Long story short: I decided to give another look at the shitshow that is Kratzen, the magazine where Froge rants around and insults people under the self-proclaimed purpose to review games. When he reviewed the indie game “Oblige”, the developer countered — what a disgrace to yours truly, who decided to write over 10'000 words about why he does not care. While reading this shitfest, I wanted to interject at every other parapgraph and, you know, this is what I will be doing right now.

Proudly presents a gruesome ride into the depths of Narcissism …

The Kratzen Remarks

from Jonas “Strata” Kirschfeld


Oh, before I forget it: Hotchkiss' seven deadly sins of narcissism. It might come in handy, you know...

  1. Shamelessness (“the inability to process shame in healthy ways”)
  2. Magical thinking (“Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion. They also use projection to "dump" shame onto others.”)
  3. Arrogance (“A narcissist who is feeling deflated may "reinflate" their sense of self-importance by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.”)
  4. Envy (“A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person or their achievements.”)
  5. Entitlement (“Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority.”)
  6. Exploitation (“the other person is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible”)
  7. Bad boundaries (“Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves.”)

And coming out from the sewers of the Great Abyss comes in the scrappy can’t – do – no – wrong contestant with six triple – barreled shotguns, a mean motor – mouth running off like hot fire spitting out from a twenty – one Gatling gun volley assault, and a self – preservation instinct like a nuclear warhead dropping over Nagasaki, comes the slime man himself, the man with the power in his hand who makes the master plan happen, the slipshod and barely – cohesive construction of a human being, the most resolute, the most rockingest, most go – fuck – yourself boy to grace this great nation: the notorious, the Degenerate Prime Minister — FROGE!

And in this corner… Brianna. That’s all I know about her.

  • 107 words to introduce yourself and around ten for the other person in your imaginary fistfight?
  • see: Magical thinking
  • see: Arrogance

It was the slums of November. I had posted an opinion in 2017. I was attacked for it — one by some emo chump who had their hands in my cookie jar and who responded to my closing arguments with “Good bye, do better, and fuck off”. The other would be Brianna Lei, who I give a shit about because she was an accomplished developer by the time she posted her rebuttal. Also, there at least five different blokes who downvoted my comment (soon to be more!),

  • You only care about opinions from people who “accomplished something?” See: Arrogance.
  • also see: Shamelessness

though I don’t have any words for anyone who’s too afraid to express their opinion and decides to just leave drive – bys on smart people’s reviews.

As I said in my Butterfly Soup review, this really is the pettiest of petty beef. I have better things to do with my time than to worry about whether or not some random assholes dislike work that they didn’t bother to understand before casting judgement on it in the most inconsequential and content – free way they possibly can. I don’t know any of these people personally, they haven’t done enough in their lives or in my profession to make their opinions worth listening to, and their opinions of me on a single Itch.io thread of a single Itch.io game that nobody cared about before or after the publication of my review has no effect on the reputation I’ve earned through the eighteen months worth of work that you see before you now.

The only reason I even replied to those comments is because I thought I might have a positive influence on anyone who happens to see the thread, maybe even convincing my opposition that I have some valid criticisms of the game in question and isn’t someone just trying to stir shit up on the Internet. I used to stir shit up all the time in my younger days, and I know the techniques. Posting on some obscure indie game that I didn’t expect anybody to read, especially not that particular type of overly – defensive audience member who is as enjoyable to converse with as a member of the Conservative Party, is not an effective technique. Neither is trying to break the fall gently by notifying a developer of what I thought of their review in a polite manner, because I was taught to never say bad things about people behind their backs. If I’m trying to be a dickhead, then I’m not a very effective dickhead.

  • Ironically, you easily manage to be the biggest dickhead on Neocities.
  • The way you notified the developer of her review was polite, yes, but the original review? Not so much. You called the game an “energy – sucking experience” which is something I usually expect Brent DiCrescenzo to write in a Pitchfork review from 2000.

Posting rebuttals to every Tom, Dick, and Harry is not something I’m interested in, because that would imply everyone who walks through the Louvre is entitled to criticise the artwork and to argue with the curators about what is worthy of inclusion. I’m above that pissing contest by several orders of magnitude. They are not worthy of my attention. The most effective technique when somebody says some dumb shit to you online is to, simply, ignore them to death. John D. Rockefeller, the richest man to ever grace our Earth, would never reply to his critics. In a discussion with his friend about why he never did so, he pointed to a caterpillar on the sidewalk. “If I step on that worm, I will call attention to it. If I ignore it, it will disappear”. The majority of armchair critics are worms with ignorant opinions. The only proper response is no response at all.

