Books and Media
The Turbo-Charged World of Japan's Game Centers
Available at Amazon and other book and media outlets
French Edition Available from Pix'n Love
This was my first book appearance. For years online I had existed as some kind of personage in the DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) community and for better worse, articles and discussions about the game or players would sometimes reference my site. When the time came for Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku fame to write a rhythm game chapter for his book on Japanese arcades, I was contacted soon after.
I actually didn't get his first few messages because my then-used Email account was hopelessly overridden with spam and I switched to another one. Fortunately for me, the publisher knew my then-boss and was able to contact me through that route.
I also had a hand at proofreading my own Chapter, which was probably a good thing because in the initial interview I did use colloquialisms and local slang related to the game that would have made no sense to the casual reader.
The impromptu photo shoot was a lot of fun though I do remember Konami took issue with all game-related imagery. Maybe it isn't all bad, though. I certainly played a few good games that day, but I wouldn't say it was my best day by any means.
Also of note, there was a French edition published. Although my French is still rudimentary. I was informed by a few others more fluent in French that they thought this version was more amusing to read since everything was sensationalized to a larger degree.
A Collection of Computer-Generated Poetry
Available at Amazon and Createspace
|The inspiration to create "AIJBot Poetry" and turn it into a book (and not just an online
compilation of random works) comes from "The
Policeman's Beard is Half-Constructed", a work published
in 1984 and composed by "Racter", an Artificial
Intelligence computer program that generated English
language prose at random.|
I had a small forum robot I was going to use for online Monopoly games, but ended up tieing in an ALICEbot AI routine to allow for call/response conversations and later from ther I was able to use a compilation of dictionary data and forum conversation archives as a base for randomly generated prose. I was so amused by some of the prose I ended up publishing a collection of my favorites.
A History of the Japanese DDR Community
Available at Amazon and Createspace
|I started work on this formally in 2009 but I had been keeping records and notes on the Japanese music game scene from back when it first started as a fad. There were many interesting stories and observations I had made and shared over the years on Internet bulletin boards and the like, though at the same time I knew that someday I might want to put all of it down in writing.
This is more of a pet project than anything. I know of many interested in the content, but at the end of the day I am most happy just being able to share my experiences.
My biggest issue was that my writing ability has never been anything of note. I tend to be much better proofreading others work as opposed to making it myself. For an Internet post, it was all right, but when I put it down in writing for any sort of formal purpose...my lack of any sort of great writing skill became obvious.
The original draft of this book was titled "Combo's Continuing" in reference to an announcer quote from the game "Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix" though in retrospect it only confused readers to have something so situational and grammatically incorrect. Even forgiving that, the writing in the book needed some major work to bring it up to any kind of quality standard.
After some proofreading help and numerous passes, the final book on Amazon became more like the work I originally wished to release. Even so, I will always think that I wrote myself into a corner since I chose to break up the chapters by year and ended up pulling the reader from topic to topic at a somewhat irregular pace. However, if I broke up the Chapters by topic I probably wouldn't have any kind of flowing overall narrative.
One thing I noticed quickly was the more I wrote, the more there was to clarify or expand upon. I could have give on to no end if I followed all of the tangents and got into the very specific or technical, but even barring that, there was still a lot to include that also led to more topics to discuss. I could still probably squeeze another hundred pages out of the book but by the same token I didn't want to make the book done kind of marathon to endure; it was supposed to be a casual read.
The Japanese Arcade Experience (Film)
Official Web Site
Produced by Strata Studios
I first heard about this project from some other gaming friends that commented on the beta trailer video for the project. After introducing myself as having worked with Brian Ashcraft on the Arcade Mania book, and seeing as how Brian Ashcraft was also in the film, we eventually met to chat and record some game footage.
Afterwards the staff did come to Japan once more with a video crew and recorded several hours worth of material. In this work, the focus was more on the arcade culture and the players behind it than the games; it addressed just why arcade gaming culture exists in Japan but not so in the West.
As a result, I also got to display my skills at other games and even my puzzle cubes in addition to DDR and my observations and thoughts on Japan's arcade culture.
Lord of the Dance Machine (BBC TV)
Aired on BBC3's "Welcome to my World" series produced by ZigZag Productions
Aired July 27-29, 2006
Although I was not in any important role in this documentary I did have a few very brief appearances in this TV special.
Originally, my trip to London along with two of my friends was unrelated to this film. We were actually just special guests at the 2005 London MCM Expo brought over courtesy of the local UK DDR community. During our stay we crossed paths with the BBC who were making a documentary about one of the UK's local players and his goal to achieve greatness at the game, including attending tournaments abroad.
The BBC was interested in us since we were promoted as some kind of international celebrities and they wished to use that angle to help promote the local talent. We were interviewed though none of that footage made its way into the TV special. I was told there was a different local TV report on the expo that used that footage but I have never been able to find any word of it.
However, there are still a few scenes of myself and my friends at the MCM Expo in the final work, even if they are non-speaking and brief.
Other random media
Article scan is here
|I honestly can't read Swedish and from what I have been told the article wasn't anything special, but I was ever so honored to learn there was someone in Sweden that aspired to be like me (within the realm of DDR)|
University of Waterloo Newspaper Article
This article is one I hesitate to mention because there are many factual errors and I wasn't even consulted before this went to print. Still, I suppose I should be proud of the fact I left behind a legacy as "The DDR guy from Waterloo (University)"