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New Film "100 Yen" Looks at Japan's Arcade History

Posted by James Newton

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A new documentary exploring Japan's still-thriving arcade scene is about to hit the 'net.

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience — a reference to the nationwide shortage of 100 Yen coins following the release of the original Space Invaders — investigates what's helped Japanese arcades stay alive, while those in the West have all-but died out.

Filmmaker Brad Crawford spoke to about the thinking behind his documentary:

Experiencing gaming culture in Japan is something that I felt hadn't been given enough exposure. We all know that many of our favourite games come from Japan, but I don't think people realise the level of dedication people have to gaming, especially arcade gaming, in Nippon.

While Nintendo's best known for its home and portable gaming, it had considerable arcade success with Donkey Kong of course, so there may be some interesting Nintendo-related factoids in this documentary.

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience is currently in post-production, with an Indie GoGo campaign for those who want to get involved.


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User Comments (7)



SamsonCat said:

There are still some Arcade cabinets around. They just aren't as popular any more Now we have all these online games.



Skotski said:

I live near Little Tokyo. And we have the Japan Arcade.
Obviously not as awesome as them olden arcades we used to have (like the old Pac Man arcade that used to be huge around here), but still holds the awesomeness of arcade-goodness.
To this day, you'll still find people challenging each other in fighting and dancing games in Japan Arcade. It's a nice look back to those days...

...I go there mainly for the Taiko no Tatsujin arcade machine, to be completely honest.



kurtasbestos said:

I don't know what it's like in Tokyo these days, but all the big game centers in and around Sapporo have pretty much disappeared, leaving behind only the ones hidden away in shopping malls. Meanwhile, one of my best friends back in Seattle went and opened a ridiculously awesome-looking retro arcade that I wish he had opened several months earlier so that I could have visited it.



Bankai said:

@5 Sapporo is a pretty small city. Tokyo is still big enough to have areas where game arcades can still survive and even thrive.

There's some good ones that are three or four floors high still

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