Letter from the Editor: Welcome to the Library

Good morning everyone, and I hope you had as restful a weekend as it’s possible to have with all the nonsense going on in the world right now. Today I’d like to talk to you about that new “Library” option you may well have noticed in the top menu and the footer of articles — and about the idea of “content” in general.

I detest “content”. It’s a fundamentally disrespectful way to regard the hard work that people put in to their creative projects — be those projects written work, videos, full-on video games or anything else that requires firing up that distinct part of your brain where all the imaginary things come from.

As soon as you start regarding something someone else has made as “content”, you regard it as disposable, transient and not worth your time or attention once it’s been online for five minutes. As soon as you start regarding your own work as “content”, you aren’t respecting yourself or the effort you’ve put in to something. And both of those things are, frankly, a load of old bollocks.

I’m an old fart, y’see, and that means I grew up with computer and console magazines of many different descriptions. I loved them — and I still love them today.

There were specialist home computer publications like Page 6 and Atari User, which included both game reviews and technical articles inviting you to “do more” with your computers. There were multi-format game magazines like Computer & Video Games and ACE, which in themselves each took a distinctly different approach to their subject matter — C&VG tended to focus on the “here and now” whereas ACE often had one eye on the potential future of gaming. And there were, of course, single-format or brand-specific gaming magazines such as the Official Nintendo Magazine, Mean Machines Sega, Crash, Zzap and all manner of others.

The one thing all of these magazines have in common is that I can pick up a copy of one of them now and be entertained by them for one reason or another. It’s interesting to see what people once thought of what we now know to be “big names” in gaming; it’s fascinating to see what people thought would definitely be the future of gaming (and which never then came to pass); it is, at times, both reassuring and disappointing to read that 20 or 30 years ago, many of the things we find frustrating about the games industry today were still annoying people back then, too.

Magazines have a timeless quality about them. A good magazine feature is something you can pick up at any time, read and enjoy. Sure, the features themselves might be dated in some way, but that in itself can be interesting; it allows the scope to ponder what “might have been” and what might still be ripe for exploration in the modern day. And sometimes — surprisingly often, in fact — they remain relevant.

That, to me, is the antithesis of “content”; the opposite of the transient, disposable, forgettable fluff that floats across the Internet each and every day. And that transient, disposable, forgettable fluff is what I want us to steer away from here on Rice; I want us to be a site where you can come to read about interesting things well after those articles have been published — so that, say, if you develop an interest in a video game, anime, manga or light novel series long after its initial publication, you can find some meaningful, helpful and insightful writing about it to help enhance your enjoyment.

That’s the thinking behind the Library.

The Library is a place where you can find easy access to all our ongoing “Rice Regulars”, such as shoot ’em up column Blissful Death, our coverage on adult content in The Hentai Review, our weekly Waifu Wednesday and Hump Day Husbandos features and more.

The Library is a place where you can explore our “Rice Digs Deep” multi-part features on games that demand more than a simple 1,000 word review rushed out for release — like epic visual novel Full Metal Daemon Muramasa, or sprawling RPG Atelier Sophie 2.

The Library is a place where you can find ongoing and complete reviews of manga and light novel series like Gal Gohan and Our Teachers are Dating!, volume-by-volume, so you can determine whether a particular series is worth your time — and with a particular emphasis on somewhat lesser-known series that don’t get the coverage or attention they deserve.

And The Library is a place where you’ll find our Genre Guides, which are already underway with our guide to the best visual novels — and which we’ve got more planned for the near future.

On top of all that, of course, the Library is also a convenient place to find all our most recent feature articles, whether they’re one-shots or part of a broader series.

In short, if you’re in the mood for some reading, the best place for you to stop by and hang out is, of course, the Library. And, as time goes on, the “shelves” of the Library will expand and offer more and more features for you to explore — and Rice Digital will become more and more useful and enjoyable as a resource to help support your appreciation of your favourite aspects of Asian popular culture and entertainment.

The Rice Digital Feature Library - Viewer Discretion Advised
Viewer Discretion Advised from The Hentai Review (NSFW!)

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we won’t respond to interesting new trends and developments as they happen — it’s always good to get a hot and spicy take out while it’s immediately relevant, after all! — but I would also like everyone reading this to consider Rice somewhere that you can hang out for more than a quick skim through a single article. The Library is a peaceful, happy place filled with interesting stuff to explore, and it will only continue to expand over time.

I hope you enjoy it! Why not pay it your first visit right now? And be sure to check back regularly to see what new stuff we have on the shelves!

Pete Davison, Editor

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Pete Davison
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