrete GPU. From what I gather, people have been able to run games like Sekiro or Red Dead Redemption 2 with decent frame rates on it, of course on low settings. I think this machine will serve me well for a couple of years.

    After doing a bit of research, I noticed the following:

    1) Console exclusives are basically dead. You can get virtually all significant PS3 and PS4 games for PC. Probably the only noteworthy exclusive game for PS4 is Bloodborne. For PS3, I could think of a few more, such as Demon’s Souls or Metal Gear Solid 4, but you can nowadays emulate the PS3 on a mid-range PC.

    2) The PS4 is ten years old, and a five year old laptop with a discrete GPU seems to deliver better performance.

    3) Capcom is really good at developing game engines. Their old MT Framework runs very well on older PCs, and even their new RE Engine games are very scalable, meaning that you can reduce hardware requirements quite a bit by lowering your resolution or image quality.

    I think that PC gaming is a bit of a circle jerk. You do not need to play games at 4K, 120 fps, ultra settings, etc. In fact, some of the costliest graphics options are almost unnoticeable, such as hair rendering or, arguably, ray tracing. Also, in motion and on a smaller monitor, as opposed to an 80″+ inch TV, lower resolutions are hard to even notice. Also, “console generations” seem to be dead. You can easily downscale PS5 games to run on PS4, even big and demanding games such as Resident Evil 4 or Elden Ring. Probably the laptop I got will be able to play RE 4. I am quite certain of this, considering that this game will also come out for PS4.

    The first game I intend to play is Tetris Effect, though. A while ago a setting was added to reduce the ridiculous effects of the game, which significantly lowered hardware requirements. Now you no longer need at least a PS4-level GPU. I’ll try out Master mode and will either sink my teeth in it, or consider it bullshit and drop it quickly.

    1. As for your first point, the only good reasons to opt for a console instead (which are arguably great reasons) of PC is to cut out a lot of the frustration and hassle that comes with compatibility issues etc., as well as the much lower initial costs (monthly online payments eventually add up). The Steam Deck is probably the closest thing you can have to the console experience in a gaming PC, as far as I know. However, the higher barrier for entry pertaining to PC gaming is much less relevant for someone who has a proficient to expert level professional technological skillset.

      The graphics options of the REmake 4 demo are quite plentiful, so getting it to run on your setup shouldn’t be an issue, and as you pointed out it will be able to scale back to the PS4’s levels of processing power at least. Congrats on your gaming rig, btw. Also, a significant portion of Capcom’s games are on sale right now, including the majority of RE titles being marked off 75% with even sweeter deals on bundles. Even Devil May Cry V is about $10USD.

    2. I think the value proposition of consoles has completely changed, now that they are essentially special-purpose PCs. In the past, up to perhaps the mid or late 1990s, consoles were quite cheap as the hardware was sold at a loss, and games were more expensive compared to the PC. You furthermore had a lot of games, entire genres even, that you could not get on PCs. PCs were for adventure games, real-time strategy, simulations and, alter, 3D shooters, whereas consoles offered wacky action games, in particular platformers. With the first PlayStation, there was suddenly a big overlap, with some hit games such as Tomb Raider arriving both on console and PC. This was when you could directly compare consoles and PCs, and decide that the downside of consoles such as comparatively worse graphics were worth it because they were cheaper and just worked.

      Today, however, I don’t think that consoles offer the conveniences of old at all anymore. You may want to fire up your PlayStation 4 or 5 for some gaming, only to get informed that you needed to download a 15 GB patch, which may take more than an hour. Then there is the issue of having to pay for online access, and you furthermore cannot mod your games. I find Steam more convenient to use than the PS4 interface, so user-friendliness is also no longer a good argument. The best argument for consoles I see is that you can expect games to come preconfigured for a decent enough experience whereas on the PC, you sometimes need to tweak some options to improve performance.

      The biggest draw of the PC is that there are no artificial “generations”. You can easily play games from 30 years ago, without much hassle. In contrast, in the console world you are supposed to rebuy your games with each new generation. GTA V came out for PS3, PS4, and PS5. In contrast, PC gamers bought the game once ten years ago and they still play the same game. By the way, I think there is no reason why a PS5 game disc couldn’t be run in a PS4. It’s a very similar architecture, so the PS4 would only have to downscale graphics. But there is an artificial barrier that Sony put up. Of course, you can play your PS4 games on a PS5, but don’t ask why it does not work the other way around!

      The Steam sale could not have come at a better time. Also, at first the low price of Devil May Cry V surprised me but then I realized that this game is already three four years old. It’s three four years old, yet still looks great. This shows how far we have come as there are only relatively marginal improvements in graphics year after year.