  • You are “above that pissing contest” and these guys are “not worthy of [your] attention”? Alright, but isn't it weird then this is the fifth paragraph of your 10 THOUSAND words round in what may seem like a pissing contest?
  • John D. Rockefeller is not someone I would aspire to be, but it may suit you after all. And his metaphora is fucking dumb. He would get rid of the worm by stepping on it, thus giving it attention. Not giving the worm attention does not make the fucking worm disappear as it will continue to exist.
  • see: Magical thinking
  • see: Arrogance
  • see: Entitlement

This purpose of this article is not to call attention to worms. If anything, Brianna is the most notable person who has ever criticised me, which is really sad when you think about just how small – time we, respectively, are. I respect her as an author, and I respect her as a person. I am not disparaging her because she posted a poor opinion of me.

  • There is no such thing as a “poor opinion.”

I am posting this rebuttal to her criticisms because, for the profit of my audience, I will deconstruct and call attention to every one of her flawed statements, provide suggestions on how to create better criticisms, add in some perspective on who I am as a person and how she so boldly misrepresents me, and continue to provide that same confidence, that same level of quality, that you all know and love me for.

  • Although you worded it better, this is the same as kids retweeting people they don't like, so they can shine in front of their followers. Pathetic.

I will start my rebuttal with another quote from Rockefeller: “It is one thing to stand on the comfortable ground of placid inaction and put forth words of cynical wisdom, and another to plunge into the work itself and through strenuous experience earn the right to express strong conclusions”. To those on the Internet who lack this strenuous experience: may Froge help you.

  • Haha. Hahaha. Are you really talking about “assassinating”? You know, this is the word German rappers use when releasing an irrelevant diss track.
  • Bonus points for not caring about other people's opinion on you so much that it's a valid choice to assassinate them.
  • aka. “for fuck's sake, my scroll bar is still at the top”

Brianna: “Unfortunately, the review was so long and boring that I didn’t make it to the end.”

Froge: The complaint starts out with a limp foot and an unconvincing facsimile of a rebuttal by not only referencing my opening line of the Oblige review in question in a way that makes it clear Brianna is not here to be friendly with me despite how friendly I am, but also showcases her own sloth by not only implying she does not have the capacity to read a 1,700 word article without leaving partway through (a length that Firefox tells me takes ten minutes to read and which I can finish in six),

  • Literal Chuck Norris, huh?

but that she, a notable writer, did not have the attention span to read even that paltry amount without finding it “boring”, despite how blatant my displays of humour and personality are. If I’m “long and boring”, then the rest of us writers are doomed! Doomed!

  • Declaring something boring is not always related to the critic's attention span. It's just as simple as: your reviews are fucking boring. I did not notice this at first because I had no experience in English literature whatsoever. Now I can say: she's right. Your reviews truly are fucking boring.

This also shows a special type of ignorance as to just how long my works can be, meaning Brianna did not do even a cursory amount of research into either my previous history or the history of Kratzen, leading to a critical research failure in suggesting that a mere 1,700 words is in any way a long article for the man who had written, just a week prior to the posting of your comment, a 6,200 word scrawl about Heartbound, and the day before that, 2,700 words about my concerns regarding Kratzen.

When you go further back, it gets even sillier: 8,100 words about the Spongebob Squarepants movie game, 2,900 words about dreams, autism, flags, and memory, the 11,700 word review of the Beginner’s Guide that got the developer to read my blog, my 21,000 word series on Haruhi Suzumiya season one, and the legendary 20,000 word Industrial Steamworks article I took just seven days to write.

And if you want books? Why not check out the 9,000 word “visual” novel I wrote in three days (and I have to give huge shout – outs to SheepishGamer, once again, for making it a reality, and I apologise again for making you work so hard on the novel), or the 23,000 word non – fiction tome that I also did all the typography, graphic design, and level design for? But I guess, considering how you couldn’t be bothered to even look at my Itch.io projects, you wouldn’t have cared much about the extensive length of all of them, given how a review with just 10% of the words was too intimidating for you.

  • Telling us about your other articles' length does not compensate for the sheer fact that 1'700 words is probably overkill for a simple game.
  • also see: Bad boundaries

I’m not expecting everyone to be a voracious reader like yours truly.

  • Yes, you do. See above.

I woke up this morning listening to the CBC about whatever international trade agreements were happening, mostly about car parts. I kicked the morning off reading and replying to developers who commented on my own previous night’s comments. When doing research for what I was going to say in this rebuttal, I came across a few insightful articles linked on RationalWiki, including “The Nationalist’s Delusion” and “The Warlock Hunt”, not to mention the articles on RationalWiki itself. Before that I had read about a dozen short editorials on Dead Homer Society, mostly those on the 23rd Anniversary Yellow Jubilee and Animation Alley tags — because, I swear, Dead Homer Society is one of the most readable and insightful websites about animation culture online today.

Do you know why I bring all of these experiences up? It’s not to brag; I’m not big enough to brag, and people who attempt to bolster their ego in lieu of creating great work are the most boring people.

  • Exactly. Now put two and two together, please.
  • Also: thank you for telling me about your schedule and how hard you work each day. I'm not interested, and it does not belong in a review. Wait, this is not even a review. Why do you even post a rant instead of a review in your “professional” magazine?

