Welcome to e:\>_

e:\>_ is a new zine of Asian gaming histories.

We’re interested in the culture of playing videogames in countries across Asia, and stories about relationships and communities that spring up around them.

You can now download our first issue here, and our second issue here. Issue 3, Cities and Videogames in Asia, will be out in April 2015. We welcome all submissions, ideas and pitches. Click here for our submission guidelines, and contact us here.

e:\>_ (pronounced the way you did as a DOS gamer) is a spin-off of the Asian histories issue of the excellent Memory Insufficient zine, which is edited by Zoya Street.

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[Call for Contributions] Issue 3: Cities and Games in Asia

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Image from Stomp

The social histories of games in Asia are tied inextricably to its cities. The biggest cities were where games news, devices
and software percolated through, bought or smuggled in by extended family, enterprising entrepreneurs or grey market
profiteers. And yet, we have a very limited understanding of how cities and games are connected across the continent. What determined the availability of a particular cross-section of games in particular cities, and how did these grey markets operate within them?

Beyond this, the Asian city is also poorly represented in games. Usually used as a bit of exotic flavour (such as Singapore in the Battlefield games, “Calcutta” in No One Lives Forever 2, and the Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong in the Call of Duty series). the complexities and nuances of Asian cities and megalopolises are ignored in favour of a generic ‘bustling’ and ‘chaotic’ trope.

The recent success of Cities: Skylines also demands a closer look at Asian cities from a mechanical level: what would an Asian city builder look like? The critic Cara Ellison has written about the fundamentally ‘American’ nature of the Simcity games, a pedigree that Skylines continues. The other paradigm, as seen in the Caesar/Pharaoh/Zeus city builders or the Anno games, are fundamentally “colonial” – based on the idea of extraction and displacement.

Issue 3 of the e:\>_ zine focuses on cities and games histories in Asia. We want to hear about how games have represented the cities you grew up or lived in, and how they can do better.

Articles could be personal narratives of how games, or a game,changed the way you viewed a certain place (regular players of Ingress, I’m looking at you). They could be essays about how games represent cities in an Asian context, and critiques thereof. They could be speculative pieces about how an “Asian” city builder might play, or an analytical/anthropological piece about how video games grey markets work. They could be big-picture accounts of sociality in games culture in a particular city.

We particularly welcome submissions from people who don’t necessarily identify as ‘gamers’, or have an interests in specific niches or gaming subcultures. You don’t have to send us a complete article – do feel free to pitch ideas and proposals, and we’d be delighted to work with you.

Do contact us with questions or suggestions. The deadline is April 30, but we’re flexible. Send your submissions/ideas by
email here.

 

 

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[Call for Contributions] Issue 2: Family, Friendship, Love and Videogames in Asia

 

Image from DramaBeans

Image from DramaBeans

Video games occupy many roles in our social lives – as ice-breakers, as sources of friction, as conduits for conversation and camaraderie, as forges for friendship (perhaps even love) and as a medium that gives us insights and epiphanies into ourselves and people we play with.

Perhaps you’ve played online multiplayer games and formed close bonds with someone you’ve never met. Or you’re part of a DOTA or LoL clan in your neighbourhood. Or a particular game coloured a particular relationship you once had.

Perhaps games helped you overcome a rough patch, or made you closer with a distant family member. Maybe it was the source of sibling rivalry, or a cross-generational bond with a parent or child. Perhaps a game thought you something valuable about love, life, and friendship.

Photo courtesy ESWC Team Malaysia

Photo courtesy ESWC Team Malaysia

Issue 2 of the e:\>_ zine focuses on the social lives of games in Asia. We want to hear about how games enhance or diminish social bonds, and how they fit into the fabric of your social network.

Articles could be personal narratives of how games, or a game, impacted your social life – be it family, friendship or love. They could be essays about how games represent social relations in an Asian context, and critiques thereof. They could be an analysis of how video games, and gaming as a hobby, are represented in Korean dramas (someone PLEASE write this) or Bollywood films. They could be big-picture accounts of sociality in games culture in a particular city or country.

We particularly welcome submissions from people who don’t necessarily identify as ‘gamers’, or have an interests in specific niches or gaming subcultures. You don’t have to send us a complete article – do feel free to pitch ideas and proposals, and we’d be delighted to work with you.

Do contact us with questions or suggestions. The deadline is October 5, but we’re flexible. Send your submissions/ideas by email here.

 

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[Call for Contributions] Issue 1: Piracy and Games in Asia

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If there is a common language to gaming across the Asian continent, it is that of access to pirated games.

While the specifics of videogame culture vary wildly between countries, many are probably intimately familiar with dabbling in ‘hacked’ consoles, choosing cheap CDs from a roadside shop, and copying the files from the ‘CRACK’ folder into your installation directory.

Most countries in Asia were outside the world’s ‘formal’ gaming industry, and pirated games often the only means of access to the medium. Many of these gray markets exist to this day, and their improvised modes of operation are part of what make Asian gaming histories so unique.

We want to hear about your encounter with piracy and games. These could be personal stories of purchasing, selling or finding pirated games, analyses of pirate markets, explanations of the economics of game piracy, or ruminations on how piracy informed your taste and style of play.

‘Piracy’ here refers to software as well as hardware, and the spaces (markets, cyber cafes, schools) that mediate commercial exchange of games.

We particularly welcome submissions from people who don’t necessarily identify as ‘gamers’, or have an interests in specific niches or gaming subcultures. You don’t have to send us a complete article – do feel free to pitch ideas and proposals, and we’d be delighted to work with you.

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(Image via Den of Geek)

Do contact us with questions or suggestions. The deadline is August 15 2014, but we’re flexible. Send your submissions/ideas by email here.

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