Issue 4, April/May 2020
The Internet has changed the concept of community beyond all recognition. But is that a bad thing?
The Good Doctor
Japanese otaku and their waifus
Fan fiction taught me how to write
Tics and tech
New atheism and the emergence of the alt-right
How to change someone‘s mind
”Animal Crossing: New Horizons” - a refuge in crisis for creatures of habit
From the coral reef to the COVID ward: the snorkelling equipment at the forefront of Italy’s Coronavirus fight
Cover by Laura Brown. Available to buy and read on Apple iBooks.
How are you feeling? I fell asleep earlier this evening. It was the effect of several days of constantly looking at a screen; context-switching several times every second to try to stay on top of the micro and the macro, the very global and the very local... and everything in between.
Issue 4 of our little magazine opens one’s mind beyond our own four walls that we have been inhabiting for the past few weeks. We can take flight, let ourselves escape for a while. Be other people. See and experience other things, even when they are difficult. Feel what life is like... for others, and perhaps, increasingly, for ourselves.
Lucrezia Lozza reports from Italy on the extraordinary efforts in recent weeks to convert snorkelling masks into medical devices which help to fight COVID-19. The writing is urgent yet phenomenally human.
Closer to home and yet more global, Laura Brown visits the ARC project in the northern English town of Blackburn. ARC is a language project for asylum seekers, based in a town where over 70 are spoken.
We also cover alternative realities: Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a popular retreat for many at the moment; Olivia Cadby talks about how the most popular game for Nintendo Switch is something of a haven from the normalised chaos around us. Mark Laherty looks at The Good Doctor, a TV series with something of a medical anti-hero at the helm. Brian McGleenon gives a frankly astounding account of the waifu, the Japanese concept of a digital “girlfriend” that is the companion of an otaku, a rather hardcore version of what might be called a “geek” in the West.
Elsewhere, we cover the concept of community. Elly Earls questions as to whether the Internet has, in fact, augmented rather than replaced our concept of what it is. Charlotte Moore returns to her old community of fan fiction writers, a close-knit one which helped her to build her own career in journalism. Rosa Francesca, returning to Imperica Magazine for a second article, talks about technological solutions - and problems - for Tourette’s Syndrome sufferers such as herself.
Finally, we cover views and opinions in the raw. William Shaw connects Richard Dawkins with a bigger and deeper undertow of alt-right columnists and commentators. George Dean takes us on a scenic tour of the methods used to change the minds of people and society at large.
This is a chunky issue. We constantly aim to be diverse and deep, and this issue succeeds at both. It also signifies a rhythm: we have finally worked out our publishing schedule. Imperica Magazine will be published 10 times every year. You get longer to read our publication in May and August, and I get a chance to sleep beyond stolen naps in the early evening.
I have one final request. The July-August issue will mark 10 years of Imperica (yes, really). We have interviewed, featured, and published a lot of people over the decade: if you would to see a particular person write for our anniversary issue, please get in touch.