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Video-game show offers kids shot at design

by Natalie Koch

This year’s Tokyo Game Show 2009 is themed “Game: It’s so energetic!” and is targeted at demographic groups both young and old with the latest information on the computer-entertainment market.

The event has three objectives: To act as a hub for up-to-the-minute information; to enhance the business side of the industry and internationalize it in terms of media appeal, visitors and exhibitors; and increase appeal to newer fans.

The theme was chosen to try to cheer up and re-energize the world during the recent economic downturn. Last year’s show featured a total of 1,768 booths, which provides a glimpse into what to expect at this years’ event.

Major names such as Konami, Sega and Sony will show off their wares in categories such as general, educational and children. An advanced mobile & PC section will also showcase games for mobile phones.

The Game Science Museum, featuring technological history and trends, will be set up in Halls 2, 4 and 8 (the latter being the kids’ area).

Hall 2 will present samurai-theme games as well as an exhibition of the armor and helmets of the popular Japanese warriors.

Hall 4 will present the workings of the latest game consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) so they are understandable for everyone, and introduce new technologies being applied to gaming.

The kids’ area in Hall 8 will feature a lecture on how to develop video-game characters and give children the opportunity to draw their own original game character. Kids will then be encouraged to submit their work at the Pixel Art Competition.

The event is organized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, which was established to promote the computer entertainment industry.

Tokyo Game Show 2009 is held from Sept. 24 till 27 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City. Business days for press and game industry members will take place Sept. 24-25 (that event is closed to the public). The show will be open to the public Sept. 26-27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is ¥1,200 for adults for a same-day ticket, and free for elementary school children and younger. For more information, visit tgs.cesa.or.jp/index.html.