Shetani's Lair English Edition

For years I have been entertaining the idea of having my own little gaming blog and writing posts in English (that's important). Well, the day has come.

How the Lair came to be

I'll keep it short and sweet. I have been playing videogames for about 20 years now, exactly as long as I have been creating texts for various purposes, mainly to entertain myself and others. Much later I decided to combine the two and started writitng little game reviews on my personal page on a social network platform. It was mostly for me and my friends who relied on my gaming choices and were always kind enough to try the games I praised.


A couple of years ago, the platform introduced "articles" - a little in-build editor that allowed one to create more elaborate texts, insert pictures and links. I stepped out of my hermitry and created a public page where I would post more detailed essays, opinions on games and other stuff I felt I need to put into texts.

Last year - I really regret not remembering why - I decided that it would be funny to dissect boss names from Soulsborne games and see what their original Japanese counterparts might hide. These posts I wrote for myself, I thought it would be silly to think that somebody else would be interested in the thorny paths of linguistics when it comes to translation and localization. However, I was persuaded to share my findings with a bigger audience, and I posted a big "Lost in Translation" piece on a popular gaming portal that allowed user publications. It almost instantly became one of the highest rated posts of the year. I was deeply moved and humbled to see that people are actually interested in the things that I do, and they don't mind reading a long post.

Alas, posting on a third-party site with a rating system proved to be rather stressful. I wanted my own little place of comfort, my own little Lair. So here we are.

Why texts?


I know, I know. Texts are oldschool, people are watching YouTube now, it is more reliable to bring you the audience and all that. But I just can't help myself. I have been interested in the arts of language-wielding and word-combining since I was able to speak and read. For me, each word has its own taste, feel, sound and power. Weaving words into texts is like magic to me. I guess, that's why I became a linguist - I just couldn't resist the magic. I guess, I'm just oldschool like that.

I stream on Twitch though! Currently I do streams in Russian but I am looking forward to starting English streams. It will be quite embarassing but probably also a lot of fun.

What games?


I play games regardless of whether they are new releases or a classic; almost exclusively single-player games, moslty indie. If you want to find a rare gem that might have escaped your gaming library - welcome aboard.

I always play games for stories and the world-building element. I love giant text-heavy CPRGs because of that. My favourite games in the order of discovery: Neverwinter Nights, Hollow Knight, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. There are many more games I like, but those would be the top-3.

What's in the Lair?

I do not post often, probably once or twice a month. It takes a lot of time and effort to crystallize thoughts in text, and I do not want to waste anybody's time just streaming my consciousness for pages with probably a glint of concise thought sparkling somewhere. Here is what I currently post:

  • Lost in Translation - I have completed boss names for Dark Souls Trilogy and Bloodborne. I am currently working on a series of posts called "The World of Sekiro", so I'll be posting it here.
  • Posts-about-games - I don't really like conventional reviews, I think they are all alike and kinda boring. But then again, maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, I dunno. So, in my posts-about-games I try to highlight the story, the solid aspects of the gameplay and, most importantly, its flaws to train my critical thinking. I do not make numbered lists of good and bad features and I do not describe mechanics in meticulous detail, I think it's dull. You probably know that a "platformer" involves a fair bit of jumping, and a "slasher" - a fair bit of limbs flying around.
  • Guides - I have written exactly ONE guide to date, but it is still the most popular post on the Russian site of the blog. It is Hollow Knight Boss Guide that I wrote for fun two years after the game's release. Now it seems to be the Holy Grail of Knowledge for the Russian HK community. It's both hilarious and humbling. I'll probably write a silly boss guide for Sekiro, we'll see.
  • Miscellaneous posts - random stuff that happens. I promise, there will be no food photos or coach-wisdomness. Might be travel, if the world doesn't burn.

I'll have to do a whole lot of translating in an attempt to bring the selected materials from the Russian side of the blog here. We'll see how it goes.

What is Lair?


The Lair was created as a place of comfort for me to discover games, celebrate games and immerse in the stories they tell. I think, there is a lot of bigotry, snobism and outright toxisity in the gaming community nowadays. People readily shame one another for the silliest reasons: being too casual, too hardcore, not knowing classics, not knowing hot fresh releases, not anticipating passionately enough - or being too passionate. It's just stupid, and I do not want any part in that. The very idea that someone can tell me that I am not playing the game the way I am supposed to blows my mind. Games are meant to be played for fun. If you are having fun, you are probably doing it right. If you enjoy some parts of the game and don't like the others - it's fine. Whether you enjoy a great challenge or opt for Story mode - it's all good if it brings you enjoyment. Games are a way of escapism after all. I think, the Lair is for that too. And for reminding me that games are to be played for fun.

Turned out to be lengthy anyway, oh well. I have Twitter now, although I am not sure how to use it properly. Nah, I'll figure it out. You can follow me on Twitch, so you'll know when I start streaming in English, if you'd like. Also, feel free to leave me a comment! I'd answer as soon as I stop hyperventilating :D

Welcome to Shetani's Lair.



My name is Shetani. I am a linguist (EN-JP), and I write about videogames. I am on hiatus till May, see you then!

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