asiascape vistas

Techno-Culture, New Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia



Asiascape Vistas is a forum for discussion about the many and various dimensions of cyberculture found in or originating from East Asia. Its focus is on the interplay between these media and questions of politics & philosophy. Contributions are from the academic collective responsible for the core project, but other contributions will also be considered by that collective.
If you wish to contribute to Asiacape Vistas, please send an email using the form on the contact page.


How to build the perfect gaming PC for 2013 – and beyond

From The Guardian

There's little doubt that PC gaming is undergoing a renaissance at the moment. With the current generation consoles chugging interminably slowly toward retirement, frustrated gamers are switching to computers with quad-core processors and top-end graphics cards that produce visuals of breathtaking fluidity and detail.

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But it's not all about graphics performance. While there are certainly detractors, Valve's digital download service Steam has revolutionalised the games buying experience, offering easy access to hundreds of titles, many at vastly reduced prices.

Meanwhile, increasingly popular online multiplayer titles like DotA, Guild Wars 2 and Tera are only playable on PC. Plus there's the explosive rise of the indie scene, with many small studios ignoring the console platforms altogether in favour of PC development. If you didn't have a PC last year, you had no chance of playing brilliant offbeat titles like FTL, Slender and Hotline Miami. You were out of the loop.

And while we're expecting huge announcements from Microsoft and Sony this year, we won't see a new console until October, with the PS4 more likely in Spring 2014. Even when these new machines arrive, current speculation suggests they're going to be built from the same sort of off-the-shelf components you could jam into a gaming PC – except with a gaming PC you can switch the key elements out a year later for something more up-to-date.

So if you're a new PC owner, or just want to upgrade your current machine, we've compiled a guide to building a decent gaming machine for 2013. I've asked several PC developers for their input, and we've tried to look at both high-end and budget options. Here goes...

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Thoughts on the 3rd Mechademia Conference in Seoul

At the end of November last year, my colleagues and I attended the the 3rd Mechademia Conference in Seoul, South Korea. Focusing on Japanese popular culture, especially anime and manga, but also the long-standing relationship that Japan's animation industry has with Korea, the conference brought to my attention many specific areas with which I was unfamiliar. It also happened to be my very first time visiting Korea, so it was a new experience in that regard as well.

The conference had a number of rare opportunities. One was a showing of the first Korean animated film, The Story of Hong Gil-dong, recently restored, and another was talks with people working within the industries. Probably the biggest name was Ohtsuka Eiji, but it also featured interviews with animators Ahn Jae-ho and Watanabe Hideo. Watanabe was especially intriguing because of his long history in the animation industry, particularly with shows meant to sell toys, and I was able to ask him how this affected the ways in which they produced animation. Watanabe went on to explain about his time working on the anime Toushi Gordian, and how an unfortunate situation where the series director had fallen ill left him as de-facto director, and the resulting product amidst the chaos was predictably subpar. However, Watanabe mentioned, the toys sold well enough that they could keep going, and in the end the show finished at over 70 episodes.

For those who don't know about Gordian, think of it as an anime from the "giant robot" genre, where the hero gets into increasingly larger robots stacked on top, much like a matryoshka doll.