Glitch Feed

one quiet night in nagai by +peter
June 4, 2007, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Japan, Totally Random


The Osaka day was very humid and I had escaped to my micro apartment with the ambition of actually getting some design work done. My companion for the day was the air-conditioner in my window.

air-conditioner – “craaaank, CLANG, chug chug chug chug … blorp, SLAM!”
me – “Shut the fuck up! All I want is your cold air!”

It’s a delicate relationship at best. I decided it might help if I let the air-conditioner rest while I sought the coolness provided by the now evening, Nagai outdoors. I grabbed my keys and cigarettes and headed out.


Night time certainly has a much more mystical feeling to it. Without proper lighting, one’s senses must compensate and therefore one’s awareness of their surroundings is heightened. Where I once utilized mostly sight to understand the environment, I must now make greater use of my ears, nose and sometimes touch to understand what is going on around me.

What this provides is a completely different experience to what I knew before. What was familiar is now foreign and I explore a wholly different perspective that helps me better understand my surroundings as a whole.

The ambient noises around me, now free of the destructive light photons from the sun, assemble a delicate orchestra of sounds, telling me unique and varied stories.

I pass many closely fitted apartment buildings who’s negative space creates a network of twisting roads. Vacant areas may be limited, but within this dense city comes a richness not found elsewhere.

Many floors up from the street where I stand, I hear children laughing as their father involves them in a game.

A small, family owned restaurant with large windows open to the street, provide not only the sounds of patrons and clinking dishes but the smells of baking dough and sea food.

In another apartment further down the street, I can hear a couple yelling through the windows of their kitchen. I cannot see anything, yet I can imagine the husband desperately defending himself against his wife who is chasing him around the kitchen table.

The street becomes quiet for a moment while I near a rice field in the middle of the neighborhood. The irrigation system that runs along the street side, bubbles with the passing water that will eventually empty into the field. There, hundreds of frogs who have found homes in the warm water, croak their pickup lines to potential mates.

A passing motorist disrupts the delicate balance. The symphony of natural noises are overcome by the thundering roar of a motorcycle. While momentarily bothersome, the bike provides contrast to the setting and I enjoy the ambiance even more once it has passed.

Using senses other than my dominant eye sight, I feel like I have established a very personal relationship with my neighborhood. Details in my environment extend beyond what my optical nerve can perceive.

I feel better immersed in my surroundings. Small spaces acquire character and develop themselves by telling stories through sounds and smells. The environment is attributed a greater richness.

The fun part now, is solving how this relates to video games. Richness by compensating for the lack of visual fidelity sounds pretty anti-next gen. In truth, there are few recent games I have played that have actually recreated this sensation with much strength.

In an upcoming post, I will talk about why this might be. I believe there may be more power in the retro style than we give credit, and it goes far beyond mere “nostalgia factor.” Of course I will explain later.



3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

So you’re a VG designer? (just found out LOL) … I’m actually wanting to study VideoGame designing & programming (I’m finishing a computer science degree in Italy) where did you study? In Japan?
Can I ask for your help? … so far I’ve found only 2 Master’s course in Japan (only TWO !!!! In the ALL Japan)!

Comment by simaldeff

Okay, I am a VG design in training. I go to an art school, thus I approach game design as an artistic medium and less as a commercial form of entertainment (I still enjoy the commercial stuff though.)

I have a very strong interest in the design and theory aspect (along with visual creation) but I absolutely loathe most coding.

I honestly havent found Japan to be the most offering in terms of game studies (I am only here on break anyways, I go to school in the US) You might be much better off sticking in Europe somewhere, as they (especially France) seem to really embrace video games as an artistic medium.

I’ll let you know if I run across anything! I know there are a couple schools in the US the feature masters in those areas.

Comment by +peter

thanks … that would really be some help!!!

Comment by simaldeff

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