Friends forever

There’s not much worth seeing in Akihabara these days, as Japan slowly loses its interest in gaming and the local shops pander to the base instincts of unsavory niche audiences with increasing desperation, but I was happy to find that off-the-beaten-path classic gaming shop Friends is still around. And their sign is much more interesting than it used to be!

I can’t decide if the fact that it looks like Yoshi is preparing to do something disgustingly excretory to Baby Mario makes this sign unsettling, or awesome. Maybe both.

13 thoughts on “Friends forever

  1. It’s smaller than Super Potato, has much less stock, and I think it’s cash-only. But it’s charming and likable! Although I miss the endlessly looping Castlevania music.

  2. Ha, yeah, you caught me, I totally stole your name. To make things worse, I’m truthfully just outside of Seattle too, but KevinLynnwood is ever so more slightly embarrassing =).

  3. It’s always disheartening to hear of Japan’s strange waning interest in games. Especially since a good portion of games I enjoy still come from Japan.

    P.S. wanted to say that I like the new Retronauts format so far. Nice bite-sized daily retrobits. I can dig it.

  4. I was trying my best to ignore it, but since Parish pointed it out, it might perhaps have been most interesting if the slime were positioned immediately between and slightly below the Yoshi and Mario images, where it could reside suspiciously between the over-emphasized posteriors of each lovable Nintendo icon. But, why isn’t the interior of the slime’s mouth red?!

  5. The discussion around Japan’s dying interest in gaming (and especially retro gaming) is quite upsetting. Hearsay tells that this phenomenon primarily stems from the country’s aging society, but I also wonder what some other factors are.

    It sounds silly now, but when I first saw the SNES, I thought video games had reached their technical and graphical zenith, thus bringing about the inevitably logical conclusion of gaming itself. Today there is a lot of concern about “advancing games as a medium”, which is intriguing. Though still a fledgling, gaming already appears to mimic the cyclical patterns of appropriation and refinement observed in music, literature, cinema, and even fine art.

    The notion of linear evolution in game design makes sense, but my hope is that there remains a place for all types of games, cutting-edge or retro, depending on what developers want players to experience. Games of all varieties have provided me with years of fun, aesthetic, and emotional sensations that I wish those who don’t play games could experience.

    Reading Mike Zeller’s Kid Culture on the NES essay really makes me miss the days when it seemed like everyone was playing and talking about games. I guess that’s why we all flock here, huh?

  6. Please tell me Nakano Broadway is still awesome! I remember using Kohler’s article for years back to track it down and found it mostly as fascinating as Akiba, at least back in 07.

  7. I’m not entirely sure gaming is fading in Japan. I don’t have much to back this up except for each time I look at a Japanese game sales chart, which isn’t frequent and possibly inaccurate, the numbers look very similar to what they did 10, 15 years ago.

  8. OK, I could’ve sworn that I spelled “people” and “games” correctly…Looking at stores like this, I sure wish I had some retro gaming store of any kind near my house, even if it was filled with known quantities and not unknown Saturn greatness.

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