Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Have Fun At Game Market, A Tabletop Game Convention
Written by FujimotoHiro
Visit a tabletop game convention where you can find exclusive games that do not require electronics. Find an opponent and try playing unique handmade, original games on the spot!
When people think of game events in Japan, many may think of Tokyo Game Show or events that are video game-centric. But did you know that there is a game convention that doesn't require electronics and consists of mainly board games?
That is the Game Market. It is Japan's largest tabletop game convention where people can sell games they have created that do not require electricity.
This time, we would like to feature the Gamer's Market 2015 Osaka that was held on March 15th, 2015, at the Hanamizuki Hall (Mizu no kan hall) in Ryokuchi Koen in Tsurumi ward.
What Are Tabletop Games?
Photo by BlueAndWhiteArmy
Tabletop games consist of games that can be done on a table such as board games and card games.
For instance, one of the most classic tabletop games in Japan will be the game of Go or Shogi. Lately, trading card games such as Yu-gi-oh and Cardfight!! Vanguard are considered to be popular tabletop games.
Photo by William Warby
Catan and Monopoly are popular tabletop games from overseas.
A Convention Consisting of Lesser Known and Fan-Made Games
Gamer's Market is held in Tokyo twice and in Osaka once, annually. This special event dedicated to tabletop games has been held since the year 2000. There are also original works along with fan-made parody games available as well.
We found many people of all ages participating on this day of the event. In addition to visitors from all over Japan, there were participants from Taiwan, Korea, and many other countries from around the world!
The people selling their original games appeared to be having a lot of fun!
Play the Game You Bought on the Spot!
At the convention, there were easy games made for younger kids to fan-made games consisting of popular characters from particular series. There is also a free space where you can play the game you just bought. Lots of intense matches were held in this space.
This is a traditional game called Noto Goita from Ishikawa prefecture. These types of regional games are also considered to be tabletop games as well.
There were plenty of original games such as ones based on Cthulhu mythology along with games containing detailed pieces that were made using a 3D printer.
Interviewing Mr. AFONG from Taiwan
The MATCHA staff managed to hold an interview with Mr. AFONG from Taiwan who had a booth called Moaideas Game design（摩埃創意工作室）.
How did you find out about this event?
I used to be part of a fan circle where we used to make fanzines. While we were taking part of a fan event in Japan, we found out about the tabletop game convention and we wanted to take part of it.
Are there events like this in Taiwan?
No. There was one like this in the past, but it was part of a larger fan event. There are no events where they focus only on tabletop games.
In this day and age where digital games are main stream, why do you think tabletop games still have a stable popularity?
I think tabletop games are still popular since it requires people to communicate. You have to actually look at each other's faces and make decisions. That is the charm of tabletop games and part of the fun.
Anything else you would like to comment on?
At the Game Market, you can not only find multi-player games, but games also made for solo players too. There are plenty of fun games made by many people from all over the world. If you have a chance to visit Japan during this time, it is definitely worth a visit!
Thank you very much.
Like Mr. AFONG says, there are all sorts of games you can play in a short time along with games that require multiple people to think together.
(Japanese) The next event will be held in Tokyo in December, 2017. If you are interested in tabletop games, why not stop by the Game Market when you have the chance?
Game Market 2015 Osaka
Address: Osaka, Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park (Inside Hanahaku Memorial Park)
Closest Station: Tsurumi Ryokuchi Station on the Nagahori Tsurumi Ryokuchi Line.
Website: Game Market (Japanese)
Admission: Catalogue with admission ticket: 1500 yen (with tax) (pre-orders only)
Admission ticket: 1000 yen (with tax) (at the door)
Catalogue: 500 yen (with tax) (at the door)
Host: Arclight Co., Ltd.
Operated by: Game Market Office