First time visitors notice them right away: Sickness masks. People in Japan wear them for numerous reasons, including to prevent illness. Some even don them because they think the masks make them more attractive.
So, you’re going to Japan, huh? Fantastic. You might have some questions. Hopefully, I’ll have some answers.
When I first came to Japan in 2001, Halloween was not a thing. At all. Well, it was if you were foreigner, but Japanese people just didn’t really get it.
Those black suits. Those weapons. Martial arts. The image of the ninja is rooted more in fiction than fact. Everything you think you know is probably more “wrong” than “right”.
We’ve seen video games nail cloth physics, hair physics, and even water physics. Penis physics, though? That’s mostly a new frontier.
Don’t think of how VR headsets could change the way esport games are played, but rather, imagine how they could change they’re viewed—in particular, fighting games. Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono explains how.
It’s a new year. Can you believe it? Sure you can. While you ponder how you’ll spend it, here is what some of Japan’s most famous game creators hope to accomplish.
QUOTE | “If you want to talk about who is getting bum raps I think Nintendo got some pretty harsh tokes.” - Capy Games president Nathan Vella, saying the Wii U maker deserves more credit for the way it treats indies.
Making manga is not easy. Something has to give and that something is usually sleep!
Famed artist Ai Weiwei is working on a series of portraits using LEGO. But the Danish toy company wants nothing to do with it.
QUOTE | “Ultimately, everybody to some degree is sipping from the Kool-Aid because you don’t want to be the one that rains on the parade.” - Superdata CEO Joost van Dreunen explaining why all the market research around developing fields like eSports and VR tends to be relentlessly optimistic.
Sometimes video games have glitches. They might make you upset. They allegedly caused one player in Japan to make scary threats.
QUOTE | “I think one of the things that we won’t be looking to do very soon is World of Dancing Unicorns.” - Wargaming’s head of EU marketing Keith Anderson, talking about what new games Wargaming will and will not be working on.
QUOTE | “I think some of that was predictable and preventable. If I’m just honest I would say that.” - Former Xbox exec Robbie Bach, talking about the initial problems the Xbox One had that have since improved.
Have you ever experienced a particularly pre-order-pushy sales associate at GameStop, a seriously unknowledgeable Best Buy employee or just a straight-up rude Walmart worker? I’d like to hear your stories.
QUOTE | “I wouldn’t even say the gap has closed... We’ve got a lot more exclusive games than any other platform.” - Microsoft VP Kudo Tsunoda, talking about why he believes the Xbox One is a much stronger platform now.
A solitary, silent majority of teenage girls plays video games: often alone, rarely online. When teenage girls do venture online to play games—and a fair chunk of them do, quite regularly—they usually don’t speak.
QUOTE | “You need the hacker, the designer and the huckster to start your game company. Somebody’s got to be the huckster.” - Tim Train, CEO of Big Huge Games, talking about what it takes to make a successful game company.
Konami, the company behind Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill, does not appear to be a fun place to work. That’s according to reports in the Japanese press and new information shared with Kotaku by people close to the company. They describe a game development environment where Big Brother is always watching…