Exp. Issue Minus One

zine review:

Exp. Issue Minus One

Mathew Kumar writes for a multitude of websites and magazines that focus on the video games industry. What’s different about his zine compared to every other video game website or magazine? Everything. I’m an avid video gamer myself and I’ve read through tons of websites focused on the electronic medium. I’ve never quite, however, seen the creativity that Kumar presents in his zine as his voice and words shift back and forth from light to serious, humourous to contemplative. Sure he talks about games and what he thinks about them, but he’s not writing as a reviewer or a reporter or a journalist. He’s writing as himself, someone who happens to be a very creative and quirky fellow. My favourite piece in his zine is definitely the first about Trials HD, a combination puzzle/time trial motorcycle game where you run the same course over and over again to get the best time. Not only does Kumar tell you what he thinks about the game–what’s good, what’s bad–he also gives you a sense of what playing the game is like by running a time trial of his own, typing out his thoughts about the game as quickly as possible, restarting the paragraph every time he makes a typo. Other pieces include musings on how Nintendo’s latest Punch Out!! game can bring out the player’s inner racist; childhood memories of the Tintin comics in relation to Red Faction Guerilla, the first-person shooter set on Mars; and some dark, depressing fiction based on the nuclear apocalyptic S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Reading this zine was like browsing through a video game website, but it was thankfully filled with enjoyable creativity and lacked the usual vitriolic fanboyism. (Terry Harjanto)

Zine, Mathew Kumar, mathewkumar.com

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