Cell phone gamers hunt down odd $10,000-prize-giving statues in Shibuya

Internet game company NHN Japan thought of an absurd way to get people to talk about HanGame, its mobile phone gaming website: Place half-submerged statues of video game characters all over Shibuya, Tokyo.

The statues, such as the wrestler pictured above, will take cell phone users to HanGame with a simple tap of the phone to the mannequin's arm. One lucky arm-tapper will also get a message that they've won the equivalent of $10,000 US, giving passersby visiting one of Tokyo's most heavily trafficked shopping districts an added incentive to find the statues. HanGame is guaranteed to get an impressive number of hits, and maybe a few people checking out their games who wouldn't have.

As a side note, those statues look amazingly lifelike, don't they? The wrestler's face especially. Chalk up another one for the impressive precision of Japanese artistry, even for video game ads.

Foreign Policy, via Japan Probe, via Textually