Meet Your Robot Overlord

The basement blows out smoky gusts of sound as the door swings to and fro. Come on in.

On a dark back wall are rows of terminals lit in green with half-hearted dividers between them like urinals. Men squeeze into the line, close but facing strictly forward, hands on joysticks.

Above each receptacle of attention, a robot face leans out and frowns down at its patron and his piddling existence.

Presumably, you didn’t bring your dignity to the “Battle Arena”, but if you did, time now to fold it neatly into the plastic basket provided for your valuables. Border Break Scramble knows no shame. Hidden between the splashguards though each guilty pleasure may be, the next praying player sees yours clearly in his own.

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