Proudly presents…

Kratzen’s Inarbitrary Anniversary

with ♥ from Froge


On April 1st, 2017, I had created Kratzen.

This obvious April Fools joke had sadly received universally positive reception and so I was unable to reveal it as the practical joke it was. What was originally supposed to be a blatant satire about the triviality of being an art critic in perhaps the least artistic medium combined with opinions that are so obviously terrible that they could only be produced by a brain that is either seriously deranged or sufficiently advanced that it could be nothing more than the ramblings of a mentally – deficient cave goblin or the masterwork of a troll so advanced that it even caused other trolls to see it as a troll had spiraled into something that the unwashed masses unironically enjoy, and as a result I felt obliged to tarnish the Froge character even further for the sake of adding my cynically – manipulated hundreds of thousands of webpage hits to my résumé, and then perhaps find a real job as a copywriter to continue the same brand of troth I’ve spewed out for the past twelve months.

I had gone into this website thinking that my ideas would be so trite, so far out from any sort of pragmatic thought, and so naïve as to be laughable in their childlike badness that I thought only people who resemble my fictitious façade could find anything to relate to in this pile of purposefully poorly – thought – out diatribes. I honestly thought that there would be so few people who actually do relate to this greyscale garbage that I would be able to write anything I wanted at all and still have the respect of the minuscule minds that I garnered with this exercise in lower – order pandering.

I never thought anybody would take what I wrote seriously. How much more obvious do I need to make it? The bad YouTube critics? The pretentious German? The autistic scribes that nobody reads, written in the muse of a moderately – talented twelve – year – old writer to the point where you can only find it endearing if you, too, were an autistic twelve – year – old? What about the bad graphic design and the stale memes, written in the name of “irony” — that word used only by scumbags and Internet celebrities who want to be lesser human beings without suffering the consequences of their actions? How could anybody think this was in any way a professional, well – thought – out enterprise, and to that point, even praise it as such to someone who spent the last year telling them to go fuck themselves, expecting them to have the minimum level of intelligence needed to connect the dots and have their neurons fire off, “HEY, THIS IS A TROLL. IT’S A FUCKING TROLL, YOU TWAT”, and yet never having anyone else be in on this joke that I made solely to laugh at you?

I’m stunned. Just fucking stunned. I always knew that humanity was perhaps the most vile, disgusting, and ultimately apathetic of all species that we have classified, for you — yes, you — have the capacity to use your intelligence to discern that we all benefit when we act in the common good of all mankind, but because you are still a primate in the guise of a man, you don’t. You, who have never stood for anything in your life, who had drifted through their existence doing the bare minimum needed to live, had shown so much potential to do good and to be somebody and yet never capitalised on it, and who spends their consciousness in a waking series of cringeworthy memories and regrets you can never turn back, are the type of person who I thought would have even the bare minimum of self awareness to know when an asshole like me has been taking the piss out of you — and let me repeat this — for the past fucking year!

This is where we’re at, isn’t it? The dark void where common sense could have prevailed, sucked into the vacuum of idiocracy and the human condition of not giving a shit? I hope to God that whoever is still with me at this point has been doing so out of morbid curiosity and not genuine interest, because I find it desperately hard to believe that anybody who I’ve come into contact with are real people, and not the same caricature of idiocy as I’ve presented to you here. If you aren’t acting in the same brand of parody, and if you are so fucking daft as to think that anything here was meant to be taken seriously… then I pity you. I really do.

I don’t know why I even bothered writing this post. You’ll keep living your desperate life, watching shitty YouTube stars with your shitty social media friends, working your shitty job and putting off your shitty hobbies, doing nothing in your life that could even approach fulfillment, and will ignore this wake – up call so you can keep jacking yourself off and thinking you’ve done anything that makes you worth emulating. You’re the type of person I think of being, and I shudder. If I even come close to the rock – bottom lifestyle that you’ve deluded yourself into living, then I’ll know that there’s nothing good in this life for me anymore. I’ll kill myself at the top of the CN Tower, and my suicide note will be what I’ve written here.

I’m closing this trash. For two weeks tomorrow morning, I’m traveling to Estonia. After that, I’m deleting my Neocities accounts. All of them. Froghand, 10kB, and the fucking Degenerates, too. I don’t know how any of you can keep living this lie. I’m both sad and angry thinking about who I could have ended up, and who I ended up being. But mostly, I’m just tired. So fucking tired of thinking shit’s going to change. It never changes. It never fucking does.

Fuck me.



Oh shit boy I got you good!! That bit about killing myself and shutting down the joint? That’s one of the all – time classics, just like pretending to throw acid at people and kidnapping and mock – executing your best friend. As you can see, you can get away with anything if you call it a prank, bro.

