Japan Documentaries 2018 Episode 14/15: Japanese Arcades – News

Japan Documentaries 2018 Episode 14/15: Japanese Arcades - News


Crowdfunding for the 2022 Japan documentary is in full swing. To mark the occasion, we are making the 15 episodes of the Japan documentaries 2018 freely available in 1080p. Episode 14 takes you to arcade paradises.

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Since 2018, the Japan documentaries 2018 were only available to crowdfunders and buyers. We are now releasing the 1080p versions free for everyone (however, the making of is subject to a fee). If you like them, join the crowdfunding for the Japan documentary 2022 – and get all 2022 episodes for the special price of €10 (only until the start of travel!).

If you want, you can also Buy 2018 documentaries in 4K, including numerous extras. The extra-long Making Of (Episode 16) and a number of extras are then also included.

You can twist and turn it as you will, but a revision of the youth protection law in the 80s killed the arcade culture in Germany before it could really flourish. Before that, machines like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Co. were considered novel and harmless entertainment that could be set up in swimming pools or at folk festivals. After that they belonged to the gambling machines, access for young people forbidden. Arcades fared better in other countries, but first home consoles and gaming computers, and later smartphones, gradually made dedicated arcades less and less attractive. These effects are also clearly felt in Japan, and yet it is arguably the last country where gaming arcades can be considered an everyday phenomenon and part of mainstream culture, with thousands of large arcades still running across the country.

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In this episode of the Japan documentaries, Jörg takes a look at various arcades, unusual (the Anata no Warehouse in Kawasaki and the Super Potato Arcade in Akihabara) as well as the ordinary, and gives five reasons why this form of entertainment — in his opinion — is still relevant in the year 2018 holding up so well in the land of the rising sun, and bucking the global trend. Of course, he also puts his heart and soul into it! Please note that we only had permission to film in one arcade, so most of the video had to be shot undercover.

fun fact: Filming for this episode was spread over three days of the September trip: the day of arrival in Japan, just after checking in at the hotel (for the first arcade shown in Kawasaki), midday after the memorable long evening of the Nightlife in Shinjuku episode ( and before the cooking class) and the last day in Japan, after returning from Kawaguchiko (where the episode Sea of ​​Green was made). Despite weeks of negotiations and a lot of e-mail traffic, we only got permission to shoot in one arcade and agreed to an interview there, in the retro arcade (and retro game store) Super Potato in Akihabara.

When I somehow turned up at the meeting point sharply at 12:45 p.m., badly sleepless, temporarily alcohol-impaired and without breakfast – after the Shinjuku night I had come back to the hotel with a delay – the interpreter and guide Keimy first dragged me to the Super Potato Arcade. Only: The interviewee could not be found because “went to dinner, but came back at 1:30 p.m.”. After I sort of digested this unexpected culture shock — what, Japanese can’t keep their deals?! How is that even possible? —, we used the almost half hour to buy two more 128 GB memory cards (otherwise I would have run out of storage space at the latest in the afternoon/evening at the cooking class in Yotsuya). Funnily enough, at a Krust electronics store in Akihabara, they only cost half what you would have had to pay at the Yodobashi 50 meters away. They worked wonderfully, by the way, the difference is that these SD cards are not intended for the Japanese market and are not guaranteed. Second, I stopped at a “KFC” for the first time in my life. I was starving and the chicken burger I was served was the tastiest I had eaten in a very long time. So around 10 p.m. the night before.

Since everything is very close together in Akihabara (the said electronics store, for example, is only about 20 meters from the Super Potato), we were back at the counter on the 3rd floor at 1:30 p.m. sharp — but we still couldn’t find our interview partner. The interview you see in the video was conducted with a normal employee who, despite his shyness, did a good job…

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