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  • Your reading 090707 edition

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 keving No comments

    Top 10 Bad Things the Internet Brought to Gaming Journalism

    I love that ex-EGM-boss Shoe’s number-one choice is “people.” I can’t stand ’em either!

  • “The Phantom of Akihabara,” Chapter 4: “The Blindfolded”

    Posted on July 6th, 2009 keving 4 comments

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    The publishers, meanwhile, throw millions into each project, the price of staying ahead in the industry. There is simply too much at stake for both creator and consumer to do anything creative. No. Games aren’t creative works of art. Deep down, both sides of the bargain know that games are products of precise engineering, like a car or your washing machine.

    Here is chapter four (“The Blindfolded”) of The Phantom of Akihabara: GAME OVER, a serial novel written by Yoshitaka Ohsawa between 2002 and 2004. You’ll want to start at chapter one if you’re new to the tale.

    With an economy in shambles and a nation in chaos, the Japanese government has forced peace and goodwill upon its people — a movement that dovetailed all too well with media’s tendency to censor itself, starting in the 1990s. With all the “poison” sucked out of their popular entertainment, how can Japan’s game nerds continue to exist…if they can at all?

    Happy readin’.

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  • “The Phantom of Akihabara,” Chapter 3: “Taboos”

    Posted on June 13th, 2009 keving 4 comments

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    The history buff sighed. “What does freedom of speech mean, anyway? Is anything okay as long as you claim that it’s fiction? Or as long as the opposition groups don’t find you? Either way, the developers never bothered facing facts. Any form of entertainment’s going to offend someone, somewhere out there, but they kept on revising and recalling their work whenever any crap popped up. That’s why we’re all in this pile right now.”

    Here is chapter three (“Taboos”) of The Phantom of Akihabara: GAME OVER, a serial novel written by Yoshitaka Ohsawa between 2002 and 2004. You’ll want to start at chapter one if you’re new to the tale.

    In a collapsed Japan where all the “poison” has been removed from mass media, the otaku culture of the past finds a way to survive in the wreckage. Ryohei Takamizawa’s job is to find rare and out-of-print games for his nostalgia-happy clients. What’s he up to this chapter?

    Happy readin’.

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  • “The Phantom of Akihabara,” Chapter 2

    Posted on May 13th, 2009 keving No comments

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    Looking back, I was amazed I holed myself up in there, ten hours or so at a time, open to close, despite how unhealthy it all was. Odd how it didn’t bother me at all. I was knee-deep in that realm on a daily basis. But the hours spent playing filled me. The feeling I got with every cheer that leapt from the audience when I landed an extended combo, with every complimentary wry smile I shared with my opponent regardless of who won or lost, was indescribable.

    Here is chapter two of The Phantom of Akihabara: GAME OVER, a serial novel written by Yoshitaka Ohsawa that takes retro games and uses them to weave a tale of suspense and post-apocalyptic sullenness. In a collapsed Japan where all the “poison” has been removed from mass media, the otaku culture of the past finds a way to survive in the wreckage. Ryohei Takamizawa’s job is to find rare and out-of-print games for his nostalgia-happy clients. What’s he up to this chapter?

    Happy readin’.

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  • “The Phantom of Akihabara,” Chapter 1

    Posted on May 8th, 2009 keving 14 comments

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    “I don’t care what it takes. I want to play Teitoku no Ketsudan from Koei. The first one,” the man said, as if confessing his darkest desires. “I’m not talking about the console port, either. The PC-8801 one. First printing.” With that, he fell silent. Now I knew why that envelope was so thick. I had heard stories about that one.

    The Phantom of Akihabara: GAME OVER is a serial novel written by Yoshitaka Ohsawa and published in 2002-04 over eight issues of YuGe, a Japanese magazine devoted to games old and new (now called GameSide). Illustrations were provided by Aki Shimizu, a manga artist who I don’t think has done anything that’s attracted a Stateside fanbase yet but is still a pretty talented dude.

    This is almost certainly the only apocalyptic SF novel themed around used video games that has ever been written, and its mere existence shocks and enthralls me, and so I’m translatin’ it, starting with this first installment. I’ve included a decent amount of links and footnotes so you’ll be able to understand all the Japan- (and Akihabara-) centric references. If something still seems obtuse to you, please let me know.

    Happy readin’.

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