    3. Do you think you’ll be picking up a gamepad? If so, which one(s)? I’ve thought about adding a Saturn-style usb gamepad recently for shmups. They were only about 20 bucks or so last time I looked.

    4. I have two PS3 controllers laying around so I’ll see how well these work. For shmups, the most precise input device is arguably the keyboard. This is particularly true for bullet hells, which require techniques such as tap dodging. The keyboard is preferable to even an arcade stick as you need the lever to go back to the neutral position whereas on the keyboard you just keep tapping the directional keys. By the way, we spoke about Tetris the Grandmaster a while ago. This game was designed with the limitations of arcade sticks in mind and in order to avoid tapping, which is not convenient on a stick, the game has ultra-fast “auto shift”, i.e. it is a lot faster to move the piece to the wall and one step back than tapping it from the center to where you want it to go.

    5. With certain games,I ALWAYS use some form of gamepad. Either a playstation style controller or an Xbox360 kind (the latter seems to always be the forced controller in modern games).

      I can’t imagine playing a fighting game with the keyboard. haha.

    6. I’ve never played a game with a mouse and keyboard to this day. And good point about fighting games, haha. I can certainly see where a m/k would be more optimal with certain games or perhaps even entire genres, I’ve just never given it a shot. For competitive FPSs, I can imagine being at a serious disadvantage when going up against a competent m/k player also running the game at 120 FPS+.

    7. Some people play fighting games with a keyboard. There are even dedicated input devices modeled after keyboards. The premier one is probably the “Hitbox”. Some of the best players in the world swear by them as the input is a lot more precise than with an arcade stick.

    8. The reviews are coming in for REmake 4 and they’re overwhelmingly positive. Also, Digital Foundry has a video up analyzing the demo.

    9. I just watched the ACG review, which is very positive. At this very moment I am actually watching the DF analysis of the demo. The PS4 version looks far, far better than I had imagined, so getting a cheap used PS4 for this game seems like a very good option. Of course, it should also look good on a low or mid-spec PC.

      Those DF videos sometimes border on parody. They go into photo mode and discuss how individual hairs are rendered, or obsess over reflections in a puddle of mud. Sure, there are differences between the various consoles and PC, but for actually playing the game, I would argue that such aspects are completely irrelevant.

    10. That’s pretty interesting about the m/k thing in reference to fighting games. The fact that elite players swear by those peripherals adds more merit to the claims.

      I’m also pretty impressed with the PS4’s performance, however, as DF points out, I think it’d be a major shame if there wasn’t a locked 30 FPS option in the full version as the game almost never maintains a solid 60. Also, as I’m sure you saw, the textures on PS4 are noticeably worse off. The image quality wouldn’t deter me from enjoying the game ultimately, but the frame rate issues might. Btw, I’m pretty surprised at how underwhelming some advanced features on the PS5 actually are, such as the hair strands option.

    11. I haven’t played a vidya since MGSV. Really tempted to fire up devil may cry 5. I wonder if my laptop can run it … then play it with an Xbox controller perhaps?

    12. Herkerderker, I’m certain that DMCV has specifications list that you can use to compare your laptop against. It’s certainly a game I can see myself coming back to again and again in an attempt to master it pull off the most bullshit combos I can think of. They took a lot of the platforming out of this title, which I liked, and it focuses mostly on a combo based beat ‘em up gameplay style. Speaking of MGSV, I got it on sale for like $4 a while back and it is probably the most optimized PC game in my library. It runs incredibly well.

      Aaron, I agree with you in regards to PC vs console. My argument was mostly geared towards normies, low IQ plebs, or just those that can’t be bothered to download some drivers for a specific game or figure out how to tinker with graphics settings. I have to say that I really enjoy the fact that Steam looks out you, so to speak, and the Deck is more or less the console equivalent to PC gaming in my opinion. If Steam releases a more powerful handheld, or perhaps a Linux based console at some point I would probably be interested. However, if someone had a decent laptop with merely a bum keyboard I would absolutely just use that assuming I didn’t currently have a rig or a console. I’m glad you came across it, btw! I hope we can enjoy some of the same games together and talk about them.

      In regards to your observations on DMCV’s graphics, I think we’re certainly at the point of diminishing returns now. The amount of processing power required to double “triangles”, or whatever, isn’t even noticeable enough visually to justify it. I don’t think graphics can really get that much better in terms of image quality right now, which is why developers are instead focusing their attention on RTX and stuff like lighting, reflections and shadows etc. And also I think it’s why we get so many effects that don’t really make sense, like some fog hovering around near the floor in a cabin, for example. There’s no reason for it to realistically even be there, other than it just looks cool.

