Category: Games


Move over America, it doesn’t look like baseball is your favorite pastime anymore. You haven’t witnessed a live baseball game until you’ve seen one here in Japan. First thing to note some of the nicest security you’ll see anywhere. Yes, the guards at the gates will search you bags but they’re not pushy or irritating about it like the security back home. Second, if you’re entering the arena with a drink from the outside of any kind the associates will graciously pour it into a nice plastic cup for you and thank you for buying tickets to the game. Third, the prices inside the stadium are actually fair, still more expensive than outside goods but not to the level where complaints can be deemed necessary. Finally the crowd, absolutely everyone at the stadium is excited to be there, and the home team receives non-stop praises and chants from their loyal fans. The fans may be loud but they’re fun and extremely nice. There was a super fan sitting in front of us who taught us some of the cheers rather than laughing at our ill fated attempts. I don’t think I can experience a baseball game in America quite like the one I was a part of here in Japan.

Dr. C. Enjoying Baseball

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I’m writing this post from one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen in Japan, a place named ManBoo, a “manga kisa” or internet cafe. This place is basically like a high-tech Japanese youth hostile, for 15 dollars or 1480 yen a night you are given access to a private booth. This private booth contains a computer with all the essentials, a 21 inch HDTV, a safe to secure your money, a DVD player with remote control, a great pair of head phones, and access to whatever video game system the company decides to make available. The private booth isn’t the only thing you get for the price, users of the manga kisa are also given access to all the drinks and ice cream they can possibly stomach in the time provided. There is also hot food available but that does cost a bit extra, can’t have it all I guess. Oh and did I forget to mention the fact that the private booth comes with a beanbag chair and that the booth itself is a padded leather seat that’s comfortable enough to sleep on. Overall the manga kisas are an extremely comfortable places to stay at extremely affordable prices, eat your heart out youth hostiles.

We went to DNP (Dai Nippon Printing) on May 13th where we were witness to some of the most advanced holographic, 3-D, and touch sensing technologies in the world. The exhibition that caught my eyes more than any of the others was a machine currently in use in Louvre according to our guides. It was a table capable of sensing objects placed on it and using them to build a 3-D display on a monitor that can be viewed from all angles, it was pretty cool. The more I think about the exhibit the more I get excited about other possible uses for it. One example is with current generation video games. Customization is presently popular in mainstream video games today and I believe the scan table (as I shall call it) could be beneficial to the current trend. Artistic players could customize their characters outside of the game using the method of their choice and use color objects for artistic touches.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Otaku is the geek culture of Japan, its a world of people who obsess over things like anime and video games to the umpteenth degree. It’s a subculture that carries a bit of a negative image in the eyes of the Japanese mainstream culture. This negative image has lead to some tragic incidents like the Akihabara Massacre on June 8th 2008 where a man named Tomohiro Katō ran a truck through a crowd of otaku until it was inoperable. He then continued to attack people on foot with a dagger, in all ten people were injured and seven people died. Despite their negative image however the otaku culture has proved to be highly profitable to businesses that provide video games, manga, and anime to them, such as D3 Publishing. Personally I’m intrigued by the otaku sub-culture, being a bit of a geek myself it’s an interesting note that nerds/geeks aren’t just looked down upon in America. I just hope peoples’ misunderstanding of geeks doesn’t lead to an event similar to the Akihabara Massacre in the United States or anywhere for that matter.

Akihabara

It's a me chilling with Mario

Otaku is the geek culture of Japan, its world of people who obsess over things like anime and video games to the umpteenth degree. It’s a subculture that carries a bit of a negative image in the eyes of the Japanese mainstream culture. This negative image has lead to some tragic incidents like the Akihabara Massacre on June 8th 2008 where a man named Tomohiro Katō ran a truck through a crowd of otaku until it was inoperable. He then continued to attack people on foot with a dagger, in all ten people were injured and seven people died. Despite their negative image however the otaku culture has proved to be highly profitable to businesses that provide video games, manga, and anime to them, such a D3 Publishing. Personally I’m intrigued by the otaku sub-culture, being a bit of a geek myself it’s an interesting note that nerds/geeks aren’t just looked down upon in America. I just hope peoples’ misunderstanding of geeks doesn’t lead to an event similar to the Akihabara Massacre in the United States or anywhere for that matter.

Today we met with the vice president of D3 Publishing, a company involved in publishing manga, anime, and video games targeted towards the otaku (geek) crowd. One of their most recent games Dream C Club was published exclusively for the X-Box 360. The fact that D3 chose to support the X-Box 360 with its abysmal track record in Japan peaked my curiosity and I asked him why the 360 was a commercial failure in Japan. His first answer was because it’s not Sony or Nintendo something every outsider was thinking. All joking aside he informed me that one of the biggest weaknesses X-box 360 has going for it is the lack of brand saturation in the Japanese market. This is due to the laziness of Microsoft Japan and a lack luster or even non-existent marketing campaign. His answer was fascinating and a great lesson in the importance of a powerful advertising campaign and what it could do to help the X-Box 360’s success in Japan.

D-3 courtesy of Radin

Dream C Club D-3 photo courtesy of Radin

Welcome

Greetings weary traveler welcome to Jared in Japan, a blog that holds the thoughts of one Jared Wilk as he traveled through a world of mystery and mind blowing mobile and electronic devices. Jared is also a studying game designer, check out his portfolio.

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