Having just re-watched the movie "Tron" (inspired by the news that a remake is coming) I wondered how the video arcade culture ruled by Jeff Bridge's character "Flynn" in the film was fairing in the real-life video game Mecca of Tokyo. To my surprise I found a great new video series called "Points" that takes us inside some of the underground meeting places for Tokyo's game obsessed. No, not the sweaty Pachinko parlors filled to the brim with robotic salarymen and housewives tossing their life savings away--this is about real gamers. In the first episode we visit two spots where amateur gamers and professional game company programmers meet in Shinjuku (Tokyo's version of Times Square, New York City) called The 8-Bit Cafe and 16 Shots.
The 8-Bit Cafe owners Kojo and Nawo explain why pumping '80s music in the background makes gamers feel "genki," while the owner of 16 Shots guarantees that we'll all want to visit his spot by mysteriously requesting that his face not be shown on camera during his interview. The video is the first in a series produced by Jason Degroot and is all in Japanese with handy subtitles. While the video short is no "King of Kong" (the best documentary about video games ever), it does offer a great peek into the geeky game culture of Japan often hidden from those unable to penetrate the language barrier. Check out the video here.