Newsweek.com has an article about “Japan’s addictive arcades’ entitled “Zeon Attack!” which is apparently of such high quality that instead of putting it on the worthless physical pages of their magazine that people actually pay money for they made it WEB-EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY so that only the most elite, web connected readers that can understand high tech edgy things like Japan and video games would be able to read it.
Here are a few choice quotes to give you an idea of how awesomely insightful this article is.
- Though I can’t grasp the Japanese way of counting, I still remember the precise way to defeat Bald Bull in the old boxing game Punch Out. Those old-school games are nowhere to be seen in Japan today. The modern arcade is an exotic, sensory-overload, nearly impenetrable to foreigners.
- Kazuki and Mizuki, two high school sophomores at a Shibuya arcade, told us they play purikura about once a week to capture “memories.”
- He said he plays about twice a month at about $3 a game, though the stack of character cards in his hand betrays a deeper addiction. “I can learn all the background and histories of the characters,” he said, adding he also reads manga related to the Sangokushi saga. [Ed: Clearly he wouldn’t be playing the game because of a pre existing interest in the Chinese history/classical literature upon which it is based.]
- My Japanese interpreter, fighting as a boxing-gloved Kangaroo with a snowboard on its back and scuba fins on its feet, was defeated in the game by a tattooed girl. [Ed: Wow! A Tattoo!! Japanese arcades really are so much cooler than the US, where you would never see a kid with a tattoo!]
- young people dubbed neets (who live with their parents and refuse to get jobs), and freeters (who only have part-time work) are much-discussed social groups who exacerbate the population and workforce imbalance. [Ed: Gosh, I wonder what “neet” and “freeter” stand for. I bet the explanation would be way too complicated for foreigners like Newsweek writer Brad Stone or me to understand. ]
- Adults want Japanese kids to leave the arcades, go to work and save the country. But they’re too busy saving the world, one Gundam battle at a time. [Ed: He’s right! Nobody goes to arcades if they actually have a job or classes to go to! Arcades are probably causing the population decline!!]