21st Entertainment Division Critiques

Admiration of Diversity in the Application of Technology

his is the second time I have been a jury member. Last year, I was astounded by a confusion in the Entertainment Division I liken to different types of combat sports. Since my own career is based in the game industry, the concept of art is distant, and I struggled to draw a line between entertainment and art. Based on that experience, this year I approached my role as a juror by thinking of entertain- ment and art in terms of vector quantity, but many good gadgets did not t into either framework, and once again I came away wiser. Pechat is a game of make-believe that utilizes wireless technology, but it is also a tool that sparks creativity in the parent who uses it and has a dual aspect that can fool children to no end depending on how it is used. It is a heartwarming invention that will likely hold important memories of parent-child communication when children catch on as they get older, something like making a child believe in the existence of Santa Claus.MetaLimbs is a practical application of robotic arms, but its maneuverability has been improved through haptic technology. It portends expansion of the physical body on a level that inspires a physical sense of possession rather than simply a sense of agency. Though expression of utilization "similar to one's hands and feet" exists using various tools and vehicles, a sensation that is truly of one's own hands and feet has a high degree of entertainment quality. It is sure to be a huge hit if deftly incorporated into games such as superhuman sports.Qoobo is a wonderful concept of communicating something simply through the wagging of a "tail." The Grand Prize winner, The Last Guardian, also simulates the movements of an animal, and an identical experience can be actively obtained. Though senior citizens living alone have been reported to conduct daily conversations with household appliances that provide audio responses, Qoobo conjures soothing scenes that go beyond that and gives a hint of possible narratives that communicate with- out uttering a word.Every work is based on a perspective unique to Japan, and going forward there will undoubtedly be works that exceed expectations. The expression of entertainment changes with the times, but particularly in Media Arts, new technology births new possibilities and heretofore- unknown experiences. I look forward to the diversity of the artists' images to come.

ENDO Masanobu
Game Creator and Professor, Tokyo Polytechnic University
ENDO is a pioneer among Japanese game creators. Since the 1980s he has created numerous works in a variety of fields and genres, including arcade games, home video games, PC games, card games, mobile phone applications, and smart phone applications. He is currently working on the development of game-related textbooks and the education of the next generation of game creators, while also active as a leading force in game research in Japan.