    13. The engine behind MGS V, the Fox Engine, was arguably the best one on the market for several years. It just looks fantastic, and it scales incredibly well. The first time I played this game on my PS3 I could not believe what I was seeing. Just imagine Dark Souls, on the PS3, with that kind of engine! It is also a great example of developer talent. Sure, developers may want to use more powerful hardware but very often the result is that those people simply squander the hardware resources they are given. It is a shame that the Fox Engine was only really put to use in a single game.

    14. Pickernanny, I have been looking into some of the titles you have mentioned, such as Doom and FF VII Remake. I will probably have some catching up to do, but among the games I intend to play in the foreseeable future are REmake 2 (thanks again!), RE VII, and Caladrius Blaze. There are also a few games I would like to emulate but couldn’t properly do with my previous hardware, such as REmake 1 on GameCube or Sin & Punishment on Wii.

      I will probably write up a short article on FF VII Remake as this is, in my view, one of the most cynical games out there.

    15. I also would like to say that reading comprehension is a task that should be considered separately from autism. It is obvious that senses of sentences and paragraphs find its way to you depending on your psychological conditions at the time of reading. Thus, in a discussion, if your opponents’ attitude is defensive, he might interpret everything hostile as well, while it is meant to be fun or teasing.

      Calling someone an autist over text is simply ad hominem, because nobody can determine whether you are autistic or not via text.

    16. I personally highly recommend Doom 2016 and REmake 2, as well as REmake if you’re able to tolerate fixed camera angles, tank controls and lots of loading screens. I think FFVII:R wouldn’t be a bad experience overall. The combat system is probably the best in the series (soon to be dethroned by FFXVI) and the character designs and cinematics look stunning. I get the sense that there is quite a bit of fluff to wade through, however. If you do start playing it at some point, let me know and I might do so also. Looking forward to the write up on it. As many times as I was able to enjoy REmake 2, I foresee the upcoming RE4 taking up quite a bit of my gaming time. What about RE7 has sparked your interest? Are there any other games you nabbed up because of the sale that you plan on playing later?

    17. REmake has a fantastic art direction. This really impressed me when I played it on the GameCube about two decades ago. Partly, I want to see if the game will have the same mesmerizing effect on me when playing it. Looking at screenshots or watching videos, I assume it would.

      The main draw of RE7 is the shift in perspective. It could well be that playing in first person is just a novelty that wears off quickly, though. The game apparently drops in quality in the latter half, but if I get a few good hours of entertainment out of it, I’ll be happy, in particular after coming off this slog of a game called Demon’s Souls, which I am on the brink of binning. Speaking of FPS RE: Fan and critical reception of RE8 was quite a bit worse than with the predecessor so perhaps this will only be blip in RE history. I think that over-the-shoulder 3rd person works best for those games.

      I also want to play Nier: Automata, finally, and I now have Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen for PC, too. I own the PS3 version but image quality and framerate are considerably worse.

      By the way, you can often get games even cheaper than on Steam directly by going to key resellers such as this one: There are quite a few that have a shady reputation such as G2A who have been alleged to sell “stolen” keys, i.e. keys that were bought with stolen credit card numbers, but they have a special program in place to at least refund you if there is an issue. Those are just marketplaces, after all, and some sellers may not be the most trustworthy. I am not sure if Steam would lock your account if you activated a game with a sketchy key, though. Years ago I bought a few keys on Green Man Gaming and had no issues with them.

    18. I think your observations about RE7:B are correct. The game does drop in quality during the later half. I’m aware of the consensus regarding RE:VIllage, but I honestly think I had more fun playing that game despite all of its flaws. It’s almost like they took the concept of 7 and put an RE4 twist on it, though a lot of people seem to complain that the developers couldn’t make up their minds with which direction to go in. There is a segment in the game where it’s more or less PT (Silent Hills), you lose all your weapons and solve puzzles in a horrifying environment. Yet, most of the game isn’t scary at all and is basically a clunky shooter.

      I think REmake is phenomenal. The version on Steam being only $5 right now is worth it, as it’s upscaled for HD. I still need to finish the other story threads in Nier: Automata at some point (such a weird game, in a good way!). Also, I haven’t touched Dragon’s Dogma as of yet.