It’s because, as the old mantra states: “never trust a skinny chef”. If a writer is not willing to go deep into their own medium, read insightful commentary and opinions from those who have earned their opinions, digest a great deal of information in an attempt to categorise it, think about it, and develop your own opinions you may spread onto the world, then they will not be a very good writer, and what they create will end up born into ignorance. I read a quote from David Foster Wallace replying to a stranger about how he got so smart. His answer: “I did the reading”. I have took his example and, for each day of my life, I have also done the reading. I hope Brianna takes my example and continues to read work that provokes her thought as her work has provoked mine.

  • Let me add a sentence that would fit perfectly at the end of your self-masturbation: “If you can’t see it, it will never happen. Bring your vision to fruition through perseverance and hard work. That will build momentum.” It's pointless, does not tell me anything new and it's also a tweet from Donald Trump.

Oh, and while it would have been physically impossible for you to know at the time, I also ended up doing an 11,300 word review of Butterfly Soup — the novel you’re famous for. I guess I won’t be getting a comment about that review, now will I?

  • Of course you won't — that review was written after the incident. And do you expect Brianna to have time to read through that? Other people have to work, you know.

Brianna: “The amateurish writing style read more like someone talking to himself for than an actual review.”

Froge: I’m not sure if this has slipped you by, but not only have I been doing this writing thing since I was twelve years old scrubbing Friendship is Magic fanfiction and has been doing games – related shit since I was fourteen (in a series of stories and articles that are forever lost and were probably very cringeworthy), I’ve already gotten high praise from developers and artists who are influential in their respective fields just from the shit I’ve been doing since The Degenerates, and I have quite literally been paid for the content I produce. The only thing stopping me from making mad bank is a clickbait blog title and a marketing budget with fat stacks to burn. This may be a hobbyist website, but by all reasonable definitions, it sure as hell is professional in its design and execution — though you wouldn’t think that because of my “amateurish” writing style.

It’s true that I write like an amateur, and it’s true that I write like I’m talking to myself. But I’m a writer. That’s what we, you know, fucking do.

  • No. That's what amateurs do. Not every writer writes like that, thank God.

If you’re asking me to make my prose more professional by neutering it to the point where it loses all of its distinct personality and you can no longer recognise it as what I, and I alone, have written, then I’m sorry. It’s not going to happen. I’m going to keep making jokes, I’m going to keep peppering my words with naughty words, I’m going to keep making absurd reviews that talk about whatever I want to talk about, and I’m going to make the work that, most of all, I want to see in this world. And if it sounds like I’m writing to myself? Fuck. Who else am I going to write to? Because it’s certainly not going to be for prissy nerds like you.

  • Narrator: “Little did Froge know he was directly addressing Brianna with this article.”

Brianna: “This indie game reviewer has somehow has never heard of IndieCade, a major, well known indie games festival, and instead of googling it like a regular person with common sense, he called it ‘full of shit,’ demonstrating that he is incapable of doing the basic research required to be a game reviewer.”

Froge: Alright, you got me there. I didn’t look up IndieCade because for the fourteen or so months that I’ve been writing about video games on the Degenerates enterprise you see before you, not once have I ever heard of IndieCade, ever had a situation where my knowledge of IndieCade would have been relevant, or even covered any games that were featured at IndieCade. IndieCade isn’t like Ludum Dare or E3 where not knowing about them would show a reviewer who is unaffected by the whims of the world and decides to march on regardless. It’s just another easily – ignorable video game awards show circlejerk full of the same type of people who, if they were musicians, would think the Grammy awards are a big deal, as opposed to appearing on the Rolling Stones year – end “best of” list.

  • Both are irrelevant. Music is subjective, as is writing. Who the fuck wants to read reviews instead of consuming the art directly? Before you say that I wrote about two or three albums on my site, I'd like to make clear I did this for the sole purpose of spreading the word on great music.

My review of Oblige was what I felt about the title personally, not what some random assholes who have the privilege to be a part of a show with a lot of money thought about the title, and I think it would be dishonest to base my opinion of a work solely on how much screen time it’s gotten on these bumfuck nowhere ceremonies. Overwatch, as the box art says, has gotten “over 140 game of the year awards!”, but I still don’t give a shit about Overwatch and my frog friend considers it to be an incredibly poorly – designed game on every conceivable level. I think the Smash Brothers games are shit, but it’s one of the most popular series ever made. And if Oblige did get that type of positive press, what does it matter what some random asshole online says about it? I’m writing for the purpose of entertaining my audience. The Oblige developers have their audience, and clearly, they enjoy it!

I think if we’re going down the path of saying that I’m not a real critic …

  • Funny as heck, isn't it? She never said you were “not a real critic”, yet you imply this because you're fucking insecure.
  • see: Entitlement

… because I haven’t heard about so and so, done research about such – and – such, and haven’t bothered to learn about every subject under the Sun that could possibly have to do with indie games and the criticism thereof, then we’re going to be part of a never – ending contest of arbitrarily setting higher and higher standards for a medium that, by its very nature, invites anybody with a reasonable opinion and a depth of knowledge to come into it and post opinions based on what they, personally, pride as a human being. Criticism may be an art form in itself, but it’s not one that requires so much training as the other arts. If you can express your thoughts well, and hold the interest of your audience: congratulations. You’re already better than the majority of critics, and are well on your way to being taken seriously.

