An Adventure Called Life
Traditionally, western RPGamers have been an isolated lot as far as the mainstream is concerned. You don't really see much serious pop culture penetration outside of sectors directly connected to our shared hobbies, at least not when compared to Japan. Take these screens, for example. What would you say this is?
Would you believe me if I said this was a website for a job-finding service? The Japanese company RikuNabi created a Flash-based 8-bit town for their website, with the message: "You've saved the world, now what?" You can click on the NPCs to see what they have to say about finding work, and there's even a minigame where you have to make beds at the inn. The point, as RikuNabi is trying to present it, is that there's more to life than just fun, and that work can be an adventure in its own right. Instead of patronizing the young and unemployed about their hobbies, however, the company recognizes their importance and uses them to carry the message.
And then there's the video.
Witness the plight of the hero who was so good at just one thing, heroing, that he managed to put himself out of a job. See him flounder as he tries to survive in a world that he is not trained for, using the wrong set of skills every which way. Landing critical hits on the vegetables, the cutting board, and the table beneath them! Forgetting that real-life stores have to give out change! Using magic keys to enter hotel rooms and change the sheets, regardless of whether the guests are still in there! Getting arrested! Well, at least he finally gets it in the end...
It even has a recognizable parody of the DQ theme song stuck in there. Seriously, would any similar US company think of doing this, much less take it this far? — Michael Baker
Originally presented in Japandemonium, 3/31/2014
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