Watch: The rare Japanese Let's Play-ers


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[quote=“boingboing, post:1, topic:54552”]On the flip side, how about “Japanese gaming culture?”[/quote]This description doesn’t sound particularly different from “Western” gaming culture.

I liked watching the genre evolve from speedrun demos, like the famous Mario 3 tool assisted run, to the “LP” format, where the game was played at a normal pace, typically by an experienced player. I remember people initially referring to the videos as “longplays”, as a record metaphor. At some point “Let’s Play:____” videos came out, typically with commentary. Now it seems like the commentary is becoming the focus, although there have been long standing precedents like the Angry Video Game (formerly Nintendo) Nerd, but that comes from a journalistic background. I don’t know what the future of gameplay vlogging will be, but I hope shows like Game Center CX become more popular.

My kid watches these videos, and makes them, and I simply can’t fathom how this is fun. I am old.


Not a perfect relevancy match, but I’m a Canadian doing a weekly Let’s Play show playing Japanese games.
It’s called Retro Monogatari and there’s one episode so far. Pure, uncut, unadulterated, Creative Commons goodness.

Oh, my cohost Michi is Japanese. There, that brings us up to one hundred percent relevant to this topic.
In the first episode we play a Famicom game made by Takeshi Kitano, who made MXC (well, the un-dubbed original, Takeshi’s Castle). The goal of the show is to showcase formative early Nintendo games that might not have made it across the ocean.

Tyop watch: that’s Anijya not Aniyja.

I see kids playing smart phone games all the time on the train in Japan. One day I saw a kid playing a taiko (drum) game but something was off. He was drumming the air vigorously without touching the phone. “Hmm” I thought “he must have some kind of bluetooth controller.” After some minutes I realised he was watching a recording of a game and ‘playing’ along.


I wonder if this difference in culture has a bearing on Nintendo’s crackdown on everything “Let’s Play” in the last few years - as I understand it Nintendo will actively block any video containing even a small section of any of their games using Youtube’s dodgy copyright infringement policies to essentially censor the videos, keeping them from earning any ad revenue during the time when the video would be most likely to ear any money for the producer.

I just wonder if it’s a confluence of “they’re making money that should be ours”, “we can’t control what they say/negative opinions” and a sort of misunderstanding of the culture in that they simply “don’t do it” over there…?

Japanese Let’s Players aren’t particularly rare, even those who play western games, you just have to know where to find them. Have a look at – switch your region to Japan in the drop-down menu at the very bottom of the page and search for “Steam”.

Niconico caters to various quirky cultural preferences of Japanese viewers better than youtube, timed audience comments that scroll over the video being a particular stand-out feature.

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