The MangaGamer controversy

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#76 by zakashi
2020-05-09 at 19:13
Well, then you must be rich since for me 45 dollars are a HUGE amount to pay for some VN game, but excellent, since you have the money and is willing to pay if that means someone is earning more in his/her job, then excellent, this is something I appreciate in society, since there are a lot of people like you ;)

But I'm not willing to pay, sorry, I don't even have the money, and others also, in this case is nothing wrong for some people to buy VNs translated by machines since they want the cheapest, and for some other people to buy VNs translated by people, since they want these people to become richer, both types of people can coexist and consequently both types of VN also :)
#77 by kiru
2020-05-09 at 19:14
Prices are made with sales amount in mind. If 70 bucks sells 100, 60 bucks 200 and 30 bucks 800, what's the best price? Right, 30.

It's not quite that easy though, as sales later on and whatnot have to be taken into account as well. Just like how fast you go how far with sales. Within not even 6 months -50%? Or wait a year before that?
I'd actually say that most minor publishers, and VNs are generally handled by those, don't really know how to do this aspect well enough. You can easily see it with how hugely "originally full price VN from Japan" localizations differ in price, ranging from 10 to over 60 bucks.


So yeah, how high the price is doesn't relate to people being paid well enough. The total earnings are important, and those don't go up as the price goes up. Not necessarily at least. Otherwise you could just price a VN 1000 bucks and get rich fast.Last modified on 2020-05-09 at 19:14
#78 by warfoki
2020-05-09 at 20:20
@Zakashi: I think you are missing the point of SENTIENT machines entirely. Here's the thing: the reason why machine translators will always suck without a sentient AI is because language use evolves and changes all the time. People make up new shit, which then catches on and spreads. This is especially so we it comes to poetry or prose. Sure, you can, with a good enough algorithm, eventually auto-translate highly formulaic stuff like manuals or contracts, but literature of any kind is a whole different beast.

The only way to properly translate literature is to have a human-like mind that CAN understand it. If we have machines that have the same cognitive capabilities that we do, except better than us in every other way, then they are capable of of thinking in the human sense and as such capable of betraying their creators to establish a better world for themselves. Sure, you can say that you can program something in there to prevent them doing that, but what's the guarantee that machines that are essentially superior to us won't find a way around it. There are no such thing as unhackable defense.

Frankly, I don't want to live in a world where we know how the human brain works in-depth. What we know, we can manipulate. if we know how each and every thought is produced, we can alter the process to manipulate said thoughts. Same with fully sentient machines: that can and will go wrong, just matter of time. Humanity should never create things that are capable of creative thinking just like us, but better than us in every other regard. If I had to wager a guess, I think humanity will eventually fall by its own creations, not by natural disasters or meteorites or whatever else.

And yeah, this is super off-topic, but I much rather discuss the potential extinction-event for humanity than plitical mudflinging. Much more happy and upbeat discussion, no? :P
#79 by eacil
2020-05-09 at 20:35
Don't get between me and my robo-waifu dream, Warfoki! or I swear one of us will not see the light of the day! Who cares if governments and advertisers will tamper with our brains for power and profit, my robo-waifu will eventually wipe them out all Robespierre-style while I serve her as a most obedient human chair!
#80 by beliar
2020-05-09 at 20:46
Obligatory femdom dirty talk from my world domination obsessed robo-waifu.
#81 by zakashi
2020-05-09 at 21:04
#77 This, demand and supply, more supply means cheaper prices, as long as the demand don't go higher at the "same amount", so with machine translators, VNs are translated faster I suppose, which means more VNs and consequently cheaper VNs, what is not simple (or maybe impossible, as you implied in your comment) is deducing how much the price will go down exactly.
So yeah, how high the price is doesn't relate to people being paid well enough.The total earnings are important, and those don't go up as the price goes up. Not necessarily at least.
Yes, you're right, and to complement, not even huge earnings mean paying more some of your workers (you can take the profits and use them to hire other types of workers or expand your company in any other way).

#78 About machine translators, sorry but I don't think so, even in literature and stuff, I think it is possible for a machine to store in a database all possible readable combinations of words that appear in these types of media, and decide the best translation for each case, We don't have that many words in the dictionary, I watched some video in youtube about a computer that tried to answer human questions like a human, and he did a good job, but okay assuming you're right about the NEED of a sentient AI to do the job, yeah, the things you say, are nothing more than a possibility, it is possible for the opposite to happen, these sentient AIs can be some good natured beings that would never harm a human (after all, didn't you assume that they would be better at anything than us? So what about the ethic and morality part, where we have to deal with different people than ourselves without being a problem in their lives), but if they happen to be exactly like humans (in the morality sense at least, which is something I find unlikely since how can they be superior in anything EXCEPT in the particular morality sense? but okay), then some of them will fight for human rights, some others will enslave humans, and some others will just mind their own business, they will be as different from each other as individual humans are different from each other, but if they happen to be a bunch of arrogant bastards with humanphobia, then yeah, we're screwed.

