21st Entertainment Division Critiques

Entertainment That Makes the Unfamil- iar Familiar

What is entertainment in this age? It is my job to think about that question every day, and this year I felt a considerable shift in the entries in the Entertainment Division. The Last Guardian, a game that is not a game, won the Grand Prize in the Entertainment Division, and I think other technologies have also transcended media and heretofore concepts and frames. New technologies give rise to various possibilities. Combining media, con- tents, technologies, methods, and narrative makes it possible to transcend time, place, experience, position, culture, industry, design, values, and sensations.In this year's entries there was a shift to technology for the purpose of creating experience, rather than tech- nology as the agent of expression that had been seen until now. I think that this shift, which also appeared in games, contents, and products several years ago, has finally emerged in the world after going through an incu- bation period that included development. I strongly feel that it is not a development stemming from utilization of brand new technology, but rather the arrival of an era when the advancement of technology and culture has been thoroughly transmitted back to society, and when true nature that should at times buck the trend and go analog is recognized.The winners of the Excellence Award include FORESTA LUMINA, which transformed a forest into hands-on contents with the power of media; INDUSTRI- AL JP, which changed PR for small-scale factories and manufacturing with a new musical approach; Pechat, which goes beyond the concept of a toy and intellec- tual education; and PaintsChainer, which integrated AI into online graphic creation. All of these have surpassed boundaries and are designs created based on an ideal through a kind of backcasting.I believe that entertainment is closer to our immedi- ate lives that expression of art, and that entertainment grants us a portal that facilitates access to what is unfamiliar to us. I think that people who create things in this age understand the unlimited possibilities of en- tertainment, and believe in the necessity of changes in patterns of thought that provide continuous updates and creation of contents that amaze many.

SAITO Seiichi
Creative Director and CEO, Rhizomatiks Co., Ltd.
Technical Director. Representative, Rhizomatiks.