o · tac · ra · cy [oh-tok-ruh-see]
1. government by otaku; a form of government in which supreme power is


Latest Articles

Anime LA 2011 in Slow Motion

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Cosplay photography kinda bugs me. Yeah, I've been doing it for a while, whether it be for friends at co... [More]

Review: The Olympus E-3

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After nearly two years with the Olympus E-3, it's time to put this DSLR back out on the market and into ... [More]

Review: The Horipad EX2 Turbo

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The Horipad EX2 Turbo is a good pad for Xbox 360 gamers needing a pad for fighting games.  After al... [More]



ICO x Yawara! Parody... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Sunday, 05 October 2008 01:35

Ico is cool.  Yawara is cool.

An Ico parody of the Yawara! anime OP is downright hilarious.  (If you haven't played Ico there are spoilers aplenty...! why haven't you played it yet?!)

I Had a Nikon D700... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Thursday, 02 October 2008 16:03

(8:13:28 PM) sklathill: Two days ago I bought a Nikon D700.
(8:13:31 PM) sklathill: Today I returned it.
(8:13:34 PM) sklathill: HATED it.
(8:15:15 PM) whitefinder: That bad?
(8:15:18 PM) whitefinder: Why's that?
(8:15:35 PM) sklathill: High ISO... brilliant. Absolute brilliant.
(8:15:48 PM) sklathill: But god I hated how it felt.
(8:16:06 PM) sklathill: it had a very substantial hand grip, but I always felt like I was barely holding the camera by my fingertips.
(8:16:22 PM) sklathill: And the way I had to scrunch my fingers up to use buttons on the top side while in shooting position.
(8:16:46 PM) sklathill: The way I had to compromise stability in shooting position if I wanted to do functions that required my left hand (for example, changing ISO or shooting mode)
(8:17:14 PM) sklathill: The position of the command dial by my right index and thir dfinger just felt aboust as wrong as it possibly could have been.
(8:17:29 PM) sklathill: The menus... ugh. I hate trawling through the menus.
(8:17:52 PM) sklathill: And their solution for faster operation is to give the user their own custom menu that they can add items to? I couldn't stand it at all.
(8:18:48 PM) sklathill: I absolutely hated it. People told me that I could learn it... but my gut says there's no way I could learn to enjoy using this camera.
(8:19:02 PM) whitefinder: You ought to write an otacracy review!
(8:19:18 PM) sklathill: I should...

Things Read, Things Missed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Saturday, 27 September 2008 00:47

Things I've read:

Not only is [the Asus Radeon HD 4850] a cornucopia of graphical goodness, with roughly twice the memory bandwidth and shader power of the Radeon HD 4670, but it has an historically implausible archer chick surrounded by rose petals on it. Just looking at it, I feel calm and secure, though slightly aroused.

Wii Music is the closest video game ever to become ‘art’.  (his emphasis)

Things I've missed:

  • The San Francisco Valkyria Chronicles event.  There aren't too many games that I truly dork out over.  Valkyria Chronicles (or Senjou no Valkyria, if you insist) is one of those games.  Easily the best Sega game in years and probably my favorite of this current generation of games.  I briefly considered shirking responsibilities today so that I could go to this pre-release event and... oh, I don't know.  Meet the producer?  Grab some swag?  Hang out with some girl friends who happened to be at nearby Yaoicon?  Since I couldn't, I guess I'll just read Dom's take on the entire thing while I send sad emoticons his way...
  • Juno Reactor.  They were in Los Angeles over the last two days, conducting a meet and greet and giving a concert... and I had no idea.  Apparently they were second billing on this tour, ceding the top spot to this dude Sugizo.  (Sugizo is most known for his exploits in the J-rock band Luna Sea, which I know little about except for the fact that their name is an anagram for the phrase anal use...)  I know I shouldn't have gone a month without hitting Anime Jungle.  Man.  Juno Reactor.  Man.
Note to self: stop missing things...!
Maid TRPG is Silly, Ridiculous PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Wednesday, 24 September 2008 19:38

Maid: The Role Playing Game.  It's a tabletop role playing game where you (and a couple of buddies, if you so desire) play as maids in a light comedy anime setting.

