Today, which was a public day, was more fun than the business day yesterday. There were more people, and there were dancing! And cos-play! And I took some time for trying out games.
I EARNED this trinket! The platformer R-man has kick-ass game play.
On the subway on my way to TGS today I decided upon three things to look for: MMO related stuff, booth-hunks and cosplay. (Cosplay is when people dress up to look like game characters.) I did bad on the booth-hunks, didn’t understand the Japanese information about the MMOs shown, but the cosplay was a feast.
The Eye of Judgement for PS3. A board/card game using the eye toy. Really cool. A girl in the booth demonstrated it and it was very responsive. Fun that the eye toy is used for enhanced board-game type of stuff.
Final Fantasy XIII. Beautiful. The story set-up seem to be the classic for the FF series. Lovely. I saw the videos in the “Closed Mega Theatre”. The screen shots I have seen on gamespy, gamespot etc doesn’t do it justice.
Pink PSP. Seeing this awakened the same type of obsessive compulsive “I have to own” feelings that hello kitty stuff usually create. I hope I can get the PS3 in pink.
- I was surprised to not see many games using input devices requiring physical action, such as dance mats etc. Maybe tomorrow. - I was impressed by the games made for mobile phones. - There was a dedicated area to game schools; there are a lot of them in Japan. I went around the area asking for information in English to bring home, but the only one I found was from the Tokyo University of Technology. Anyhow, the map below shows who gives courses about games, so that should be a good base for a web search for those interested:
Square-Enix shopping! I’m now the proud owner of some posters a t-shirt and an FF ring!
My favourite booth girl, featuring FF Online:
To my surprise, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the show, I was hit by an almost religious feeling of the greatness of games. Games being, in my opinion, the greatest art form of them all, using all other art forms at the same time plus adding the skills and passions of the players. It may seem a pompous thing to write, but after all, since I have dedicated the last six years of my professional life to games I’m glad I still have this feeling.
There is much more to say about TGS06, but I'm off to the show now, I'm curious about the cos-players that will be there today. Gamespy and Gamespot have good coverage of the show, also translating the japanese keynotes and more for us non-japanese speaking persons.
I am now making myself at home in Nakajima Lab at Tokyo Institute of Technology where I will spend this autumn working on my thesis. I’m staying at the International House which is conveniently located in the same campus as the lab; Ookayama Campus.
The trip here was a bit of an ordeal, but I’m suspecting that the travelling curse I seem to be affected by is loosing it’s grip! I didn’t land in the middle of a potential civil war, as I did in Beijing 1989, I didn’t end up on the wrong continent as I did 2004 in Costa Rica when I was supposed to go to California, and I wasn’t left in the wilderness without luggage and handbag as I was 2003 in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. What happened this time was that I missed my flight at Heathrow due to the time to stand in line for security checks, and that I, on my way to Tokyo Tech gave the taxi driver 30 000 yen instead of 3 000. That is peanuts really compared to what usually happens when I travel alone. But I’d better not get my hopes up, it could be bad luck and hubris, and I should touch some wood immediately. (Swedish custom that annuls bad luck due to hasty comments expressing hope.)
As soon as I got to the lab I could relax. Everyone was extremely helpful and just in a few hours I had all accounts needed, a desk, access to both the lab and the International House where I stay, had my luggage dropped of and got guided around the area! We even had time to drink coffee and chat.
Since my arrival I have… well it feels like I have slept more than I have been awake, but in the waking hours I have been reading guidebooks. In the reading room of the International house I found a veritable treasure of literature on Japan – guidebooks, classical Japanese literature, language course book and more. Being enveloped by a sign system that is new to me I have made a start of deciphering it by listening to pod casts with Japanese language lessons and browsing some books on katana and hiragana – signs.
I still haven’t used the subway, but I will at least do it on Friday to get to the Tokyo Game Show. I am probably in line for a culture shock (se phases here), but it will probably be mitigated by the fact that the lab is pretty much like labs are all over the place. The questions I asked about the daily routines of the lab when I arrived made me feel at home – it is familiar. So I can make excursions to explore Tokyo with the comforting knowledge that I can go back to the lab. Here is information about the research in the lab.