Arcade Passion | 1 – SEGA GiGO (Akihabara)

3 Feb

Step inside. Passing rows of crane games, the air is thick with gray cigarette smoke as players feed coins into slots.

Arcade staff empty ashtrays and wipe down cabinets between rounds of play. Groups of schoolgirls pile into sticker-picture booths. Mild-mannered salarymen display impressive King of Fighters fighting skills. A few of the game cabinets are connected to flat-screen TVs so bystanders can stop and ogle. Grimy VCRs are hooked up to bullet-hell shooting games, making it possible for players to record their game play, take home the VHS tape, and study. A line has formed for card-based game Sangokushi Taisen, snaking past the latest dizzying beatmania rhythm game from Konami. Houswives carry buckets of worthless tokens for roaring pachinko machines. A blue plastic gun is pulled and fired at a monitor. Bang bang! The Sega rally-car pedal is pushed to the metal. And players just keep playing. Welcome to the game center, the Japanese arcade. This is where regular folks show off irregular game skills.”

This is what Brian Ashcraft, Osaka-based writer and Kotaku columnist, wrote down as introduction for his best seller “Arcade Mania! The turbo-charged world of Japan’s game centers” (never heard of it? shame on you! save your soul and buy it somewhere NOW!). But why we chose these words? Well, because they describe at best the real feel of being in a Japanese arcade.

We love arcades (video arcades, game arcades, game centers or whatever you call them), everybody do. At least if you are old mature enough to had spent your childhood in one of them, trying to beat that damn pixel highscore. The problem is that video arcades in Europe and in the US are dead, and there is just one place in the world to keep enjoyng the joy of being the record-holder for Metal Slug X or being beaten by a stranger on a Street Fighter II match: obviously we are talking about JAPAN.

This new column has born with the purpose of let you know about all (well, most of them) the beautiful, marvellous, incredible, amazing (sometimes hidden) Japanese game centers! With the hope of building a sort of arcade guide!

Enough introduction (what a long one!), let’s start our journey and spend some ¥!

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SEGA GiGO AKIHABARA | 秋葉原 GiGO

Akihabara_GiGO

Address: 1-15-1 Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021 | 〒101-0021 東京都千代田区 外神田1-15-1

Telephone: (00 81) 03-3252-7528

Opening time: 10:00~24:00 (10am – 12 midnight)

Website: http://tempo.sega.jp/am/akiba-gigo/

Foursquare venue: 秋葉原 GiGO

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Starting this column with the Akihabara SEGA GiGO is a must. This is the ultimate temple of every arcade-gamer. It offers six floors (yep, SIX freaking floors) of game cabinets, covering any different game genre, from UFO-catchers to virtual card games, from fighting games to shmups! Obviously there are lots of competitor’s arcades in Akihabara, so to keep up with the neighborhood this GiGO offers monthly tournaments and lots of anime-oriented events and prizes.

FINAL THOUGHT: imagine all your dreams come true…this is the place you DESERVE! It’s just out of Akihabara station, so…what are you waiting for?

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3 Responses to “Arcade Passion | 1 – SEGA GiGO (Akihabara)”

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    […] arcades revenue had fallen 97%, so they began to disappear worldwide (apart from Japan, as we said here) and most of the old games were converted or destroyed. A few, packed into warehouses, largely […]

  2. That Damn Pixel - 14 August 2013

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