But really, Kratzen turned one year old today — and though I have neglected it for other hobbies over the past few months, I still look back on all the good times I’ve had with it, everything I’ve learned, and I feel glad for having created it. I also remember all the bad times where I was pressuring myself to publish a damn article every single day causing me to get sick of everything to do with writing and contributing to my perfectionist complex by not feeling that anything I write will ever be worth reading. Between those two extremes is me just chilling.

I’ve made no plans for this occasion; by blind coincidence, I made it a point to resume reviews for this month as detailed in my previous article. I may be slightly more learned of a programmer, and I may still know more about game design than most folks I know. But when it comes to the brass tacks, I need to find more games I like, so that I may pillage their greatness and appropriate it for my own work. Some of the most educated men in history were notorious for their voracious reading. Those even more educated wrote down what they learned, and I hope to become learned through my own writing.

But I suppose some catch – up is in order. It may seem silly to hide all this behind an April Fool’s joke with a fake footer and all, but consider it a reward for those most curious of us — or those with ludicrously long computer monitors.

Regarding Programming

As stated before, my intention with learning Python was to learn enough to the point where I could use the Godot game engine and understand its custom scripting language GDScript. Having spent the last month with Python, during which I abandoned one course in favour of another, I have come to two conclusions. One, I may have overlearned what I need to know for Godot. I was already familiar with all the ideas that GDScript implements, but I appreciate all of them being fresh in my memory. Two, compared to Python, GDScript’s syntax is bloated as all hell. I fear for the man who has to type “var” over and over again and who needs a “const” keyword as opposed to remembering what variables to make constant. I also fear for whoever uses the horrendous PEP – 8 suggestion of “two spaces for indentation” instead of the more sensible GDScript standard of using tabs. You know, tabs? The character explicitly reserved for indentation, instead of… whatever you’re using.

I don’t believe that recreating a diary of my Python3 learning experience will be of interest to many of you. Nor do I feel that I can be an authority on recommending it when I would just be parroting what I have read from textbooks and online sources. So I will instead state my ignorant opinion that writing in it feels very, very good. It makes every other language’s syntax look like antiquated shit, its pragmatic philosophy of doing the right thing and only the right thing has led to a uniformity of code and competent global community that languages like Java wishes it has, it doesn’t bog you down with unnecessary declarations like “public class java {public static void main(String[] args)}” meaning you can freely delete code without it being any great loss, and its ability to import almost anything from its standard library means you don’t have to spend time reinventing the wheel. All of these traits, I like.

And for smart people there’s also the ability for Python3 to handle arbitrarily large numbers (which I am told is a big deal if you deal with big numbers), its automatic UTF – 8 encoding, its interesting scientific libraries such as SciPy and Pandas, and some other things I don’t care about but I’m sure matters to some poor bastard somewhere. A better overview of an old – ass version has been published by Eric “gayness is a congenital defect” S. Raymond, who asks “Why Python?” in the same way I ask why he went batshit insane after 9/11. But still, let’s not poison the well: it’s a good article, and explains why, for many programmers, Python is the hero we need, if not the one we deserve.

All of the “programs” I made were trivial little things you might find as an exercise in a beginner’s textbook, or as a challenge in a “last two digits” game on 4chan — which is fitting, because this is where I got them. Although I have looked at awe at the genius programmers who have pushed computers to their limits, and made their programs thrive in spite of those limits (my favourite example is Skullgirls compressing 10.5GB of sprites into 900MB, which is technology the developers will never release, because fuck you), I have come to the realisation that while such hacks can lead to good results, it does not lead to good code. While the best code is none at all, the second – best code is that which you can look at after six months after writing and still understand what the hell it’s doing, such as with Kratzen’s HTML and how often I have to re – learn how to format my bloody articles. If you can look at any of the answers at the Code Golf StackExchange (for instance, this challenge about Columbo) and understand them without explanation, then there’s something wrong with you. Really.

And I suppose, in sum, this is why I see Python as the best language I could have picked up. Sure, you can fuck it up like with any other language, but not to the extent as, say, Obfuscated C. Python’s strict formatting rules forces proper structure in your work, its pseudocode – like syntax means even a casual programmer can still get the gist of what the code’s doing, and its reliance on simple constructs such as loops, conditional statements, and functions means that it avoids the black magic fuckery of languages like Lisp and Perl. Freedom gives us the freedom to make bad decisions, and a largely – classless ecosystem that gets rid of personal liberty in favour of benefiting the entire community is something that everybody needs, yet nobody knows they need until they adopt it. Python is therefore the most Socialist language in existence, and it could only have been made by the Dutch.

Regarding Gaming

For this section, I had originally crafted a list of tropes in games that I both like and dislike, so that you may understand better the type of media I like to see and what my critical philosophy is. While the overall philosophy of “don’t waste my time” is still number one, it does deserve some elaboration. But to segregate such information underneath a typical monthly check – in seems to me a waste of potential. I consider articles like the one you’re reading as the perfect place to shoot the shit without worrying about any overarching theme. The draft I created for this section deserves better than being a section.

