Canadian Gamer versus Japan (regarding JGC)
  • I'm a Canadian University Student (major in Japanese), and I just received my acceptance letter to attend Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata starting in September. I was checking out the JGC website (because I am very interested in gaming while in Japan), and I was very excited to see that the convention happens about a week after I land.

    Here's the trick. I know that my language skills won't yet be up to playing in a game. I would love to attend though, and just watch what games are there and see what the convention is like.

    Is anyone planning to go, and would someone be willing to help me out during the event? I've only learned basic sentences and very limited vocabulary, and I know the whole experience will be very stressful. I'd really appreciate if I could meet someone at the convention and maybe get a hand.

  • Hey Scooter, I really wish I could help! Unfortunately, things have never quite lined up for me to be able to get to the JGC when I visit. I suspect that if you go (like, for a day) you would mostly be walking around, taking pictures, visiting the game-seller booths, maybe attending some lecture-events rather than actual play events. There are going to be a number of lecture events: Since the company Group SNE are the ones that have a high hand in organizing the thing, they tend to have events like, "Hear the creator of Game X talk about next year's planned releases!" and the like. At least with those, you can sit and try to keep up with what is happening.

    For basic sentences and limited vocabulary, it's going to be hard to get into an actual session with a clear mind. When I was in Japan for the first time (even after I had studied for like two years), some friends I made brought me to a mini-con. I ended up putting a lot of time, an inappropriate amount of time (heh) into diddling around with making my character, and less time actually playing. はっきりって, I was mostly sitting at the table, being bewildered by everything around me. If it's hard enough to form sentences, it's going to be harder to form sentences /in character/. I remember while I had a memorable experience, I also got my first "white headache" at that event, the sort of borderline migrane and absolute tiredness that interpreters tend to get on a rough day. One hour of play will feel like 8 hours of hardcore thinking.

    Still, if you want to, give it a shot. If nothing else, just go and soak it all in. If you're feeling ambitious, register for an event.

    I was almost thinking, "if registration is still open, you could try to schedule a "simple English RPG session" using a system common to both countries like D&D/d20, D&D/4e, Call of Cthulhu, etc. While most folks won't speak English, a few will, and would be interested in such an event. But nothing would be sadder than making it happen, then have no one show up. So weigh that carefully.

    If I make it out to Japan next year or the year after, I'm actually going to aim for JGC. If you're still there at the time (is it a semester/year study, or did you actually transfer there?), we could get something like that organized.

    BTW, good luck in Osaka. Hirakata is an excellent area, and so very close to the cultural centers of old Japan!

  • Thanks Andy. Your post was a help in and of itself. I'm familiar with conventions here (that there are dealers and panels/events to attend on top of the show's main programming), but didn't want to push that assumption onto JGC. Knowing that some of these things can in fact be done makes it a bit more hopeful.

    I'll be at Kansai Gaidai University on an exchange until May. I'd love to meet you if you're around when I'm there. Fire me an e-mail (bcampbe at

    Now if I can only make heads or tails of JGC's website (and figure out how to register)... Maybe I can get some help from my orientation people.

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