An invitation to explore interactions between VIDEO GAMES + THE WORLD

To all readers of Minus World,

I’m writing to invite you to visit PLAYSTYLE, a new website exploring interactions between VIDEO GAMES + THE WORLD. 

It’s the culmination of a few years of focusing on projects away from video games whilst contemplating a new way of talking about the medium and its culture. There is much to be gained from a more inclusive approach that disregards purely commercially-driven ideas and approaches games in the same way we think about art, fashion, design, film etc: not in isolation, but in relation to the wider world.

You can check it out at and follow on Instagram and Twitter for extra, bite-sized cultural stories.

Right now on the website you can check out an interview with LSD: Dream Emulator creator Osamu Sato, a photo tour of an abandoned 90s virtual world and a long-read on the role of video games in challenging the art world’s power imbalances. There are some exciting interviews and stories to come in the very near future.

In what can be considered the final post on this website, I want to conclude with my sincere thanks to all who have read, shared, supported and contributed to Minus World in the years since its creation in 2015. I feel personally I owe much to the experience and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities the project brought.

– Oliver Jameson

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Real Doctors, Console Chow & Arcade Dreamscapes – Culture Collection #23


It’s been a good long while since the last instalment of Culture Collection, our regular round-up of the best gaming-themed cultural offerings from around the web. You can read a little bit about Minus World’s recent radio silence here, but in order to break said silence, here is a brand new selection of photography from the later half of 2017 and the start of this year.

It seems fitting for the first article of the year to open with a New Year’s theme (even if it is a tad belated) and who better to kick things off than hachimaru3 and the rather notable get-up he sported for bringing in 2018. If it wasn’t for that kimono, I might’ve mistaken him for the real Mario.


Something else with a distinctly Japanese flair now, albeit from a different season. Looks like someone’s beaten bio_miracle to snacking on these neatly packaged peaches.


Continuing the food theme with chihiro_tanaka‘s snap of a limited edition burger served at CoroCoro magazine’s ‘Comic Legend’ pop-up cafe, featuring a rather appetising likeness of the world’s most famous Pokémon.


I’m all about little_terror‘s summer shrimp taco/ice white DMG combo, even if it is out of season right now. The ‘#grubbingwithgameboy‘ tag on Instagram is a goldmine for delicious handheld photography.

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EarthBound-Inspired Planners, Covers and More from Hobonichi’s Full 2018 Accessories Line-Up


Hobonichi have revealed their full collection of covers and accessories for the 2018 Techo planner, due to go on sale on September 1st.

We took a look at the first EarthBound-inspired cover unveiled by Shigesato Itoi‘s lifestyle brand earlier this month, but since then three additional planner designs have been revealed, along with more details about the inspirations behind each design and a look at the extra goodies you can expect to get your hands on if you order one directly from Hobonichi’s online store.



First up is the ‘Mr. Saturn (Ninja, Bird-Fishing, Ladder)‘ cover. The design features a number of subtle Mr. Saturn imprints cast in a deep red synthetic leather. The colour itself is said to be inspired by the packaging for Mother 2 (EarthBound‘s original Japanese title), whereas the designs for the various Mr. Saturn characters featured throughout are taken straight from Mother 3‘s memorable sprite-work.

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Real-Life Geography and Culture Bring Liveability to the World of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl


The end of last month marked ten years since the European release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. The first main entries in Game Freak‘s best-selling franchise to grace the Nintendo DSDiamond and Pearl have maintained a lasting legacy over the past decade, introducing 107 new collectable Pokémon to the series, a wide range of online features allowing for competition and trading with players from around the world, as well as general interface and quality of life improvements enabled in thanks to the unique form factor of Nintendo’s dual-screened handheld system.

dp_07There’s a lot worth praising about Diamond and Pearl on their tenth anniversary, with many of the components of the series that players have grown comfortably accustomed to having originated in these instalments. However, one of the less celebrated ways in which it excels is how it goes about creating a strong sense of place for its players.

Following something of a trend for Pokémon games, the design of Diamond and Pearl‘s fictional setting is deeply rooted in that of a real world location. The game’s Sinnoh region is inspired by Japan’s largest and northernmost island, Hokkaido, taking cues from not only its unique natural geography, but the cultural and aesthetic characteristics of many of its cities and towns. By discovering the distinct influence of real places in Sinnoh’s design, it’s possible to come to understand how Game Freak have been able to craft a world that often feels authentic and human, despite playing host to a game built around outlandish fictional creatures.

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Unique 16-Bit Apparel Celebrates an Obscure Chapter in Nintendo’s Hardware History


From Elude Visibility (the online store of the archive of prototype and unreleased game ROMs of the same name, curated by Matthew Callis of comes some video game-inspired apparel that pays homage to Nintendo’s fascinating hardware history, reaching into the most obscure and under-appreciated depths of its colossal game catalogue for inspiration.