      Btw, there’s an old school button combo prompt that allows you to trigger the Mad Chainsaw Mode in the REmake 4 demo whenever you want. I was able to get a ridiculously high score just a bit ago, and it makes me wish Capcom would have made a ranking system for this demo because I feel like this has to be in the top 20% or even higher high-scores (yes, I’m aware I wrote on the back of a schedule—good luck doxxing me [there’s no way]):

    19. A score in excess of 20k seems very high. Congratulations! Leaderboards are a great addition to any game. One reason I played Crimzon Clover on Steam more than any emulated shmup is because I liked seeing myself rise in the ranks. (Low-key autism does that to you.) Speaking of rankings in RE, even though there are no rankings for the REmake 4 demo, the full game will likely have them. Capcom maintains a global leaderboard of RE8 on their website, separated by platform. One downside is that you need to register for it whereas with a good in-game leaderboard, you should get data of everyone on any given platform. Probably, their aim will be to have rankings for all their games.

    20. Aaron, lol. Go to the RE8 leader board for Steam and select “Village of Shadows”, then look in the top 5 for the username AdolfNiggler. Btw, I’m betting that The Mercenaries mode will be highly competitive this go around. I’m probably just going to go ahead and the get the game after it comes out and play it. I figure if buy REmake 4, TotK, Sea of Stars and Silent Hill 2 for the rest of year I won’t be breaking the bank and will have plenty to keep me busy.

    21. Maybe hold off on Sea of Stars and Silent Hill 2. The former may not sell as well as the developers hope, leading to early discounts, and the Silent Hill 2 remake may end up not being very good. Perhaps it will also be updated for “modern audiences”. REmake 4 and TotK alone should have enough content to keep you busy for the rest of the year, though.

    22. That’s probably some good advice concerning SoS. With SH2, however, I intended to do my research on it. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and assume that updating the game for modern audiences means adding a free camera and some modernized combat mechanics.

  2. My current attempt at playing Demon’s Souls is going a bit better than previous ones. Still, anyone claiming that this game sucks can easily make a very strong argument. Even back then, it seems that gamers excused poor game design by waffling about “skill-based gaming”. However, the game is deliberately obtuse. Some mechanics are not explained at all, such as “world tendency”. Of course, I won’t explain it here either. Furthermore, there are some gotcha moments that will almost invariably cause you to lose a life, the controls are on the janky side, and having to farm healing items is mind-numbingly boring. That being said, the atmosphere of the game is great, and so is the art direction. But beware that you will likely only have fun once you have learned the layout of a stage and know what to expect.

    1. I had a buddy several years ago who sat me down in front of his X Box and had me play the first Dark Souls. I gave it a fair shot and got about 5 hours or so into it before I gave up. I remember pretty easily figuring out how to exploit quite a few bosses for cheesy wins. The thing is I just never felt really inspired by the clunky-feeling gameplay. It’s just not really my kind of game I’ve decided, and I know the feeling of frustration is inevitably highly likely with these sorts of games. I have no plans to play the relatively polished Elden Ring at any point either. However, let me know how you like Demon’s Souls and if you end up conquering it.

    2. I have currently sunk about six hours into Demon’s Souls. What I like is that the gameplay harkens back to old SNES and NES games where you basically learn a route, and you find it more and more enjoyable to make it through. A game like Contra III takes perhaps 25 minutes to beat, and a stage in Demon’s Soul is of a similar length. Of course, these stages are not nearly as action packed as anything in Contra III, and the clunky controls also hamper your enjoyment somewhat.

      My biggest gripes with the game is that it is based a lot more on trial-and-error than its rabid online fans may make you believe. Sometimes traps are communicated well, but the controls may be so limiting that even though you know what is coming, you cannot avoid taking damage. I also think that the game does not teach the player well at all. This is quite baffling because it does a very good job in the run up to the first boss, which is a big black blob with a small army of blobs in a chest plate who carry a spear. You encounter three of those minions on the way down to the boss so you can get used to fighting them. Thus, the actual boss fight is not much of a challenge. You can expect to beat the boss on the first try.

      In contrast, there are other parts where enemy encounters are communicated to the player but you do not know what is coming up. One such situation is in stage 1-2. You make your way through a tunnel, hear the barking of dogs at some point, so you know that you are going to fight a dog soon. However, the dog sees you way before you see him, and moves very quickly, so you cannot adequately react. Even worse is that your first encounter does not consist of one dog so that you can practice fighting it. Instead, you get bum-rushed by three dogs. This is lame, and the fact that three random enemies are tougher than a level boss is completely ridiculous. A similar example can be found in stage 2-1 where you encounter some bizarre-looking enemies, basically fatties in fancy clothing. You expect them to move slowly and to not pose much of a challenge — but then they shoot fireballs at you, without any warning. FromSoft faggots surely defend this by claiming that this stage is centered around the theme of fire, as the setting is a smelter, so you should have seen this coming, or something along those lines.

