Journey to Japan: Tokyo Game Show 2016

Tokyo Game Show 2016

Whenever the subject of what I wanted to do with my life was discussed, not once was Journalism ever something I considered. I have always been an artist with a love for video games not reporting the news. I did however spend a considerable amount of time posting movie and video game reviews to my blog on MySpace (I know I have just dated myself) many centuries ago. It was then I was offered the opportunity to write my reviews for an upcoming, video game themed social network called PSN Friends. While the year or so I spent doing this did not spark an interest in Journalism in me, I did realize that my love of all things gaming needed to be channeled creatively and so I formed my own social network in 2009 called PlayStation Haven.

I formed the website just for fun. I wanted a place that my friends and I could talk about what we loved with other like-minded individuals but like I said it was just for fun. Once I graduated from another college in 2011 with a degree in Graphic Design I decided it was time to break into the gaming industry. I spent the next few years with companies like Activision and Square Enix all while still maintaining my online presence writing about all the new games (that I was not working on) that were flooding the store shelves. Then it finally hit me. I realized that my reporting on video games gave me more satisfaction and far less stress than working on the games themselves and that is when I took my little website and decided to make a career out of it. Fast Forward to 2016 and I can say that my passion and hard work have not gone unrewarded. Through journalism I have been to places many gamers have only dreamed of. From E3, behind the scenes at Anime Expo and now for the second time all the way to the dream destination of nearly every gamer: Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo Game Show 2016 Press Pass

While nearly every major video game console has its roots in Japan, the country is also home to one of the biggest annual gaming events called Tokyo Game Show (TGS). TGS brings game developers, press and the public together in a way that no other gaming event does. Over the course of four days (two of which are open to the public) thousands of gamers gather at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo to get their hands on games that wont be on store shelves for maybe another year.

A record setting 271,224 people attended TGS 2016

The focus of this year’s show was Virtual Reality (VR) With PlayStation VR being a major focus. If you are a gamer and you thought Resident Evil was scary before, wait until you try Resident Evil VII in full VR! Aside from having playable demos of games everywhere, there were also various stage presentations where developers got a chance to show off never before seen gameplay and insights on titles they are working on. Games like Mafia III, Final Fantasy XV and Rigs (VR) were demoed at these presentations with the open-world crime drama Mafia III being one of my personal favorites. There was also a gamers dream come true presentation that put me face to face with my favorite game director of all time Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid).

Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa of Kojima Productions

Traveling to Japan, the birthplace of some of my favorite video games was a fantastic experience. Even though this was my second time attending, the excitement has yet to fade away. Not only for the video games but also for the vast cultural experiences on every street. My time there (just a week) was way too short to soak everything in but as long as Tokyo Game Show is an annual event, it will be an annual trip for me. I find it to be amazing that a man from Long Beach, CA with a passion for writing, video games and with only a small grasp of the Japanese language can find himself reporting live from the biggest gaming events in Japan.

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