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From Wikipedia page on 沙織事件,

当時のパソコンユーザーはマイコン族と称され、後年の「オタク」と同じく否定的な意味合いが含まれるほど、パソコンは一般に普及しておらず、パソコンゲームもマイナーなものであった。

I am uncertain how ほど works here. I don't see how it relates to the rest of the sentence. I assume that the comma after ほど terminates the first half of the sentence?

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  • It's poorly written.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 20:32

2 Answers 2

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This ~ほど is basically "to the point where ~" or "to such an extent ~" (see examples here). It modifies the following clause, so the sentence cannot be split there. When it's combined with a negation, it's used in two ways:

  • Partial negation (not ~, but not to the point ~); usually being contrasted with は:

    びっくりするほど面白くない。
    びっくりするほど面白くない。
    It's not funny enough to surprise me.

  • Emphasizes the negation itself; usually used without は:

    びっくりするほど面白くない。
    It's surprisingly boring.

Usually, you can tell the intended meaning by seeing if there is は, but there can be a few exceptions, so you need to see the context. In your case, ほど is clearly used in the latter way (emphasizes the negation).

The original sentence can be divided into three parts:

当時のパソコンユーザーはマイコン族と称されていた。
PC users in those days were called マイコン族.

後年の「オタク」と同じく否定的な意味合いが含まれるほど、パソコンは一般に普及していなかった。
PCs were so uncommon that it (= the term マイコン族) even had a negative connotation, similarly to the later term otaku.

パソコンゲームもマイナーなものであった。
PC games were also unpopular.

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Among four parts of the sentence separated with 読点, the first, third and fourth parts presents their own fact, and the second (後年の~ほど) adds a description to the third part (パソコンは一般に普及しておらず) in terms of how much (at what extent) they weren't common/widespread.

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