I'm bound and determined to eliminate paper from my life. I can see a time when my EBook reader, IPod, Digital Frame and Laptop will eliminate my bookshelves entirely. So it was with that goal in mind that I started reading something called The Gamers Quarter
a few months back.
I'm not usually a fan of reading large volumes on a computer. I find the experience of holding a book or magazine and lounging on the couch more enjoyable than sitting at a desk staring at a screen for hours on end. That being said, until a good EBook reader (of which the kindle is not) comes along my laptop is starting to serve as a decent stopgap measure.
While TGQ is techincally available in paper via costly invidual printings, its basically a free zine distributed by PDF over the net. This works pretty well on my laptop as I can still sloth on the couch or bed and do some reading. I can also read it at work without having to "surf" so thats a bonus. I don't think this is going to replace the normal magazine model anytime soon but I can at least guarantee that I'm not getting any junkmail (snail not e) from these folks and as for the content, well there is no contest - its offbeat, unique, intelligent and written far above the 6th grade level that most publications won't admit to targeting.
Basically, the magazine is about video games without really going all that much into the games themselves. Thats not to say its not for gamers even though the numerical reviews or detailed previews of games that inundate most gaming rags are completely absent here. Rather, its a humanistic publication for people who enjoy gaming and gaming culture. Its filled with stories about playing games and traveling to arcades. Most are really heart-felt like the one girl wrote about her hate for games brought about by an abusive relationship that only years later was resolved by finishing the game her boyfriend was into at the time. Others are much less serious like the insanely well written piece on the oddities of attending a game conference in Tokyo or the results from playing too much Katamari Damacy (you start thinking in terms of rolling up everything into a giant ball).
In fact, the only bad things I can say about this zine is that it doesn't come out often enough, and how blatently obvious it now is that mainstream media is a very very bland cup of tea. So if you have ever gamed or know a gamer and you fancy yourself as literary in any way shape or form I suggest checking the publication out and getting cozy in the corner of your couch with the laptop and reading for a few hours. And to Shaper and the rest of the crew who have been producing this thing for the last couple of years - thank you for all the work - I hope that some day you'll get the karmic payback you so rightfully deserve.