I don’t think it’s a productive or germane mindset to say that, because I haven’t heard of this arbitrary event, this particular developer, or this specific engine, I’m not entitled to my own opinion.

It’s true that such knowledge can inform your opinion of the industry and even the work in question, but I find it incredibly exclusionary to go into every review throwing around just how much random stuff you know,

  • That's what you just did a few paragraphs up, telling us about what shit you wrote and what heroic miracles you accomplished. Stick to the fucking point.

and expect your audience to keep up. That’s one of the reasons why I can’t read, for instance, Film Crit Hulk: I have no idea what he’s saying the majority of the time, and I have zero interest in hearing the opinions of someone who doesn’t strive to make his work more understandable to his broad audience. If you have to start an article off with a dictionary definition of a concept that most people have never even heard of and will never be relevant to their lives, you lose.

Also, I may be a critic, but I also tend to make jokes. You know. As human beings do. Writing about IndieCade by saying “I don’t even know what that is, and I already think they’re full of shit” is so obviously a joke that I shouldn’t even have to explain.

Like, the joke is that I have an extremely strong opinion on something without even understanding what that thing is! That’s literally the fucking joke! You’d have to be absolutely daft to miss out on that!

  • :D … I'm speechless.
  • It may be that people don't interpret that as a joke because that's what you do all day, talking shit about things you don't have any clue about.

Brianna: “This combined with other uninformed opinions including his belief that Unity is an abysmal engine (a common myth believed by normies with no background in game development)…”

Froge: I found this remark about Unity especially strange because, running gag aside, it is absolutely a shit engine that has been responsible for more trash being uploaded on Itch.io than even the “shit” engines like Game Maker Studio and Panda3D have ever put out. Comparing the 2D capabilities of Game Maker against Unity is like comparing Itch.io to Gamejolt: the former is so many orders of magnitude ahead of the latter that one wonders why the hell the latter is used at all. But Unity and Game Maker are proprietary engines, so comparing them is meaningless because no proprietary software is ever legitimate, and it is immoral on several levels to even consider using them. Might I recommend using Godot instead? Here’s hoping 3.0 turns out bitchin’!

Me and my frog friend agree that Unity is absolutely a shit engine, and I think it deserves all the shit it gets from me no matter how facetious and jokingly I make fun of it. Not only is Unity proprietary and getting any Unity game to run on Linux is a ritual involving prayer beads and more Wine dependencies than is healthy for any workstation, but when the engine does try to run a 3D game better – looking than, say, Spyro the Dragon, it chugs along at a whopping ten frames per second and bends my $1000 workstation to its knees. What the fuck? 3D is supposed to be your shit, Unity, and you’re going to bold – face tell me that you can’t run 3D games on a 3D engine? And for that matter, why do you even support 2D games? Not only are you trying to do two entirely separate things at once, but you don’t even have the gall to do one of them well.

  • I can run Unity games perfectly fine on my $600 Workstation PC from 2013. Probably, your computer is shit. Unity has become a pretty great engine.

For reference, every Unity game that tries to have current – generation graphics on current – generation consoles runs like absolute bollocks, and those that don’t run like bollocks look like they were developed for the GameCube. The most popular Unity game of 2017, Cuphead (yeah I was fucking shocked too), runs at a crisp, clean, forty FPS on my machine, and a whopping fifteen frames per second in more action – packed quarters. Part of this can be thanks to Wine being forced to interpret Unity’s bullshit for a Linux architecture …

  • There's your problem. Mapping calls to another OS's kernel does not exactly improve performance, you prick.

… (which it shouldn’t have to do in the first place, thank you proprietary crippleware), but another part can be attributed to the Cuphead developers taking the piss when it comes to optimising their title; even in a game that prides itself on so much animation, there should be no reason whatsoever why Cuphead does not get 60FPS at all times given the simplicity of its levels.

Should the developer have to compensate for the wrongdoings of the engine, or should the engine have the privilege to dictate what it can and cannot do well enough to ship products on? Trick question: Unity does nothing well, and I am awaiting the day where it’s deader than Build.

