100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience

Teaser video for 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience. It’s a documentary about the evolution of arcades and also game culture in Japan.

Official website: 100yenfilm

Japan’s Pachinko Parlor

Pachinko is legally an entertainment device but in reality it’s more for gambling instead, which is illegal in Japan.

Pachinko parlor in Kyoto, Japan

It’s like slot machine, with the players winning little balls instead of cash. And the players can use the balls to exchange for coupons/prizes, which people can “sell” to vendors normally located around the pachinko parlor.

It’s exploiting some legal loopholes, but the government seems content to maintain the situation as it is. In addition, most Japanese already take it as part of life.

Image source: bas_nroll (Flickr), taken in Kyoto in 2008.