Take It In

I realised what makes Japanese arcades different.

Where I’m from, an arcade’s a rare thing. If you go, it’s to play games and you’ll get your gaming in – won’t waste your chance.

A pub, meanwhile, is on every corner. You go even if you’re not into drinking – today or in general. Just a place to be.

A betting shop’s on every highstreet. You don’t care what’s running, don’t care if you win. Just go and be.

This is why Tokyo arcades are different. Don’t worry about missing your chance. There’s tomorrow and the next day.

Sometimes you don’t want to play games; just to be there. Thinking about life, not games.

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Some details: a table set aside for smoking; a pile of clean ashtrays; a bottle of Bikkle yoghurt drink; a call button – please be aware staff may take a moment to get to you; a basket of moistened handwipes; intermittent zebra-print floortiles.

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