Brianna: “…suggests that he’s a…a normie. Oh no…”

Froge: Yes, the Stoic autistic furry weeaboo plushophile socialist fuck who writes thinly – disguised free culture propaganda on a free culture hosting platform, discussing everything from video games to digital art to Web security to animation to even books of all things, who used to spend his entire teenage years addicted to Valve games, Tumblr, and questionably – legal salacious pornography regarding pretty pastel ponies who graduated from Brony to Furry in the span of just a few years, whose contradictory interests of gangster rap, house music, ancient history, and modern politics all come up in in increasingly obscure references in my reviews, all comes together to paint a portrait of a man who, as Brianna so puts it, is a… a normie. Oh no…

  • Nice, 123 words in a single sentence. What a great writer you are. Needless to say that much effort to rationalise a single word from Brianna shows you've got serious problems.
  • see: Shamelessness
  • see: Entitlement

I don’t know how much more obvious I have to make this, but that normie thing? That was a JOKE. It was meant to make you LAUGH. I don’t know how the statement, “I also have this creeping suspicion, this spooky and scary notion, that the developers of this game, instead of being developers… are normies! Boo! Bwah!” could be construed as anything other than a humourous remark on the patheticness of my character for bringing attention to developers for being normies when, by definition, the vast majority people are normies and criticising someone for being a boring human being requires more words than what the word “normie” contains.

  • Then why did you use that word in the first place? It has a pretty bad, even insulting connotation on the internet, I know that, you know that, Brianna knows that and your nonexistent readers know. Don't try to downplay its meaning here.

This goes beyond failing even cursory research of my online persona (which you accuse me of not doing? really?) …

  • Fun fact: she doesn't.

… and dives straight into the pool of almost totally misinterpreting my text at hand. If you have to explain satire to someone, you’ve already lost. I do think that normies are boring human beings and are ignorant of many of life’s strange and beautiful mechanisms, choosing to go about their lives as autonomous robots with little independent thought.

  • There you go. Even you see it as an insult.
  • Luckily, there's an xkcd for your words, so I don't have to bother explaining why your reasoning is utter shit.

But if I’m going to make a serious point about the condition of being a normie, then it’s going to be in much more certain terms than a sarcastic off – hand remark about the developers being normies. Why am I explaining this? I thought Brianna was supposed to be a comedy writer. I thought she would recognise, you know. Comedy.

  • aka. “Jesus Christ, I want this to stop”

Brianna: “Yet another major turn – off in the review was his section equating expressing gratitude toward critique to being a ‘mainstream shill’ instead of a sign that a person actively listens to feedback and strives to improve.”

Froge: Brianna, that was… You know… oh, fuck it.

  • Thank you so much. I'll skip this.

[two paragraphs left out intentionally]

Seriously, even though I think shows like Family Guy, Zombie Simpsons, and 90% of contemporary Western adult animation are some of the least funny and most tasteless pieces of shit to ever grace the airwaves, I can at least understand that they are attempting to be funny. Even in an abysmal, inexecrable clusterfuck like Epic Movie or Movie 43, I can at least see where the attempts at humour lie, even if the only people who could enjoy such work would have an artistic palette worse than insects who eat their own mothers after birth.

Now, I am nowhere near as adamantly unfunny as any of these examples, but even so, I don’t expect everyone to enjoy my particular style of writing. After all, I have mostly written for myself and anyone who would like to improve themselves to match, and there are few people with that description who enjoy my work.

  • Interesting, isn't it? Other people can only “improve themselves to match”. Even the idea of some better writer reading your stuff does not cross your mind.
  • see: Envy

You can call me whatever mean insult you like, never look at my work again, and live the rest of your lives blameless, because I wouldn’t expect you to like my work in the first place. But to fail to understand one of the most basic tenets of writing, which is to recognise when someone is trying to be funny?

That shows a reading comprehension failure so basic that it goes past a matter of personal preference and invalidates anything you have to say about English idiom before or since.

It is a fundamental failure, a failure so embarrassing that even pointing it out is pedantic and awkward, and I am personally stunned that I even have to explain myself in this manner.

Brianna: “It’s clear through the review’s quality that this bizarre mindset has stunted the reviewer’s growth as a writer and as a human being.”

Froge: Fuck, she sure read me like a book! I’m totally a developmentally damaged human being who has a deranged state – of – mind …

… and who constantly suffers in his daily life because of the subjective level of quality of one review I did for one game that nobody cared about, didn’t affect me in any way until I posted the review on the Oblige Itch.io page, and which has severely diminished the quality of the twenty – eight articles I’ve posted since that review came out to the point where I am unable to continue as a reviewer, a writer, and a human being because of this one negative review I gave to a game I didn’t personally like. Also, I know you have trouble with this, so I’m just going to say the last sentence was sarcasm and save you the trouble of interpreting it. You’re welcome.

  • Again, this is what Twitter kids do: crying around first, then selling it as sarcasm or irony.
  • also see: Shamelessness
  • also see: Entitlement

It’s already been established that Brianna’s complaint has failed to do even basic research about who I am before making these types of far – reaching, arrogant, and patently untrue assumptions about my personal character, but this is just outrageous. The assumptions that Brianna makes here are so insulting to everything that I’ve done within the past two years, ignorant of the type of person I was before that time, and disingenuous to everyone who ever had to struggle with that type of self – improvement journey that I have written extensively about with the hope that it will inspire all my fans to make them better people, to make it so they don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did when I was younger, that it felt like a slap in the face to every single one of the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve published up to the point, and a slap against the tens of thousands more that I haven’t.

