What we know about pachinko: It’s a form of gambling that’s just barely legal in Japan. Instead of winning cash, players win metal balls. (If players won cash, pachinko would actually be gambling.) The players then “sell” these metal balls to a separate shop typically next to the pachinko parlor. Thus, players can actually “win” money in a round about, yet legal way. Do realise that while those noisy pachinko parlors aren’t exactly the most reputable places, a cross section of society does spin those metal balls.
In an interview with Nintendo honcho Satoru Iwata, Shigeru Miyamoto divulges:
I used to play pachinko many years ago, but that stopped when I started swimming. Simply swimming without thinking about anything except how demanding it was had a similar effect to the stress relief I got from pachinko, which enabled me to escape the cycle of worries I had. Another thing I managed after quitting pachinko, was to stop smoking which also lead to better fitness. To be completely honest though, I don’t really like being thought of as such a serious person. I mean, I didn’t drink in the first place, and on top of that, I managed to quit smoking and get actively involved in doing sports, so I must seem like some kind of a role model!
Holy crap, Miyamoto gambling and smoking?! It’s like the evil Superman in Superman III. Cannot picture this at all! Who’d a thought the most insightful thing we’ve learned about Miyamoto would come via Iwata and Nintendo.com? Amazing.