The stereotype is two-part: Japanese people don't like FPS games, and old people only play the Wii. Meet 78 year-old Akira Kitajima. He's here to destroy those notions and snipe your arse.
At the ripe age of 65, he bought his first shooter: DOOM II. It took him months to complete the game, and he had problems avoiding the fireballs. It was, after all, only his first FPS! Known online as aki_tan, he's gotten quite adept.
"I don't do multi, nor co-op. I want to enjoy the game I'm into when I want, that's how I feel," he says. "Aside from playing, I like to write walkthroughs, so you could say the way I enjoy them is a little different to most." His website has walkthroughs for shooters that range from Crysis to Quake. (It's even got a section on cheats!) His friends and family are happy he's found something too keep him from going senile, Kitajima reckons.
While he's head over heels for FPS titles, Kitajima doesn't expect the genre to catch on with the country's silver set — or the country, for that matter. "In Japan, I think there's something of an emotional distance kept from shooting games," he adds. "I get the impression the market isn't set to grow very large. I also worry that with the increasingly high spec machines required, the playing population will further decrease."
Meanwhile, Kitajima keeps gaming and updating his website regularly with walkthroughs. Anything he's looking forward to? "I'm wondering if a Japanese version of Far Cry 2 is ever coming out..."