I don't know what else to add to that.  Except maybe:

What maid would you be?

Would you be the osananajimi type who grew up with the young master and made a promise to protect him from the evil aliens who are currently threatening the world and the house's collection of fine crockery?

Or maybe you'll be the easily excited and clumsy martial artist who goes out at night to protect your bumbling masters from bad deals with shady businessmen through chop suey and kung fooey?

Or perhaps you'd prefer to be the maid that's been sold into slavery after dealings between your family and the yakuza, who must now balance life as a servant for an unwitting master with life as a dominatrix in training?

Me, I'd rather be the master.  Maybe they'll make a TRPG for that after this one gets around (or maybe he'll make one called Peerless Food Fighters!)...

On Music Loops in Flower PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Saturday, 20 September 2008 15:42

Below is an e-mail I sent to a fellow audio colleague after he asked how I was going about "battling repetition" and "endless loop syndrome" in the upcoming PS3 video game from thatgamecompany: Flower...

Interesting you mention looping...

I personally adore the loop.  In most of the games I've worked on, I try my best to work with the loop rather than against it.  The loop itself strikes me as something that can be quite beautiful and elegant.  And, after all, gaming consists of all sorts of loops... from the engineers who spend hours studying and crafting the proper gameplay loop for the system... to the player who wants nothing more than to stay in that moment where his abilities and desires meeting with the game's demands creates a loop of joyful play.

Of course, every single bit of gameplay music in Flower is interactive.  There's a lot of multiple stream mixing and dynamic cuing and all sorts of stuff, and in ten playthroughs of any given area, there'll likely be ten different builds of music.

But the music is very much loop based.  I like loops.  Many of my favorite pieces of game music are loops.  I'd also say that the music that most game music fans consider their favorites are also loops.

I definitely like interactive music.  I actually got my start in game music doing MODs, and jumping between patterns and convoluting the piece structure is an amazing thing.  And like I said, there's a heck of a lot of interactivity in Flower's music.  Lots of LUA scripts and SCREAM scripts and a good bit of MIDI-driven stuff.  Despite all that, the thing that I'm pushing forward is a really coherent, discrete aural identity for Flower that I believe could not be instantiated without the use of the loop as an important musical structure...

7 (Seven!) Year Old Digicam, Only $1500 bucks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Friday, 19 September 2008 19:09

While looking for my next camera system (I'm currently waffling between the Olympus E-3 and the Nikon D700... hooray for contrarian gear attitude...), I found an interesting bit of old stock online.

Sometimes stores have old inventory.  Sometimes this old inventory is really quite a bargain: equipment that does what it's supposed to, and competitively with the current generation of products.

And sometimes Best Buy sells a 7 year old camera (Five Megapixels!  Smart Media storage!  USB 1.1!) for $1500 dollars.


Review: Premium Bacon Mac 'N Cheese PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 19:42

Pizza Hut Tuscani PastaPizza Hut claims that its new Tuscani Pastas are restaurant quality.  Well, there are indeed many bad restaurants out in the world.

Friends claim that the first two pastas that Pizza Hut made, Meaty Marinara and Creamy Chicken Alfredo, are pretty decent tasting, with plenty of bang for the buck thanks to the $12.99 price (for ~3 pounds of pasta plus 5 breadsticks).  That may be the case, but I haven't been exposed to them.  Instead, I tried the Premium Bacon Mac 'N Cheese pasta.  Rotini baked with cheddar cheese sauce and topped with bacon. I like rotini and cheddar, and I love bacon.  Sounds good for me, right?

Premium Bacon Mac 'N Cheese is absolutely awful.


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