I’ve missed the actual date by about a month, but The Geek Clinic is now two years old! This year we managed to completely smash all of our records for visitors and page views, so i’d like to give a huge “Thank You!” to everyone that visits us. To be honest, I wasn’t sure i’d make it to the two year mark but now I can’t see myself stopping.
I haven’t prepared anything special this year because instead i’d like to ask everyone whether there’s anything special they’d like to see on the blog. You may have noticed the poll about an OELVN Recommendations page but i’m also keen to see any other suggestions you all may have. Do you want JRPG/Video Game recommendations? A guide to starting with visual novels? That sort of thing.
In other news, i’ve been banished to the cold heart of New Zealand for five weeks on placement. I’m going to have a strict internet limit so unfortunately i’m not going to be able to update the blog during that time, which i’m sure is going to be devastating for all of you. I may be able to keep up with comments but we’ll have to wait and see on that front. In any case, I hope you all enjoy the new anime season and I expect to come back to lots of fantastic opinions.
Grats on the second year! An OELVN recommendations page sounds good for me, don’t know about the rest, but I rarely play them, lol. I could use a recommendation page.
Good luck with your placement and hope to see you soon!
Thanks =) And thankfully it looks like i’ll be able to get on occasionally to answer comments. Maybe a better poll would have given different options rather than just a yes/no…
Oh well, i’ll figure something out XD
Good luck with placement!
In other news – G-Senjou no Maou has been licensed by Sekai Project, and will be released in the third quarter of 2015, it seems.
I’m really not very happy about this – while it’s good that more people will be able to read it, I don’t like the fact that TLWiki has taken it down and that it’ll no longer be free, nor that the translators (then00bavenger, chikan, pondrthis, neko, and all the C->E people) will get neither credit nor compensation for their hard work, while Sekai Project basically profits without really doing any work.
It was quite an unpleasant shock to visit the TlWiki GSM page to see the patch already gone.
Thanks =) Long days at the moment, so i’m not sure how much of SubaHibi i’ll be able to get through.
Lots of big-name translation announcement at the Anime Expo. I’m not too clear about G-Senjou’s circumstances though. I would assume that if TLWiki’s translation was being used the team would be compensated (unless they agreed not to be), but if it wasn’t then Sekai Project would translate from scratch? If the circumstances you’ve described are correct, that’s pretty crap.
As for it not being free any more, well…given the method by which most people obtain the base game I can’t really complain.
Well, either Sekai does it from scratch, which will be a waste, given how good the TLWiki localization is, or Sekai uses the existing TLWiki translation, which necessarily means most of the people who contributed won’t get credit/compensation (since so many of them have essentially quit the scene since 2010). I’m quite certain that it’s the latter, given that a summer release has been promised, and there’s no realistic way of making this timetable except by using the existing translation.
Regarding piracy – personally, I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with it. Despite it being commonly argued that piracy is analogous to stealing, it isn’t – since you don’t take anything from anyone, or exclude anyone from the use of the good/service in question.
The problem with Sekai’s localization is that it does the latter (excludes people from reading GSM by triggering the TLWiki takedown), while it also involves making a profit from the work of others.
As far as compensation goes, there’s probably a fair chance that the TLWiki vets have some way of contacting their old buddies, and if not this open announcement might bring them out. My perception of Sekai Project is that they’re a pretty fair bunch, so i’d be really surprised if there wasn’t any compensation for the hard work of the original translators.
On your second point, i’m going to have to disagree. When there’s no translation, that’s fine by me because we’re not an audience they’re interested in targeting and therefore the potential for developer gain is absent by their own action (or inaction, as it were). When there is a translation, however, piracy deprives the developer of the deserved reward for their hard work – the exact same outcome you were not happy about for TLWiki. There’s no physical theft but there’s a denial of potential gain for service provided and that’s morally wrong. For every piece of media I consume (that I enjoy) I plan to buy a physical copy when I have the means to do so (not trying to ride a moral high horse here; that’s just my view).
As above, I strongly suspect that Sekai Project will compensate any individuals who put work into the initial translation. They have to obtain the script through official channels or they’d lose credibility. Additionally, they’ve put in major effort to provide the framework for the official localization by approaching a company that has previously not been interested in official porting. As for removal of the free version, the bottom line is that both Sekai Project and Akabei Soft deserve recompense for the work they will produce and a free version would undermine that. Besides that fact, if we’re splitting hairs, i’m sure I could find the free version somewhere if I went looking.
