Is this the new cell shading? Jason Della Rocca keep talking about Okami, which was shown at the Capcom booth at TGS but for some reason I did not get a chance to see. I know, I know, we should not judge games based on their graphics, but they are called "video" games for a reason, right? Check it out by yourselves and, while at it, take a look at Jason's Tokyo pics.
Amazing Japan part 2. Tokushima is a rather small city, just half a million people live in it. It's one of the 4 biggest cities in Shikoku, the island on the South of Honshu (that's the island where Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka are located). It seems they do not get much foreigners. We were constantly greeted by the locals (no, they were not insulting us, at least that's what my Japanese speaking friend was telling me). A couple of old ladies from an old ladies clothing store even invited us for some coffee... inside their shop, surrounded by tons of ol' women clothing. Anyway, yes, there is a gigantic statue of a pink King Kong climbing an apartment building. For some wacky reason, the Lonely Planet guide did not mention its existence. If I had known beforehand about it, I would have gone to Tokushima without a doubt! Try to top that, Mr. Peter Jackson!
Rather than writing down the expected bad jokes, I’ll just provide you with the algorithms: 1 – write down some pseudo-philosophical phrase about wealth and then mix-it-up Yoda-style; 2 – say something about the dark side of the Force. rThe fact is that the best thing at the Tokyo Game Show was… the Official Star Wars Credit Card. Pretty pathetic, but people were signing up like crazy. (Insert some Star Wars joke)r
I am not here in Japan on vacation. Certainly, I have a hell of a job and it feels like vacation most of the time. Browsing through wacky rubber and plastic toys is, like it or not, part of my research. But I am here on a mission, larger than attending to the Tokyo Game Show or giving a talk at Tokyo University. Japan is brainfood for simulation and play, those being the topics of my current research. Can I get a better understanding of Japanese simulation without a thorough knowledge of its culture? At least from simiotics, the answer is a clear yes, since my interpretation is as good as anybody else’s. Of course, life is larger (much larger) than semiotics, but I guess it is a good start in these early stages of simulation studies.
I just started this new section, Rants & Others, so I can file those hard-to-file posts. So, let's start. The jetlag is not so bad. My friend Alvaro let me his apartment in Ueno while he's out for a conference, along with a cell phone. Friends don't come any better! rThe first day is jetlag day, so I did some autopilot shopping. Needless to say, I am a geek, so I headed to Akihabara. I was sad. I already have all the major required items (digicam, camcorder, notebook) so the only thing that I could do was drooling at the cool stuff. But I did get some action figures. My favorite so far are The Akira Kurosawa action figures (I got the Samurai from Yojimbo. Bad luck, no Mifune) and the Ultraman/Salaryman (hilarious. The superhero in everyday working situations). See the pics, judge by yourself. rJapan is as hot and humid as it gets. I am heading for Hiroshima in a short while, want to check the bomb museum out, along with its beautiful parks. The local IGDA people have been very friendly and invited to give a talk along with Jason Della Rocca this coming Monday at University of Tokyo. I'll post more details as soon as I get them.