      In my view Demon’s Souls gets carried by the very good art direction. The actual game is a mixed bag, with some highs, and some incredible lows. It’s a game you want to like, and you keep playing because you hope that it will get better. Perhaps it will, and for some it surely did, but I bet that there are a lot of people out there who stuck with it due to stubbornness and only praise it due to some kind of Stockholm Syndrome because, surely, a game they managed to beat and sunk dozens of hours into cannot suck.

    3. I suspect your meditation skills allow you to suffer through games that would result in some broken controllers for others.

    4. My years of meditative practice, paired with my low-key autism, allow me to hit my head against the wall for quite some time. I am not joking at all. In fact, this has been a great boon for me in my professional life. A few times I was given problems to work on that others had given up on, and I just plowed through them. Of course, you also need to be able to understand what you are up against, in which case you can show why some change is not possible or why a particular bottleneck cannot be removed without making certain other changes. In gaming, I don’t “rage quit”. Instead, I think about the game, may conclude that there are certain flaws in the mechanics or level design, and just stop playing it.

    5. “paired with my low-key autism”

      Maybe an ability to focus longer is what you want to describe? I honestly find autistic children just enjoy repetition. In theory, that may sound like they are able to pointedly focus on a single task and therefore master it quicker, but in practice, that is quite a disadvantage. An expansive focus, meaning keeping tap on many things that occur sequentially or quasi-simultaneously is an advantage.

      I also used to doubt that I was autistic (not dare to think that I had Asperger because I heard those who had would be able focus much much longer than mere mortals, while I couldn’t). After being a volunteer for this centre, I don’t think I am autistic.

      There is a certain positivity that is linked to autism, such as “genius”, or “special ability”. But such an attempt to disguise a mental impairment might be quite modern.

      Lots of autistic children would have problems functioning in real life, let alone becoming greats in many fields.

    6. I think what Aaron is saying by “low-key autism” is that he has very mild autistic tendencies, not that he is actually autistic. That’s to say, having habits and behavioral patterns that are akin to autism, not actually being full-blown autistic.

    7. For some reasons, even the definition of “mild autism” is problematic. Not all autistic children experience delayed development, but they all have problems of communicating, interacting and using language (be it phonological, syntactical or pragmatic).

      I think what Sleazy wants to say is that he is intellectual or something like that. Having interest in narrow fields, taking a step back to think things through are not signs of autism.

    8. I don’t want to speak for the Sleaze, but when I read his post it reads to me like a humorous sort of comparison. All I’m saying is I think something is getting lost in translation. Btw, I think it’s great that you’re volunteering with autistic children and also that you’ve demonstrated compassion for their plight. Despite that, perhaps you took something a bit out of context to the point of being offended.

    9. Oh no, I am not offended at all, if that’s what you mean.
      It just strikes me recently that there are lots of misconceptions about autism. It is entirely different once you have a chance to work alongside with trained therapists. Those misconceptions naturally vanish.

    10. Hmm, probably there is a spectrum, though. Whereas at one end of the extreme it is barely an inconvenience if at all, and at the other end it is debilitating like how you describe. I’m no expert, however. But I don’t there is a misconception among the people here. It’s kind of like how if someone identifies their sexual orientation as being straight, yet they act flamboyant, drink soy milk and trumpet far-left talking points about saving the environment and giving up property rights, then that person is a “fag”. Alternatively, if someone obsesses about a certain point or detail during an argument while consistently missing the larger picture, then that person is an “autist”.

    11. “It’s kind of like how if someone identifies their sexual orientation as being straight, yet they act flamboyant, drink soy milk and trumpet far-left talking points about saving the environment and giving up property rights, then that person is a “fag”.”

      Let’s use this as an example. Say the guy in question later goes to a gay bar and is later invited to a party, where he soon discovers that the participants are mostly gay men. After a while of doing coke and shots they engage in a gay mass orgy while Mr. Soy Milk sits it out and observes. He might even be quite disgusted by what he is witnessing, but decides to “suck it up” and tolerate what’s happening because he’s no bigot. Then afterwards, he comes back to the group of Chad right wingers who made fun of him for being a “fag” and says, “actually, you guys, there seems to be a massive misconception going on here. You see, I spent some time with some real gays and they actually penetrate each other’s anuses. Therefore, I’m not by definition a fag.” The Chads would just look at each other in confusion before busting out laughing.

    12. The problem is using those terms to:

      1) Elevate yourself to a status almost as high as genius, thus autism is associated with grand savant.

      2) Put down or insult people because they happen to disagree with you, despite having no inching clue about what is autism or even “spectrum”.

      One great way to separate the wheat from the chaff is to ask oneself whether a debilitating autistic person can perform a high task? Based upon my observation, there are autists who could be sensitive to music and remember music, but still possesses difficulties of interacting and communicating with others.

