Japan is one of the countries that has embraced gaming with a passion, establishing this pastime as a crucial part of its culture. From the traditional Japanese board games and puzzles, like Riichi Mahjong, Go, Sudoku and Kendama, to the iconic staples of modern gaming – The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario, all published by Nintendo, Japan has a rich history when it comes to its gaming habits.
Just like other nations, the Japanese have incorporated bits from other games to create their own variations. The most relevant example for this is modern Sudoku (数独), which most people assume originated in Japan, but was actually designed by an architect from Indiana. The story goes even further than that to the 19th century in France, when a weekly puzzle that resembles Sudoku started becoming really popular amongst the newspaper readers of those times.
However, the game that is truly rooted in Japanese culture is Go (碁). Go, a strategy board game that was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago, is the oldest board game still played today. Alongside China and Korea, Japan has studied it, using its structure to learn and form military strategies. This abstract game is so complex that mastering it is actually considered a form of art.
Although Japan isn’t the original source of the first video game, it’s definitely the country that has contributed to the growth of the video gaming industry the most. Remember Pac-Man? Of course you do! Its success is so embedded in pop culture that it doesn’t matter how many more advanced games are released every year, it will still hold its strong position in this industry due to its iconic and legendary status.
Shortly after the launch of a few extremely successful arcade games, Japan entered the console market with Nintendo (任天堂). Its high-quality software and iconic games, such as Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and The Legend of Zelda, redefined the concept of gaming. Moreover, in 1994, another company called Sony, released its first PlayStation (プレイステーション) console, which became the first to sell 100 million units.
Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning Japan’s interest in online casinos and gambling. Since Japanese people are so into technology and being up to date with the latest developments in all matters, they have also become curious about the world of online gambling. Among their favorites is one of their very own creations, Pachinko (パチンコ), an arcade game that’s also a form of gambling.
Besides Pachinko, baccarat and slots are also rising in popularity due to the variety of themed games provided by online platforms. However, it’s not just the variety available that’s attracting Japanese players to this market, it’s also the competitive welcome promotions and bonuses. The Wildz casino deposit bonus (ワイルドカジノデポジットボーナス), for example, gives its new members up to 50,000 yen and 100 free spins. The immersive experience, combined with the developers’ abundance of great offers and high-tech visuals, keeps Japanese people interested in online gambling.
The gaming market in Japan has been under constant development, reaching milestone after milestone as the years have gone by. In 2016, the country witnessed yet another success with the launch of Pokemon Go, the first game to bring augmented reality to the masses. Since technology is advancing, it would be interesting to see what comes next from Japan’s gaming market.