Counting Down New Year’s Eve With Hardcore Japanese Gamers

New Year’s is the biggest holiday of the year in Japan. But don’t tell that to these folks. They have arcade games to play.

On a recent episode of Monitoring (an observation TV show that, um, monitors folks), footage of various places, such as a laundromat, on New Year’s Eve were shown. The purpose was to discern where people were — and were not — on that night.

Traditionally, Japanese people spend the evening with their family at home — or go to temples and shrines. In recent years, many people go to places to “countdown” the last few seconds.

Included in the places Monitoring checked was a game center. One reporter asks a fighting game player what he think about it just turning into the new year. “Well,” he replies as then reporter then asks, “You do know it’s the New Year?” Without looking at the reporter, he replies, “Yes.”

The next gamer — a Dance Dance Revolution player — is asked why he’s at the arcade. “The biggest reason is that it’s close by, and I love music games,” he replies. “Did you learn anything from last year?” the reporter then asks. “I tried too hard,” he answers. “This year, I want to take it easy.” Seems like he’s already started 2014 off by not doing that.


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