The next supposed Japanese video game craze is about spanking.
November 26, 2001 6:37 AM   Subscribe

The next supposed Japanese video game craze is about spanking. The game is simple, you poke a fake derrier for points. Its stupid fun, yet everytime something odd becomes popular in Japan I have to hear two or three pundits explaining to me why its a social phenomenon and how clever the inscrutable designers are. I find it hard to believe that there isn't simply tasteless marketing, no-brainer toys, and bad ideas in Japan. It seems Wired, and others, can't get enough over-analysis.
posted by skallas (18 comments total)
Conversely, are there foreign articles about Hooter's restaurants that go deep into the oral aspect of eating chicken, often sold in breasts, and observing women in tight clothing?

Something tells me no. I think there is a certain obsession that many geeks have with Japan's techno culture and must assign some kind of higher meaning to things as simple as a butt-pinching game, pokemon, anime, etc.
posted by skallas at 6:52 AM on November 26, 2001

I think Americans are just amazed and curious about the fact that the Japanese are even more repressed than we are.

At least I am.
posted by dogmatic at 6:58 AM on November 26, 2001

I think there are several disturbing things that can be found on the Boonga Boonga brochure. First off, the selection of characters you can (I assume) choose to spank (do you poke or spank, i'm confused)...which includes such spank-worthy folks as a prostitute and a child molester. Secondly, as always the translation of the brochure is kind of weird:

"This is a fun game of spanking the peopple that make your life miserable. When you spank the character that you choose to punish, the face expression of the character will change as they scream and twitch in pain. The funny face expressions will make people laugh and relieve the stress."

Man, those gangster and child molesters sure are making my life miserable. I'd like to spank them. Their funny face expressions will relieve the stress.

Thirdly, said "funny face expression" (at the bottom of the brochure) are really just pretty terrifying.

I am kind of digging the tight-assed jeans stand-up console, though.
posted by tpl1212 at 7:17 AM on November 26, 2001

I'm pretty sure this has been posted before (maybe not the wired article in particular), as I have this distinct memory of a nightmare I had following it. A person wearing that big foam-hand costume was chasing me around the house and knocking things over whilst uttering a high-pitched squealing noise. Then again, I might just be remembering some night my girlfriend got all bizzare-o on me.
posted by Hankins at 7:21 AM on November 26, 2001

I fail to see what this game has to do with Japanese men wanting their arseholes felt up in brothels. Oh yeah, that's right, Japanese are all perverts, and here is more proof.
posted by dydecker at 7:24 AM on November 26, 2001

Something about this was posted six months ago or so, and thought to be a giant hoax.
posted by mathowie at 9:38 AM on November 26, 2001

I don't think it was a hoax.
posted by plinth at 10:11 AM on November 26, 2001

The game's been out in Japan for over a year. Perhaps next week Wired News will publish something about skeeball.
posted by KLAX at 10:18 AM on November 26, 2001

I'm waiting for the tell-all Wired expose on Hungry Hungry Hippos.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:26 AM on November 26, 2001

I don't think the game was ever released in Japan. It looks like it never made it past the trade show. There is no sign of it on the Japanese Internet, and I haven't seen it in any of the arcades around Tokyo.
posted by dydecker at 10:37 AM on November 26, 2001

I find it surprising that everyone here agrees that the game signifies spanking when, given the design of the big poking finger, it seems to signify anal sex. In fact, given how trapped that butt/legs combo looks, it really seems to signify anal rape. (The facial expressions depicted in the aforelinked brochure seem to bear that out.)

That being said, evidence must be shown that the game is actually popular before we can actually look at it as a notable cultural artifact.
posted by argybarg at 10:54 AM on November 26, 2001

If "respected Washington Post journalist" Shigehiko Togo had a Boonga Boonga to play with, perhaps he'd be better behaved on the subway!
posted by Carol Anne at 11:22 AM on November 26, 2001

WIRED is a little behind on this one .. this game was first mentioned *months* ago, and is not a hoax as far as I know..
posted by valerie at 11:44 AM on November 26, 2001

Well, Japan actually is a little bit different
posted by matteo at 1:26 PM on November 26, 2001

People have been talking about how weird Japan is for years, but it's all a matter of perspective. In the late '80s there was all this press about freaky Japanese game shows where people ate bugs and performed dangerous stunts for prizes. How many Americans thought it was crazy then, but now tune in to "Fear Factor" once a week? If it's their idea, it's odd. If it's our idea, it's creative.
posted by maggeh at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2001

The best line in this story is "Jack Morin, author of a sex manual, Anal Pleasure and Health, agreed."
posted by MarkO at 4:23 PM on November 26, 2001

Notice how the game is played off as a Japanese thing, with a Japanese spin, while the developers (both of this and the swirling poop game) are actually Korean. I think this is pretty strong evidence of Wired's/geekmedia's fixation with Japan as weird and techy. No comment is made about how many of the machines were sold elsewhere.

Of course, 200 game consoles is nothing. There are thousands of arcades in Tokyo alone. There's one near my office that advertises "adult games" on the second floor. My guess is this is the type of place that bought these games (this kind of place or assorted pink parlors). I think this is a good reason why dydecker hasn't seen it. Same reason I haven't seen it.
posted by chiheisen at 8:40 PM on November 26, 2001

I first heard about this game in a video game magazine about this time last year. The editors made fun of the poorly translated sentance on it. (I don't remember exactly what it was)

There is always weird things coming out of Japan, even weirder is that Americans reference it. I once saw Jon Stewart do a "Bukkake" reference that blew my freakin' mind.

Oh yeah I remember the sentance.

Have a fun!
posted by andryeevna at 12:52 AM on November 27, 2001

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