Should You Pull?

Gachapon, Risk, and Reward in Mobile Gaming

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Most players of mobile games intimately understand the economic model of the Japanese “gachapon” (ガチャポン), even if they are not familiar with the term. Generally speaking, a “gachapon,” (or gashapon ガシャポン, gacha ガチャ, or gachagacha ガチャガチャ) is a coin-operated toy vending machine. Many of us have likely spent our quarters in similar machines as children, accumulating an eclectic array of bouncy balls, stickers, and other cheap goods in the lobbies of supermarkets around the world. The Japanese term derives from onomatopoeia for two distinct sounds: the “gacha,” or the sound of turning the crank of the machine, followed by the “pon,” or the sound of the toy dropping down into the receptacle. Continue Reading

Nintendon’t

First Person Podcast Episode 7

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Instead of examining a specific game on Episode 7 of the First Person Podcast we turn a eye, an upraised eyebrow, and a single tear towards Nintendo and its recent decisions. Four disapointed Nintendo fans look at the many controversies and rumours currently surrounding both Nintendo as a company as well as their current and upcoming games. In this episode we cover the Fire Emblem localization, Nintendo’s lack of reaction to GamerGate, Nintendo firing Alison Rapp, the launch and staying power of Miitomo, and the rumours about implementing a choice between male and female link in the new Zelda game. Beyond this will also discuss larger issues of localization, how sexuality is depicted in games, and wonder how many different varieties of “hard core” gamers we’ve encountered. Continue Reading