  • You're right, she should rather have labelled you as a passive-aggressive depressed German who has no experience in comedy writing.

Even just looking on the main page of my Degenerates collective, which is on my fucking Itch.io profile of all places, meaning all she had to do was go to my Itch profile and click on my website link, shows just how much I have evolved ever since I first created Froghand on May 20th, 2016. Since then I have been a Web security blogger, a designer, a media critic, the manager of a collective, an amateur flag – maker, an amateur artist, an art critic, an indie games reviewer, a novelist, and a non – fiction book writer, typographer, and level designer. I have developers who looked at the work I created, and they’ve come to me asking to collaborate with them on projects. I didn’t go to them — they came to me.

  • This reads like an excerpt from a Trump speech.

The assumption that I am in any way stunted my growth “as a writer and as a human being” because of one single review, which doesn’t even take up a quarter of a percent of everything I have ever published under the collective, is provably, demonstrably, just fucking wrong.

Even the broadest of the broad strokes of what I have created can be shown to be part of a consistent, systemic improvement in both quality and tone just by looking at the design of each work. Froghand: source code was shit, typography needed work, and layout was unintuitive to navigate for modern audiences.

  • Fun fact: I offered a fix for your wrong HTML via e-mail which you rejected without even thinking about it. Let me quote.

    In addition, our service team wants to inform you of the invalid css rules you include on your site in the 88x32 buttons= there is an equal sign where a double colon should be used (see attachment).

    i won't be seeing your attachment. the "height" and "width" are html attributes, not css, so colons are invalid semantics.

    You fucking frog, I was talking about the semantics *inside* of the html style attribute you're using on your flags at the bottom of your page, and you're even doing it right at the top. On line 16 of your frontpage, you use
    (which is correct), on line 134, you use
    (which is wrong - my browser doesn't even take these attributes into the DOM). Since I thought this was just a simple slip, I wrote you but I didn't expect you to think I'm fucking stupid.

    Who wants to be friends with this guy again?

10kB: Source code significantly improved, site structure is more organised, the typeface fits the content, and the design is much more navigable.

  • Improvement: the menu is now made up of absolutely positioned elements. On top of that, the whole site scales like shit on a phone.

Kratzen: Source code now includes semantic structure, the typography is the classiest it’ll ever be, the index page is the best one I’ve ever done, the graphic design has more pulp than any other website, and it is the perfect type of website to showcase the sole type of content I put on it: daily reviews and articles about indie games. All of this, I remind you, was done solely by yours truly. This was all my evolution as an artist. No – one else’s.

  • Also done by yours truly: the whole site uses px, pt and % for positioning. The outer whitespace is created by limiting the main container to 60%. Ever thought about how that might look on a phone? Spoiler: like shit. I told you to use em's and sensible, responsive layouting, but why should you care about what friends tell you?
  • see: Arrogance

And this is not even talking about the content. Who, here, remembers the old days of Froghand, where I could not even write down a sentence without making an off – colour joke, and where I could not discuss subjects such as this without going off on a wild tangent about something else entirely? Who remembers my farcical, outlandish stories on 10kB where I would relate my life to the piece as was being presented, where I would hardly even post an opinion on the work in question in favour of talking more about myself? And who remembers the old days of Degenerates, with a rigid structure resembling more a bureaucracy than a collective, where I was called a cult leader for having the courage to create an honour club, as the Degenerates once was, in an age where there is no honour whatsoever? I am a changed man, a more learned man, whenever I have created a new project. This is my most learned project yet, and I have evolved to be learned.

  • You're right here, evolving from “terrible” to “a little better than terrible” could be called evolution.

[five paragraphs intentionally left out — they were completely irrelevant to the topic and consisted of masturbation]

Paragraph Three

Brianna: “Overall the review is unappealing,”

Froge: I understand this is your opinion, though to state that the review is, objectively, unappealing, without showing some level of understanding in regards to the honesty, charm, and ludicrous nature of the thing, aspects that are typically seen as appealing, shows that this complaint was designed for the sole purpose of being a complaint instead of trying to be an actual communication or exchange of ideas. Even with games I consider hot garbage, I don’t come out and say that the game itself is objectively unappealing.

  • … because games can't be objectively unappealing.
  • Brianna did not say your review was objectively unappealing but still you go on a paragraph long rant about how things would be IF she said that. You're killing me.

It can be said that Oblige is objectively unappealing …

  • Literally one line ago: “Even with games I consider hot garbage, I don’t come out and say that the game itself is objectively unappealing.”

… because of the long stretches of time you have to spend doing menial work such as walking and typing simplistic phrases, because having a game with such little action as what Oblige has is not considered to be good game design by any critic worth his salt — and those who consider it good design are being disingenuous in an attempt to protect their hoity – toity reputations because they don’t have the conviction to call a spade a spade, a bad game a bad game, and so mindlessly praise pseudo – artistic trite to appease their pseudo – artistic mindless audience. But that is my opinion.

