100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience (directed by Brad Crawford) is an independent documentary that provides an overview of the history of Japanese arcades as well as a glimpse of the resurgence of arcades in the United States long after the golden era of arcades. The documentary can be viewed as a film adaptation of the book Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers, albeit only the chapters devoted to video games are included. Understandably, there is a lot of hype surrounding the film, even though the 25 Canadian dollar price (and six dollars shipping in the United States) for the first public DVD release of the film is a pretty ridiculous price (or even for any DVD in general). To add insult to injury, the documentary was also disappointing the first time I watched it as it only scratches the surface of what it is like to be inside one of those arcades. This is nevertheless a great film for someone who is new to the arcade scene and wants some background information on the arcade culture in Japan, but as a source of information into the history of the Japanese arcade culture, the film is by no means exhaustive and, as the film is only a little over an hour, is in fact not even thorough in covering what Japanese arcades have to offer, even if it is in a biased manner.
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