18th Entertainment Division Critiques

Leaving Home an Hour Early

In the chaotic, extensive categorization that is Media Arts - even dissembled into the seemingly further refined category of the Entertainment Division - the chaos and extensiveness never straightens out, artworks protruding out of categories as diverse as video, video games, websites, and apps. Having gone beyond the bewilderment we faced when the festival guidelines were first set up, pondering how these works can be compared with each other and whether it is even possible to make distinctions of "Grand Prize" and "Excellence Award", one now approaches the judging seriously, reminding oneself how dangerous questions like "What are Media Arts?" and "What is Entertainment?" are.
Ingress swept us all away and the Jury was unanimous in awarding it the Grand Prize. Using GPS, it transforms our actions in the present by overlapping reality with a virtual world. You end up leaving home an hour early in order to "hack" the "portals" located around you. Playing the game means you ultimately learn a lot about the various sculptures in a park or that Jizo statue in a back alley. The game isn't completed by your brain, fingertips and display; you leave the house and head into the city, using your body to develop the gameplay. It brings together the mental, the technical, and the physical.
Noramoji Project is also hyper stimulating, an endeavor to go out into the community, find the things you previously always overlooked, and then expand them. Dear integrates personal information into fiction, and then jumps out into the real world when it becomes an actual book.
These works are not simply returned to reality by the viewer; the works directly incorporate reality - their ability to engulf players in each world is electrifying. Kuchisaki-bancho (Word Leader) constructs original rules that expand wordplay games. P.T. attempts to create a fully playable trailer for a product. LOST DIMENSION makes you want to know what will happen next. YO-KAI WATCH 2 Ganso/Honke (tentative title) takes place in a remarkable city setting.
I could sense the quality of the video games and the verve of the diffusion of genre. I felt hope in entries so numerous and manifold that they almost seem to make judging categories meaningless.

Game Designer
Born in 1964. Game designer and writer. Responsible for the concept, screenplay and direction of a large number of games, including Puyo Puyo, Baroque, King of Wands, and Sozo to kotoba (Imagination and Words). His publications include Shigoto wo 100 bai tanoshiku suru project kouryaku bon (A Guide to Multiplying the Fun of Your Job by a Hundredfold) [KK Bestsellers], Jibun dake ni shika omoitsukanai aidea o mitsukeru hoho (How to Come Up with Ideas that Only You Can Find) [Nikkei Publishing], and Shiko tsuuru to shite no tarot (Tarot as a Tool for Thinking) [Kindle]. He is a member of the public gathering of haiku poets Tokyo Mach. He serves as a full-time lecturer for the Advanced Editing and Writing class organized by Sendenkaigi, and as a lecturer for the Training Hall of Expression at Ikebukuro Community College.