      It is thus pointless to view autism as a spectrum in the popular sense because every autist is highly different from one another.

      Upon the insult that is imposed on someone because he could not, from your point of view, understand the larger context, it is simply a cowardly convenient way to give up your responsibility to clarify yourself. Getting lost in tiny details amidst a discussion is not autistic. Calling your opponent autist is ad hominem. The label is outright misattributed with sheer ignorance of the perpetrator’s part.

    13. I also would like to say that reading comprehension is a task that should be considered separately from autism. It is obvious that senses of sentences and paragraphs find its way to you depending on your psychological conditions at the time of reading. Thus, in a discussion, if your opponents’ attitude is defensive, he might interpret everything hostile as well, while it is meant to be fun or teasing.

      Calling someone an autist over text is simply ad hominem, because nobody can determine whether you are autistic or not via text.

    14. CQV, one of the reasons why I suspect that you are on the autism spectrum is that you think in very rigid categories. Your exchange with Pickernanny is a very good example in this regard. Please note that this is not intended to be an insult.

    15. Well Sleazy,

      It is hard to judge one another from just text.

      I don’t know what was your original intention when you referred to yourself as “low key autism”. I just wana say you are not autistic at all. You speak 3 languages, you are good at natural science and Humanities, you read people well. Those traits aren’t attributed to autism spectrum.

      The most important red flag is the lack of intention to communicate with fellow human beings. I don’t think you were like that when you were young, based on what I read of you.

    16. BTW, what I have learnt from you, apart from being a sceptic, is self-discipline.

      I find this to be a more powerful ingredient of success than even intelligence.

      Without discipline, you get nothing out of life and gain nothing in life.

    17. This is the case. I would add that having strong boundaries is also very important, in particular when it comes to work. I have met very disciplined engineers who never got anywhere in their career because they seemingly never developed a sense of their own worth and consequently let their managers ride roughshod with them.

    18. CQV I’ve done plenty plenty of autism tests over the years and I’m pretty sure those are autistic traits. It is possible to have autistic traits without being autistic. There is also such a thing as borderline. You seem to think people are either fullblown autistic or not at all. Which is not how it works.

    19. “ CQV I’ve done plenty plenty of autism tests over the years and I’m pretty sure those are autistic traits.”

      Have you been diagnosed by and evaluated by healthcare professionals?

      At what age did you start to have those tests done?

      “ You seem to think people are either fullblown autistic or not at all. ”

      I admit that the number of children I have come into contact with is rather limited, but I have met a few kids who are diagnosed of “high-functioning autism”. My supervisor and instructor said that they are always accompanied by language disorders. One of those kids have a remarkable memory for music, but could not speak in an understandable way because he messes up the tones (Vietnamese is a tonal language). He interacts just fine with anybody. He is the most outstanding case that I have met. I have also met a girl who outwardly appears to be very normal, but it turns out that she is autistic because she has language delayed issues.

    20. CQV, do you think it is possible that you only meet more serious cases at this autism support center? There surely are a lot of people who have sub-clinical autism and there are most likely also plenty who do not seek any support at all because even though their life may be negatively affected in some way, they can cope fine with those limitations.

    21. Yes, I am aware that what I stated earlier might be influenced by selection bias, namely that I was surrounded only by debilitating autistic children.

      I am not yet a speech therapist (Logopadie in Deustch, perhaps) so I don’t know much about the diagnosis process. I just remember, in conversing with the director of that rehabilitating center and a neurologist who were her supervisor, that she told me that there are lots of misconceptions in pop culture and publications aimed towards non-specialists.

      For example, if you keep focusing on attributing narrow interests and long attention span to autism, you may run the risk of confounding autism with attention deficit disorder. That may sound at first nonsensical because people usually think kids with ADD cannot maintain their attention for long. But it turns out that kids with ADD can also maintain long attention span if they are given their favourite toys or work with their favourite tasks. More confusing is that ADD and Autism can both inhabits inside one child.

      I did have a family member within my extended family who had autism. It was a debilitating case, unfortunately. I asked that neurologist whether there was a possibility of intervening this late as my nephew is already 20 years old. The response was just go to a testing center and run the test. The neurologist was also in charge of evaluating and administering the test.

      So that’s why I asked Alek Novy whether his tests were administered by specialists. Stay away from online tests if you wish to obtain a correct evaluation. I think this is true with IQ test as well.

      It must be stated that a qualified diagnosis is carried out not by just a speech pathologist or a neurologist. It must be the work of a team consisting normally of speech language pathologist, neurologist, psychologist and even occupational and physical therapist.