  • Exactly. I like “boring” games like Myst. Games where I can chill the shit out.

It’s funny, too, how strongly this complaint states its points, as banal as the points are, while being a complaint against my post which said: “So I gave it a disappointing review on Kratzen, but I do think your collective talents are able to make even better titles in the future”. The tone of your post against my own post doesn’t really fit; where mine is fair and delicate, yours seems to be a series of ad hominem attacks that have very little in the way of actual points or rhetoric. As to why you were fucking with me in this ineffectual manner, I know not.

  • Under these assumptions, what justifies a 10K word rant as a response?

Brianna: “unnecessarily long,”

Froge: By the way, if you’ve read this article up to this point — and I know you haven’t, because online commentators love to complain but hate to explain, never putting their thoughts into a form that can be effectively criticised and discussed and so refuse to improve their discourse through reading criticisms such as this — , I would like to thank you for proving me wrong and showing that you do have the capability to read longform prose without getting bored and scampering off. Though I have to ask you to no longer reply to my works, because based on the quality of the reply you’ve posted, it would be a waste of our collective talents as human beings.

Brianna: “and lacks even images to make the experience more bearable for potential readers.”

Froge: Oh, sorry, let me just post a screenshot real quick:

An image from the game “Oblige”, showing a tall cityscape against the sky with a bunch of peasants walking on the sidewalk.

Oblige features a variety of cityscapes inspired by the unique architecture of Hong Kong in the 1970’s. Its art style was inspired by old video games such as what you might find on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, though not quite, as it also features many graphics that would not have been possible.

Did that do anything for you? Did the redundant, unexciting, obvious, and pedantic inclusion of that image do anything to help you inform your opinion of this decent – looking, though unacceptably redundant and unexciting video game, which is a video game only in the sense that it technically resembles a game?

  • Yes. Now I want to play it.

Are you now a more fulfilled human being because I decided to waste the precious time I could have used to write a better article for the sake of including a screenshot that you could have gotten by going to Oblige’s profile page, while at the same time doubling the bandwidth required to load this article? Or are you just not familiar enough with the art of criticism to be able to handle reading even a moderately involved review — a review that should take you no more than ten minutes to read — without getting distracted and staring at the pretty pictures that I provide?

This is such an infantile criticism of my work that I feel it’s beneath me to even give this response. In the eighteen months that I’ve been publishing work online, not once has somebody complained to me that my work would be improved if I included pictures with it. I agree there are times where they would have been germane, such as with the Bioshock Infinite review (watch out! it’s 6,000 words!) where I discuss the graphic design being too obtuse and cluttered for what is allegedly a hardcore shooter, and compared it to the much sparser art style of games like Quake and Counter – Strike.

I could have added in images and compared and contrasted the different art styles across the ages — in fact, I did that in the Tao of Mario. But why bother? Sometimes I’m a publisher, and sometimes I do talk at length about the visual arts such as what I have done with The 10kB Gallery. But the vast majority of the time, I’m a writer, and I make work that is meant to be read. If someone doesn’t have the attention span required to read my work which usually takes, at most, fifteen minutes to read, then I’m not going to placate them with near – worthless pictures.

I review games. I review how they play, what they talk about, and even how they look. The reason I don’t include pictures in my games criticism is because the majority of human beings have lizard brains who will focus on how a product looks — how it makes them feel in this base, biologically hard – wired way — before using their higher – order brain functions in order to discern its quality beyond how its æsthetics brainwash them.

  • Sorry for not being as autistic as you are. Sorry for liking imagery.

People, as can be scientifically proven, are idiots. They make decisions based on the first piece of information they see, and if the first piece of information in my review is how something looks, as opposed to how something is, I will have to spend a portion of my review saying how you shouldn’t trust how a game looks, and I will have to repeat that on every review.

It’s a logistical clusterfuck, it means you don’t think your audience is smart enough to handle your writing, it means you think you’re not talented enough to hold their attention with your writing, it has the potential to get me sued for bullshit “copyright infringement” claims, and if despite all of that I decide to include images in my work, it will actively damage what I’m trying to accomplish with Kratzen: reviewing games that are worth your time. Playing a bad game because you thought it looked good is a waste of your time. If someone looks at my review, thinks “wow, this is a great game!”, and they look at the box art and thinks it looks fine? That’s alright with me. Not cynically manipulating our basic instincts. That’s against everything I create.

The only place images have on Kratzen is for the identification of discrete titles that would be difficult for the eye to recognise if the titles were text alone. If you see a Kratzen favicon? That means I’m talking about Kratzen. A Twitch emote? That means I’m taking the piss. Some anime girl? Also the piss. A picture of a game’s character? That means it’s a good game. But if I have a game review and it’s a screenshot of something entirely different? Then the game is shit. It got one star, it’s a bad game, you don’t even need to read the review. In fact, that’s why I have Slark’s picture on the “Oblige” section under 2017 – 11 – 03. The game doesn’t deserve to have its real picture put there. That’s why I put in Slark: he’s a cute fish boy and it makes for a stealthy “much obliged” pun.

