Back in high school I had a number of friends who were into video games and anime, and many of them talked about these cool conventions they went to where they would see games and cosplayers and, well, a number of different things. If my memory serves me correctly, I remember one of them told me about how they bought an energy drink named after a classic item from Final Fantasy game series, Pheonix Down. Anyway, I had always thought those conventions were cool and wanted to go to one sometime, but didn’t get a chance until here in Japan. On September 22nd, I went to the Tokyo Game Show.
Quite a doozy for my first one : P
Really though, it was a whirlwind for me. I’ve been to conferences and conventions of other types, and I’ve always heard that trying to get the most out of these types of events is like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant. There were lots of people, lots of games, lots of cosplayers and lots of stuff. First, people.
There were tons of people at this event. At times it felt like trying to squeeze your way through a really big can of sardines. There were guys and girls, Japanese and non-Japanese. I went alone, so I was free to go around as I pleased, although I did make a couple friends along the way, one of them being an Israeli and insider to the video game industry, who gave me some tips about how to get the most out of the conference. Second was a half British?/Thai?/Japanese girl who goes to a video game school here in Japan. Her school as well as several other video game schools in Japan had booths at the conference where they shared their game prototypes, artwork, and other stuff. If either of you ever find this, thank you both for making my Tokyo Game Show more enjoyable : )
And of course, what would a good Tokyo Game Show be without games? There were so many, it was nearly overwhelming for me. Sony was there, as well as Square Enix, Bandai, Capcom, Konami, Sega, as well as many other companies big and small, some of them directly related to games, some of them related more to game services (Gree or Gloops, anyone?) I didn’t stand in line for any of the big games, but I did get to try out a few games while I was there, including the new Phantasy Star Online 2, and a game that I think may only be in Japan, called Monster Hunters. There were lots of anime style games and RPGs, although there were other things like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, and a number of mobile games, too.
And there were cosplayers. I have to admit, I didn’t get too many pictures of cosplayers, although there were definitely a good many of them. The two I recognized was Naruto, and Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. Through all the different costumes I saw, I was struck by how often I saw dyed hair, and dyed in very vivid colors, almost as if they were an accessory to be matched with the outfit.
And lastly, there was just lots of stuff. Many of the booths and companies had handouts and booklets and magazines to give away, and by the end of the day I had a bag full of these pamphlets, magazines, and yes, even books, full of colorful and artistic pictures of games and artwork all mainly written in way more Japanese than I have time to read right now : P Like said, there were several video game schools showcasing their various work and stuff, but one of them showcased this cool animation simulator where one could manipulate a humanoid on the screen by manipulating a mechanical doll.
At the far end of all the stuff at the conference, there was a gift shop and a food court, and the one area that I was forbidden to enter:
The kids section. Hopefully none of you were expecting me to cover that part. Hopefully none of you were looking to me for vital advice as to whether or not to make a special trip to Tokyo, Japan just so you could take your children to the kids portion of the Tokyo Game Show. It’s only 7:26 PM where I am right now, so I don’t know where that streak of goofiness came from, but there it is : P
And that, my friends, was my whirlwind of a day at TGS, ended by a beautiful sky, like always. Since it’s a huge city, some people would maybe expect there to be lots of smog around here, but truthfully, even here in Tokyo, there have been so many days when the sky is just beautifully blue…