That was this morning. Woke up, flipped on Zoom In!! Super, Japan's equivalent of Good Morning America, and saw my bloated, unshaven mug talking about Japanese arcades and Arcade Mania. Revenge of the Giant Facetag! Gah.
About a month back, out of the blue, I got a phone call from a producer from Nippon Television, one of the country's major networks. He said he'd seen very positive stuff on the Japanese internet about Arcade Mania. He wanted to know what foreigners thought of Japanese arcades.
We talked for a good bit and he phoned back several times in the following days. Then he said he'd call me back if there were going to do someone on arcades and Arcade Mania.
Time passed, my second son Micro-Bash was born, and I forgot all about it.
Got another call over the weekend from the producer, who said they wanted to interview me for Zoom In. Sure, I said, thinking I'd have to go to Tokyo, but no, they were going to send a camera crew to my house in Osaka to shoot. Oh, okay, great. Everything was happening so fast.
I'm really bad about stuff like this. Like, I get nervous, tongue-tied and generally freeze up. The last time I appeared on TV was for Kotaku when we were all in New York. It was incredibly stressful — and I was being asked simple stuff like when I first started writing for Kotaku and what I thought of blogging. VERY BASIC THINGS. And that was in English, too! I did horrible, I think.
This was gonna be worse: The Japanese TV interview was nationwide and, you guessed it, in Japanese. Wife was worried I'd start blabbering away in the Osaka dialect or come off as rude and embarrass myself into oblivion. I was worried that my face would contort and I'd simply go, "Eh......." Father-in-law told me, "It's worse to sound like a nervous idiot than just an idiot. So don't worry about sounding like an idiot. Just keep talking — even if you make a mistake."
That's pretty much what I did. They interviewed me in Japanese. I was exhausted after — I did okay, I guess. Didn't start crying or throwing up like I thought I would. But was extremely nervous during the whole thing. (I'm shy!) Good thing is that the next English language interview I do will be a cake walk.
The entire segment was something like 8 minutes long (or longer) and was quite interesting! Another reporter interviewed lots of foreigners at Tokyo game centres, asked them what they were keen about. Most said "sticker pictures" or "crane games."
There was a really funny bit where one guy was just watching some Japanese dude pwn Beatmania and then went up to him after he finished and shook his hand. Another interesting bit: The program polled a bunch of Akihabara tourists about where they wanted to go. The second most popular answer? Game centers.
Arcade Mania is now available on Amazon.