“100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience” trailer

arcadehero November 10, 2010 12

When it comes to the overall arcade experience, there are several factors about arcade businesses to help them stand out – the social atmosphere, the game selection, the overall design, etc. No two arcade centers are going to be exactly alike but there is one place in the world where arcades really stand out and that is in Japan. Not just because of their multi-story design or the game selection that features a variety of game types that don’t always get much attention elsewhere, but also due to the culture of video games that exists there. All this is worthy of taking a deeper look at and documentary filmmaker Brad Crawford has done just that in 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience, which you can watch a trailer to below. He interviews several different people who get into what makes Japanese arcades so popular and special.

The documentary is not quite complete yet and Mr. Crawford is trying to raise money to return to Japan to capture some additional footage and secure more interviews. You can find out more about the project as well as donate money to help them in their efforts @ IndieGoGo.com

Via GameSetWatch via Infinite Lives


  1. Arcades4ever November 10, 2010 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Sounds interesting. It’s just a shame that since namco and sega announced a couple of years ago that they would be closing some of it’s arcade centres while that it gives people in the rest of the world the impression that arcades are dying even in japan especially no thanks to game journalist saying arcades are dead and replaced by better entertainment at home. If you ask me I don’t even think that they ever go to arcades or I would’ve at least thought they knew it was alive after dead storm pirates release for ps3 move. I wish we could be more like japan with all it’s arcade centres, all we need to do is have games made that cater to western audiences eg raw thrills games and popular worlwide games like mariokart time crisis house of the dead, maxi tune series etc. I’m sure we could do the same but bear in mind there are different laws worldwide when it comes to this sort of thing like arcades eg Germany view them as gambling machines because you put money in etc.

  2. Blaine Christian November 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    I know this is gonna sound uber cheap. But I’m being honest…

    I was getting ready to donate until I saw it takes a $30 donation to get a copy of the DVD. I’d really like to see it if I donate, I’d be fine with $15 for a digital download.

  3. editor November 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    The need for informed opinion on the reality of amusement venue and machine operation is becoming intense. If I hear one more person say “…oh due there are no more arcades in America – they’re all dead man…!” I will explode. I have just spent a good part of today evaluating FEC, CEC and amusement sites just in Florida and there are more video amusement machines being operated than when we had the Golden age – it is just that they now sit in mixed entertainment sites.

    I understand that the amusement trade can not promote this issue – nor will the consumer trade media want to dilute their message with news of another sector – but there must be one person out there that would be interested to see a documentary on the truth of international video amusement?

    • Arcades4ever November 11, 2010 at 3:08 am - Reply

      Yeah it’s so annoying hearing people say arcades are dead when companies are still making them. So it’s not like 80’s anymore but arcades will still be popular. You still get arcades in bowling alleys, cinema. In fact a cinema in my city stopped having arcade games in around 2004 but have started having them again.

  4. bacon November 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I just donated 30$.. I wanted a DVD!

    Hopefully there is some amazing music gaming coverage lol

  5. SixtyHertz November 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    looks fantastic, i will donate for sure. One thing I wish the video had a donate link at the end which would ease their fund raising efforts from all the embeds that should happen…

    is this the same guy who did the book on the japanese arcade scene… great book, forgot the name, but i was amazed that he missed out on having a puzzle game section… wassup with dat!!??

    • arcadehero November 10, 2010 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      No the guy who made this didn’t write that book (called Arcade Mania BTW) but the writer of that book is in this trailer several times, Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku.

  6. Crabby November 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm - Reply


    If anything now could be a new Golden Age for arcades. From what I have been reading Sony and MS plan to carry the PS3 and XBOX 360 for another 4-5 YEARS!!!! And with the costs to develop new console hardware\software skyrocketing who knows if there will be any new consoles after that. This recession can’t keep supporting games at the 60$ price point.

    It could well be that everyone goes back to the arcades because they can’t play or afford the new games that are coming out on old 5+ year old console technology.

    • arcadehero November 11, 2010 at 7:53 am - Reply

      It’s astounding news that there are more games in operation now than there were in the Golden Age era. And people scoffed when we ran a story about the industry generating billions of dollars per year!

      I know console companies want to push the lifespan of their systems as long as possible as that saves a ton of money on development costs. Then again, it”s interesting to see what they are doing to keep the wheel turning on these machines – now with the Move and Kinect; PS3 also adding 3D support to games. Some think of the Kinect as MS’s new console and I suppose that they have spent just as much money on the development of that device as a new console.

      But you are right – arcades can make a great alternative. My Xbox 360 broke (again) recently and I can’t afford to repair or replace it. Even then I haven’t bought a new game for it or a Wii I own in a long, long time. It’s true that I don’t need to spend much on arcades personally since I own a place but most arcade facilities in my area offer games at reasonable prices. We just need more new content that doesn’t take over a year to pay itself off even if it’s a super popular game.

      • editor November 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm - Reply

        You guys are not the only ones to point out the issue with console development – or the possibility of a insurgence in amusement.

        The issue in hindering this are these:

        – Media aversion to mention pay-for-play
        – Amusement trade inability to embrace new media
        – Facility operator acceptance of new ROI stream

        I am working on a number of plans to address these issues and others, but I wonder if it will be the ‘amusement’ industry that will emerge or something different?

  7. Brad Crawford November 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Hey People,

    Thanks for all the comments, I understand that some people can’t afford to donate and that’s fine, we’ve been extremely excited to make our goal in such a short amount of time! We’re giving away some cool prizes to anyone who donates including a chance to win things like a signed Xbox 360 etc…

    We hope to find a broadcaster for the project once its complete, hopefully that will allow people to view it more widely although honestly i’m sure it will get torrented eventually and let anyone who wants to see it have access to it. I’m fine with that as the more people that can experience this exciting world of arcades, the better.

    Wish me luck and feel free to include any other awesome arcade websites I should be checking out, I love reading about this stuff!


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