e:\>_ ("E Drive") was a zine about Asian gaming histories.
It was active between 2014-2015. It was interested in the culture of playing videogames in countries across Asia, and stories about relationships and communities that spring up around them.
e:\>_ started as a spinoff of the Asian Histories issue of the Memory Insufficient zine, which was edited by Zoyander Street. It lasted three issues, which you can download and read here:Issue 0: Memory InsufficientIssue 1: PiracyIssue 2: Family and Community
I don't think it's aged perfectly - but it's an artefact of a time that was foundational to how I look at games, and the project meant a lot to me personally.It was the culmination of my love for videogames zine culture, an era enriched by Tumblr publications, blogs like Home of the Underdogs, projects like Memory Insufficient, The Arcade Review, and It's Just A Game. I wrote for all of them, repeatedly making the argument that insightful writing on videogames in Asia was scarce and hamstrung by cliché, stereotype and harmful exoticisation.
It was a nice small thing
Hence this archive! I hope it's useful to someone, even if just as a non-western data point for video-game writing from the early 2010s.The social histories of gaming across the Asian continent are still poorly understood, and maybe this can be a starting point for anyone interested in the everyday life of games outside their sanctioned western-centric canon.
Get in touch
Thank you for reading
The "manifesto" for the zine in Issue 1 still rings true:Gaming histories from Asia are not partial, provincial, belated or ‘emerging.’
For over two decades, large parts of the Asian continent were outside the world’s formal gaming markets. But that doesn’t mean games weren’t being played, or made, or modded.‘Developing’ Asia had its own unique gaming vernacular - a grey market and games culture defined by a constant sense of improvisation, clever innovation, and bending games software and hardware to one’s own will.e:\>_ is about chronicling these experiences.