Sunday, August 26th, 2001:

I posted photos and a treat from Tokyo this morning, right after I finished playing Shenmue. I had given up on the game last January when my character (avatar, whatever) — Ryo Hazuki — got a job as a forklift operator; every time I played I had to put in a full day of work! But my infatuation with Japanese culture, boosted by my trip, lured me back. I can’t tell you how happy I was when Ryo got fired!

Shenmue really is a landmark event in the mostly bullshit world of new media, half game and half epic movie. One of the things I enjoyed most about it was that it was so earnest — no cynicism, post-modernism, parody… Just a well-told (if trite) story that you can interact with. It is precisely what makes me want to get into the videogames industry.

At the same time, the traditional discipline of corporate whoring calls, with bookings for upcoming Second City industrial shows. My first one this year (!) comes in September with a trip to Vancouver. I’m hoping to stay over an extra day and score an interview with Electronic Arts.

I also found out I’m a second-stringer for a tour of Canadian consulates in Asia. If someone on the A-list gets another gig, I could be going to Hong Kong, just like Ryo Hazuki will be doing in the Shenmue sequel! Keep your fingers crossed…

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