Priceless / Worthless

I don’t know how videogame collectors afford it all. I keep the volume down on my Game Boy to save batteries. But when I drop credits, they’re free. What’s money for if not that?

In the 1990 Lucasfilm Games classic The Secret of Monkey Island, you need to cross a zip wire – you need something with a pulley wheel to slide along it. Where can you get a pulley wheel? Well, lying on a table in a fortune teller’s grotto is a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle. What even is that? There’s no such thing as that. It only exists for you to cross the zip wire. And why is the zip wire there anyway? The zip wire and the chicken are halves of a whole and neither has meaning on its own.

Well, the coinslot is the zip wire and the ¥100 is the chicken. There’s no point having the ¥100 unless you put it in the slot. And the coinslot is never a coinslot until the ¥100 goes in.

Consider the inevitability of it: there will be 1 credit; there will be ¥100. This is not a transaction; it’s the natural transposition of the fundaments of the Universe.

Rattatat: Press START.

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