This is also where I like to publish mini – reviews of non – indie games I’ve played, as a compromise between maintaining the mission of the website (being the review of indie games), but also to free myself of the limitations of the “tenth, twentieth, and thirtieth of every month” special dates where I can write about anything I want that isn’t a review. Although for practical reasons I had violated these dates with articles such as “Froge puts his Ashes Out!” and “An Ode to Dead Games”, I still like to stick to them for the sake of consistency and curation. It is important when one embarks on a project to understand its mission and to maintain that mission fiercely. If it ever loses sight of its original intentions, then you must burn it to the ground and start anew.

But given the length of the last check – in, and how I got stuck on trying to understand my own opinion of Spyro the Dragon before rushing out the review on the last day and forgetting just what the hell I ended up writing, I think I’ll take a break. As a critic, I avoid getting too deep into game design principals, as I find those are of interest only to designers and not to the players who are free of the innate bias one has when they are cursed with knowledge of the medium they love. Those principals of game design that are of most interest to players, I attempt to make them come across in such a way where its importance is made clear to the player without getting into pedantic detail, such as technical reasons for the game’s existence or minor bugs that are more nitpicks than insight.

As was laconically surmised on Dead Homer Society, anybody can point at what we dislike and say that we dislike it. Heck, given some practice, anybody could explain why they dislike it. But to have that critical insight to understand what, specifically, is wrong with what we dislike, and to imbue that understanding into your audience without patronising them with simplifications or boring them with details that only matter to those who were tasked with making the work in question, is significantly rarer. It requires experience, knowledge, and skill to make these insights happen — three things that not everyone has or ever can have. And, most of all, it requires that special type of obsession that one only has when they found something they truly enjoy knowing things about.

I feel I had violated this principal when talking about Spyro, going into details that were not insightful, but instead writing down the same type of pandering that’s endemic to too many Armchair Critics. As Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Niggas wax and wane; niggas love to complain! Niggas love to hear themselves talk, but hate to explain!” Alright, that was on The Boondocks. The point is that I was that type of nigga, complaining without explaining, hearing myself talk for the sake of it, even if I’m white. Look, forget everything I said. The real point is that for but a moment, I was on dumb. So here’s how I’m going to be on less dumb.

I’ll keep on reviewing games as I always have. Instead of all these long bois that you’ve been reading, I’ll keep the reviews short and stick to my four – section structure for the sake of keeping them all nice and consistent. As they are indie games, they are simpler in their construction and intentions than what mainstream titles are; I would be hard – pressed to find the art in Mario Kart DS and review it intelligently even if I have been enjoying it the past few weeks, but it is easier for me to understand the intentions of somebody like NomNomNami, who does it because she is a gay motherfucker and wants us all to know. There’s a human element to indie games that you just don’t see with the mainstream. I hope to unearth this element in my writing.

I have a nice stash of indie games that I’ve amassed through disinterested browsing on; a few of them were scavenged from my über – exclusive Partner Account, none of which I have played, because I am intimidated by products professional enough to pay for and so kept putting them off for the sake of reviewing these dirty, despicable freeware games that are only for poor people and lepers. But I’m tired of having them in my library, intimidating me with their capitalist aims, and so I’ll finally clear out that backlog I mentioned three months ago. Also, I wasn’t kidding about the toothache. Every time I brush them now, I’m reminded of how I marathoned Psycho – Pass to distract from my fully – numb face and forever – bleeding gum hole. How was it? …acceptable.

Once again, talk is a cheap – ass son – of – a – bitch, and I would much rather be doing what I came onto this website to do: to showcase opinions that will be ignored by those who need to hear them most, and to be misinterpreted by those who are on my website to attempt to make me rage with the littlest effort required, unaware that I had achieved enlightenment just last Tuesday and am free from the intangible emotions that comprise the human condition.

But it’s also a good idea to extend the April Fools prank a little bit for those poor saps who scrolled all the way to the bottom and missed the unfunny copypasta revealing that it was all a bamboozle, so here goes:

And for that matter, who the fuck could look at this website, see that it’s entirely in black – and – white for the sake of a stupid marketing gimmick that would have never gotten off the ground no matter how much money you spent on it, and think to themselves, “Yes, this is a professional enterprise I’m looking at, and not at all something that is insulting my intelligence. I am an individualistic human being who has the capacity to make original thoughts, and I have concluded that this is the type of work I want to spend my increasingly limited free time consuming”. Because I’ll tell you who that isn’t. That’s right, it isn’t you, you fucking dumb, stupid, idiot. You dumb, stupid, weak, pathetic, white, white uh, uh guilt, white guilt, milquetoast piece of human garbage.

Fuck all y’all hoes. I’m moving to Canada.