Playing at Working

For Tokyoites, there’s something transcendental about this train simulator.

Every morning, the commute is shirt-and-trousers door to door. The muggy carriage is a thick gel of compacted bodies that oozes slowly out of the doors at each station then slurps back in. To get to work, you must concede your self and literally go with the flow, absent agency.

So what if you could *drive* the train?

It would be like lifting up above life itself, touching the very workings of the universe!

1996’s Densha de GO! is so pedantic and strict in its recreation of the work of a train driver that it’s almost not a game. Nonetheless, it has endured: a new version hit arcades in 2017.

This original cabinet is in Taito’s Hey arcade in Akihabara. For the fourteenth time: If you only go to one arcade in Tokyo, it has to be Hey.

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