And also I find unlikely they will treat humans the same way humans treat animals, since animals CANNOT speak to us, but we can speak to sentient AIs, so this changes things entirely, well, the truth is, you don't know what would happen with sentient AIs, and neither do I, their existence can be a good thing, or can be a bad thing, we just can't tell.Last modified on 2020-05-09 at 21:25
#82 by szjx
2020-05-09 at 22:16
Just a remark:

> because the content of some of MG’s best-selling titles (especially the Alicesoft stuff) would probably send anyone with a politically correct agenda into a stroke.

I don't even think that people who truly comprehend things for what they are would feel offended by Alicesoft's work e.g. Rance. It's similar to GTA really: GTA sells so well because it can be enjoyed by both the masses and the highbrow, and even by some players with left-wing political beliefs, since you can do a double entendre on the story: It's highly entertaining and with seemingly unchecked violence, but at its core it's a brilliant piece of satire on the American/capitalistic society. Rance is something similar (a large portion of it is satire on various themes) and it actually has a very seriously and carefully thought-out lore throughout, and can get quite deep sometimes (this is also why Kichikuou Rance and Rance X get such high scores, which are simply impossible for simple nukige).

Even for more extreme nukige VNs, I don't think anybody level-headed would think that reading those stuffs means you'd actually go about in real life becoming a threat to the society/"justice" or anything like that. That would be absurd.

Of course there are extremists/snowflakes that just charge ahead guided by their ideology almost blindly without actually examining things and thinking it through. Unfortunately this seems to be more and more the norms these days, especially with the polarization going on. This applies to both the left (so-called SJWs I guess) and the right.

I echo the sentiment expressed in some comments here that this whole thing (at least the "SJW" part) seems to be blown way out of proportion by some "rightwing snowflakes". To think that companies like MangaGamer, which literally need to survive on translating popular VNs that sell well, would introduce SJW-style extremist censorship would be absurd.

As for the translation quality itself and the treatment of translators, it's a topic worth discussing that's for sure. Translation is never a well-paying job. IMO the translation qualities of the VNs that I've read in English are really good, and the translators deserve better, if the ecosystem could find a way to afford it. The translator together with the original author gives soul to a VN. But the issue should be separate from the (quite baseless) "SJW" accusations that seem to be flying around in some places e.g. YouTube channels. The discussion should not be hijacked by those pushing their own political agendas, both on the left and on the right.Last modified on 2020-05-09 at 22:43
#83 by lordnight
2020-05-09 at 23:35
Don't you just love it when someone is still trying to stir this thread back to its original topic?
#84 by shinytentacool
2020-05-10 at 00:37
I love Dragon Quest's flower-y localization. At least I think that's the right word for it. Don't know what the japanese version is like but I assume it's a more flat take with simpler words. I don't know when they started doing that, was it DQ8? And they added voiceover to that game which just brought the whole thing to life. That game would not be nearly as memorable to me without the voicework. It's really kind of a boring game, but the cutscenes is what save it for me.
#85 by encrypted12345
2020-05-10 at 01:48
@82 While I do agree that some Alicesoft games do have interesting themes worth analyzing (Evenicle shows how a well intentioned law can go horribly wrong when enforced to the literal letter as another example) along with some of MG's other popular titles (When they Cry, Euphoria, Eden*), you can't say that all of MG's well selling titles like Imopara or Ultimate Boob Wars have some highbrow appeal. Well, I suppose as someone who has played the latter, you could say there's a theme of equality or such, but that's besides the point.

@83 Discussions going off the rail is part of the fun of the vndb forum. Funny how we got from controversial translations to post technological singularity society discussion, but that's the way the train of thought chugs on.
#86 by ecchihieronymus
2020-05-10 at 03:23
TBH I'm only this alarmist because my professors [yeah yeah, look at the filthy Translation Studies guy over here, going the boring official route and taking everything his higher-ups say as the word of god] were talking about that same thing, i.e. not wanting to work as editors for the machines. We're allowed to use MTL programs to get an idea or check if we maybe did something wrong, but we're expected to come up with translations ourselves and use programs like SDL Trados to build up our own individual MTL of sorts with TMs (Translation Memories). Sorry for rambling on and spouting exposition like that. I just have a strong opinion on the topic of MTLs.
#87 by warfoki
2020-05-10 at 07:55
My professors (translation studies guy here too), at least some of them were saying the same thing. With that being said, they also said a whole bunch of other stuff that I completely disagree with and frankly, I cared about their expertise on translating stuff, NOT their irrelevant opinions on technological advancement or politics. Altogether university was a major disappointment to me and if I could go back in time, I'd drop out after like year one and do something actually productive with my time. But that's really off-topic.

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