Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Child's Heaven, A Parent's Hell?

23rd July, 2010 - Japan is, amongst other things, a country of distractions. It is the country of Pachinko (perhaps the ultimate mind-numbing distraction), land of Manga, the birth-place of Karaoke, and the home of any number of other activities. It's also well known for it's electronic entertainment, and you're never too far away from some form of arcade centre. Our local Aeon shopping centre is no exception, with two venues (on  either end of the building) to satisfy the requirements of the you and old alike.

Some games, like the Taiko drum game, are just plain fun (who can not see the fun in bashing away at two large drums?), and some (like the one below) are just a little strange... or should I say Japanese....

Others are a little more traditional (with a bit of oversight from Anpanman, of course - just to keep things in order). It's nice to see that after all these years, that merry-go-rounds are still a firm favourite amongst children.

At the end of the day however, game arcades are fun places... bright flashing lights, loud grating sounds, countless violence and gambling undertones, and of course endless opportunities to spend money. It is indeed  a child's heaven. Oh - and don't forget what happens when you decide it's time to leave. Ah - how quickly heaven can descend into a neon, tear-streaked hell. L-kun hadn't quite got the hang of the whole in-moderation concept yet...

Actually L-kun loves game centres (not surprising), but we tend to steer clear of them. They're good for a treat, but shopping at Aeon often ends up being a continual battle of wits (and will) to determine who can out-smart the other in steering a course towards the games.

In this digital age, perhaps we're being overly protective in trying to limit L-kun's exposure to the cheap thrills of the arcade. Indeed, perhaps it's nigh on child abuse, retarding his finger-eye coordination. Still, we think at 3 years old, he'll have enough time to enjoy the fun and games of the Japanese arcade when he gets older...And has his own pocket money.

Of course - now if Daddy wants to play......


  1. You should see me with the UFO catchers...you'd have to pry me away from them. And I'm suppose to be a grown adult. Hehe.

    Game centers for kids are always fun. Glad L-kun had a good time. =)

  2. I'm sorry, I can't help but think about "Toy Story" when you say UFO Catcher....

    Of course, adults can enjoy games as well. Fun doesn't stop being fun (or at least it shouldn't) once you turn 20... or 30... or more

  3. When i get inside, and see all those fun games and things, believe i'm a 24 man and then i act like a 6 year old child. So, your age doesn't mean anything when it's about fun!

  4. Couldn't agree more... of course, when you're trying to act all mature around your child, it doesn't work so well when you regress in front of them at the game centre! Still - gotta have fun, even as you get older.