This unique pair of printed leggings (pictured above, centre) feature graphics from BS-X: Sore wa Namae o Nusumareta Machi no Monogatari (BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen), the colourful, EarthBound-like interactive menu used by the Super Famicom‘s Satellaview add-on. BS-X served as an interface for the unconventional SNES expansion that allowed Japanese players in the late 90s to receive regular satellite broadcasts of games, digital magazines and even live audio commentary straight to their systems.

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Programmable Series – Endless Collection


The concept of having something to collect in video games has existed almost as long as video games themselves. Many arcade games and classic console games make collecting items an important aspect or even the main objective of the game. Iconic series such as the Mario or Sonic games have had us collecting coins and rings respectively for many years. However, as time has gone by, the things we collect in video games have changed and even the rewards for collecting have shifted fairly drastically. When you’re looking at designing a game and what incentives there are to progress, collectibles are often the “go-to” choice for many developers.


The term “collect-a-thon” stemmed from a fast-growing library of 3D platform games in the late 90s that had a heavy focus on collecting various objects. This is when collecting things in video games took a sharp turn from being a ‘bonus’ to a requirement. The most popular 3D platform title of the time, Super Mario 64, shifted the Mario series’ focus away from simply reaching the end of a level – the core goal in almost every previous Mario game up to that point – and put the focus on exploring each level multiple times and with multiple different approaches in order to collect ‘Power Stars’. Collect enough stars and you can open the way to more levels, in which you can collect more stars to progress and continue the process. A similar trend can be seen in Spyro the DragonBanjo-Kazooie and the infamous Donkey Kong 64. Sometimes these games would also offer incentives for collecting 100% of a required item, like finding Yoshi in Super Mario 64 or getting the “extra” ending in Spyro the Dragon, wheras some games just required you to obtain a minimum amount of a certain collectible to progress.

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Splatoon 2’s Music Scene Comes to Life with New Shirts from THE KING OF GAMES


EDITMODE is expanding its range of Splatoon 2 apparel with a new line of six graphic t-shirts, inspired by in-game merchandise for the Splatoon universe’s most popular fictional bands.

If you’ve spent any of the last few weeks indulging in Splatoon 2‘s fiercely competitive multiplayer modes, or even just taking in the lively urban vibe of its Shibuya-inspired Inkopolis Square, it’s very likely you would have seen a few of the game’s Inkling characters – perhaps even your own – sporting some of the designs pictured below. Much like in their previous Splatoon-themed apparel collections, EDITMODE have faithfully re-created each shirt exactly as it appears in-game, so now you can rep your favourite of Splatoon‘s musical talents in your everyday and in-game wardrobes.


The new range is available in Japan through THE KING OF GAMES online store, or via PlayAsia, where you can also find mesh caps inspired by the game on sale alongside other assorted merchandise.

For more information about EDITMODE’s products and future releases, check out their website (English version available here) and Instagram/Twitter feeds.

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EarthBound-Inspired Covers Return for Hobonichi’s 2018 Accessory Collection

Following on from last year’s stunning collection of accessories, EarthBound creator Shigesato Itoi’s Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (Hobonichi) have introduced the first of their new range of covers for the Hobonichi Techo planner inspired by the cult classic Nintendo RPG.


In the run-up to the release of their 2018 ‘Life Book’, Hobonichi are introducing new planner covers and accessories daily on their official website. The ‘This is Magicant‘ design (pictured above) is the first of what appears to be a trio of EartBound-themed covers set to release alongside the planner later this year.

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An Hour of Dojin Game Trailers from Comiket 92

Edelweiss have graced us with their latest compilation video of indie and dojin game trailers fresh from the 92nd instalment of Comic Market, the world’s biggest self-published works convention held in Tokyo twice a year.

If you’ve got just over an hour and a half to spare, why not indulge in a glimpse at what some of the talented individuals and creative ‘circles’ that make up Japan’s unique hobbyist game-creation scene are up to.

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Super Deluxe Style with Gray Parka Service’s Kirby 25th Anniversary Souvenir Jacket


Gray Parka Service have teamed up with HAL Laboratory to produce a special souvenir jacket (or ‘sukajan’) in celebration of the Kirby series’s 25th anniversary this year.

The back of the jacket is proudly emblazoned with the stylised title logo of beloved 1996 SNES platformer Kirby Super Star (namely that of its Japanese version, Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe), whilst the front features a pair of embroidered Kirby graphics featuring the titular hero performing his trademark inhalation technique.

It’s appearance is certain to catch people’s attention, but Gray Parka Service hope that its unisex design and supposedly quality finish (considering the price point and material choice for an item of this nature, it’s tough not to have some doubts about this particular claim) will make it an everyday wardrobe essential.



You can pre-order the jacket, available in three sizes and set to release on November 30th, from the Gorilland online store. More pictures and details (in Japanese) can be found on the official promo site.

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