Upcoming PauseTalk and PechaKucha Night

So yes, time again to remind everyone that the next PauseTalk (Vol. 54) is coming up, set for this coming Monday (October 3) at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro, with the usual start time of 20:00. As I wrote for Vol. 53, we had a terrific night, so hoping this next one will be just as good.

Also, PechaKucha Night in Tokyo Vol. 85 is happening tomorrow (September 28) — following our annual summer break — at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi. Doors open at 19:00, presentations start at 20:20, and entry is 1000 yen. You’ll find the list of presenters on the official event page, but we’re also expecting a few extras, courtesy of this week’s World Congress of Architecture.

You’ll find PauseTalk on Facebook here, and there’s a Twitter feed too.

Finding RAGE at TGS

Here’s me talking about my ridiculous demo of the game RAGE at TGS, alongside CheapyD, in a video put together by Scott Popular and Niko Tanzuisi. Fun fact: Scott and Niko met at PauseTalk, and that’s where they hatched their plans to work together on a video project that revolves around Scott and his Final Round Bats gaming tournaments here in Tokyo.

Also, I was recently quoted in a piece for the Associated Press on the Nintendo 3DS, and the recent announcement of an upcoming accessory that will add a second analog stick to the device.

No Games Up in the Mountains

I wanted to do a proper write-up on what I experienced at the Tokyo Game Show yesterday, but find that I don’t really have the time, especially since I’m heading out to the mountains tonight (only get back on Monday). I did tweet a few quick thoughts last night, so you can have a look to see what I thought of the games I did get to try (spoiler: the biggest disappointment was that I didn’t get to play more Vita games).

This afternoon I’m trying to make sure I finish up all my work that needs to be done, and after that I’ll finish with the packing — we’re taking a night bus from Shinjuku, so still plenty of time. It’ll be my first time doing an extended trip like this up in the mountains (or just basically out in the wilderness, for that matter), and each day will see us covering quite a bit of trail hiking, so I hope that my not-in-the-best-of-shape body can keep up with it — and of course, that we don’t end up covered in rain the entire weekend (so far, it looks like we may just get a bit of it on Sunday).

This is probably my last post until I get back, so here’s to a fun weekend, and hoping I have some interesting stories to share on the flip side.

Milky and Hip Tanaka

Had a really fun time at the 8-4 pre-TGS party last night — the one I mentioned in this post. The music was especially great, with Milky (James Mielke, above left) giving us a taste of Lumines, old and new, and then a terrific guest set from legendary game music composer Hip Tanaka (above right). Good tunes, good friends, good fun.

Tomorrow it’s on to the first day of TGS to play some games on the PlayStation Vita! Despite the unexciting press conference from Sony today — apologies to anyone who was bombasted by my tweets today — I’m still very much excited about the device itself and some of the games I’ll get to play on it.

Mount Otake

Remember that weekend last week with the typhoon warning in effect? We kept waiting for it to come, and finally on Sunday decided to head up to the Okutama area for a bit of hiking. Lo and behold, the typhoon weather made itself felt just as we arrived, and so it was a very, very wet day indeed (below, me, dressed to deal with the elements).

Despite the wetness (which was on and off, but mostly on) we took the cable car up to Mount Mitake, and then hiked over to the top of Mount Otake, where we managed to cook lunch (see below). The big adventure comes next weekend though, as we will be heading to the Northern Alps (Mount Yari) for a 3-day trek. Cautiously looking forward to it — just worried about one of my knees, which occasionally gives me trouble, but I bought a brace for it. We’ll be staying in mountain huts, which should be interesting — first time for me.

A week of opposites then, from the tech-heavy Tokyo Game Show to the alpine heights of the north!

Six Years of On Design

You’d figure I’d be better at pimping my stuff on the web, but it feels like it’s been ages since I last linked to my regular “On Design” column on The Japan Times. But yes, it continues to appear on the last Tuesday of every month, and this month marks the 6th anniversary! The first edition was published in September of 2005, and you can still read it online (and here’s a post about it).

While I’m at it, here’s a link to last month’s column, in which I covered among other things Mile‘s Milestone, pictured above. This month’s edition will appear in the September 27 issue of the paper.

Tokyo Game Show, Week, Life

It’s Sunday night, and although the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) officially kicks off only on Thursday (for the first of two business days, followed by public days over the weekend), the fun stuff — and by this I mean the arrival of friends coming to town for the show, as part of the industry (press, development, and publishing) — has just started. I’m also very much looking forward to the annual 8-4 party on Tuesday night, a big bash organized by Tokyo-based localization company 8-4. It’s always a hell of a lot of fun — with good ol’ Milky (of EGM and now Q Entertainment fame) in charge of the tunes — and brings together most of the people that you’d want to see who are in town for TGS.

And even though I no longer do any regular gaming-related coverage — and it’s been a couple of years now since the release of Arcade Mania — I’m lucky enough that I still get to go on the business days (I need to thank my good friend CheapyD for that), and you can bet that the first thing I’ll do on Thursday when I enter the hall is make a bee line for the Sony booth to try out some of the insane number of PlayStation Vita titles on show.

Here’s a to wonderful week-long celebration of something that is so near and dear to me — GAMING!

Update: And here’s more on what Milky plans to play at the 8-4 party (hint: you’ll be very happy if you likeLumines).

PauseTalk Vol. 53

After taking a break in August, we were back withPauseTalk Vol. 53 this past Monday, and what a terrific evening it was. We kicked things off with a talk on the topic of “creatives” (the term itself), which evolved into a general discussion of the titles we use or give ourselves, and then elsewhere (as it always does). It was also a bittersweet night as it marked the last PauseTalk for regular attendee Josh McKible, who has been coming for close to 5 years (he’s leaving Japan next month). As I posted the other day, Don Kratzer enlisted us in a round of tequila shots to mark the occasion.

Also, the lovely photo in this post — taken from outside the cafe — is by Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko.

Below is a partial (but almost complete) list of attendees — the ones who signed the attendance sheet — and please note that PauseTalk Vol. 54 will be held on the first Monday, as always, which falls on October 3. And to stay updated, you can now follow PauseTalk on Twitter.