Sonic Boom, Sonic Bust

Sonic turned up in 1991. Flash, spicing up the playground, giving gangs of tough kids chance to gather round a gritty, grown-up renegade (a blue hedgehog in red trainers).

Electric 16-bit at 60Hz. Chaos-racing cathode rays, collecting rings: conventions razed.

Never thought we’d get so grizzled. Didn’t expect to triple my time alive and find myself in Funabori. Funabori wears the post-boom baggage of the supercity’s fraying edges. Funa=ship, bori=ditch. Grown up in a trading inlet, rough, run by dockers, run down.

School reunion! Strange to meet Sonic out here in dockyard air, salt scuffing our skin.

Inside the arcade, it’s modern Sega: Shipditch dipshits smoking round the kiddie games; courier-company khakis chucking coins at computer casinos.

Sonic’s memorial monolith still stands – but nothing weathers like the sea.

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