Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arcades and Engrish

Unlike in America, the arcade has not yet died in Japan. There are a few large arcades here in Nagasaki, although here they are called game centers. They are usually two or three floors, the first floor being your typical arcade, and the second floor being a pachinko/slot/virtual horse racing parlor. Pachinko machines virtually all have some sort of anime theme to them, and the Hokuto no Ken pachinko machines are oddly popular. Also unlike American arcades, kids under 16 years of age are not allowed inside after a rather early 8:00pm. Once you walk past the rows of gachapon machines and the cutesy pink crane games, you see a poorly lit, smoke filled room occupied by older people (almost exclusively) playing the arcade machines, regardless of the time of day. Another interesting thing about the arcades in Nagasaki is that they have mostly only very new games. They do not take kindly to people taking pictures inside.

I shouldn't poke fun at the poor examples of English that are, well, everywhere, especially considering my Japanese is rather poor. Although, I just can't help myself. This is a picture of the outside of the Sega World game center. Yes, it has a pachinko parlor on the second floor. In fact, the description above applies exactly to the place below. It's kind of hard to think of Sonic as a child's icon after being in there. They do not have Sega games only. Anyway, the description on the top left of the building says:
Now Showing Sega Games
Medals, Video, Simulation, Prize, and More
Come on Join Us! Let's Get Cupful of Medal!
I got my cupful of medal playing Street Fighter IV.

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