A Non-Gamer’s Mission in Akihabara
By Lisa Hong
I was so excited about my brother coming to visit Tokyo, until he told me I had to take him to Akihabara—the one place I had avoided in fear of having a seizure from the busy gaming sights and sounds. I wasn’t into video games, manga, pop stars or French maids. I didn’t have anything against Akihabara; it just wasn’t my scene. “There isn’t anything you want to do there?” he asked.
Well… A long time ago, a friend mentioned a mythical urinal video game in Club Sega, called the Toylet. I thought, if I have to go to Akihabara, I will make it my mission to send my brother into all of the bathrooms to find one for me.
We made it to the Club Sega, a short walk from Akihabara station, and in he went to every bathroom in the building, and we finally found the Toylet on the top floor. But—of course—he didn’t need to go yet, so he played some games first.
I waited patiently as he tried out the taiko drumming game. At a slow, methodical pace, he banged the drums in coordination with bubbles that moved across the screen. Next to him, was someone who had definitely played this game before; he was quick, fluid, and amazingly on the beat.
That was so much fun to watch, I decided to check out the rest of the scene. I saw a girl—who was definitely ditching school—playing expertly on the DJ-ing game as if she were a master pianist. I saw a salaryman who was ditching work to play a drum set game and having the time of his life pretending to be a rock star. I saw what looked like college students challenging each other to a boxing game and having a great laugh. I don’t know what everyone’s story was, but it seemed that this arcade provided just the outlet these players needed.
But, I never forgot the mission at hand. “Do you need to go to the bathroom yet?”
Finally, it was time. My brother walked in, and after a short moment, he came back out giggling about the experience. What a kid!
A lady gives a weather report and once you start peeing, it rains on her. She freaks out because rain wasn’t in the forecast, but the rain stops once you do.
As he was describing this to me, my head dizzied with imagined conversations between the creators of this game. How on earth did this become a reality?
I had to see this for myself. I demanded my brother go back in and take a video. I gave him my water bottle and told him to use that since he just went.
He walked out defeated saying that pouring water down the urinal didn’t work. Darn those sensors.
However, he at least got to try the urinal game once. He had an amazing time sampling various games and had a sort of “I’m in Japan!” experience that only a loud, flashing, bustling arcade can give him.
This urinal game remains mythical to me since I haven’t experienced it myself. Now, if only there was a video game in the women’s bathroom, but I would prefer one that’s more kawaii. Until then, I wouldn’t mind going back to Akihabara to gawk at expert gamers again, or even bang on the taiko drums myself.
Open 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
1-11-11 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo