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Escape the sensory overload of con life with the Japanese Freeplay Arcade

The attraction at ECCC 2024 offered fans the opportunity to get away from it all with some free video game action

Japanese Freeplay Arcade
Image credit: Popverse

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Anyone who’s ever attended a comic convention knows that there is an almost overwhelming amount of sensory input: the sights and sounds of exhibitors, creators, and other vendors on show floors; the roar of the crowd in response to the stars on the stage in any number of panel rooms; the smell of overused convention center toilets after a couple of days of abuse. (Okay, maybe that last one is a joke.) With this much going on, con attendees could be forgiven for needing a getaway from everything to recharge their batteries, and find something better to focus on. Thankfully, one Seattle-based company is ready to provide one.

Japanese Freeplay Arcade
Image credit: Popverse

Fans at Emerald City Comic Con 2024 quickly discovered the oasis on the fourth floor of the Seattle Convention Center Summit Bulilding known as the Japanese Freeplay Arcade, created by local company 100 Yen Life. As the name suggests, the space offered the opportunity to detach from reality for awhile by playing a variety of arcade games, Japanese rhythm games —that's a way to say "Dance Dance Revolution" without worrying about brand names — and more, all for the grand old price of absolutely free.

Amongst those games was something 100 Yen Life called a 'History of Tekken Showcase,' which was a line-up of the entire arcade history of the Tekken series — something that drew not just gamers, but crowds of onlookers during the four-day run of ECCC 2024, with fans enjoying the chance to watch others play the games just as much as they did playing the games themselves.

While we’re talking about drawing crowds, even the History of Tekken had competition with the one attraction as part of the Arcade that wasn’t free: a pair of claw grabbers, each filled with stuffed toys so cute that certain members of Team Popverse couldn’t help but stop and talk about whether or not they were about to be drawn in every time they walked past. (You know who you are.)

Japanese Freeplay Arcade
Image credit: Popverse

The Freeplay Arcade isn’t limited to ECCC, however; 100 Yen Life bring the attraction to other events throughout the Seattle area through the year, including the Seattle Home and Garden Show, PAX West, and more; upcoming appearances for the show include Sakura-Con at the end of March, and May’s Anime Impulse. More information about 100 Yen Life’s future appearances can be found on their website.

Get fully immersed in ECCC 2024 with Popverse's coverage of the event. From main stage panel livestreams to backstage interviews, on-the-floor coverage, news, cosplay galleries, and all the major panels we'll be m ocderating! We also have a list of the ECCC 2024 artist alley and the big booths to expect. We've even got you covered on where to eat near the convention center.

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About the Author
Graeme McMillan avatar

Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.