Sunday, 24 February 2013

Giant Robots and Gambling

OK, I didn't make a post yesterday because I spent all day in a free play game centre and then followed it up with some heavy drinking, but I'm back now and ready to talk about more weird shit from Japan.

A long long time ago, when this blog was still in its infancy I talked about Pachinko and Slot machines being strange based on the fact that a lot of them seemed to be themed around anime and video games, but I never really explain WHY that shit is weird, although it should be pretty obvious anyway.

Understand that gambling in Japan is illegal, when you play slots or pachinko you spend money to acquire balls/tokens and then you can trade those tokens in for prizes.  I have heard rumours that you can take your balls and tokens to some geezer round the back of the various pachikno/slot halls and he will give you cash money if that's what you're after but this has to be done on the sly.

This is what makes the whole thing so weird, because despite being so dodgy and under the table, the whole pachinko scene is overflowing with large amounts of nerd shit.  When I think about people who are gambling, I imagine one of two groups.  Tourists having a bit of careful fun in a casino, or dudes in suits gambling large sums of money for kicks.  Neither of these groups, the second especially I'd expect to be the sort of people who kick back after a hard day of gambling and watch their favourite anime.

That's how it seems to be though, people fuckin' love this shit.  The picture above is a new Gundam themed pachinko machine and while usually new machine announcements are limited to posters on the front of parlours, this machine is being advertised out the ass on youtube.  Every other video I watch I get a Japanese dude screaming in my face to come play the new Gundam pachinko machine.

It's a world I would love to be a part of for a short time, but unfortunately I don't have enough disposable income to sit there for hours on end playing the worlds most boring version of Pinball, I'll stick to the game centres.

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