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Virtual Journal #2: NEOKET5

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Made a report for NEOKET5.


A girl sitting on a bench, with the NEOKET5 logo behind her.

I went and roamed around a few times in NEOKET5 this week. I have a growing interest in digital spaces lately, so here’s another report!

I might just end up making one for every digital event that I go to at this point, in hopes that local events might make their own version of these, haha.

(I’ll be adding the title “Virtual Journal” for these now. I feel like I’ll be doing more walking in digital spaces as time goes on. I will also be posting about games that I would like to recommend or talk about within this title… but writing about video games takes me a long time to do, so that’ll be for someday.)

There were a lot of amazing creative works on display, so it would be great if you could check some of them out! I forgot to take pictures of some of them because there were so many…

The event has already ended, but you can find the list of exhibitors here. (Please note that the Island Z in there is for exhibitors with R18 content I believe.)

I’ll post more about the event and a few of the booths that took my interest below.

For this event, you can have your own custom avatar for roaming around!

I wasn’t familiar with how it works, so I just went with one of the preset avatars that were provided if you don’t have your own avatar.

Some exhibitors made a demo version of avatars that they created which you can try out, but you’d have to find it outside the event by yourself.

The usual text chat and emotes are in here as well. For this event, the emotes have two types: You can either have your avatar do a static pose or play one of the preset animations.

Voice chat is also available, but I’m too anxious and not fluent at all for that, so I just relied heavily on making my avatar bow, shoot heart emotes, or dance.

Ah, and you can also jump manually!

I’m pretty sure I made a few exhibitors confused, but hopefully the feeling got across, haha.

They also have the very important function of…

Sitting… on benches…!

This is what I was looking for in these events. I just want to sit around sometimes and watch people go by.

It was a good time.

There was, however, a bad news for sitting-lovers like me: You couldn’t sit on the sofas near the back part of the entrance.

A wasted opportunity.

You can at least sit pretty much anywhere with the floor-sitting emotes though. They even have two animations for it…!

(I’ll write about some booths now.)

A girl posing between the booths of Tiffany Swanlake and Hermia Odette.

I pretty much only went to the event at the start to take a picture of the booths of Tiffany Swanlake and Hermia Odette, since I knew of the event from their streams.

They even pulled off having adjacent booths and designing their banners around that. Imagine doing that in a physical convention. Must have felt fulfilling.

I didn’t actually get to see them in the venue, but it was still a good experience.

The event feels like the physical event, with how the booths are designed and positioned. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a digital expo mainly consisting of illustrations, but it was surprisingly fun to learn about more people creating a variety of things, some of which I haven’t even thought of doing.

Even the exhibitor experience probably feels like the real thing. Some were just standing in their booths for hours, while some were blocking the booths of others with their crowd-gathering streams or events… ah, classic expo shenanigans.

I’m pretty sure the event lasted for two weeks. At least in that part, it doesn’t feel like the real thing… for better or worse.

Imagine boothing for half a month…

In any case, I think things could be designed differently for a virtual event, without removing the feeling of being there physically.

Something about providing more ways for the exhibitors to be there without being there all the time, so the interest of non-exhibitors can be gained… hm.

It was fun nonetheless! Back to the booths.

A girl happily showing off Kamogawa Akira’s booth.

Within the many illustrators showcasing and selling their works throughout the event’s many floors, I loved the artistic style and coloring work of Kamogawa Akira.

They had a sample work in their booth with a fashion magazine-like aesthetic. In its pages, various characters are drawn with elegant expressions.

A girl looking back at Kamogawa Akira’s booth, with the person themself in it.

I went to the booth again after a few days, and the artist was there. Even their avatar was textured beautifully…!

I forgot to take a picture after doing greetings and emotes, so have this picture taken after I walked away and remembering to take one, but feeling too anxious to approach again, haha.

Another classic expo experience.

A girl looking at a small yellow bird exhibitor in their booth.

Speaking of avatars, quite a lot of the exhibitors were using fun ones. There were various people in costumes, but some even appeared as a ghost, a raccoon, or even a tree!

I couldn’t tell if the tree reacted when I bowed at them.

One of the exhibitors with a cute avatar was Chakashisan. They draw amazing food art!

Thankfully, I was literally eating while looking at their work, so I was saved from growling stomachs with how good their illustrations are.

A girl doing a double peace sign while looking at the Recolit picture.

I thought there would only be illustrations and merchandise on display for the event, but noticing a small picture for Recolit, A mystery adventure game, in the Image Labo booth proved me wrong. I think I remember seeing it from a previous Indie Live Expo.

A girl posing in front of the Black Hole Diner booth.

One of the games that I discovered in the event was Black Hole Diner, A short novel game set in a small, mysterious diner. It was mostly written in hiragana, so I could understand it for the most part. Learning progress…!

Another game I found was Romp of Dump, A visual novel where you play a penalty game with dangerous prisoners. The visual style took my interest!

A girl looking at Chisa Suetsugu’s booth.

Aside from illustrations and games, there were also some exhibitors showcasing their music like Chisa Suetsugu, whose compositions I enjoyed listening to.

It’s possible to listen to music in the event, but I couldn’t adjust the default background music volume for some reason, so I had to listen to them on a separate window.

I just did that while playing the dancing emote in the event in silence. Sometimes the exhibitors danced along, too.

I think I went into the YSS booth just a bit before their stream where they did the same with a crowd while singing live, which was pretty funny.

A girl looking at Minato Rio’s booth that has the person themself standing on top of it.

A fair amount of booths were about selling avatar merchandise, which I didn’t realize was a thing. I knew about Second Life before, so I wonder why I didn’t think of that as a possibility…

It’s kind of unrelated, but I like looking at product listings and pamphlets with things designed and lined up neatly. Maybe because those are the only things I could read aside from old almanacs and encyclopedias when I was younger.

They just give those out for free at malls… or when you pick them up off the floor.

We didn’t have fashion magazines, but I imagine I would also be into them if I had them before.

Anyways, because of that, browsing around the booths showcasing various avatars, accessories, and the like was very enjoyable.

Looking at Minato Rio’s custom-designed avatars, for example, made me inspired to try making my own things someday.

(…though I’ll have to look into it more, as it feels like most things are using Unity stuff, which I don’t want to touch… hmm…)

A girl looking at people gathering around a campfire, with the NEOKET5 logo behind it.

During the final hours of the event, a fireworks display was held, along with special decorations in the event’s entrance, like a camping tent, food around a campfire, or a hot spring.

Most of the exhibitors went into the center and celebrated until the end. It was a good feeling.

I left a few hours before the server closed, since there were mostly only exhibitors in there and it felt awkward being the only possible random person in there, sitting alone beside a tree, haha.

Yet another… classic expo experience…

A girl doing a peace sign. A table filled with food and drinks is in front of her, along with some fireworks in the background.

…and that was NEOKET5! Thank you for reading this far. It was a very fun and real experience. I gained a lot of new ideas from walking around and seeing everyone’s work. I’m looking forward to the next event!

I believe they’ll be looking for exhibitor applications for NEOKET6 sometime, so if you’re interested in that, make sure to look at their website from time to time.

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