Nope, some of them like Neko and the C->E staff (and Chikan too, I think) have essentially disappeared from the internet. Which is fair enough, since people’s interests change, and their lives move on.
Which brings us to the main point – whether there’s anything wrong with piracy. I think we both agree that it’s not theft – but you raise the issue of denial of potential gain. There are two ways to look at this:
1) From a utilitarian point of view. The truth here is that the marginal cost of production is zero – that is, it costs nothing to produce another digital copy of a VN (or an anime, or a song, etc) – which means that what maximizes overall utility is simply the maximal distribution of the good in question (i.e. anyone who wants to consume it, gets it). The transfer of income from consumer to producer does nothing to increase overall utility – it’s just a transfer of income. And hence, on this view, official translations are desirable only inasmuch as they bring the VN to a broader audience who might otherwise not have known about it. In the case of GSM, I am highly doubtful, given that it is the 2nd most popular VN outside Japan, and given that monetizing it will only exclude people who cannot/will not pay, but who might otherwise read it.
2) The issue of just compensation. We go back to the issue of what producers deserve to be paid for the marginal product of their labour. But if the marginal cost of producing one extra unit of a VN (or whatever) is zero, then by definition there’s nothing to be compensated. They aren’t being made worse of by your consumption. The only real problem here is whether these companies will go out of business without your purchasing the good. This a valid consideration – and it argues for there having to be some monopoly power (i.e. the power to exclude people from reproducing the good and distributing via piracy). But this is already the case – people in Japan do pay for the goods in question – and this supports the industry. And regardless the issue becomes a utilitarian one – it’s not just a matter of people getting what they deserve.
The difference between Sekai and a pirate is this – that Sekai prevents the fan translation from reaching more reaching more people (i.e. it excludes people from the good), while a pirate does not (unless piracy is so widespread it causes the company to go out of business, but this is not the case, as we’ve established in (2)).
(If you answer again, please start a new thread, because WordPress’ comments are silly)
Your points apply in an ideal situation, though they are not compelling when considering reality.
I don’t think that marginal cost of production is a useful concept for this argument. If we follow that idea then every item of digital media costs nothing to reproduce and should therefore be available for free once the production company has recouped their loss, as a failure to do so keeps that product from reaching a wider audience – or maybe all physical items should be sold simply for cost of production. That’s not practical, as it would probably mean collapse or at the very least stagnation of the entertainment industry. For every project, to a certain degree, profits are put back into the developer to work on bigger, better products. Simply breaking even doesn’t cut it, and i’d imagine that improvement is proportional to profit made (with diminishing returns, perhaps).
However, I still think that desert is important in this case. It’s an incorporeal concern, yes, but I feel very strongly about it. We’re talking about rewarding people for a job well done and that too is important for the development of individuals and humanity as a whole. It’s also the right thing to do, really. Also consider the position of people that -have- paid for the product in question. It’s unfair that they have had to pay while others haven’t.
Beyond that, I think you are underestimating the number of people that an official translation will allow G-Senjou no Maou to reach. Many people won’t approach piracy at all and that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve access to it also. Additionally, this is a high profile, excellent production that has the potential to solidify the position of the visual novel as a medium in the Western market. That means more profit for Sekai Project and therefore more (and faster) translations that will eventually extend to heretofore untranslated VNs.
I’m probably rambling because i’m tired, but I hope this is coherent XD
I vote for JRPG reviews!
And what do you mean, WINTER hiatus? It’s freakin twenty degrees over here and it’s so hot I can’t even sleep! >.<
Have fun on your placement, and looking forward to your return! Keep up the good work (:
You mean a recommendations page? I could certainly give it a go but it’d be sparsely populated XD Still, i’ll have a thing about it. Maybe I could split video game recommendations by genre…or country of origin?
It’s 0.1 degrees here at the moment, which isn’t too bad, but some places are getting -24. Also…20 degrees is nothing =P We complain about 30 over here and Australia posts 40 regularly.
Thanks, you too! (for keeping up the good work, I mean…I assume you’re not on placement anywhere >.>)
Yeah a recommendations page would be cool!
20 degrees is heaven to us vikings! Norwegians strip down at the slightest glimmer of sunlight. I mostly stay inside… because I can’t handle the heat. Down know if I could handle Australia! -24 though? That’s crazy…
I’m not on placement no, I’m on holiday! Sort of.. I’m out of school, but I’m working XD