Tuesday, February 20, 2024

on completing projects

I watched a recent video about the topic of projects being "done", and I want to talk about what it means to complete a project.

I have a long history of working on "projects", and in many ways they have significantly defined my life.  There's been so many, of many different types.  They all have the common thread of "something I want to exist in this world does not currently exist as I need it to", and they all are things that happen over a long time span.

The project that takes most of my time right now is the eremeka project .

That project began during COVID, but also out of the circumstances of going blind due to cataracts.  I had given up on my life of event promotion / activism when I became a parent.  I made a choice to pick up pinball as a hobby, with all the conscious nostalgia of someone settling down in the small town they grew up in. I loved learning to repair machines and was pretty ok at solving electromechanical problems, but my eyes going bad means that era has ended.

A decade+ knee deep in the pinball world, I have built up an impressive gameroom that covers all of the aesthetics I craved; from across the past 100+ years and from 3 different continents.  There are a few things I have my eyes on, but it's mostly all there.  The next step is getting help from friends to chase down the remaining issues any machines might have.  There are 3 pins in the lineup, and 2 will some day be replaced with modern machines, but I am excited to get to the point where all I'm doing is occasionally rotating pinball machines.

The constant hunt? The planning and assembly?  Done.  We're now at the long tail of that project, the maintenance phase. A few more rare things on the horizon, but they will take much patience. 

My goal for 2024 is to finish everything I can for the eremeka project.  By 2025 I want to have processed all of the materials I've gathered and have that project to be in Maintenance Mode. 

I keep discovering new stores of data, but I feel as though I am finally nearing an end of it.  Eventually, some new catalogues and flyers will be uncovered and passed my way and when that happens I will be overjoyed and process the data dutifully.  There are UK arcade industry magazines from the 50s+60s, and pachinko industry magazines from the 50s-80s, and if and when I get my hands on them I will tear through them and extract all of the relevant data.  But the stores of data I currently have full access to is finite.

I try and approach my research with the idea that I might die tomorrow and anything I haven't shared will be lost. I am not working towards a book or a job or any kind of monetary goal here.  I want to document the Japanese arcade industry to the best of my ability as a monolingual foreigner in Canada. I want to build a small arcade that celebrates the abstract sense of nostalgia I cultivate towards ball games of all types. I want to scrapbook my emotional world with mixtapes.  I want to build community supports for vulnerable queer youth. I want to build a library of art that fills me with wonder. I want to build community in all of these places that feels safe, nurturing, and benevolently challenging. 

I want to change my immediate world to reflect that which I could previously never find. I want to build a home for my family and friends that can withstand the bastards, if only for a while.  None of this is in isolation.

The game tells you when you're done. I have faith that if I pay attention, I will know.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Exploring the arcades in ザ・スーパーガール The Super Girl episodes (1979)

The Super Girl was a TV show from 1979.  All 51 episodes have been uploaded to The Internet Archive.

We're looking at two episodes.  Thank you to tweakbod for finding and clipping these.

Episode 6: 狙われたリングの女王

1977 King of Kings - キング オブ キングス by ユニバーサル (Universal)

1978 Ninja Gun - ニンジャガン by 関西精機 (Kansai Seiki — Kasco)

Monday, January 15, 2024

Friday, January 12, 2024

book: 建築設計資料集成 第1 (Architectural Design Data Collection Part 1) 1942

This book is a guide of common measurements for architects, published in Showa 17 (1942).  I found out about this book via @ChillReactor.  It is available online via the NDL Digital Collections.  

full title: 建築設計資料集成 第1 (Architectural Design Data Collection Part 1) - 建築学会 編 (Edited by Architectural Institute of Japan) - published by 丸善 (Maruzen) 昭和17 (1942)

建築設計資料集成 第1 (Architectural Design Data Collection Part 1) 1942

There are a few pages of great interest for arcade fans:

pages 128-129

pages 132-133

page 134-135

Let's look at them in more detail.  Sadly, much of the text is too blurry for me to decipher, but I will do my best.  Thank you to dexdigi, shuu, and Ladios of GA for assisting with some of the text!

This book was also referenced by 竹内孝治 in the post 銃後の『建築設計資料集成』|未曾有の時局と娯楽場の射的コーナー.  (archive)  I have included the better scans they have put in their post.  This is a great relief.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

映像が語る パチンコの歴史 (The history of pachinko through video) [with English subtitles]

I am very happy to present another pachinko documentary! 


映像が語る パチンコの歴史 (The history of pachinko through video) [with English subtitles] from Caitlyn Pascal on Vimeo.

This video is also available with JUST the annotations, done in Japanese.

I purchased 2 pachinko documentaries on VHS tape from Japan.  I had originally planned to prepare both to release at the same time, but life got very busy.  While I was working on them, I acquired a 1992 pachino documentary that featured my friend Nic Costas, and that redirected my attention for a while.  1992-01 TVムック故郷は欧州 意外なパチンコ進化論 / TV Mook Mystery Journey: Surprising theory of pachinko evolution

I would like to apologize for the delay in releasing this video.  I will begin working on the 2nd video in 2024, probably in February.

It was a long process to make this happen, and involved the help of many people across the globe.  First, there was the seller who had saved these tapes.  Then they went to Jason Scott of the Internet Archive, who does the long and hard work of digitizing analogue media.

Jason Scott on his livestream, with the pachinko tapes visible in the background.

The automated transcript was then edited by 佐藤 裕治 (Yuji Sato) of GPS.  He did wonderful work, but unfortunately this is when I was distracted by the 1992 video project.  Many apologies, and thank you!

Pachinko historian Kazuo Sugiyama provided annotations to correct the factual errors.

I used translation software to give an initial translation of the transcript.  This required massive editing of course, and thank you to Ladios of Gaming Alexandria for assisting this project.

The National Diet Library has an entry for this video, guessing it as from 2000. (archive)  The company that produced it 日本アミューズメント放送 (Japan Amusement Broadcasting) only formed in 1999.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

exploring the arcade in... まむしの兄弟 懲役十三回 (1972) aka Mamushi no kyôdai: Chôeki jûsankai (The Viper Brothers: Prison Gang 13)

Small scene in this movie that I found thanks to TOO_yoshikawa...

まむしの兄弟 懲役十三回 (1972)

1966 Periscope - ペリスコープ by 中村製作所 (Nakamura Seisakusho)

another shot, this shows the side of the machine

Next machine...