      Sorry, I know that I am not an authority on this subject, thus I might involuntarily misinform you guys about diagnosis. But I am doing my best to present the information in the most objective way. It must be also noted that speech language pathology in Vietnam is a very new field. The first batch of specialists graduated from a local university, under the direction of Australian and American instructors, was in 2009 or 2010. The director mentioned above belonged to the first batch of these first 33 specialists.

    22. So that’s why I asked Alek Novy whether his tests were administered by specialists. Stay away from online tests if you wish to obtain a correct evaluation. I think this is true with IQ test as well.

      I am not trying to obtain a “most correct diagnosis” which is bullshit anyway since two clinicians can give a different assement. I did these (over the span of 20 years) to learn what kinds of questions are being asked. I don’t need you to tutor me on how do my research like I’m a complete retard who would confuse something completely meaningless like a buzfeed “what cat personality are you” and can’t tell it apart from a test crafted by clinicians.

      I am also formally trained in psychology, at an actual university and come from a long line of scientists (no really). So don’t worry about me being a retard confusing pop-quizzes for anything that can say anything useful.

      My point is that the traits you claim aren’t autistic, I have seen questions for these things in every single test I’ve seen, as well as in textbooks describing autism. And you’re like “no that’s not an autistic trait, that’s just you behing hardworking”.

    23. Either I am missing something that triggered you, or that you intentionally adopt a more confrontational tone to single me out as a bullshiter.

      I am not trying to obtain a “most correct diagnosis” which is bullshit anyway since two clinicians can give a different assement.

      That is not what I heard of. When you have a team of multiple specialists who come into contact with your patients, adding to this the legal procedures that we must adhere to in the US, I doubt that the result is false.

      I don’t need you to tutor me on how do my research like I’m a complete retard who would confuse something completely meaningless like a buzfeed “what cat personality are you” and can’t tell it apart from a test crafted by clinicians.

      Which part of my answers seek to “tutor” you? And no, we are not talking about pop scientific books written for the mass and specialized knowledge forming the ground for testing, we are talking about even clinical subtleties in diagnosing as well. And yes, diagnosing “autism” is very difficult.

      I am also formally trained in psychology, at an actual university and come from a long line of scientists (no really). So don’t worry about me being a retard confusing pop-quizzes for anything that can say anything useful.

      I am sorry. But that is even more confusing. Psychology and psychologists are vast fields. How do I know you are qualified to construct or test autism on your own? What’s your specialization? How long have you worked with autistic children in various settings and collaborate with other specialists as listed above in order to make an informed judgment?

      My point is that the traits you claim aren’t autistic, I have seen questions for these things in every single test I’ve seen, as well as in textbooks describing autism. And you’re like “no that’s not an autistic trait, that’s just you behing hardworking”.

      Which traits? Traits that Sleazy said? Such as narrow interests, being good at reading someone? How are they so unique to Autism that you can be so sure of? What happens if it is part of your own personality? What if you confuse them with another neurodevelopmental disorder?

      I have seen questions for these things in every single test I’ve seen, as well as in textbooks describing autism. And you’re like “no that’s not an autistic trait, that’s just you behing hardworking”.

      Did you follow correctly the content of my discussion with Pickernanny and Sleazy? I did mention the role of discipline. I did not say anything about hardworking. I see that they are related, but they point at different things.

      And you have not answered me: Was your test administered by team of specialists? Was it tested when you was young? What age was you when you took those tests?

    24. You’re starting to sound like the Uber equivalent, except on Autism 😀 (or whatever thing you decide to go Uber on)

    25. I am not gonna engage in verbal joust with you.

      Let me pass a note that is more positive:

      To you guys out there, if you can function normally and even surpass the general population in intellectual endeavours. You are already blessed, for “autism” or even “Asperger” are conditions that you will NEVER want to have.

      Even those who are suspected to have “Asperger syndrome” and excel in whatever fields they happen to be in, they also suffered from silent sufferings as well.

    26. I am not gonna engage in a verbal joust with you.

      I am gonna end the conversation on a more positive note:

      You do not want to have “autism”. If you perform well or even surpass the general population in whatever endeavours you underatake, that’s already a bless.

      Those who are thought of having “autism” or “Asperger”, despite achieving high success in life, might also have to endure quiet sufferings as well.

    27. I watched a comparison video and critique of the Demon Souls remaster by BluePoint and was quite entertained by the creator’s analysis of how badly they screwed up the original atmosphere and aesthetic in the remaster. They seemed to have taken an arrogant sort of approach on this game thinking that it would be just fine to completely redesign important aspects of symbolism, completely breaking the level of immersion that the original creators had carefully curated. I’d be extremely cautious should BluePoint get ahold of something like MGS, for example.

