Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Tokyo Game Show 2007

Tokyo Game Show 2007

Oh boy another extensive 連休 (long weekend) just ahead of us. We started the weekend on Saturday by going to the annual Tokyo Game Show, an expo mainly for new console video games, which is held close to 千葉 (Chiba city).

団体 Our Group

And ours are many, we are legion. No but quite some people from our company decided to go to the Game Show this year. As organizer of the trip I made the mistake of forgetting the Japanese people of our company probably also wanted to go to the Game Show and only informed, wrote to the interns. Therefore in the end we split into two (or more group), the 馬鹿外人 (bakagaijin) group (us) and one or several independent Japanese groups.
In our group we have from right to left:

Alex (Quebec), Youngki (Canada/Korea), Hung Lun (Germany/Singapore), Wendy (China) , me, Manu (Germany) and Ryan (America).

Chiba City Blues

We didn't see Chiba itself, since the Game Show was three express train stations in front of Chiba, but the exposition area was impressive enough. Though one day I want to experience the Chiba City Blues.
As mentioned on top this was not our only trip for this weekend and in fact we already left at the end of this day for the next one by night bus. Therefore we already packed and carried our luggage and had to search lockers in 海浜幕張 (Kaihin Makuhari), the city where the expo was held. Luckily it was no problem, since the expo halls itself have quite a lot of them. So don't worry if you should ever go there.

Hall 1 - 6

The first five halls were solely dedicated to ordinary Games. It was really awesome! Luckily there were so many possibilities of trying out games, that not all had long queues in front and many you could try with no or a very short waiting time. Of course this only is valid for the not too popular games, the most popular ones had queues as long as 90 minutes waiting time in front. But of course the not so popular or not so new games were also a great fun. What was also cool is that once you started playing, some Japanese helper came and explained you how to play and even gave helpful comments like "shoot this one!" "No here" "fast", "Withdraw" "Choose the other weapon". ^=^ really awesome!
Me and Manu were lucky, because just in front of us another Wii console, where you could play the new Naruto Beat 'em Up game was opened. So we fought against each other Kakashi against Itachi. Kakashi gave Itachi some though time, but in the end he had to surrender to the might of the 万華鏡 写輪眼 (Mangekyou Sharingan).
What I also loved is the way some game developers designed their little houses according to their games. I hope you can fathom it a bit from the photos, some designs really looked cool.
Talking about design, some game designers also hired people to perform as a living design, so a game about Japanese tradition had a Geisha hired, and the Soft Bank cell phone company, which just finished a contract about new Star Wars Game, made a squadron of Storm Troopers, Darth Vader and a Sith line up. We were especially lucky, because we came just back from the toilet and bought a hot chocolate, when suddenly the imperial march started and a group of Strom Troopers entered the hall from a exit, in formation and in a really cool way. Darth Vader was just in the middle followed by another bunch of Troopers in formation and the Sith. Really cool! Oh and Square-Enix had a human Chocobo.
Talking about Square-Enix, there stand was most probably the most visited one, and for their special performance hall they could not even let people lone up, but had to distribute tickets in the morning, right after the Show opened, for the whole day. So coming one and a half hours late, we had no chance on getting in.

The Storm Troopers

And the Chocobo

Hall 7 - 8

These two halls were somewhat special. In there four different things could be found. A place to buy food... At least they had some fried potatoes for me.
The merchandising stands. Boah even the merchandising stands had to build queues for the people, especially the Square-Enix stand had a huuuuuge queue in front of it. So even browsing to the merchandising was not possible :(, expect you accept to wait for about an hour or two.
As a third there was the kids area, which in case of the Game Show of course meant Games for kids. It was pretty funny, because the kids all did not reach over the delimiting fences, which give a really funny look.
And lastly there was the area for Game Developing Schools presenting the Schools program, as well as Games developed by their student. This was pretty interesting and some students of them had really cool ideas. Grasping the amount of Students Game and Game Developing Colleges here, it's no wonder Japan's amount of new Video Games is that big. What was also cool about this area is that you had close to no waiting time everywhere and could get most of the games for free or a very small support fee.


There were also a couple of really cool "controllers". For example a witch game, where you could ride on a broom stick, a racing game with three monitors and a really cool 3D tool for moving a cursor or a gun in a first person shooter in 3D.

Perverted Men

Most video game stands had there own video girls hired, which wore only light clothes and were targeted by perverted men. It was really paltry to watch. They wore at no point anything special and what they wore was in no point related to the games (with a few exceptions). But of of course the perverted men were with them, taking myriads of pictures of them, making them pose in awkward poses, making them feel awkward and ashamed. At some point managers came out and scared the perverted men away like pigeons on the street. But of course after a while, they always came back.
Actually this was the main reason Wendy came with us, she was not so much interested in Games, but she could not believe the stories about the awful lot of perverted men and wanted to see it with her own eyes.
What also enraged me, is that they were not interested in Games at all. None of them carried any luggage expect from a way too big camera. None of them took any merchandising and none of them ever played games or watched the awesome previews. They sole reason for coming here was to get horny on girls..... grrr
At some points, when I wanted some merchandising from one of the video girls, because they often distributed merchandising for their game, I waited a bit but then just walked in front of those men and asked the girl if I could have some merchandising. They usually were really relieved and glad about this, gave it to me and then hurdidly started distributing it to people on the other side of their stand (as far away from the photo perverts as possible).

A small impression of how many and how obsessive they were


Between the halls was were most of the Cosplayers gathered. It was quite impressive and wonderful on the one hand, but quite depressing on the other hand seeing so many perverted Japanese men taking a never ending series of pictures only of girls, which cosplay was sexy, excluding girls wearing "too much" cosplay and boys altogether. Again like in the inside, these men had not the slightest interest in Anime/Manga or Video Games, but only wanted "Vixvorlagen", a term which I refuse to translate at this point. The most horrible part was, that while the video girls were at least payed and prepared and protected by managers by this awkwardness, the cosplayers were totally without help. And if you know Japanese a bit, you also know that they seldom fight back, especially girls. So most of them simply endured the never ending torrent of pictures and impudent commands: "No pose in this sexy pose." "Show me your ass!"
I really was short of screaming at some of them, how perverted and +kaput+ one can be and if they can't see that the cosplayers do not enjoy, but suffer under their interest. But alas I didn't.
Now I think what I could/should have done is simply to ignore the men, stand in between camera and cosplayer and simply start a talk about Anime/Manga/Games to the cosplayer ignoring the perverted man/men. Next time I will do just that.

And here is where they dressed

So in the end it was a really great experience and we have seen a lot. I recommend this Game Show to everyone, who lives near Chiba/Tokyo when it starts, however it is not so special that it would be worth to coming from more distant parts of Japan or even from overseas.
If you do come and you are not a Japanese citizen (foreign passport or alien card), then you can get it through a secret passage, this year it was in hall 5, 200 Yen cheaper and without waiting time.

That was mika reporting from the where dreams become digital reality
and alas where also the dreams of perverted Japanese men become flesh.
(Please bring weapons against perverts next time you come)


Extra Pics

A short break at noon

Kingdom Hearts


Biohazard Merchandising


Square Enix

XBox 360

Time Hole?

Devil May Cry

Some companies hired professional "cosplayers" to advertise for their products

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