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Geek Culture

Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest Video Paints American Tourists as Jackasses

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The famous YouTube vlogger Logan Paul (I honestly never heard of him before now) recently made headlines for posting a video where he reacts to finding a dead body in the Aokigahara forest, a forest at the base of Mount Fuji that has earned the nickname “the suicide forest.” Paul’s actions may have tarnished Japanese/American relations.

For a bit of context, Logan Paul visited (and as far as I can tell, is still visiting) Japan shortly before the end of 2017 and created a series of vlogs doing whatever the heck he wants. Play fighting with a friend in the middle of a busy street? Yep. Dressing up in a kimono and bamboo hat while dancing and acting like a racist caricature? Yep again. Hitching rides (without permission) on trucks and making a fool of himself at Shinto shrines? Yep. Basically, Paul does everything in his power to come across as a clown and, for lack of a better term, a jerk. But, then he decided to record his jaunt into Aokigahara forest, at which point he found a dead body and recorded his reactions. There’s being culturally tone deaf, and then there’s being cruel and insensitive. Paul’s video is both.

While Paul’s original video has been taken down, JhbTeam was kind enough to post a recap of the video, which is full of Paul smiling and treating the whole situation as a joke.

https://twitter.com/JhbTeam/status/948003235310157824

Paul’s reactions are reminiscent of PewDiePie, except instead of intentionally overreacting to a video game where everything is fake and nobody can get hurt, Paul laughs at a real hanging corpse. As you might imagine, the Internet’s reaction was swift and unsympathetic. Many called him out on his insensitive behavior, including famed YouTuber Michael Sundman, aka. Gaijin Goombah.

For those of you who don’t know, Michael Sundman has spent the past several years as a member of the YouTube channel The Game Theorists alongside channel founder Matthew Patrick/MatPat. Sundman specializes in breaking down allusions and references to various cultures in video games, especially Japanese culture, not because he is a “weeaboo,” but because he spent several years as an English teacher in Japan. During his time there, Sundman learned about and gained a lot of respect for Japanese culture, especially cultural norms, one of which is privacy. The Japanese take privacy far more seriously than even American citizens. In his video, Sundman mentions anecdotal experiences where he wasn’t allowed to record himself playing Japanese arcade games due to Japanese privacy laws and how a friend who took a picture of the famous Shibuya Crossing that just so happened to include a man cheating on his wife was sued. And lost. If a photograph that is innocuous to Americans elicits the desire to pursue legal action, it doesn’t take much to imagine how poorly the Japanese public will react to a video of people essentially laughing at someone who committed suicide.

While Logan Paul has released an apology for his actions, the damage has already been done. Apparently he was treading on thin ice before the Aokigahara forest video, but his actions in the forest are beyond disrespectful in any culture. The six-million plus views only make the situation worse, as they will no doubt color how the Japanese view Americans. Sundman postfaces his video with a statement that Logan stands a good chance of being banned from Japan, which seems like a very likely possibility.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Google engineers successfully hacked the PS Portal to run emulated PSP games

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After about a month of work, a couple of Google employees have successfully hacked the PS Portal, PlayStation’s handheld streaming solution. Their project is not set for public release anytime soon, but the hack is purely software-based, eliminating the need for hardware exploitation.

Andy Nguyen, a cloud vulnerability researcher, and Calle Svensson, a security engineer, shared their latest project on Twitter. They successfully ran the PSP emulator PPSSPP on the PS Portal. They presented the 2005 PSP classic Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Stories.

https://x.com/theflow0/status/1759627938910089575?s=20

As a wireless streaming device, the idea of playing games on the PS Portal without a PS5 providing the power was considered impossible. It’s quite surprising how quickly Nguyen and Svensson have overcome this initial hurdle. It remains to be seen where their efforts will take them, but we will definitely keep an eye on their progress. Nguyen expressed that there is still a lot of work left to do.

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Gaming

Lady Gaga reveals collaboration with Fortnite for upcoming festival and addresses typo

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Lady Gaga, also known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has teased an upcoming collaboration with Fortnite Festival set to be unveiled soon. More pertinent to our specific attention to detail, Gaga has also admitted to a mistake made around four years ago, indicating her keen awareness of the franchise’s significant value.

Gaga shared a mesmerizing picture of her character in Fortnite and also retweeted a post from 2019 where she asked her fans, “What’s fortnight?”. She finally got the chance to correctly spell the title of the game, allowing us to breathe a sigh of relief after waiting anxiously.

Lady Gaga will be teaming up with other top celebrities to maximize their presence on the Fortnite platform. Travis Scott once hosted a live concert in Battle Royale a couple of years ago, while the Weeknd just premiered the music video for the song “Popular” at the Fortnite Festival.

https://x.com/ladygaga/status/1759986415415459972?s=20

 

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Gaming

Reflecting on Street Fighter 5’s tumultuous launch, Capcom looks back eight years later

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For those who may not recall, nearly eight years ago today, Street Fighter 5 was released in 2016 in a rather incomplete state. The content available was impressive initially, but the limited number of characters and lack of single-player game modes stood out. Capcom expresses regret for the entire situation, offering apologies years later for having “betrayed” players’ expectations.

On SF5’s eighth anniversary, the developers must be feeling nostalgic. They recently posted a Japanese-language tweet looking back on the mistakes made and the challenges that were eventually overcome. The number of playable characters has grown to 45, and the game has seen various enhancements, including the introduction of new abilities such as V Skills/Trigger II and V Shift. Even now, hundreds of thousands of players still choose to play this game instead of the newer Street Fighter 6.
Have you had the chance to try out Street Fighter 5 since it was first released? What do you recall about the game’s reception? Take a trip down memory lane in the comments section below.

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