So, pictures on Kratzen? Not happening. That’s one itch I’m not going to scratch.

  • You just did.

Brianna: “I’m unsure why ‘Kratzen’ was so proud to present this (as proclaimed at the top of the review)…”

Froge: Because I’m a one – man operation whose ability to design, write, publish, and advertise his own online enterprise to the point of notability within my community would be a point of pride for any reasonable man? Because I’m at the point in my career where I can write a review such as my Oblige one in the broad side of an hour? Because despite all the wanna – be armchair critics floating around on Itch.io, I’m one of the only ones out there who is actually a critic, who has actual writing talent, and is prolific enough to make the most of those talents and become an acclaimed figure in the eyes of the very same developers I connect with?

  • Whoa dude, take it easy. By the way, this is called a God complex.

In contrast, Brianna, you have been very successful in your own enterprise, and it is obvious you have your talents, but I am by no means the one – hit – wonder that you’re making out to be, and my reputation comes from having earned it, instead of having it come through luck as it has for you.

Also, I’m not sure why you put “Kratzen” in “quotation marks”. That is literally the title of this blog. I’m not “TJ ‘Henry’ Yoshi” over here where my identity is being called into question; it literally is Kratzen.

Brianna: “…because I would have been truly embarrassed to be associated with such an uneducated, diarrhea – like stream of consciousness.”

Froge: Actually I would be more embarrassed for a significantly more successful and profitable author such as yourself, with her hundreds of dedicated fans coming from one of of the most popular visual novels of 2017, to start an Internet Fight with someone who posted on a title that you didn’t have a hand in developing, and for that someone to have an a total audience across his career that is just a fraction of the total audience you have gotten out of your measly two titles. I thought once you graduated to the Big Boys Pool, you were supposed to be above fighting the rats that hop in and try to gnaw at your protein – providing flesh.

I didn’t even solicit you for criticism. I didn’t even know you existed as a person before you came to me with this poorly – constructed diatribe and made me look like a complete fucking dipshit because I shared a different opinion about some random – ass game on the Internet that I only took a look at because I liked the concept. For you to come at me like this about somebody else’s work is so petty on your part that I wonder how you’re going to handle anybody giving negative reviews of your work to you personally? The mainstream gaming press is so averse to giving negative opinions to independent artists, even when they deserve what little shit they get, that it has caused artists to become delusional and think they can do no wrong because they had the fortune to create something popular if not something that’s good in spite of its popularity. If nobody has ever bothered to shit on you before, it’s because nobody important cares about the work you’re doing.

Brianna: “I hope the author learns to do research, discovers how to write more concisely, and realizes that if he ever wants to write anything worth reading, he should drastically alter his way of thinking.”

Froge: You too, thanks.

  • German has a word for that, it's called “selber” and little kids shout it at the playground when they feel insulted. It basically means “right back at you.” It is a sign of total incompetence to deal with being criticised.

The Finale

Now, ladies and gentlemen, what you have just witnessed is a deer running straight towards the headlights and having its life torn asunder from this mortal coil. You’ve just seen a character assassination as executed by a professional hitman, having gone from birth to death dedicated to the pursuit of getting rid of all that bullshit that exists out there in the world. You’ve just seen the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of Brianna’s reputation, and the allegorical bullet in the gun that lights up her glass heart and shatters every stone she’s thrown at me. There is no competition; She pulled a Takeover, I pulled an Ether, and at the end of it all, I am the one who fucked with her soul and made that shit burn slow.

  • I thought we were done with rap?
  • also see: Magical thinking
  • also see: Arrogance
  • also see: Exploitation, finally
  • Because you think I'm fucking dumb, you will probably come around to tell me that was meant as a joke. But I wonder why you even bother to write any paragraph when everything you say is a joke in the end.

But that’s all braggadocio. In the real world, this beef is squashed, it’s fucking done as it’ll ever be, and I’m never going to take this girl’s opinion seriously ever again, because she has proven, line – by – line, play – by – play, that she cannot even reach the bare minimum amount of discourse necessary to take down a man who takes himself down every day of his life, who beats himself up over the pettiest of things, ironically or otherwise, and all she had to was kick me while I was down and make me tap out of this silly, pointless, Internet fight. But she couldn’t even do that. No wonder I stanced up right then: it’s one thing to say some dumb shit online. It’s another thing to say some dumb shit about a guy who says dumb shit online. I just couldn’t stand for that. I was the easiest target she could have possibly picked to ruin, and she whiffed it harder than Jim Joyce’s faulty first base call at Armando Galarraga's near – perfect game, June 2nd, 2010.

  • It's alright, I made up for that. And I'm done. Everything I would have written from now on would have been a repetition, because you constantly repeat your self-praise and circlejerk around like a god. Don't do this.

[16 paragraphs intentionally left out]