Japan is the heart and soul of video games, so what better place is there to host one of the biggest and most important video game trade shows on earth? The attendee numbers grow exponentially by the year as more and more hype is built for upcoming release games. The four day annual event is held inside the massive Makuhari Messe convention center, located just outside of Tokyo. This show lets the public get their sweaty hands on new systems and games, which are still in production, as well as sneak peeks at new trailers and debuts.
The first two days are open only for members of the press and other business related officials, while the last two days are open to the public. It’s these last two days where you can really appreciate the passion and dedication from the fans. As great as this sounds, be prepared to fight your way through dense crowds of sweaty men as you make way towards your favourite game. It’s best to be wearing your most comfortable shoes because you will be standing in queues for up to ninety minutes if you intend to play the more popular games.
All the major game developers and publishers are usually present except for gaming giant, Nintendo. Although several game companies represent them through their products. If you don’t fancy playing any games or joining the seemingly endless queues, you can just absorb the buzzing atmosphere by walking around the convention hall. Giant flashing screens and a mish mash of sound effects from the hundred plus games will send you into sensory overload.
As chaotic as this all sounds, people are well mannered and very patient so have no fear. Aside from games, the other main attractions are the booth babes and cosplayers who are constantly surrounded by men with professional cameras. There is a dedicated area for people wearing costumes in the connecting hallway and it serves as a nice break from all the craziness on the show floor. This is the perfect opportunity to take snaps of your favourite video game characters and marvel at their expertly crafted costumes.
When you hear your stomach crying for fuel, you can stop by the food court and eat quick and easy food such as curry, yakisoba, fried chicken and the like. Most people end up dining on the floor due to the lack of tables and chairs but I didn’t find it a problem at all. If you are a gamer in any way shape or form, then you owe it to yourself to experience the Tokyo Game Show and feel like part of the gaming community.