Monday, January 31, 2011

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience

100 YEN: The Japanese Arcade Experience from Brad Crawford on Vimeo.

Some big news on the independent film project "100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience." The film makers have not only met their $9,000 budget requirement through donations, they surpassed it by receiving $14,598 presently! This is great news for the still young Strata Studios based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Strata Studios was formed by Brad Crawford and Bryan Verot. Well, now for me to get out my soap box and give you my 2 cents on the trailer.

100 Yen looks to be a pretty entertaining film. I am extremely curious to see how the film turns out and what is covered by the documentary. I am especially interested in whether or not the film makers (or people being interviewed) are going to try and bring up the "arcades are dead" issue. Just from the trailer alone you get a lovely bit from the senior editor of Kotaku Brian Ashcraft saying how "living in Japan...if you like video games you'll notice very quickly that they still have arcades." Now I know this is a brief clip of the interview, I am just tired of the whole "arcades are dead" mantra that has been circling around the net. It especially gets annoying when you see and hear about new arcades opening up in the U.S. while some game centers (Japanese Arcades) have been closing recently. We can't forget that some large game companies such as Capcom have been taking a step back from producing some arcade versions of games like the upcoming Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (thankfully the outcry of the fans might cause a similar situation that occurred with Super Street Fighter IV, a console release first with arcade kits following). Again this is only a small bit and hopefully Brian discusses further his thoughts.

Another clip from the trailer has the tattoo artist Ben Her discussing how Japanese people generally use walking as the major mode of transportation and how the foot traffic in the cities provide a steady stream of customers for the game centers. Personally I agree completely with this. In the cities of Japan the majority of the people walk and ride the rails to get around. Train stations in areas like Tokyo even have huge department stores built around them. These department stores often times include some sort of game center nearby. The U.S. lacks this type of set up and generally requires someone to get in their car and drive to an arcade location. From my experience living in Tokyo and the U.S., this to me is a huge reason why game centers are more abundant in Japan then arcades in the U.S. The other interview clips include some famous professional gamers like Ryan "Gootecks"Gutierrez and Daigo "The Beast" Umehara.

If you want to get behind this film and get either some cool swag (dvd, shirts pins, etc.), or you would like to have your name in the credits, be sure to look into donating money to the film. They have a really cool donation tiered system to let you know what you will get, plus some awesome prizes that can be won for donating. $50 bucks will get you some awesome stuff like a a T-shirt, dvd, pins or stickers, and a mentioning in the credits. Donations will be open for a couple more days so if you would like to help out be sure to go to Indie GOGO and donate. Even though Strata Studio has met their minimum budget amount, the money donated will still go towards the film (probably the post production costs).

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