    28. Do you still have the link? I recall image-based comparisons where people made fun of the garishness of the Demon’s Souls remake, e.g. adding details for the sake of it, architectural changes, some bosses looking as if they were from World of Warcraft. I saw a bit of this game at a friend’s place. The updated music was really bad as it is horrible orchestral schlock that does not compare to the atmospheric and eerie original soundtrack. On that note, I also am not impressed by the Hans Zimmer-like soundtrack of Elden Ring. The intro of the Demon’s Souls remake has also been completely redone. Instead of a knight slowly, realistically, and methodologically fighting multiple enemies, you get to witness said knight channelling Dante from Devil May Cry. This was insultingly stupid and consequently I lowered my expectations on the game drastically. It also did not help that the character creator defaulted to a “brotha”.

    29. Here is the link:

      He touches upon the architecture that you mentioned. Towards the end I recall him making the case that because of this remake, it hurts the chances of the original ever getting ported to PC.

    30. This is a very well-made video. Calling Blue Point’s approach arrogant and condescending is most fitting. I don’t think the original will ever get ported, but we may get the crass Western reimagining of Demon’s Souls.

  3. Aaron,one of the posts that you have on your forum got my attention,its the one where you talk about how having awful body language attracts bullying and negative attention towards you in general. Your observation is absolutely correct.

    But thinking on it,what do you think is the solution for poor schmoes like these? One that I can think of is participation in vigorous sports that they take an interest in. Confidence (REAL confidence) in general comes from accomplishments,and physical conquest just seems to have that effect of not making you overly fearful of aggression,if not learning to actively wield it for your purposes.

    The above I would say is a good start,but in my opinion,its not enough. (especially for people who struggle with being bullied persistently) Youtube self-improvement guru Hamza has previously expressed his viewpoint that he believes every man should have experience with Combat Sports/Full-contact Martial arts training. Every man should know how to fight and know how to manage himself when the fists start flying.

    I very much agree with this viewpoint,and can say from experience that when you know deep down in your bones that you’re capable of rock n rolling when needed,you are able to handle the pre-fight tension/confrontation stage much more effectively.

    This is sadly one of the things that mainstream school just ends up making so much worse. People go to school starting off shy,they get bullied,and as a result,the shyness gets even worse and they develop all sorts of anxieties,etc.

    I hated College,but if there was any good I got out of it,its that I got comfortable talking to strangers. I still think it was an awful experience as a whole,but at least I managed to undo some degree of damage from my pre-college years.

    I still remember how I acted when I first went into a gym (a boxing gym,this one) for the first time as a college freshman vs how I act today having gone to a new gym. Completely different. I’m guessing its a combination of social experience,some degree of success/physical conquests in the sports I chose participate in,and having won some very important fights before I left high school.

    I still am a bit shy deep at heart,I’d be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t,but its a lot better now than when I was much younger.

    1. I have bad body language. I’ve a Really traumatized mind. I have considered combat sports, but I’m worried that someone with my temper will ultimately just get himself in trouble.

    2. I think the best you can do is to ensure you are not in environments that may make it likely to act on your impulses. You cannot do much damage if you go berserk in a forest, for instance. In a busy night club, in contrast, things might end quite differently.

    3. The general testimonials from folks who got into Martial arts is usually that they have found themselves more level-headed in confrontations than before they started training. Fear and Anger are different emotions,but they do correlate. When you know for a fact that you can fight (because you’ve done it multiple in the ring),you feel a lot less need to prove it,which looks to be one of the major reasons people get into fights with strangers in the first place. A desperate desire to show the other guy (and those around them) that they aren’t scared.

      I imagine that,combined with Aaron’s Meditation routine,you should be a lot less likely to find yourself in a fight.

      Not that this advice is supposed to substitute for professional therapy. But frankly speaking,I think you have to be really picky with who you choose to be your therapist to truly get value out of it. This is probably not a politically correct thing to say,but we’re on Aaron’s blog. We know that mainstream sources typically suck on a wide variety of subjects.

      If you do decide to try out combat sports,you might want to give competition a go as well once you’re experienced enough if you have the itch in you to fight. Sparring just isn’t the same thing as fighting. (At least when its done right. you’re there to learn,not to win. In competition however,you are there to win if you can,which is definitely much closer to the experience of a real fight) If you’re able to get your itch in the ring,you should be a lot less likely to want to get into it outside of the ring. (You might remember me and my conflict with my Uncle I posted about earlier. I was level headed enough to actually think of inviting him to go at it in the ring instead of smashing it up in the house. fortunately,it didn’t go there. haha)

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