Densha de GO!

Why are you just standing there in your black trousers and white shirt?

Is it because you’re jammed up body-to-body with everyone else like you and can’t move?

Well why are you in there at all?

Shake off the shackles, man! Choose life! What if you could DRIVE the train?

W O A H .

I could drive it really fast! Well, no, you shouldn’t do that.

I could drive it a *little bit* fast. Best not to.

I could go slow then, and savour the world around me! No, the train has to be on time.

To the minute? To the second, please.

Could I at least stop the train one centimetre further along the platform than usual – for larks? No.

You must start the train at the indicated time. You must accelerate at the correct rate. You must apply the break at the specified strength. You must arrive at the next station as scheduled on the timetable. You must stop at exactly the location the shirts and trousers expect. (Those sheep! Call that living?) Every time you are slightly wrong you will be criticised, until you have been so imperfect at train driving that you are not allowed to do it any more.

No! How could I pursue this fantasy? 'Tis but folly! I can’t imagine such freedom!

Well, now you don’t have to, thanks to Taito’s anarchic accelerate-do-nothing-then-decelerate-em-up Densha de GO! The exclamation mark’s part of the title!

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people