Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Rez and Lumines creates Virtual Tokyo for Second Life

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The other week I mentioned briefly in our Daily Tech Hotlinks that Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the creator of games such as Lumines and Rez, is developing a Virtual Tokyo for Second Life. Anyone familiar with his work will know he’s an UTTER genius and probably deserves the Japanese equivalent of a Knighthood. Which is probably something similar to a special limited edition Hello Kitty figurine or appearance in a hentai cartoon.

Anyway, Famitsu, that gaming bible only the Japanese are privy to, announced recently that Dentsu, an advertising firm out there, approached him to create the Virtual Tokyo, but he initially turned the offer down, claiming the game “is just too vast and involved too many loose ideas”.

However, sense (and no doubt money) was knocked into him, and “the more [he] thought about it, a lot of interesting ideas came up. My work all these years has been to entertain people through video games, but this Virtual Tokyo concept could be the next step and path”.

Tokyo purists should prepare for a shock however, as the city which appears in Second Life won’t be geographically similar to what they know and love. “The Tokyo we are trying to create is based on the image of the city. How do people in Tokyo perceive the city? How about foreigners? That’s what we want to express”.

In other words, once Dentsu hoiked the money up by a few thousand yen or so and he accepted the generous offer, he decided to still display some of that old punk ethos we know and love in him, and is creating exactly what he wants, an obvious ‘up yours’ to the advertisers. Apparently it’s something akin to a “museum of Japanese pop culture”. Better contain some Hello Kitty or us Westerners won’t be able to recognise it, natch.

Mizuguchi enters Second Life, via 1up

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Katherine Hannaford