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  3. Pachinko the WORLD! 海外と外国人とジャパニーズパチンコ事情
  4. Pachinko and Pachislot Communities Among Foreigners Overseas are Hot

Pachinko the WORLD! 海外と外国人とジャパニーズパチンコ事情

Pachinko the WORLD! 海外と外国人とジャパニーズパチンコ事情

2024.01.16

Pachinko and Pachislot Communities Among Foreigners Overseas are Hot

長北 真 長北 真   Pachinko the WORLD! 海外と外国人とジャパニーズパチンコ事情

Hello again, I am Makoto from Global Pachinko Corporation.

This time, I'm thinking of writing about the trends of foreigners visiting Japan, or rather, the movements related to pachinko and pachislot overseas, and the development of overseas pachinko and pachislot communities. The information will primarily focus on the past 20 years since the internet started developing, and due to the vast amount of content, I will be briefly introducing each topic. Please bear with me on this.

I thought about collecting comments from various community members and store owners, but given the deadline and the volume of content (it could fill a book!), I had to refrain. Also, it's all in English, of course. For those interested in the details or wanting to conduct interviews, you might need to rely on Google Translate or similar tools. Alternatively, feel free to contact me for interpretation assistance.

 

★The Emergence of Overseas Pachinko Communities (Around 2003 to 2013)

Firstly, regarding communities. When it comes to pachinko communities, we can't start without mentioning the original, PachiTalk
 

PachiTalk

PachiTalk is a thread-based bulletin board, a forum similar to 5ch, with a history of about 20 years (established in 2004, so it turns 20 in 2024. Congratulations!). The design is reminiscent of the early 2000s (or rather, it seems the site hasn't been updated), making it somewhat challenging to use. Still, it remains the largest community. Just by looking at the total number of posts, you can see how passionate its fans are. Most discussions revolve around straightforward questions like, 'Should I buy this machine?' 'I don’t understand how to do the timing for stopping the reels,' and 'What’s the name of this machine?'

Below, I list some individual communities, providing direct links mainly related to pachinko (as many are mixed up with arcade games and pinball, and it often turns out that 80% of the content is about retro games)
 

so I bought a pinball machine

As written, it's more about introducing pachinko as a part of pinball. However, there's a lot of in-depth research and exploration into the history of pachinko, making it quite an interesting read.
 

Nicole Express

Here too, pachinko is introduced not just on its own, but as part of Japanese gaming culture.

Next, I'll cover various pachinko and pachislot communities on Facebook, focusing on those that have been active since 2003 and onwards.
 

Pachinko and pachislo slot repair buy sell and trade

▲ A community focused on the sale, purchase, and repair. It has 4,348 members

Pachinko Machines

▲ A group with 869 members, primarily focused on retro pachinko.

Everything Pachislo

▲ A community with 965 members, mainly centered around pachislot machines.

North America Pachinko Club

▲ A club with 1,746 members, primarily based in North America.

Pachinko UK(141 members, primarily focused on pachinko discussions in the UK)

There are also numerous small regional communities scattered around. However, considering that Facebook tends to be more popular with older demographics and other social networks are also developing, I believe there are some large, hidden communities as well.
 

There are many cases like this, where information is shared in individual group chats, making it challenging to fully track everything.

 

★The Era of Playing Pachinko Overseas? (Around 2013 to 2020)

Some YouTubers have already covered this, so fans might be aware, but in 2013, Bellagio opened a pachinko parlor in Guam.
 

▲ 'Pachinko World' in North Carolina, USA

Around the same time, 'Pachinko World' also opened in North Carolina, USA.

It has been mentioned occasionally since its inception, and some YouTubers have visited it, so it's well-known among those in the know. Pachinko World has been featured in articles with a tone of 'Pros from Japan have come to play!
 

▲ 'Ponkotsu' written in characters?

Such developments were seen about a decade ago. There were various other activities, but about six years later, a certain pandemic spread. As a result, the only survivors were the aforementioned two stores, plus a few in Nevada (where Las Vegas is), in places like the Red Dragon chain of restaurants or bars (I haven't been able to confirm this properly, so if someone could provide funds for research, that would be great).
 

