The briefest of introductions.
Good afternoon (if it's not afternoon where you are reading this right now, wait until you've had your lunch or something, and then read the rest of this spiel).
My name is Ian Cortina. I like Japanese culture, video games, curios and assorted oddities that you may not have heard of, but thanks to my little blog, you now will.
Every wondered what that little note says that accompanied Microcosm with the Japanese SEGA Mega CD release? Click here. Now you know.
Fancy trying your hand at some Saturn Game BASIC? Click here. Now you know.
Want to read cool, badly translated interviews with totally niche awesome people in cool jobs in Japan? Click here. Now you know.
You should be seeing a pattern begin to emerge here. I like, and write, about the niche stuff. The things you type in search engines for but find next to little information about. No subject is too tedious, too niche, too offbeat. If you want 3000 words on soldering through hole capacitors to arcade PCBs and teasing photos of USB voltage meters, bizarre zines, manga, books, soundtracks, games and other pulp and guff...WELCOME HOME!
Why should I give you my money? What the hell do you want?
To be honest, I was (and still am) very hesitant about launching my own 'creation' on Patreon. I'm not overly keen on asking for a handout and doing what I love with other peoples money.
I'm doing this for two reasons. One; to give myself a kick up the arse. Two; to curate (and preserve) a home for the niche. More on point two later.
I'm listening. Tell me more... I'm bored. Make it interesting.
OK! OK! I will try!
I've been passionate about writing, passionate about video games and passionate about the niche and bizarre nearly my entire life. It's really come to the fore in the last few years when in 2013 I created, printed, packed and distributed my very own zine. It proved to be somewhat successful, selling in excess of 500 copies as pre-orders in the 7 days it was available for sale. A digital release followed (to keep the physical release exclusive, to this day too) and sold several copies however as demand dropped, I couldn't afford to keep paying for the hosting and in the end I had to bring the online store/distribution to a close.
The zine was an accompaniment to a site I ran named Pink Bullets. This site is now defunct (see the aforementioned hosting costs issue) and unfortunately a lot of the content was lost (thanks to a bungled site backup!)... until now! I've been able to retrieve the majority of the site content and am posting it back on my website www.iancortina.co.uk as 'reprint' material.
My personal website, named The Coterie, was created with a similar vision to Pink Bullets. Though I wanted it to be so much more than that. I don't want my work to be 'just another person writing about games/life/what they had for dinner last night'. I want my work to be different. I want it to stand out. Tell a story. Make it meaningful.
Make it something you've not seen before. You wanted to see it before, but perhaps couldn't find the information anywhere else? Or nobody else is in to the same thing(s) you are?
I hope that is where I can help. By writing to you passionately about the things most important to you, and to me. I just need a kick up the backside to do it.
I'll explain why later.
That's great. Why do you want my money though?
That's a fair question. See point two of the aforementioned.
I like to collect and preserve items I think will be of interest and/or importance to people. Such as? Such as Japanese floppy disks. Be it data, games, or unknown entities. I have the technology available to me to create preservation level archives of floppy disks (both 5.25 and 3.5).
I like offbeat books. Bizarre technical manuals, games magazines, trinkets, pamphlets, notes, sketches. You name it, if it tickles my pickles and nobody's seen it, I'm in to it. I want to share it.
I like investigating what nobody else does. The bizarre world of early 80's and 90's superplay cassettes and Laserdiscs. Promotional items. Demo disks. Code. Games. Books. Magazines. Articles. Flyers. Super 8mm items. Fixes, bodges. Code. Workarounds. MiniDiscs. Anything that may be of interest along those lines, you'll find at my site.
Yes. But why do you want my money though?
I said I'd explain point one later. Now is the time to explain. I need a kick up the arse.
Earlier this year I became a father for the first time. A somewhat naive, worried and frightened first time father, I'll readily admit. I needn't have worried. I'm now a fully paid up member of the best club in the entire world and would not change it for anything. No, not the local badminton and WI club. The parent club.
I read once and stole from Toby Maguire in a mediocre film that "with great power comes great responsibility". What Toby omitted from the end of Uncle Ben's (his Uncle, not the rice fellow) famous one-liner is that "with great power (parenthood) comes great responsibility (you child/children)...and fuck all time for anything else".
Uncle Ben was very crafty omitting that from his one liner! And thus this boils down to my thoughts about this whole thing. The whole Patreon idea. Why I'm asking for a few quid from you.
Being part-funded to do something I love I hope will act as both an inspiration (to me), and also help fund important preservation.
So if I chuck you a few quid, what's it going on?
My grand plan, from all of this, is to both inspire me to make time to write, and write often (a personal goal). To write about items of interest to both myself and visitors to my site. And where possible, to preserve items that may otherwise be lost forever in the imminent future. Finally, where legally possible (explained later), to share such preservation.
By legally possible I mean taking flux level preservation dumps of video games, making them playable, in emulators, and sharing the games, tools, code, art, music etc. Primarily PC 8801, 9801, X68000 disks, magazines, books etc.
Essentially what I am doing is putting in a lot of time to find obscure items, purchase them and get them shipped safely over to European shores. To be written about, preserved and (again where legally possible), shared for all to enjoy.
What else are you looking for a few quid for?
Hosting is not cheap. With the wealth of funded content I hope to add, I would like to fill my hosting space with video content, pictures, code, misc files and so on. All of this costs a lot of money the more popular the content becomes. This is why I have created a specific goal purely to cover hosting costs, or just simply to say thank you for the content.
There are some high end goals here, but really, this is just a pipe dream for me, and these goals are there if you want to see the real high end stuff that is more than likely inflated in today's world of online auctions, scalping and classifieds.
Why should I pay for you to have all this cool stuff?
Because I will write fancy words about it. In some cases dump it and share it. And in other cases give items away as competition prizes from time to time. I'm trying to make this a 'benefits everyone' Patreon rather than a 'pull the ladder up Jack and sod the rest of them' Patreon campaign.
I hope you'll agree. No pressure if not. I'm really not sure how this is going to go anyway, I feel weird asking for money for stuff.
Have a think about it and if you'd like to donate a few bob, go right ahead. I sincerely hope you'll be glad you did. :)