★The Growing Recognition of Pachinko (Around 2017)

▲ 'Ebisu' covered by Pachi7

The despised pandemic. This was around the time when 'Ebisu' opened, which has since closed down. This establishment was likely the only one that successfully integrated 'inbound tourism into pachinko.' One of the reasons for its success, I believe, was its collaboration with overseas YouTubers. Specifically, this one:
 

▲ Japan's Largest Fervent Entertainment | Pachinko

For those who can't watch it while on the move, here's a brief comment: the video has an astonishing 11.79 million views. This number makes domestic channels, who celebrate 100,000 views as a huge success, seem insignificant. The influence is literally on a different scale. This is what's being showcased here.

... Well, as a funny side effect, I sometimes get asked by tour participants, 'Can't we eat curry at this pachinko parlor?' It's an amusing incident. I too would love to eat curry in a pachinko parlor. This is an example of a domestic development, but showcased through the movements abroad.

 

★Recent Developments (2020 - Present)

With the pandemic subsiding, there's been a surge in enthusiasm for new business ventures. Notably, in 2020, the novel 'Pachinko' and the game 'Yakuza 7' sparked interest. These led to an increased awareness of pachinko, with sentiments like 'Apparently, there's this thing called pachinko in Japan' and 'Don’t really get it, but there seem to be many types and shops everywhere.' This has broadened the recognition and understanding (or lack thereof) of Japanese pachinko around the world.
 

Pachinko Festival(United States, Texas)

▲Events using actual Pachinko machines are held

https://twitter.com/PachinkoFest
https://www.instagram.com/pachinkofest/
https://www.tiktok.com/@pachinkofestival

The Pachinko Festival, initiated in late 2020 in Texas, USA, is an event where participants can enjoy playing pachinko. It operates in various locations like shopping malls and anime-related events. Despite the logistical challenges of moving and setting up around 20 pachinko machines each time, and largely being managed by a single person, the event consistently operates at a loss. The organizer hopes to transition to a permanent storefront setup in the future. Donations might be beneficial to support this endeavor.
 

Pixel Amusement Arcade(Davao City, Philippines)

https://www.instagram.com/pixelamusementarcade/
https://www.facebook.com/pixelamusementarcade
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjqQMfYlhGM&list=PLYrua_3hy2hKZMp0Ncr-jFzLxhpLSKglo&index=6

The recently opened gaming establishment in Davao, Philippines, caters to the local market, setting it apart from more tourist-centric locations like Macao or Cebu. Classified as a "game center," it operates under similar legal frameworks to those in the United States and the Philippines, where offering prizes based on game outcomes is permissible. This approach is exemplified in the popularity of "fishing games," where adults often engage vigorously in gameplay, aiming for rewards.
 

▲The presence of the "Tokio" machine really captures the essence.

After installation, there were some concerns about understanding the game flow, so I created instructional POPs to assist players. Additionally, I wanted to briefly touch upon some domestic trends.
 

Rise of Vietnamese players: Hội Anh Em Pachinko Nhật Bản

Facebook Community(2072 members、Vietonamies Pachinko funs living in Japan)

Established in 2020 and has been rapidly growing, averaging about two new members a day. Although the discussions are entirely in Vietnamese, our exploratory team managed to join and communicate to some extent. The community shows a wide knowledge gap in pachinko and pachislot, with some experienced members discussing complex topics like the "advantageous period ceiling" in Okidoki. Interestingly, some members mentioned forming teams to target specific machines. The nature of these teams remains unclear, with members reluctant to divulge details. Further investigation into this community's dynamics could be insightful.
 

Global Pachinko Also is Working to Expand Community!

Our Discord Server ”Global Pachinko/Pachislot Association”

Responding to the difficulties of using platforms like Facebook and PachiTalk, Global Pachinko has created a Discord server for the international Pachinko community. The server has been gradually increasing its members and currently has around 120 participants. This is the first time they're publicly sharing the link within Japan, so those interested might find it worthwhile to take a look.

This is it for today, see you next!

 

We are seeking participants to experience pachinko through our pachinko tours!

We have organized a special tour to introduce pachinko, a traditional Japanese form of entertainment, to our foreign friends. On this tour, you will be accompanied by an instructor who is fluent in English and well-versed in pachinko, providing detailed guidance from the basics to advanced techniques. Pachinko, known for its bright lights and unique sounds, has been a beloved game in Japan for over 80 years. Although the tour is just two hours, it offers a wealth of knowledge about pachinko's history and how to play!

 

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長北 真
代表作:Pachinko the WORLD! 海外と外国人とジャパニーズパチンコ事情

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